Jayda Parks ’17 was brainstorming ideas for a fun and interesting senior project when she realized that she could combine her love of fashion with her appreciation for the METCO program, and create a diversity fashion show.
“I love fashion and I wanted to incorporate some kind of diversity, because of the 50th anniversary of METCO this year,” said Parks. “I wanted to celebrate people of color in METCO and their styles.”
Once her idea was approved, Parks began the process of creating a fashion show. Parks acknowledged the fact that creating a successful fashion show is a lot of work. She spent many weeks planning the styles, scheduling times to meet with the models, getting businesses to donate the clothes, and coordinating with the stage director.
“It was worth all the work because I’m very passionate about all the fashion in it, I just love it,” said Parks. “And I’m in the METCO program so I wanted to bring light on the METCO program and their fashion.”
Many of Parks’ friends volunteered to participate in the show as models, since they also felt strongly about the cause.
“I think a diversity fashion show is important, because it helps you see other people’s perspectives,” said Jayden Lumley ’19, who walked in the show. “I just think it’s great when diverse people work together to complete a goal.”
The idea of a fashion event showcasing styles from different cultures is important, Parks explained, because Wellesley High School is a predominantly white school, and she wanted to bring appreciation towards the fashion of people of color.
In the show, a variety of different styles were highlighted, especially styles from past decades. For example, model Jayden Lumley walked in the 2000’s portion of the show wearing baggy pants and an oversized football jersey with chains in a style that he called “early Soulja boy,” referring to the 2000’s hit song. Parks also included trends like high-waisted jeans and bright neon colors, styling her models with afros.
“It’s just been a while since that was in fashion,” said Parks. “I brought all that stuff back, for one night!”
Parks will attend Southern Connecticut State University in the fall, where she plans to major in marketing. She hopes to focus on fashion marketing, and will possibly pursue a career in fashion marketing and merchandising.
Parks and the other participants in the fashion show felt that the event had a valuable impact on the Wellesley High School community, highlighting the diversity of the students in the school while promoting the acceptance of differences.
“I hoped to impact the audience by showing them how far different people have come and that it’s so amazing when people of diversity come together and make something amazing,” said Lumley. “It can really leave an effect on people.”
The fashion show was held on May 10 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM in the Wellesley High School auditorium. It was a full house, as many students and teachers came, as well as fashion-lovers from around the Wellesley community.