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New Generation of HU Elite Models Demonstrates the Thin Line Between Vanity and Insanity

Left to right: Lyrik Shikany and Yara Clark Photo courtesy of Leikwaivion Davis.

Howard University Elite Models held their first in-person fashion show in three years titled, “Vanity to Insanity” to showcase for their new eighth class of models. The show highlights the story of someone whose obsession with vanity leads to insanity. The duality throughout the show, with the use of light and dark colors, gold and silver themes and the connection between models when passing each other on the runway, demonstrates the thin line between vanity and insanity.

This black tie event held at Cramton Auditorium wowed guests who witnessed Howard University’s first modeling organization’s new class of models. HU Elite was founded on Jan. 28, 2015 on Howard’s campus by Montrose Tyler and Justin Leonard with the purpose to “advocate the idea of self expression, confidence and inner beauty,” and “encourage an appreciation for the arts through performance to the public and mentoring through community service,” according to the organization’s mission statement.

“We first founded this organization in College Hall South in 2015. We knew we wanted to make something that would be here long after we graduated and could be a safe space for people to elevate their craft,” Leonard said.“Our family is now eight years young and from packing out punch out to flooding the Cramton auditorium seats, it has been a dream to see Elite thrive and continue to inspire!”

When speaking with the head of social media, class seven Elite, Serenity Owens, she said, “What a lot of people don’t know is that we have creative directors, stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, videographers and photographers. Whether it is a small business, brands, test shoots or photography concepts, we all come together creatively to put together something wonderful.”

The showcase took a plethora of people to deliver and execute, including a major staple in the showcase’s looks: hair. The eighth class of Elite put on display their next generation of models with the number eight designs in the model’s hair and through clothing designs. Aliyah Montgomery is one of the heads of HU Elite Hair and also serves as Vice President.

“[HU Elite] is an opportunity for a bunch of creatives to come together to create something beautiful. There’s so much love and so much creativity; the creativity that I was allowed to tap into being a part of this organization [is] something that I never thought possible,” Montgomery said. “Elite gave me an opportunity to create something that’s so beautiful that I never would’ve thought that I could have done it if I wasn’t given the opportunity to do so.”

Left to Right: Miles Guichard, Bray Pridgen, Jordan Demby, photo courtesy of Leikwaivion Davis.

Elite is filled with opportunities for students to showcase their creative talents while also bonding with other like-minded individuals. The fashion show allowed students to live their wildest dreams of walking on a real runway in front of hundreds of people. Freshman political science major and class eight Elite model Jordan Demby has found family in HU Elite while pursuing his modeling career.

“Being a model and the fashion industry is something I’ve always been passionate about …so, just finding a safe space that I can share with other people who have the same love for the same passion as me is inspiring.”

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 Brittany Celamy. Photo Courtesy of Leikwaivion Davis.

Howard University’s Elite Models fashion show was a demonstration of deep thematic purpose and self-expression. More information about the Elite Models can be found on the organization’s Instagram page. 

Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett

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