An online format hasn’t been the easiest move for such a hands-on club like Orange Coast College’s Fashion Club, but through online club meetings and attendance at socially distanced events such as the Long Beach Antique Market, the Fashion Club has been as active as ever.
This is especially true on the club’s Instagram, where they post on a near-daily basis different ways for fellow OCC students to get involved in the fashion community.
“We try to get everyone involved and create a community where everyone can keep a connection with each other,” said Tien Nguyen, the Fashion Club’s public relations officer. “We want to get everyone connected and to create opportunities and to have people feel like they belong somewhere.”
At the club’s meeting on Oct. 13, club members showcased video content for the club’s Instagram account. The video was much like a style lookbook with upbeat background music, though one of the highlights of the meeting was the Zoom chat section that was brimming with support and encouragement from other members.
“We just want to keep people connected so we can all learn more in the fashion industry,” Tien Nguyen said.
During the spring semester, before COVID-19 sent students and faculty home indefinitely, the Fashion Club had a big project in the works.
“We decided we were going to work on a fashion magazine,” said Percivience Nguyen, secretary for the Fashion Club. “We already had things to write about like fashion topics and lifestyle, and we were ready to hit it but right at that minute — like right at the week that we were going to do it — school sent us back home.”
The fashion magazine was going to showcase collaborative work from students in the Fashion Department, as well as from students in different studies such as graphic design and photography. The goal was to have it published within the year, but after campus closed the project was set aside and the club salvaged what they could use on their social media page.
“Before, social media wasn’t a big part of [the club],” said Caitlyn Hicks, vice president of the Fashion Club. “We started with color weeks, where we’d let them know like, ‘this week’s color is blue — take a picture, could be an outfit, could be food,’ and it kind of took off.”
Since the transfer to an online format, the Fashion Club has dedicated a lot of their attention to their Instagram account, where they announce upcoming club meetings, design contests, and outfits styled by members of the club.
“We kind of had to adjust our club’s goals to do something online,” said Laura Bonnell, an adviser for the Fashion Club. “That’s when they launched the Instagram TV and used the opportunity to spotlight different students. A lot of our students already have their own businesses or have really interesting outside interests.”
Members of the club submit videos for the Instagram page, ranging from inspiring lookbook-style music videos to videos showcasing trips to vintage shops and antique stores.
“I feel like I’m always learning and always really excited to kind of see what everybody gets up to when they’re not in college,” said Laura Bonnell, adviser of the Fashion Club.
The Fashion Club also goes out of its way to support small businesses within the club, and recently, they’ve supported club treasurer Kathy Tran’s small business called Fatale Charms, where she makes resin charms.
“The Fashion Club commissioned initial letter keychains that we’re giving to club members at the end of the semester. I’m very excited that it’s my first commission, especially because my sister and I started Fatale Charms about two months ago.”
Fatale Charms keychains are currently sold exclusively at Huglife Ice Cream’s location in Orange, and the charms feature shapes such as initials, planchettes, and they have even made soap dishes.
“We’ve done a lot of fundraising with our club, and we were hoping last year to make a field trip to Patagonia for a day and rent a bus and all, but we can’t do any of that now,” said Michelle Craner, adviser for the club. “So we thought, what a fun way to highlight our students and support our students in a pandemic.”