Silver Needle Runway Sets Records, Reaches New Heights
—The 37th Annual Silver Needle Runway Show was not only an impressive fashion show, but also a celebration of hard work and success across the Marist fashion program for senior fashion design and merchandising students. The event reflected the heart and dedication of the students, with their work showcasing innovation, collaboration, creativity, and a call for social change both in the fashion industry and beyond.
The entirely student-run Silver Needle Runway reached new heights this year, hitting record attendance and sales. The 37th edition of the show, titled “SNR37 [Re]Action” raised over $31,000 from ticket sales, with 100% of proceeds designated for the Fashion Scholarship Fund and the Silver Needle Enrichment Fund. At SNR37’s pre-show, Measure Magazine’s Launch Party resulted in a milestone number of over 200 magazine sales and the MPorium Pop-up Shop raised nearly $10,000.
The energy of the event inside the McCann Center was palpable as hundreds of guests gathered for the SNR37 pre-show, which also included an interactive digital room displaying the SNR Metaverse, SNR podcast, docuseries, and virtual show.
Photos by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College, Matthew Moraski '23, Yasir Olenja '24, and Daniel Parker Photography.
Alumni designers and industry experts from companies like Saks, DKNY, and Ralph Lauren were among the esteemed attendees to see the original work of the 35 student designers. Before the start of the show, Fashion Program Director John Bartlett highlighted Marist’s new Ralph Lauren Design Scholars Program, including a recently announced $100,000 scholarship fund, and discussed the student designers’ inspiration and thought leadership.
“This year’s designers are fashion activists who are using their creative voices to change and better the world,” said Bartlett. “Some of their inspiration comes from childhood memories, cultural heritage, living with a physical or learning disability, and national conversations around topics like gender identity, body positivity, mental health, and environmental justice. Their concerns about the planet and each other will inform our history in a positive and exciting way.”
Fashion merchandising and fashion design students at the show discussed the dedication and time that went into putting on SNR37, expressing feelings of pride and gratitude for the hard work of everyone involved in the show's production.
Models at SNR37 wearing fashion design student Simran Chhabra's collection
Wearing a piece by last year’s Designer of the Year Ava Grand '22, Dr. Jacqueline Reich, Dean of the School of Communication and the Arts, ended the show by presenting the 2023 Designer of the Year Award. This year’s winner was Aleena Brown '23. Brown’s collection was made entirely of upcycled materials, reflecting the commitment to the sustainable and ethical fashion practices that the fashion program embraces.
Aleena Brown '23 giving her acceptance speech for the Designer of the Year Award.
“The annual Silver Needle Runway Show is just one example of the emphasis that Marist College and the School of Communication and the Arts place on hands-on experiential learning,” said Reich. “It is my distinct pleasure to announce that this year’s Designer of the Year [Aleena Brown] received perfect scores from two panels of SNR judges, who deemed her work brilliant and perfectly executed.”
“This is such a great honor,” said Brown, who plans to be part of the continued push towards sustainability within the fashion industry post-graduation. “Thank you to all my professors, friends, and family for supporting me. Something important about the future of fashion is considering all the unique ways we can use upcycled materials. Thank you so much for this award and thank you to everyone who helped me.”
You can watch SNR37 here.