Last semester, Maya Marzouk ’13 was at a Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) meeting trying to plan a fundraiser. Unwilling to continue with movie nights and bake sales, and driven by her interest in fashion, Marzouk came up with a new idea for a fundraiser: a fashion show. She emailed designers and companies whose contact information she managed to find on the Internet and many responded offering donations. They range from big brands such as Levi’s and American Eagle Outfitters, online boutiques such as ModCloth, to a wide range of smaller labels and the Swarthmore College Bookstore. QSA also received donations from members of their own group, who were very supportive since the first meeting about the fundraiser, according to Marzouk.All donated clothing and jewelry will be auctioned off in a silent auction. The proceeds will go to The Trevor Project
, which QSA got involved in last year following the suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi. The Trevor Project works to combat LGBTQ bullying and subsequent suicides by offering support hot lines and educating people on the issue.Marzouk said the people at the Trevor Project were very helpful and officially sanctioned the fashion show, which allowed QSA to use The Trevor Project name and logos. “I’ve been hesitant to get my hopes up because I don’t want to seriously under-fundraise. If we could get even 20% of the retail value of the merchandise that would be great, and that would put us at over $1,000,” said Marzouk when asked about her fundraising goals.
“We just want to raise awareness about how hard it is for people to come out in certain parts of the world. We’re super lucky that Swarthmore is such a comfortable place to be queer…the thought that people could be driven to suicide by their sexual orientation is really disgusting,” said Marzouk.
Though she said planning the event has been hard work, Marzouk and her team have enjoyed getting everything together.“It’s been really fun to plan. I’ve been talking to a lot of designers…I’m really shocked by how nice people are. One of our designers donated $2,300 worth of merchandise!” said Marzouk.
Various students volunteered to model the items at the fashion show, and Ian Anderson ’13 will be D.J.-ing. “It should be a lot of fun…I’ve never DJ’ed a fashion show before, so I had to look up playlists from New York Fashion Week to see what kind of music is standard,” said Anderson. “I’m glad I can be a part of that and help out in way any I can.”