CMU to celebrate Black History Month with fashion design exhibit in Detroit


 Central Michigan Univeristy center in Detroit on Jan. 28, 2023.  

This February, Central Michigan University students and alumni, along with three emerging Detroit designers, will exhibit their fashion design work in Detroit to celebrate Black History Month.

The exhibit has been organized by CMU’s Fashion Merchandising and Design program in cooperation with Black Leaders Detroit. It is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays starting Feb. 1 until Feb. 23. The display is located at CMU’s Detroit Center on 777 Woodward Ave., suite 160.

From 6 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 9, there will be a reception for the exhibit and its designers. Attendees are required to RSVP by emailing by Feb. 3. 

During the reception, attendees will have a chance to vote for their favorite design.

According to Tanya Domina, a fashion design faculty member, the emerging designers will compete against each other for a small cash award. Domina said CMU students and alumni will also compete against each other for a cash prize. The said the cash value of the awards will partly depend on donations from guests, Domina said. 

"I'm hoping… that this exhibition will highlight CMU’s commitment to diversity,” Domina said. “I also hope that the local high schools… (will) have an opportunity to come to the Detroit center and see the exhibition.” 

Domina said she is expecting a lot of CMU alumni and people from the fashion industry to visit the event.

The reception will also include the Organization for Black Unity, a student organization, to perform a flash mob dance and fashion show piece. Domina said the event will have a DJ, free appetizers and cash bar.

Attendees can also see “historical content that focuses on African Americans’ contributions to fashion,” CMU’s website said.

Domina said the exhibition idea came up in Oct. 2022, when the Fashion Merchandising and Design office wanted to have an event in Detroit. Since it is happening in February, the office decided to connect it with the Black History Month.

“We also wanted… (an) opportunity to showcase the work of our black students,” Domina said. “We wanted an opportunity to show that… CMU values diversity, and that it is possible to even for minority students to build community here.”

According to CMU’s website, the event is sponsored by the College of Education and Human Services.