2024 The Fashion Show Producers share their vision for this year’s show

By Clara Toot, Public Relations and Event Management Student and Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management Communications Assistant

AMES, Iowa – “I get chills every time I watch the show,” said fashion communications senior Sadie Besch, one of four producers for this year’s The Fashion Show.

Outreach Producers, Sadie Besch and Megan Lenzi, both seniors in fashion communications, and Managerial Producers, Katherine Haidvogel, senior in apparel merchandising and marketing and Lindsey Skaaland, senior in apparel merchandising, have great things in store for The Fashion Show (TFS) 2024. The producers were selected to take on this role in April 2023. Now that TFS planning is in full swing, they have dedicated countless hours to making the show a success.

From facilitating director meetings and reaching out to potential guest designers to leading class each Wednesday and being the faces of TFS, these four women have a wide array of responsibilities.

As outreach producers, Besch and Lenzi are in charge of FundISU, the show’s fundraising campaign, creating a merchandise line alongside the art directors and attending all TFS events. By far their largest responsibility is securing a guest designer/company that will have their own runway set right after the show’s intermission. Past guest designers include Steve Madden, Urban Outfitters, Patagonia and Vans.This year’s guest designer is Nordstrom.

Managerial Producers, Haidvogel and Skaaland, oversee all fifteen committees, which include the directors, committee members, models and anyone else involved in the show.

“Katherine and I give the final okay on all decisions so everything is run past us first,” said Skaaland. “We do a lot of administrative work, like responding to emails and authorizing events that are built within the show. We wear a lot of hats–we do it all.”

 The experience these positions offer cannot be replicated.

“It is truly a unique experience. Other schools may have a fashion show or something similar, but nothing can compare to what we do here,” said Lenzi. “Everything that we gain from this experience is unlike any other. I know I’ll take it with me wherever I go and I’ll always be super thankful that I was able to be a part of this, especially as an outreach producer.”

The four producers have grown immensely through their involvement with TFS. Besch was a design committee member in 2022 and design director in 2023. Haidvogel began her journey as a design committee member as a freshman and became a design director the following year and photography director the year after that. Lenzi first joined in 2021 as a member of the Public Relations committee and then became one of the modeling directors for the next two years. Skaaland first joined as a Behind the Scenes Day committee member in 2021. She then served as music and technology director in 2022 (now digital media) and alumni relations director in 2023.

The team pictured on the first week of the spring-semester class dedicated to the planning and execution of The Fashion Show.

Along with unique experiences, TFS provides valuable skills, from career skills to general life skills.

“A skill I have improved has definitely been public speaking as I am typically a pretty reserved person. This opportunity has forced me to be more comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people,” said Haidvogel.

Lenzi’s favorite part of TFS is the community she has built and maintained.

“Katherine (Haidvogel) and I went to middle school together. It’s crazy to think that we’re now serving as producers together…We both agree that we couldn’t do it without each and every person who contributes to The Fashion Show,” said Lenzi.

Skaaland describes how working alongside people from different backgrounds has helped her grow as a leader.

“It’s been really fun to see how the strengths we have contrast with each other. That has been a big skill that I’ve learned because we will use that a lot in the professional world,” said Skaaland.

Besch expressed how surprised she was when she first found out about Iowa State’s TFS.

“I never would have imagined anything at this caliber being at the college level, let alone me being involved in it, leading it alongside my three co-producers,” she shared.

This year’s theme for the show is “Midnight Bloom,” an edgier, nighttime twist to a traditional daytime garden party. The theme will incorporate organic elements, disco decor and party-glam aesthetics. People involved with TFS will incorporate this theme into all collateral, merchandise, displays, sets and more.

The theme goes a long way towards the spectacle that is The Fashion Show. Last year’s show sold out at Stephens Auditorium, and the producers are hoping this year is no different.

“There’s something in The Fashion Show for everyone to come and see,” said Lenzi. “Even if you’re not totally into fashion, just getting to see everything that comes together on the runway–the production, the set music, the designs– make it so entertaining. By buying a ticket you’re supporting The Fashion Show and all these students who have worked so hard to make it a success.”

The Fashion Show will take place at Iowa State’s Stephens Auditorium on April 20, 2024 at 7 p.m. Tickets are now available through the ISU box office or on TicketMaster.

By Clara Toot, Public Relations and Event Management Student and Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management Communications Assistant