By Hannah Nice
This Thursday, Contrast celebrates its Seventh Annual Fashion Show, Embellished! Beginning at 8pm in The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, the event will explore the boundaries of the ‘accessory’ through the display of sixteen student models, styled by the magazine’s Style Committee, The Costume Shop, and Drama Department. The event strives to shift the perception that accessories function merely as embellishments: as afterthoughts to an outfit’s concept, not its foundation.
President Bradley will be kicking off the night with the introduction of her close childhood friend: CFDA shoe designer, Ruthie Davis. The designer will present her talk, Women Who Run in Heels Should Be Feared, which discusses her growth from being a sports-obsessed, English and Visual Arts double-major at Bowdoin College to becoming the CEO of her namesake brand. Reflecting on her journey, Davis will illustrate that though her career path has rarely seemed clear, everything that she has ever been passionately involved with has shaped where she is today: an award-winning CFDA designer with creations coveted by Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.
Davis credits her self-fashioning on the ski slopes and tennis courts as a kid with creating an early, enduring passion for personal style and design. Growing up, the designer was obsessed with dressing for her competitions as if “[she] were attending a black tie event.” Having a slick, flattering outfit made Davis feel her best as she succeeded athletically. It’s no wonder that she strives to do the same with her creations today: make women feel strong and powerful through sporting Ruthie Davis shoes.
Sports have also shaped Davis’ design philosophy. Everything she creates fits the formula of the lovechild of a Nike sneaker and a Manolo Blahnik heel. Davis has kept her brand current using a lesson she learned while competing--the importance of teamwork. In the past year, Davis has collaborated with Illumination Dreamworks to create Minion shoes, with Disney to create Beauty and the Beast-inspired heels, and with DesigNow, to create her first clothing line. With no shortage of projects, Ruthie continues to embody her motto: “dream it, do it.”