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Fashion Organization Records, 1978-2012

By Rachel Lilley

Collection Overview

Title: Fashion Organization Records, 1978-2012

Predominant Dates: 2005-2010

ID: MSS FashionOrg

Primary Creator: Fashion Organization (Oregon State University)

Extent: 0.3 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2016

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Fashion Organization Records consist of materials reflecting the activities and administration of the Oregon State University Fashion Organization (OSUFO) and are comprised of financial records, organizational records, correspondence, ephemera, newspaper clippings, audio-visual material, and photographs and slides. Previously known as the Fashion Group International-Student Chapter, OSUFO was a fee-funded student organization that organized fashion-related events on campus, including the annual Recycled Fashion Show. The group was established as the Fashion and Design Students club (FADS) in 1983, and disbanded sometime between 2012 and 2015.

Scope and Content Notes

The Fashion Organization Records consist of materials reflecting the activities and administration of the Oregon State University Fashion Organization (OSUFO) and are comprised of financial records, organizational records, correspondence, ephemera, newspaper clippings, audio-visual material, and photographs and slides.

The correspondence is primarily comprised of printed emails sent to and from Mary Pedersen, OSUFO’s faculty advisor. The focus of the majority of the correspondence is planning and marketing of upcoming shows, upcoming meetings of OSUFO members and/or officers, student club registration and recognition by the Student Programs Office, community service and fund-raising opportunities, and upcoming or prospective field trips.

The financial records in the collection consist of monthly balance reports, budgets, invoices, and event registrations. The monthly balance reports show total remaining funds, and include line-item expenses (e.g. to pay guest speakers, and for fashion show supplies) and deposits (e.g. for membership fees and dues). The budget materials document carry-over funds, and projected yearly income and expenses. The majority of the invoices are for space rentals through the Memorial Union Reservations, and requests for reimbursement for the purchase of supplies and services for meetings and fashion shows (e.g. catering, marketing materials).

The organizational records include the group’s 1992 constitution; documents detailing the officers who would govern the group, and their responsibilities; packets from the Office of Student Involvement regarding how to run effective meetings, recruit new members, and the benefits of being a registered campus group; information regarding how to establish a chapter of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) on campus; and lists of yearly achievements. The meeting minutes focus on a number of topics, including how best to advertise the group’s events, fund raising and community service opportunities, the installation and duties of incoming officers, and ideas for field trips and guest speakers.

The fashion show subject files in the collection contain ephemera such as programs, flyers, and fashion show tickets, and entry rules and garment specifications. Shows included in the collection are the Recycled Fashion show, the Repeat Performance show, and the Spring, or “Runway,” show. Of special note, is a printed, photographic inventory of the designs to be featured in either the 2008 or 2009 Recycled Fashion show. This inventory documents the types of materials that students used to fashion their creations, including trash bags, electrical tape, coffee cup sleeves, and old mini-blinds, and hints at the styles and designs that were popular at the time.

There are 13 color prints in the collection, all documenting the 1999 Repeat Performance fashion show. The slides, which date from 1978, are of an unidentified fashion show. The first sheet of 15 slides are of back stage preparations for the show; the second sheet of 20 slides document the runway portion of the show.

Clippings in the collection document Recycled Fashion, Repeat Performance, and Red Dress fashion shows put on by OSUFO between 2000 and 2012, with stories featured in the Daily Barometer, the OSU This Week staff newsletter, and the Corvallis Gazette Times.

The collection contains digital photographs available for use in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room. These images document the Recycled Fashion shows for 2009 and 2010, showing models in their finished garments backstage, and out on the runway. Audio-visual material in the collection documents the commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the Design and Human Environment program (which began in 1908 as the Department of Domestic Art). Moving images include footage of the Century of Design fashion show; a design exhibition of Department of Design and Human Environment projects, including those to be featured at the fashion show; and interviews with the student designers. The audio-visual materials have been uploaded to MediaSpace.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Oregon State University Fashion Organization (OSUFO) was established in May 1983 as the Fashion and Design Students club (FADS). The mandate of the group at its founding was to “promote fashion merchandizing and apparel design as a program and major; meet and interact with other interested students; promote a professional attitude among the members; and make members aware of current trends and practices in the profession.” Membership was open to “any student interested in the Fashion and Merchandising and Apparel Design programs offered through the Department of Clothing Textiles and Related Arts in the School of Home Economics.” The only requirement of voting members was that they be full time students. Governing officers – President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Field Trip Coordinator – were elected in Spring for a term of one year; other officers – the Publicity Chairperson and Exectutive Officer-at-large – served for a single academic term. Later, additional Committee Chairs were added, including a Recruitment/Membership Chair, Chair of Promotion, Chair of Fund-raising, and Fashion Show Chair.

In the early 1990s, the group became a recognized student chapter of Fashion Group International – a global, non-profit, professional organization for members of the fashion industry – through sponsorship by the affiliate group in Portland. The group subsequently updated their constitution to represent this new affiliation and, with it, a new name: Fashion Group – Student Chapter (alternately, Fashion Group International – Student Chapter). The group’s purpose – to increase members’ awareness of career opportunities, sense of affiliation to the program, exposure to community educational resources, and opportunities for networking with established professionals and peers – was similar to their original mission. To be considered an “active member” of the group under the new constitution, however, one had to be an OSU student enrolled in a fashion-related program, have attended one meeting, and have paid the required dues ($25 per year). In 2006, however, Fashion Group International (FGI) – due to the disbanding of its FGI Portland affiliate, and the national organization’s refusal to recognize individual student chapters – ended its sponsorship of OSU’s chapter. The group subsequently changed its name again, this time to the Oregon State University Fashion Organization.

Major events put on by the group, and documented in this collection, include the annual Repeat Performance and Recycled Fashion show, the spring “Runway” show, and the Red Dress Fashion Show. Community service events in which the group participated included assisting OSU’s Career Services Wardrobe Services in gathering professional clothing to provide to students interviewing or entering the work force; OSUFO members also donated their time to assist students in styling their new wardrobes. They also partnered with other campus student groups to provide garments and models for their own fashion shows (e.g. Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s “Think Pink, Go Green” fashion show), and organized the Red Dress Fashion show to raise awareness and money for HIV-AIDS. Their signature event every year, however, was the Recycled Fashion Show, where students created designs from recycled or non-traditional commercial materials such as plastic bags, CDs, and soda can rings, or “upcycled” existing garments by integrating pieces of other garments or recycled materials. The Recycled Fashion Show was open to all OSU students, not just OSUFO members. The Repeat Performance show appears to have been a spin-off of the Recycled Fashion show, showcasing student-made recycled fashions, with the addition of vintage fashions from private collections.

OSUFO also offered its student members opportunities “to build professional networks with peers and industry guests.” The group made regular field trips to Portland Fashion Week and, prior to its dissolution, had planned future field trips to Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportwear, and the Pendleton Woolen Mills to “experience firsthand how these companies operate on all levels of production, merchandising and retailing.” Past special guest speakers included Erik Anderson, Apparel Manager for the OSU Beaver Store, and several local artists and artisans.

The OSU Fashion Organization disbanded sometime between 2012 and 2015.

Author: Rachel Lilley

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 box, including 13 photographic prints, 35 slides, 1068 digital files, and 5.84 gigabytes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The collection was transferred to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center by the College of Business Design Programs in 2016.

Related Materials:

Additional materials documenting the history of the OSU Fashion Organization can be found in the Student Club and Organization Records (RG 276), under the club name Fashion Group International.

Additional materials relating to textiles and clothing design can be found in the Apparel, Interiors, Housing, and Merchandising Department Records (RG 028), the College of Home Economics and Education Records (RG 141), the Janet Taylor Papers (MSS TaylorJ),  the Ardis W. Koester Papers (MSS Koester), and the Mary Margaret Smith-Watson Sewing Books (MSS SmithWatson).

Preferred Citation: Fashion Organization Records (MSS FashionOrg), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Fashion Organization (Oregon State University)
Pedersen, Mary A.

People, Places, and Topics

College students--Oregon--Corvallis.
Fashion design
Fashion design--Study and teaching--United States.
Fashion Organization (Oregon State University)
Recycled products.
Student activities--Oregon--Corvallis.
University History

Forms of Material

Born digital.
Digital moving image formats.
Digital photographs.
Photographic prints.
Slides (photographs).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.