U students strut, design for modeling show

The show educates models and actors for free on how to avoid scams.

Mehgan Lee

Two years ago, University sophomore Amber Rowe spent $600 on modeling classes that promised to provide her with auditions for fashion industry work, she said.

But the only audition Rowe received was casting for children ages four and under, she said.

“I was disappointed,” Rowe said. “I had lost $600 and wasted a weekend of my time. I decided to get out of the industry after that.”

But then Rowe heard about the Fresh Face Showcase 2 fashion show.

Last Saturday, she was the first model on the runaway for the show, which more than 200 people attended at The Quest Club in Minneapolis.

The fashion show educates models and actors for free on how to get into the industry and avoid scams, said its creator, Shaan Sharma.

Sharma is all too familiar with modeling scams, he said. He spent thousands of dollars on modeling schools when he started out in the modeling business five years ago, he said.

“But modeling schools can’t get you work,” he said. “They have almost no role to play in the industry. The programs they sell are overpriced and they give you useless information.”

Fresh Face Showcase 2 tells models and actors what they need to do to get listed with a legitimate agency and start working, he said.

The learning takes place during the show’s rehearsals, he said.

“We could go to seminars and high schools to tell people what to look out for and what to do, but everybody would be falling asleep,” he said.

The fashion show delivers the message in a fun and entertaining way and provides models and actors with runway experience, he said.

Six University students modeled in last Saturday’s show. Three University clothing design students also participated.

“This is what I should’ve been doing two years ago,” Rowe said of the experience.

Kelly Lindstrom, a junior in clothing design, sewed five pairs of hot pants worn in the show.

“This is a neat opportunity for designers,” Lindstrom said. “This is my first real fashion show experience. I’ve been dying to get my feet wet.”

Auditions for the next fashion show will be next March or April, Sharma said.

Sharma chooses models based on their looks and personalities, he said.

“They have to have the right attitude,” he said. “They need to be positive, friendly and professional. That’s all very important.”