What started off as a few house parties and a love of hip hop music has now evolved into a fully-fledged fashion show ready to debut next semester. VS 2020 | Urban is looking to be one of the most anticipated events coming up next year, yet many students don’t even know how the show came about, what it represents, or what they can expect to see. In a small town where fashion shows seem to roll around every weekend, VS is sure to be a standout against the shows we’re used to, such as FS, Don’t Walk, and CatWalk. I had the recent pleasure of interviewing its two executive directors, Dominic Reynolds and Sagar Sharma to get a more in-depth story of how VS was founded and what we can look forward to in the upcoming show.
Dominic explained VS was first and foremost jump-started through “the love of hip hop music, which is underrepresented in the town despite being a major genre of music with immense popularity.” As a result, VS “started out pretty underground with just a couple of house parties,” before the idea of starting a fashion show was even born. Dominic and Sagar realised that the house parties they started organising attracted all different types of people connecting through the same music, allowing VS to connect with other events, such as Sitara, getting more people involved, and then branching out from the house party and music scene.
The fashion we can expect at the show is all about streetwear, which Dominic hopes can “provide something that people can actually wear and relate to,” in comparison to other fashion shows which display more high-end fashion that isn’t really catered to students. The show is aiming to focus on both music and fashion, using New York as an inspiration. I asked why New York was the focus of the show, and Dominic and Sagar explained that there was “Lots of New York influence from members of the team,” and that it is “a cool city, cool culture…and we wanted to incorporate that in.” Not only has New York been an inspiration, but so have other cities like London that have a major underground streetwear culture. So far, I believe the incorporation they are trying to achieve has been flawless. A few weeks ago, I also attended the VS launch and it really did feel like the combination of music, clothes, diverse models, and displays were reminiscent of downtown New York.
So what exactly can people expect at the show? Sagar explained that the show would be similar to the launch, but on a far grander scale – “Ten times bigger,” in fact. Dominic said the team hopes that the show’s effect will “transport students out of a microcosm, taking people out of the Bubble that is St Andrews.” The whole essence of the show is meant to celebrate hip hop music, fashion, and different people getting involved from different social circles in a “completely immersive urban experience,” according to Sagar.
Of course, no event in St Andrews goes without its challenges, especially in its first year. Dominic stated that the most challenging aspect of putting on the show is the “pivot from house parties to a full-blown show.” The team is quite extensive, with 28 members and 16 models, and many others getting involved, from dressers to photographers. Despite the challenge of coordinating with so many people, both Sagar and Dominic agreed that this has also been the most enjoyable part. Dominic recalled that the team is “one big community or family,” and one of the most rewarding parts has been the social aspect and getting to know his peers. Furthermore, Sagar explained, “We absolutely love what we do…to be apart of the forefront [of the show] and getting the opportunity to serve people in a big way.” In fact, the proceeds of the show will be going to its partner charities such as Choose Love Help Refugees (international) and Whiteley’s Cancer Retreat (local). Not only will VS be a great experience but “we’re also doing it for a great cause,” explained Dominic.
Personally, VS 2020 | Urban is the show I am most excited to experience this academic year. Both Dominic and Sagar agree that they’re “really excited, because it’s something completely new with so many people working towards it.” Based upon my experiences at the launch, I know I can expect big things from VS in spite of the fact that it is the first year the show is being put on. VS has enjoyed much success despite being relatively new, and I’m sure that its focus on music, streetwear culture, and fashion will bring people together in more ways than one.
VS 2020 | Urban is set to debut on the 20th of February 2020 and the VIP Ballot is currently open now.