Mental illness is something many people take too lightly until it’s too late. When I nominated ADAA as the charity for Fashion for Life, I wanted it to make a statement about something not many people talk about. I have suffered from major depression and anxiety for the last few years now. It is something I don’t believe will ever fully go away. However, it is something I have learned to control and not let it control me. For many people suffering with mental illness, this is not the case though.
For my senior collection, I really wanted to bring those feelings to life. The feeling of everything is fine on the outside, but “I’m dying” on the inside. People have basically shunned the idea that mental illness can be a problem as they say, “You’re fine!”, “Just deal with it.”, “There is nothing wrong.” But there is something wrong. People just do not realize it until something is too late. Those statements also make the condition worse by putting more thoughts of, “I am not good enough,” in their head.
When researching charities, I wanted an organization that not only targeted one or two conditions, but many. Mental illness as a whole is something that affects people differently and should be talked about more. It should not be something people are ashamed of discussing with others. I was proud to know that the money from Fashion for Life went to an organization that tries to educate people with or without mental illness and continues to help raise awareness for each condition as well.
About Fashion For Life
Fashion for Life began in 2009 to showcase senior students studying apparel design in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama. Each student creates a cohesive collection of garments that represents their design philosophy, design category, and their customer. Their collections are showcased at the annual event call Fashion for Life. Family, friends, and students attend to view each student's collection as models walk the runway. Attendance for the event runs from 550 - 700 people.
Each senior class has the opportunity to nominate a charity meaningful to their life. The students present to each other followed by a private vote. All proceeds collected at the door of Fashion for Life are donated to the nominated charity.