Poster for the event showing a seated, suited, and barefoot Basquiat under the words "Basquiat Meets Bergdorf Goodman"

Fashion Show to Benefit Buffalo State’s Black Fashion Scholarship


Twenty-three Buffalo State fashion and textile technology (FTT) majors and two fibers majors will submit their designs to a fundraising fashion show, “Basquiat Meets Bergdorf Goodman,” on Saturday, November 19, at 8:00 p.m. at Buffalo Art Movement (BAM), 255 Great Arrow Avenue, Suite 200, in Buffalo. 

“We’ve partnered with BAM for this exciting ‘wearable art’ event that gives students a chance to share their unique designs and compete for a chance to win one of four cash prizes,” said Erin Habes, ’03, lecturer of FTT and director of the college’s annual Runway show. “BAM’s owner, Francisco “Paco” Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, is hosting this exciting show at his art gallery, offering students this fashion portfolio opportunity. We are incredibly grateful.”

Students were instructed to create designs inspired by the cool “street-style” artwork of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, who rose to prominence in the 1980s as part of the neo-expressionism movement, combined with the feel of luxury designer department store Bergdorf Goodman.

The first-place prize for the winning design is $1,000, second place is $750, and third place is $500. Students will also compete for the $1,000 People’s Choice Award. Judges include Hernandez-Ilizaliturri and members of the local arts and fashion community.

In addition to models showing off the designs, Buffalo State Africana studies student Jayla Phillips will deliver a reading of a poem she wrote about Basquiat.

All proceeds from the show will benefit FTT’s Black Fashion Scholarship, which was founded last year in conjunction with the 2021 Runway show, “History Retailored.” The show honored the accomplishments of past and present Black fashion designers, following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We awarded one $1,000 Black Fashion Scholarship last year, and our goal is to continue to build this scholarship and offer more opportunities in the future,” Habes said. “Paco and his show are making that a reality.”

Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, who also serves as chief of the Lymphoma Section and professor of oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, hosted a similar show at BAM last October, which raised $7,500 for the scholarship.

“This is a cause he’s championing for us,” Habes said. “Our goal is to raise $10,000 with the fashion show this year.”

Co-sponsors are Renew Bath and Body and Lago 210.

Tickets are $100 and may be purchased online. Admission covers VIP seats to the show, catered dishes, an open bar, and a post-show dance party. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m., and the show will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m.