2012 Annual Benefit Fashion Show Director
“I think it is important for artists and designers to be able to motivate people around a vision because it opens up the way we experience things. As artists and designers, we primarily use sight as our main source of information/inspiration but the inclusion of so many other elements deepens our understanding of a vision.” Karen Feliz ’14
One of MICA’s premier annual events, the Annual Benefit Fashion Show, is largely organized by students, with support from the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development. For 2012 show directors Karen Feliz '14 and Morel Doucet '14 (interdisciplinary sculpture), it was preparation to reach their career goals–Doucet as an art director and small business owner, and Feliz as a curator and textile designer. The Miami natives both attended the highly regarded New World School of the Arts magnet high school there.
Began under the leadership of Dr. Frankie Martin, then-director of Multi-ethnic Student Programs, the show continues to exceed expectations. The 2012 incarnation, Transcends, allowed the audience to peek into the inner workings of the designer’s brain by viewing garments created as a manifestation of their inner thoughts. The show made the larger point that the garments people choose to wear consciously or unconsciously reflect their innermost impulses.
Doucet and Feliz both cite the ability to work with a team as a crucial skill in the professional paths they want to pursue. They called on their networking and research skills to design the innovative show, and say that their communication skills improved, as they were able to use their management experience to help them learn to delegate, budget, plan events, and meet deadlines.
They both stress that collaboration is the key to extraordinary success. Behind the curtain, they worked for almost a year to convert a small seed of an idea into a multi-level extravaganza. They couldn’t do it alone, however. Graphics, make-up, jewelry, production, and marketing teams—not to mention the student designers featured in the show—were organized to generate excitement before and during the show and ensure that the audience had an unforgettable experience. Because of their participation in Transcend, many students were featured in local newspapers and blogs, which expanded their support base.
The most important lesson the team learned may have been that possibilities are almost endless when talented people work together. Doucet points out that “there is only so much you can achieve working on your own.” Once they put together their team, Feliz says, there was “an everlasting stream of artistic development.”