There’s a new student group at The New School. ‘Faith and Fashion,’ true to its name, provides an opportunity for the curious and faithful alike to discuss how faith and fashion can be integrated and applied to their lives.
Student members believe that their faith can help them thrive and make a greater impact in their field.
“The group is designed to help any aspiring designer/artist to be the best designer they can be, while keeping aware that God is truly the Great Artist,” says Jennifer DeHuff, the group’s advisor and a NYC Metro Cru staff member. Cru, an evangelical, nonprofit campus ministry, sponsors the group at The New School.
At a recent meeting, most attendees were fashion students in their senior year, although the group is open to any New School student or faculty member. At meetings, the group discusses fashion, but also, DeHuff says, tries to answer questions such as Why am I here?, What is life about?, and What impact can I make in this world?
This semester the group focused on readings from the book of Proverbs and discussed how to live out their faith in their projects and in school. They claim that the Christian community in The New School is “quiet” and almost unheard of.
“At our school, at least from what I have experienced and seen in the last three years here, many people seem to find Christian faith somewhat amusing, or offensive,” says the group’s vice president, Grace Baik.
Mary Beth Bechand, the president, said the mission of their group is not to primarily seek out students and evangelize, but to provide an open forum for The New School community.
In October 2010, Faith & Fashion was just a group of close Christian friends from the Parsons fashion department and DeHuff. They met once a month in Bryant Park and was known as Prayer at Parsons. A year later, the group became an official student organization, changed their name to Faith & Fashion, and welcomed The New School community.
Today they gather every Friday evening in the 40th Street Parsons buildings. They say that their time together – rather than their club’s growth – is of primary importance.
The Faith and Fashion-ers believe that Christians are “sexy” and “hip,” even though society may sometimes cast them as the opposite.
DeHuff says it depends on an individual’s definition of “sexy.”
“I know lots of Christians who are attractive, smart, intellectual, fun, have integrity, strong principles and are at the top of their game and their profession. To me, that is sexy and cool.”