The Fashion and Textile Technology department at Buffalo State College is one of the fastest-growing majors on campus. Its annual Runway fashion show was the brainchild of Erin Habes, a 2003 graduate of the FTT program who later spent several years of high-profile activity in New York City’s fashion industry. Habes was asked to return as an adjunct faculty member in 2007, and was determined to integrate her fashion business experience into her classroom, while continuing to raise awareness of the program in the community. Within her first year, she was given the challenge of producing an annual department senior fashion show. In order to elevate the in-house campus production to a higher level, Habes booked the world-renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery as its venue. In light of the success of this inaugural event, she is now the proud director and producer of Runway.
The overwhelming success of that first show spurred collaboration between the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the FTT program to create Runway 2.0. This partnership further connected the fashion and art worlds. Runway 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 found their home in the 20,000-square foot historic Pierce Arrow Building. After three years of utilizing this striking industrial space, Runway 6.0 returned back to campus and was held in the newly remodeled Student Union.
The Fashion and Textile Technology Department has an industry-based curriculum, which means that successful executives from the fashion industry are invited to serve as our jury members and judges. The Jury of Selection determines what garments will be included in the spring fashion show based on the construction, suitability of fabric used, creativity, and how well it meets the needs of the stated target market. Each jury member individually determines how he or she will weigh each of the criteria. All the scores are added together to determine which garments are included in the show's line up.