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Provoking Protopias

2023 Focus

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For the past two years, we have conceptualized the past and present of the fashion industry by creating a focus based on the forgotten black designers of the past and the push for a progressive society in today’s social climate. With sustainability at the forefront of the fashion industry during a global environmental crisis, it is important that we shine a light on future designers. As we look into the future of the fashion industry and those that represent it, we see a beacon of change starting right here at SUNY Buffalo State College. The focus of RUNWAY 2023 will be called RUNWAY: Provoking Protopias.

Inspired by WGSN’s Big Ideas for S/S 2024, Provoking Protopias focuses on a better, realistic future. The difference between a utopia and a protopia is a fine line between focusing on the problem and the possibilities. The future leaders in the fashion industry are striving for not only a more sustainable industry but one that emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and equity across the board. Representation of everyone will be seen on the runway, encouraging fashion brands and companies to stray from the norm and push the idea of a fashion industry that is open to all.

Provoking Protopias will see the rise of circular fashion and the life cycle of a garment that is made with higher-quality materials in order to see it passed down from generation to generation. This life cycle will represent multiple aspects and factors of society, like racial justice, sustainability, body inclusivity, and more issues that we aim to push the fashion industry forward. Proceeds of RUNWAY: Provoking Protopias will go towards our efforts to make fashion more sustainable while working with Thrift 2 Fight for a second year.

Runway Collaborations: 

Africana Studies

Theater Department, Dance 

Art & Design Department, Fiber Arts & Photography


Community Partners:

Eat Off Art

Get Fokus'd Productions

Spicy Creative

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