Arts

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Local chapter of online magazine hosts fashion show fundraiser

Photo courtesy of Shaughnessy Photography

EVERY FABULOUS SOIREE begins with an idea.

Online magazine Her Campus U Ottawa hosted an evening of fun and fashion at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) on March 1. What made it so special was that the event was arranged in order to increase awareness and raise money for lupus research and support.

“Many people don’t know what lupus actually is,” said Zoë Crego, marketing and events team member for Her Campus U Ottawa.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s defence system, causing severe pain, increasing the likelihood of contracting other illnesses, and ultimately leading to death. There is no cure for lupus and it mostly affects women in their late teens to early 30s.

Her Campus is a web publication aimed at women aged 18 to 35 who are in university, and contains health tips, social advice, contests, and more. The magazine originated out of Harvard University in 2009 and became an international online sensation with women all across North America and Europe. It uses a variety of social media tools to reach its audience and to spread awareness for its various causes.

Crego said her team “wanted something unique to bring awareness to more great causes.”

As a women’s magazine, Her Campus U Ottawa strives to focus on issues affecting its readers, which is why Crego and her colleagues chose Lupus Canada as the charity they wanted to help.

“It seems like all we hear about today is breast cancer, which is very important, but we felt like doing something that gave some variety,” she said.
The fashion show—called “Strut Away Lupus”—nearly sold out before the evening started, with about 130 of 150 tickets sold. The event raised a little more than $1,500 in total.

Since Her Campus U Ottawa is still in its infancy—the city’s chapter has only been around for a year—it’s safe to say that after the success of this fundraiser, there will be plenty more to come. Crego said the magazine will likely do one big event every year.

Several local designers were on display that evening, two of whom were University of Ottawa students. The night also featured live music, a dance crew, raffles, silent auctions, and a photo booth. In typical student fashion (no pun intended), Her Campus U Ottawa both worked hard and played hard, having fun as they showcased local talent while supporting a worthy cause.