Colleges Against Cancer allies with local businesses

This year’s Colleges Against Cancer fashion show will begin at 9 p.m. in the Morse dining hall.
This year’s Colleges Against Cancer fashion show will begin at 9 p.m. in the Morse dining hall. Photo by Sharon Yin.

It is hard to imagine that frat boys, breast cancer and bow ties custom-made by a Yale student could have anything in common. But “Pretty in Pink” — the annual Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) fashion show to raise money and awareness for breast cancer — will bring them together tonight in the Morse dining hall.

Now in its fourth year, the fashion show is CAC’s largest event, CAC President Varoon Bashyakaria ’13 said. The fashion show comes near the end of Yale’s Pink Week, during which CAC redecorated Cross Campus and sold T-shirts in Commons to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As in other years, CAC collaborated with YCouture, Rent the Runway and student designers. But while previous shows incorporated more student designers, this year’s will feature only one, relying heavily on retailer participation instead.

Local businesses such as {Cut.Cloth}, Raggs and Yurway lent CAC most of the show’s clothes, which will be exclusively pink. Both Bashyakaria and Jessica Perfetto ’14, the show’s organizer, said they were inspired to join CAC after friends and family suffered from cancer. Bashyakaria said hearing store owners tell personal stories about relatives with the disease was encouraging, helping him realize that “we’re all in the same boat.”

Perfetto described her experience soliciting donations from Campus Customs and the Yale Bookstore, both of which allowed her to take every single pink clothing item in the store.

“It [was] moments like those when everything fell into place,” Perfetto said.

The fashion show has been extremely popular in the past, Bashyakaria said.

“It’s continued to be such a success because it incorporates different aspects of Yale,” said Anna Wang ’14, YCouture director of design. “It really is a good all-for-one event because so many groups can utilize it for their own means, and it’s all for a good cause.”

She added that local businesses and student designers are able to advertise their clothing, while models can volunteer and have fun.

Although the show is receiving donations from some national retailers this year such as Gant and Jack Wills, Wang said that most national chains have been less generous with their donations than New Haven-based stores. She attributed this discrepancy to the trust CAC has built with local stores over the past four years. Bashyakaria added that the corporate structure of national chains does not allow for the small donations the show requires.

Bashyakaria said CAC received Undergraduate Organizations Committee and Dwight Hall funding to supply the show with more professional equipment such as lights. While the group initially considered adding an elevated ramp, Wang said they eventually decided against it since a ramp would not be wide enough for models walking in pairs.

Although the event is free to attend and includes free raffles and giveaways, it fundraises substantially for the American Cancer Society, Bashyakaria said. He added that the show is just as much about awareness as funding, and Perfetto explained that the emcees will briefly discuss breast cancer before the show begins.

Most of the models for “Pretty in Pink” were recruited through fraternities and sororities, in addition to through the organizers’ personal contacts.

“Usually, people [in fraternities and sororities] are excited about modeling and … will bring their friends,” Perfetto said.

Tonight’s show will begin at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Comments

  • CharlieWalls

    The NIH has had essentially flat funding for several years. Research facilities at schools across the country — INCLUDING cancer research — are seriously squeezed. Vote for tax revenue increases. Turn your own life’s energy into relevant research — actually do it! Pink cheering is just not going to get the job done.