The Five W’s of the MFMS

If you have an Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or a Linkedin, then I hope you’ve heard of us before. Hopefully, by now, you’ve recognized our black & white color palette and rebellion against proper capitalization rules. But for those of you who are not familiar with our revolutionary organization, we want you to get to know us. We can break it down into five categories: Who? What? When? Where? And our personal favorite, Why. We’ll call them the five W’s of the MFMS.


Who?

Who is the MFMS? We’re a group of like-minded individuals who unite through a common passion for the media and fashion industries. However, we share more than just an interest in the latest trends. We all aspire to be the next leaders in a particular realm of the fashion world; whether that be retail, design, or business, we all crave to be at the top of our field. We are all entrepreneurs in our own way and aim to innovate and inspire. We all have the desire, motivation, and vision to change the narrative of fashion, one step at a time. Though we’re similar in more ways than one, we are also extremely unique and distinct from each other. Our team is comprised with students of different ages, races, genders, majors, and talents. Each member has a different sets of strengths. The talent of each and every member is the motor that propels the MFMS forward. It is not the brand itself, but rather the faces behind the brand that help us reach our highest potential; the “what” can not be achieved without the “who”.

What?

What is the MFMS? The Michigan Fashion Media Summit is an annual day long event focused on the intersection of fashion, retail, and media at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Our summit is filled with industry defining keynote conversations, panels made up of the top names in retail, exclusive networking opportunities and a student brand showcase from elite up-and-coming talent. But the MFMS is more than just a one day event; it is 365 day production. The Michigan Fashion Media Summit is the premier platform for college students and industry professionals to collaborate and shape the future fabric of fashion. The MFMs is not a “club”, but rather a completely student-run organization, a non-profit business, and an emerging brand all wrapped into one.

The MFMS was created by a group of students looking to form a fashion community at the University of Michigan. The Student Planning Team is made up of seven interconnected smaller teams. The team is led by our E board; the backbone of the team. They are the core of the MFMS organization and constantly remind us why we are all here: to inspire and push the boundaries. In addition to the E board, the Branding, Creative, Marketing & Communications, Partnerships, Event Planning, Speakers and Finance teams work diligently to put on our main event. While each team operates as a separate entity with distinct responsibilities, each is ultimately bound together by a common end goal: the success of the Michigan Fashion Media Summit. Thus, the balance between team independence and team integration is what makes the MFMS truly unique. The union of individual teams’ function to create the most fashion forward, tech savvy, and entrepreneurial force on campus.

Where?

Where is the MFMS? The Michigan Fashion Media Summit takes place at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. It is our home base, and through our partnership with the Ross Retail Club, where we hold our weekly meetings. At weekly meetings, our team receives hard skills they can take to the workplace, tasks that have both hard and soft deadlines, and a corporate culture lesson of the week. Each team gives status updates on past, current, and future projects. Additionally, the weekly meetings provide a space where members can work within and across teams. Although our home-base is the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, we expand farther. We are made up of students in programs in almost every school at the University of Michigan. Our social media reaches people across the country.  We hope to not only change the narrative of fashion at the University of Michigan, but for universities around the world.

When?

When is the MFMS? This is a bit of a trick question. The 2019 MFMS will be held on April 12, 2019, but we work as a team 365 days a year. There really is no time frame for our project- we work tirelessly day and night to cultivate the image of the MFMS.

Why?

Prior to the MFMS, there was limited fashion resources on our campus. Students had no direction to  connect them to the retail world. Our curriculum was lacking. We recognized a void in our campus, and aimed to fill it. It was time to evoke change – fashionably late doesn’t even begin to explain it. Although we knew this would not be an easy endeavor, we were determined. Alas, the MFMS was born. What better way to expose fashion than to be it: to defeat the deficit, transform the narrative, and influence the future fabric of fashion? The MFMS is built on three primary objectives: to inspire and educate the next generation of fashion industry leaders by connecting them to creative and professional opportunities across the retail world, to break the stigma surrounding fashion at the University of Michigan, and to create a network of like-minded and fashionably-profound individuals. Students finally have resources in the fashion world; this is liberating, this is exciting! The existence of the MFMS is disrupting the status quo. We are elevating fashion’s recognition on campus. We are showing the world not only where fashion has been, but where it’s going. Stay tuned.

Brian Zhao