Runway show celebrates women and their acheivements


Yemeni Mendez struts down the runway for the Women Center's second annual runway show.
Yesenia Mendez struts down the runway for the Women Center’s second annual runway show.

With a pink flower in her hair, Yesenia Mendez struts down a runway barefoot in a long floral dress, showcasing her free-spirited personality. The biology major and African-American studies minor is one of the forty students participating in SF State’s second annual runway show.

It was far from your typical runway show since models were given the opportunity to control how they were presented. Each one wrote a biography about themselves, which was read during their walk. They even selected their own runway song.

Mendez  wore a beautiful, traditional dress,  but what grabs the audience’s attention is her confidence when she slowly walks down the stage with a big smile on her face.

Instead of wearing clothing made by designers, the models chose their own outfits, ones representing their inner beauty. The event, which was organized by the Women’s Center, celebrated the diverse women of SF State and their achievements. More than two hundred-students showed up at Jack Adams Hall to honor them.

“In my bio, I wrote that I want to be a doctor and travel around the world to assist people,” Mendez said. “I feel this is something that has to be really acknowledge because not a lot of people know what you are doing and what your goals are.”

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Shani Winston, director of the Women’s Center, was the one who came up with the idea. 

“The women here are representing their goals, their career path, what are they doing in life,” Winston, said.

For the first time two staff members participated in the event.

Francine Shakir, Culture and Arts Director at the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center at SF State, saw this runway show as an opportunity to empower women.

“I think it is very important that women’s voices are heard in a public forum,” Shakir said. “Often times, women who are in settings that are dominated by men for example, classrooms, don’t feel their voices are heard.”

The runway show was followed with a salsa party with music by the SFSU Afro-Cuban Ensemble.