Princeton students sport a range of fashion styles on campus. Whether students are dressing up for eating club formals or just walking to lecture, fashion serves as a form of expression on campus. However, in the past, there hasn’t been a premier fashion organization with a voice on campus. Nadine Allache ’26 and Bahia Kazemipour ’26 are hoping to change this by forming the Fashion Institute of Princeton (FIOP). Established last spring, FIOP hopes to shift the way we consume fashion by becoming an outlet for exploration, design, and entrepreneurship.
Kazemipour is a prospective anthropology major and is receiving a entrepreneurship minor. To her, fashion means “how you express yourself, what you value, how you want to convey beauty, and how you want to transform norms.” She also says that college has allowed her to experiment with new styles. Her desire for uniqueness and creativity drove her and Allache to create FIOP. FIOP’s mission is to establish a platform for people to be heard — they host events and provide students with the tools to embark on career paths not just in fashion, but also entrepreneurship in general.
FIOP has already begun to offer Princeton students opportunities in the fashion industry. This past summer, FIOP featured the brands Ella Rue and Mlance. While Ella Rue features colorful and playful styles that reflect spring and summer attire, Mlance’s pieces tend to have neutral tones and simple patterns. Both brands work to prompt slow fashion alongside FIOP. The stylistic distinction between Ella Rue and Mlance Design reflects FIOP’s creative inclusivity, as the organization hopes to appeal to various people while showcasing what the fashion industry has to offer.
FIOP also offers interactive experiences in the fashion industry, including networking opportunities and speaker events with notable figures. Kazemipour and Allache hosted the first Design For All Conference in NYC on Nov. 11, 2023. The conference featured students from Princeton, Parsons School of Design, and New York University. Guest speakers in business and fashion, including Google product manager Taylor Laub and photographer Gregory Scaffidi, provided insight about their professions to students.
When asked about future plans for FIOP, Kazemipour said, “I know that a business is only defined by how people interact with it. Although Nadine and I have specific goals for the club, I am happy with the trajectory of FIOP if the student-members are getting something out of it.” Both founders of FIOP said they look forward to continuing the annual Design For All Conference in NYC and hope to host guest speaker events at Princeton.
Annie Wang is a contributing writer for The Prospect from West Virginia. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Matthew Suh is a contributing writer for The Prospect from Santa Barbara, Calif. He is a junior majoring in SPIA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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