Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Runway ASIA Celebrates Diversity, Charity

Georgetown University’s Asian American Student Association (AASA) hosted its third annual Runway Asian Style Inspires Activism (ASIA), a celebration of the diversity of Asian fashion with proceeds going to children in the Middle East.

The exposition featured 19 student models who showcased a medley of Asian styles, including looks from China, India and the Philippines. AASA, which raises funds for a different charity cause each year, dedicated this year’s proceeds to the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), a humanitarian organization focused on providing lifesaving medical care to Arab children in the Middle East — regardless of race, nationality or religion. 

Dhruv Shah (SFS ’26), a co-chair of AASA’s Politics and Advocacy Committee who led the event, said that Runway ASIA is a rewarding event largely due to its two goals: empowerment of Asian culture and philanthropy.

“It’s a two-pronged mission,” Shah told The Hoya. “We’re trying to showcase the diversity and richness of Asian style and then also raise money for a good cause. That shows that there is not only a community that supports uplifting Asian students at Georgetown, but that it is also done so that proceeds go to humanitarian relief.”

Amal Sharfi (CAS ’26), the other co-chair of the Politics and Advocacy Committee, said AASA’s decision to dedicate this year’s event to the PCRF was clear in the wake of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

On Oct. 7 Hamas launched an attack on Israel, killing roughly 1,200 Israelis, and Israel’s retaliation in the Gaza Strip has created a human disaster in the region. As of Nov. 24, none of the hospitals in Northern Gaza are functioning and over 1.7 million residents of Gaza have been displaced, which has spurred the calls for aid to the region.

Due to the gravity of the situation in Gaza and the urgency of the PCRF aid, AASA hoped to raise $1,000 for the organization. Less than an hour into the show, Shah and Sharfi announced that the show surpassed the $1,000 fundraising goal, setting a new record in the event’s history.

Zifei Zhao | Georgetown University’s Asian American Student Association (AASA) hosted its third annual Runway Asian Style Inspires Activism (ASIA), a showcase of the diversity of Asian fashion, on Nov. 28 in order to raise funds for the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

In addition to exceeding philanthropic expectations, Runway ASIA marked a profound celebration of the diversity of culture in Asia, something that Sharfi said the Western media too often overlooks.

“Asian culture is so diverse — so beautifully diverse — and it often gets overlooked and divided,” Sharfi said. “Seeing all these people from such diverse backgrounds are coming together for one cause means so much.”

Reesa Bhowmik (SFS ’26), a student model in the show, wore a navy and gold two-piece lehenga choli, an Indian long skirt and blouse combination.

Bhowmilk said Runway ASIA marked a triumphant exposition of her South East Asian culture.

 “I’m wearing an outfit I wore to my graduation that represents my heritage, which is not something I thought I would ever get to do at Georgetown outside of cultural events,” Bhowmik wrote to The Hoya.

After the catwalks, five student models took to the podium to explain the history and cultural significance of their fashion, ranging from the literary origins of the Filipino Maria Clara dress, a staple of Filipino fashion, to a guide on the traditional way of wearing a Chinese Hanfu, a classic outfit for the Han Chinese.

Shah said Runway ASIA continued to demonstrate the strength and diversity of the Asian and Asian American community on the Hilltop which Georgetown’s Rangila, a showcase of Southeast Asian dances, showcased Nov. 17 and 18.

“Seeing the impact that AASA has on this campus has been so cool to watch,” Shah said. “Even with Rangila, having this presence of diverse cultures at Georgetown is really important.”

Sharfi said that Runway ASIA allowed everyone involved — from student models and student makeup artists to AASA Political Advocacy Committee members and even event leaders — the opportunity to dive into the cultural depth of Asian fashion.

“A lot of these outfits I had never seen before,” Sharfi said. “I just love that this event is filled with so many different types of people.”

Shah said that after the success of Runway ASIA, he is optimistic for the future of AASA as a forum for the promotion of the diversity of Asian culture and experiences at Georgetown.

“I hope AASA continues to strengthen the Asian community on campus and really build the inclusive affinity space that the community deserves and needs to thrive,” Shah said.

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