A Tale of Two Troupes

This article was originally published at www.theparadigmpress.com
On August 19th, 2019 Prestige Modeling Troupe Incorporated was founded at Florida Atlantic University. With their release came a ton of speculation about what set this new organization apart from the existing modeling troupe, Fashion Forward. To the blind eye, people might think: “They’re both modeling troupes, of course they are the same” however, the two organizations embody two completely different things.
“For people who think Prestige Modeling Troupe and Fashion Forward are the same I would tell them to come to a show. If you go to a PMT event versus a FF event you will see a difference,” said Danni Hayden. Hayden is a junior majoring in political science and serves as Miss PMT. She is over membership in the organization and is also one of the modeling trainers.
Danni Hayden, Miss PMT
PMT is more of an urban fashion organization. They focus less on the clothes and more on the choreography. Their walk, poses, and the overall theme is different from FF who is more high fashion and runway based.
The idea of starting a new fashion organization came about in Spring 2019 by Tiffany Findley. Findley was new to FAU and had transferred from FAMU where she was a member of Images Modeling Troupe. Since she was new to campus she reached out to Sasha T.C. Wilson to help her create PMT. Wilson was a member of FF’s executive board and she knew how to run an e-board, start an organization, etc. Findley and Wilson joined forces and together founded PMT.
Tiffany Findley, Co-Founder of PMT
Sasha T.C. Wilson, Co-founder of PMT
The overall goal of PMT was to bring something new to FAU. “The other modeling org is high fashion. Not everyone can do high fashion so they wanted something more urban. Something different. She wanted to bring something new.” said Mariam Oke. Oke is a senior majoring in psychology and serves as the female fashion coordinator and the vice president of PMT.
Mariam Oke, VP and Female Fashion Coordinator
Prestige got its inspiration from FAMU’s chapter of Images Modeling Troupe. “Images is a big inspiration to PMT. Our constitution literally mimics theirs. We got the ok from Images to use their rules and their techniques in our organization. They are our sister org,” said Hayden.
Hayden was also a former member of Fashion Forward and says that the two organizations are completely different. “I used to be in Fashion Forward and I do know that they are more high fashion and there’s a lot more runway presence. PMT will rarely do a show when it’s only about the clothes. For us it’s a lot of technique, music, and routines so it is really different from what FF does, at least when I was a member,” said Hayden
Back in August when PMT was released there was a lot of speculation and gossip saying that PMT copied FF. There was drama between the two organizations that did not go unnoticed by outsiders.
“When you hear the ra ra and gossip of people asking “‘why did Sasha do this’ ‘ they don’t understand that the concepts are completely different. We literally emulate Images we are not like Fashion Forward because we embody something completely different. Our constitution, our shows, and our practices are completely different from FF,” said Hayden.
PMT held casting during the third week of the Fall 2019 semester and they had a great turnout for casting. After releasing their first set of models, which they call Volume 1, many people noticed that they had a diverse range of models.
“With PMT we wanted to focus on being inclusive with every type of model. Meaning shape, size, color, and gender didn’t matter. We wanted variety. We wanted to show that you don’t have to look like what society wants in a magazine. Anyone can be a model if they apply themselves and build a certain level of confidence,” said Hayden. “In casting, we expressed that it wasn’t about how you looked it was can you execute this? Do you have the confidence that it takes to do a routine to be in front of a camera? and if those things checked, then you were good in our book”.
Oke added that they aren’t saying FF isn’t diverse, it’s just that their definition of diverse is different from PMT.
Hayden made it clear that she still has love for Fashion Forward and their models. “I still to this day have love for them because these are girls that are friends with me outside of modeling and they still come to the PMT shows to support me regardless,” said Hayden.
Regarding the “beef” between the two organizations, they have had multiple mediations and group meetings where they try and come to a consensus and squash any bad blood. “People want the drama. They want to see two organizations feuding, especially with Sasha leaving the FF e-board, everyone had something to say,” said Hayden.
Overall, there are big differences between the two organizations. One is high fashion while the other is more urban. While there might have been tension between the orgs before, it appears as though everything is hashed out and the two troupes can both exist independently and achieve their separate goals.
As far as the two collaborating anytime soon Hayden said that PMT still has a lot of work to do as far as establishing themselves and fixing personal flaws before they could pursue a project that big.
“I think when you get to know what FF is about and what PMT is about you pick which one is best for you,” said Oke.
Be on the lookout for events from both organizations this semester.
Full disclosure: The Paradigm Press reached out to Fashion Forward for a comment and they declined the offer.
All interviews were conducted by Christie Charles

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