First Sisters on the Runway Show in Three Years a Success

Hannah Erickson, Contributing Writer

Sisters on the Runway held their first benefit fashion show in three years on Sunday, May 15th in front of an enthusiastic crowd of friends and family. The student-run club centers its work around raising awareness and financial support for victims of domestic violence through an annual fashion show fundraiser. The group also holds meaningful conversations around healthy relationships, misogyny, and domestic violence. Junee Manandhar ’23, a model who walked in the show, explained to the Register Forum, “I know a lot of people have different experiences and stories. My hope is that by being in the club I can make those stories heard.” 

This year’s show was especially significant because it was the first in several years. “We haven’t done a show since I was a freshman,” club leader Isabella Lozada ’22 told the Register Forum. “Our opportunities have been limited, even as domestic violence rates soared during the pandemic.”

The theme for this year was social justice movements. During the show, over 25 models carried signs supporting causes including reproductive rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, climate justice, indigenous rights, Stop Asian Hate, and #MeToo. “We chose issues that we cared about and were seeing patterns of in the media,” said Manandhar.

The show opened with a dance by members of the Modern Dance Company and was followed by an introduction from the club’s leaders. CRLS student models walked and posed in self-styled and color-themed outfits, with each corresponding to a given social justice issue. As they walked out onto the runway, each model was met with lively applause from the audience. 

Over 25 models carried signs supporting reproductive rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, climate justice, indigenous rights, Stop Asian Hate, and #MeToo.

Lily Smolen ’25, an audience member at the show, voiced her support for the club’s values to the Register Forum, saying,  “Sexual assault and abuse is such a prominent issue in our society, and I think it isn’t talked about enough.” 

This year, the club raised $5,000 through a partnership with the Cambridge Community Foundation, a local giving platform that matched all donations. The funds raised from the show will be divided between the Cambridge Women’s Center and Transition House, two local organizations that work in supporting victims of domestic violence.

A representative of Transition House—which had received support from SOTR in the past—spoke at the event, praising members of the club by saying, “Your willingness to be leaders in the public conversations about intimate partner violence gives me great hope for the people in each of your communities who know you are willing to engage in those tough conversations.”

This is the first year that SOTR has funded Cambridge Women’s Center. According to their website, the center offers drop-in services, support groups, and workshops, as well as a resource database. 

This year’s show was an overwhelming success, and will hopefully set up a foundation for the group to pursue more opportunities. Lozada has high hopes for the future of SOTR. “We want the club to continue to hold important conversations and fight for rights in our school and beyond.” 

This piece also appears in our May 2022 print edition.