top of page
  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Gasparka

Annual Fashion Show at Mount Mary University Highlights Emerging Milwaukee Fashion Designers 

Students in glamorous ensembles walk the catwalk for the finale of CREO fashion show while audiences stand and applaud.
Photo courtesy Mount Mary University

On May 10, Mount Mary University will present the next installment of its annual CREO Fashion Show, showcasing the work of current Design and Merchandise Fashion majors from the college.  


The Fashion department at Mount Mary is one of the nation’s premiere educational programs for aspiring designers and fashion industry workers. Established in the 1960's, it was the first four-year higher education fashion study program in the United States. The program is home to an extensive historical and modern fashion archive—which houses and periodically exhibits selections from a collection of over 10,000 items from the 18th century to present day, including pieces from regional retailers and garments worn by local figures including actress Lynn Fontanne. CREO (which is Latin for “to make”) is the signature fashion show event of the program, produced as a collaborative culminating project for students to present their work to the wider Mount Mary University and Milwaukee community. Each year, design and merchandising students work together to contribute everything including the designs that will be showcased, the event planning and coordination, and even runway modeling and styling.  

A student applies makeup to a student model.
Photo courtesy Mount Mary University

“CREO is more than just a fashion show; the collaborative planning and production of this event teaches students the value of creativity, teamwork, accountability, clear communication, organization, budgeting, and goal setting through hands-on experiences, said Ashley Brooks, Fashion Program Chairperson. 


So, what can audiences expect from this year’s CREO presentation? “Guests will see three senior capstone collections, sustainably-sourced upcycled designs, looks inspired by our historic Fashion Archive, plus a few additional surprises!” said Brooks.  

Student models walk the runway wearing student-designed ensembles.
Photo courtesy of Mount Mary University

According to U.S. News and World Report, Mount Mary has distinguished itself in recent years as a top regional university in the Midwest for its ethnic and economic diversity. With over 50 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, Mount Mary offers courses of study in the areas of science, design, and business. Graduates from Mount Mary’s Fashion program are employed by many regional and national apparel-related businesses including Wantable, Jockey, KOHL'S, Harley-Davidson, MukLuks,  and Lands' End. Other notable entrepreneurial ventures launched by recent graduates include Hyde Park MKE, Bryson-Reid, Bavlnka Brand and MISHKA by Maria Olsson.  


The success of graduates from the program is in part a reflection of the range of professional development opportunities offered to help students dynamically leverage their talents and skills through group work—including the CREO fashion show. 

Student models strut the catwalk.
Photo courtesy of Mount Mary University

“Mount Mary not only prepares students with the practical coursework and technology required for success in today’s fashion industry careers, but emphasizes the development and practice of the crucial ‘soft skills’ in high demand by today’s employers,” reflected Brooks.  


CREO takes place on Friday, May 10, at Mount Mary University’s Bergstrom Hall - Alumnae Dining Hall at 1:00, 5:00 & 7:30. Learn more, and purchase tickets here. 



bottom of page