Energy is in fashion for this URI student
Cranston resident shines while keeping breakneck pace
KINGSTON, R.I. -- June 19, 2000 -- She's a University of Rhode Island
student, a model, a manager, a fashion designer, a gourmet cook and a crusader
for impoverished youths.
One thing Cranston resident Vannou Nhem is not is lethargic. The
22-year-old (she turns 23 on June, 21), Cranston High School East graduate
just finished her junior year at URI.
And even though she is a child psychology major, she was elected by students
in the URI Fashion Merchandising Society to serve as the group's president
That may be because she has played a pivotal role in the society's last
two fashion shows as a model, designer and organizer. This year, she designed
and sewed 13 outfits for the show called "Insomnia." Her fashion
line was called Iridescent Variegation. The line consisted of different
colors and styles. According to Nhem, "some are alluring, sensual,
and curvaceous, but most of all it represents energy and life."
In addition to modeling her own line, she helped model clothes made by
"I have always made my own clothes," Nhem said. "The thing
that motivated me was that when I went to the store, I had a hard time finding
clothes that fit. The clothes I make fit me just right. There are no folds.
I am only 5 feet tall, so I would have to shop in the little girls' section.
I am just the type of person who can observe something, and I can pick it
Nhem said she used to be quite shy. "But then I outgrew it, and
I thought being in the fashion show would be something different and new.
It's an offshoot of sports and cooking," Nhem said.
She is very proud that the show is becoming more and more multicultural
and that men are participating now as designers and models. "We are
trying to involve people from all over the campus."
When she is not sewing her own clothes, she serves as facilitator for
the Children's Crusade, serving as a team leader and role model for inner-city
youngsters. She helps them with team-building and cooperation, behavior
management, community service, responsibility, and self-discipline.
But that's not it. She also serves as an assistant secretary in URI'
s Department of Student Involvement. And since last September, she has been
the manager of URI's Two-Lips Flower Shop, where she oversees hiring, scheduling,
training, ordering and billing.
In addition to those activities, she is vice president of the Asian Students'
Association, treasurer for Camp Rhody, a program designed to help second
graders in North Kingstown and South Kingstown read; public relations chair
for the URI Cape Verdean Students Association, and a member of the Multicultural
Student Council Committee, to name a few.
For Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116