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Fashion show sparkles at Lansing Mall

Fashion show

Dasjahne Swanson is the owner of D.U.S. Couture in the Lansing Mall. The store hosted a fashion show in the mall on April 15.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Associate Editor

Lansing has seen a lot of new developments lately, making the new spots all the rage.

On April 15, however, the Brunch Couture “Spring in Miami” Fashion Show was hosted by the Lansing Mall. Suddenly, the somewhat forgotten staple was the hottest place to be.

The intent was “to give the audience an upscale fashion experience” and to give the public a chance to “dress to impress while enjoying amazing food, music and a live runway show.” Words cannot describe the amount of life that was brought back to those old marble floors at the mall.

Most who attended definitely took the opportunity to look their best. The experience that was taken home was truly unique, especially for two LCC students who modeled in the show.

D.U.S. Couture, which has a store in the mall, hosted the event. The store is owned by Dasjahne Swanson, who said she was happy to share her vision as both a business owner and a designer.

“With my brunch shows, I am never looking for a profit,” Swanson said. “It’s for people to know what I do and what I am about. I am looking to gain experience and clientele. 

“I am building a brand and that’s my overall goal. I want D.U.S. furniture, I want D.U.S. shoes, D.U.S. towels. All of that. I want to give people not just a whole new image, but a whole new confidence level.”

Swanson said she is from Detroit, but went to Atlanta about 10 years ago to broaden her expertise. She said there, she met a lot of strong, talented women in business who taught her how to get things done, so much so that she wanted to bring a piece of Georgia back with her.

“When I came here, I wanted this store to have that vibe,” Swanson said. “Everyone who has come in has said, ‘Oh, it looks like Atlanta in here.’ We got the hats and the brunch; that’s what Atlanta is about.”

While waiting for the show, guests moved through a circuit of roughly 15 vendors, who sold everything the mall didn’t. Nikki’s Cupcake Creations really caught people’s attention with a pineapple, coconut creation that treated taste buds.

Booths also included book publishers, public speakers, business owners, designers, crafters and artists, all there with products that were one of a kind.

The models were kept off stage and out of sight, but LCC students Gael Claude and Jasmine Goins were able to step out and quickly comment before the show.

“My good friend just walked up to me and said ‘Hey, would you like to model?’” Claude said. “I wasn’t going to say no to that. I am more than excited.”

Goins said she visits the store often and was scouted personally as well.

“I shop in the D.U.S. Couture store and I follow the owner on Instagram,” Goins said. “She made a flyer saying she was looking for models for this fashion show. She had me walk for her and said I could be in the show. I am really excited; I have never done anything like this before.”

Swanson said she will approach just about anyone if she sees something she likes in them or thinks they can handle the job, reinforcing the idea that one should always smile because they never know who is watching.

“I’m the type of person (who) if you look amazing from head to toe in Walmart, I am like, ‘Hey, do you model?’” Swanson said. “I think I pulled somebody from McDonald’s, I said, ‘I like the way you walk. Take my card; walk in my show.’”

Everything for Swanson is personal and it can be seen in every detail; whether that is in the layout of her store, new weekly window designs, or the way she cares for each and every customer.

After guests hit the mimosa bar, the room settled and listened to DJ Butcher slay the turn tables as gorgeous human after gorgeous human walked a new style that was suddenly a necessity.

Sport wear, prom wear, casual dress, formal wear and kimonos were all shown as the crowd went wild for the confidence and elegance in each stride. Crisp and clean lines and designs were showcased, but the new men’s line was debuted and absolutely devoured by the audience.

For Swanson, it was her family that gave her such a love for the fashion industry: specifically, her grandma.

“My grandmother and I, we go personally shopping,” she said. “We travel. We are in each other closets. I get that fashion from her.”

Swanson said she brought her business home because she knew she could provide a needed service. She said she wanted to make fashion not just accessible but affordable because, to her, it will always be so much more than a business endeavor.

“The fashion industry to me,” she said, “is a way of life.”

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