Food, fashion, celebrity, cars, decorating and personal thoughts blogs have become so popular that “blog” is now a verb in daily speech. Those who “blog” are called “bloggers,” and some have made a career out of “blogging.” Blogs have opened up new venues and outlets for the individual to capitalize his or her special skills, attributes and creations. Even more significantly, blogs have enabled awareness for all kinds of organizations, elevating the statuses and activities of such organizations.

I frequent around 50 blogs a day and luckily through the networks that blogs have created, I stumbled across a student club at UCLA called FAST. Fashion and Student Trends (FAST) calls for all fashion lovers at UCLA to unite. Even after attending UCLA for three years, I never heard of FAST before (I guess I am not as much of a fashion lover as I presumed myself to be). I am in awe, because, UCLA does indeed aim to fulfill each of its students’ interests, including fashion.

Fashion and Student Trends (FAST) at UCLA is making its way into fashion blogs, shoots and shows, creating new opportunities for UCLA’s fashion lovers. With FAST, a student can transform into a model, designer, photographer, writer or networker.

FAST has a Facebook page and yes, a blog. Also, some students involved in FAST have their own blogs, which spreads FAST’s news to an even larger audience outside UCLA. Through the blog, FAST posts its upcoming events and photoshoots, recruits new members, introduces its executive board and illustrates its love for shoes. It lists a blogroll, recommendations and links to other fashion blogs.

Each year FAST puts on a spring runway show that benefits a local charity and features UCLA’s talented aspiring 35 models and 11 designers. This year, FAST donated proceeds to Food on Foot, a nonprofit organization that serves meals each Sunday in Hollywood to the poor and homeless people of Los Angeles in addition to providing clothes and assistance to them. Attendance at the Ackerman Grand Ballroom was free, and donations were welcomed.

Among the audience was a model and blogger named Natalie Suarez, whose blog is Natalie Off-Duty and whose sister Dylana Suarez is not only a blogger but also a former Bruin. With hundreds of attendees, this year’s 10th annual show, titled Illumination, was a success.

Another achievement this year was gaining a feature in Volcom’s campaign. FAST models modeled Volcom’s causal wear at a variety of locations in Los Angeles, including Venice Beach. The models really embodied the fun essence of the clothes. Volcom became one of FAST’s sponsors along with Steve Madden brand, O.P.I., BCBG Generation and Simply Sporty.

FAST inspires not only fashion instincts to come alive in forms of dresses and photographs but also encourages leadership, network and community responsibility. FAST is truly an asset for UCLA because any Bruin from a biologist to a historian can find his or her place in the UCLA community. Students in FAST are on track with their academics while exploring their creative side, because if you are passionate about something, there is always an outlet for you to mold and shape your passion. FAST helps its members gain the courage to discover all they are capable of. And even though fashion is a hard industry to assimilate into and thrive in, the experiences and networks that UCLA FAST offers is a step in the right direction.

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