CLARIFICATION: A photo caption in this story has been updated to better reflect that the subject was a performer at the launch event.


As the wind blew gently, University of Maryland students posed in front of a large projector displaying colored graphics, setting the perfect scene for Cultoure Magazine’s launch party. 

The magazine, which debuted Friday evening at the Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building, is a culture and lifestyle fashion magazine that promotes the artistic visions of creatives of color at this university. Party attendees wore trendy, vogue-like fashion with New York City flair. 

“We were telling people [through] word of mouth [to] dress how you would dress if you were a guest at a New York Fashion Week themed photoshoot,” Koree Perry, a sophomore journalism major and Cultoure Magazine’s co-vice president, said

Perry said because the first issue is visual art and fashion based, it was best for attendees to dress up in clothing geared toward the magazine’s topics. Cultoure Magazine’s founder, Gabrielle Felix, longed to be a part of New York City’s fashion culture as a teenager, which inspired the party’s theme

Felix, a sophomore mathematics major, said her high school in New Jersey restricted her fashion expression. She would think about how she was just a 30 minute train ride from New York City, where people could dress freely. With this in mind, Felix wanted students to express themselves without limitations

“Just be extra, just put that shit on that you never thought you would have the chance to wear,” Felix, who wore pants she designed and a black fur coat, said. 

And the students put it on.

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Sophomore psychology major Odichimma Obiajulu, a party attendee, combined streetwear and business core by wearing a leather jacket, baggy office pants and chunky Demonia boots. She finished her outfit with a three-tone denim bag she crocheted. Obiajulu likes to style outfits with shape and proportion, they said. 

For Obiajulu, fashion is an artistic medium and a way for her to dig into herself and show people how she feels. She was especially fascinated by the different looks of students. 

“I saw someone wearing Aaliyahcore, I’m seeing nightwear and I’m seeing prep, just different things, and I love seeing it on different faces especially when we all have the same skin color,” Obiajulu said. “It’s really nice to see people embracing their creativity and their fashion.” 

Attendees such as Sam Gwaalesiga, a sophomore information science major, came to the event to support the creative minds behind the magazine while also expressing himself in his unique style. Gwaalesiga thrifted his outfit — a mesh, skin-tight sweater he purchased from the women’s section and pleated pants he sewed into shorts. 

Gwaalesiga accessorized with a pearl necklace and completed his look with loafers and white socks.

Grace Akinsola, who donned an office look with a green scarf around their waist and a baker boy hat, felt a fascination similar to Obiajulu.

“I think it’s really cool being able to see all these different styles,” Akinsola, a sophomore public health science major, said as they flaunted their gold grills. “Usually on campus, you see the athleisure, you see everybody chill, but it’s cool being able to see people dressed the hardest they can dress. 

While many students took bold leaps with their clothes, junior psychology major Nicole Lieber focused on her makeup —  her favorite part of fashion. Lieber did a subtle and clean makeup look with slight shimmers around the creases of her eyes. She also went for a striking red lip to match her red top and boots

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Attendees of the launch party not only enjoyed the various fashion styles, but also a model walk from En’rage models, an on-campus modeling group.  Many models took long strides and strutted with fierceness and finesse, while others walked with casual swag. 

Students also enjoyed live music from Yungseriki, whose performance was backed by symphonies from an electric guitar, piano and drum as attendees bopped along to the rhythms. 

Perry said pictures of event attendees will be featured in a section of the magazine’s next issue, which will explore other themes such as music and dance to include more members of this university’s artistic community. 

“Even if the theme was New York Fashion, we don’t expect everybody to have New York Fashion,” Perry said. “We expect people to come where they are appreciated and we appreciate everyone who came out.”