Kent State Holds Garment Games – Inclusion by Design Competition Featuring Fashion Show and Performances by Singer-Songwriter Skylar Grey

Tickets go on sale April 7

GRAMMY-nominated artist Skylar Grey will perform at Kent State University’s Garment Games – Inclusion by Design on May 7 in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. (Photo credit: David Roemer)As Cleveland and Akron prepare to host athletes in 35 sports for the 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation this summer, Kent State University senior design students from its celebrated Fashion School will take the competition to the runway on May 7 in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The university will conduct an on-campus student competition called the Garment Games – Inclusion by Design that will culminate with a “Project Runway”-style modeling and judging event and musical performances by singer-songwriter Skylar Grey in tribute and celebration of the spirit and purpose of the Gay Games.

Tickets for the Garment Games go on sale April 7 and are available online at Tickets are free for Kent State students $5 for general admission.

The senior fashion design students have been tasked to design outfits that respond to the values of the event for the two co-chairs of the Gay Games 9 Board of Directors to wear during the opening ceremonies of the Gay Games. A model runway show will be held May 7 starting at 6:30 p.m. to showcase, judge and determine the winning male and female garment designs. Seven teams of two Fashion School students are competing.

In addition to the runway show, the event will be intermixed with messages from Kent State leadership and other individuals about the importance of diversity, inclusion and support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community while creating awareness of the Gay Games coming in August. During three breaks, GRAMMY-nominated artist Grey will give musical performances.

“Kent State University’s involvement in the Gay Games is an expression of inclusive excellence in action, bringing communities together regardless of sexual orientation or athletic ability to enjoy competition, food and fun,” said Alfreda Brown, Kent State’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. “As one of many sponsors, Kent State hopes to be a voice in the promotion of human rights while creating a greater sense of community among people of all ages, ethnicities, gender expression or any other difference.”

J.R. Campbell, director of Kent State’s Fashion School, said the design competition offers a tremendous opportunity for the school’s senior designers.

“The opportunity for our students to be so directly involved with an event of such magnitude is priceless,” Campbell said. “For the student designers who win, this could dramatically impact the direction of their design career.”

About Skylar Grey

Grey is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is responsible for co-writing some of the most memorable songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and iTunes sales charts, totaling more than 25 million singles globally. Included in Forbes magazine’s list of music talent in the 2012 “30 Under 30” issue alongside Adele, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Drake and Bruno Mars, Grey is already a highly regarded singer and songwriter since the release of her single “C’Mon Let Me Ride” featuring Eminem debuted in December 2012 and received more than 4 million views in the first three days.

Grey has made a name for herself having co-wrote the biggest-selling single of 2010: Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” which earned her two GRAMMY Award nominations for Best Song and Best Rap Song of the Year. She also co-wrote and appeared on Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor,” which she performed alongside Dre and Eminem on the 2011 GRAMMY Awards telecast and for which she was nominated for two GRAMMY Awards. In January 2012, Grey released “The Buried Sessions of Skylar Grey,” which featured special acoustic performances by Grey of three songs she wrote and produced: the original demo of “Love the Way Part III” (the original “Love the Way You Lie” made popular by Eminem and Rihanna), “Coming Home Part II” (originally performed by Diddy-Dirty Money) and “Words” (originally “Words I Never Said,” performed by Lupe Fiasco).

About the Judges

The Kent State students competing in the Garment Games will be judged by three professionals in the fashion industry: Erich Biehle, a Swiss textile designer who presently lectures at different universities in the United States and works as a consultant for many renowned fashion brands; R. Scott French, who designs contemporary men’s and women’s sportswear after co-founding and designing the French Jenny lingerie collection, and a faculty member at the Kent State Fashion School’s New York City Studio; and Valerie Mayen, a Cleveland-based designer and artist who owns Yellowcake Shop on Cleveland’s near West Side and was a contestant on “Project Runway” Season 8. Campbell of Kent State’s Fashion School will serve as the host judge, organizing the judging and awards process.

Additional Information

For more information about Kent State’s Garment Games – Inclusion by Design, contact event co-chairs Kelvin Berry at or 330-672-3673 and Sylvia Dillard Johnson at or 330-672-0454.

For more information about Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, visit

For more information about Kent State’s Fashion School, visit

For more information about the 2014 Gay Games, visit

For more information about Skylar Grey, visit

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Photo Caption:

GRAMMY-nominated artist Skylar Grey, who co-wrote the biggest-selling single of 2010 – Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” – will perform at Kent State University’s Garment Games – Inclusion by Design on May 7 in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. (Photo credit: David Roemer)

Media Contacts:

Kelvin Berry,, 330-672-3673
Sylvia Dillard Johnson,, 330-672-0454
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Friday, April 24, 2015 - 12:54pm
University Communications and Marketing