Meet UNITY President Carmen Mackins!

Name: Carmen Mackins

Age: 22

Major/Minor: Communication Studies, Psych minor

Hometown: NYC

Tell us about your involvement in UNITY!

UNITY has been a pretty big part of my time at at Northwestern. I had modelled in and directed the charity fashion show at my high school for four years and have always been interested in fashion so it was right up my alley. I joined UNITY my freshman year in the Marketing Committee and enjoyed it so much I applied for exec. Sophomore year I stepped in to the Head of Productions role and got to plan the show itself, which felt more like what I did in high school. I wanted to make the show more my own so I brought in more diverse acts and changed the set up a bit. I was Head of Productions again my junior year, and this year I stepped up into the role of President. That's been crazy and busy but it's given me a better view of what all the committees do and has made me more excited for the show this year. It's going to be amazing.

What is your favorite thing about the UNITY fashion show?

I love the energy on the day of the show. Since it was my main responsibility the last two years, I have grown a real attachment to it. It's like my baby. And once the stage goes up and the lights go on everything becomes kind of electric. It's really gratifying to know that everyone is having a good time and we get to help out such a great cause.

What makes this year’s show unique?

This year is our 10th year, believe it or not. So we have more performances, a new beneficiary (GirlForward), new designers-- including two student designers-- and a new theme! Plus, it's the last time I'll be working on a fashion show so Angel and I have been working to make this year UNITY'S biggest show yet.

Tell us a little more about GirlForward!

They're so great! GirlForward is a local Chicago organization that works with young female refugees and their families to help them get settled. They also create a lot of programs to help educate the girls and teach them important skills that will help them succeed in the future.

When did you first discover a love for fashion?

I've always loved clothes, accessories especially. When I was younger I would sketch outfits in my free time and make jewelry. Fashion is just so personal and so creative. You can make a statement for a day or make your style a permanent personality feature. I actually got to go to NY Fashion Week two summers and it really revitalized my love for it all.

Who is your favorite designer?

I've always been a fan of the eclectic styles of Betsy Johnson and Vivienne Tam. Both of them have mastered the idea of beautiful chaos and the marrying of playful and edgy. Their designs are always unique and never fail to amaze. I feel like that fits my style too.

What else are you involved in on campus?

I'm also in Alpha Chi, MIXED, have 2 jobs and have been a part of both Living in Color and Lipstick Theater's Burlesque shows