Exploring a Universe of Fashion

Style Show Chairwoman Emily Williams (’19) presents the first Influencer of the Year award to Leann Colella (’17), founder and managing director of Sharp Spruce.

Style Show Chairwoman Emily Williams (’19) presents the first Influencer of the Year award to Leann Colella (’17), founder and managing director of Sharp Spruce.

The Northwood 2019 Style Show, “Fabric of the Universe,” rocketed the audience to a cosmos of clothes, color, and creativity. The theme of the annual show reflected the powerful way essentials – whether of fashion, education, or the universe – combine to craft endless possibilities for discovery. The Style Show presented a comprehensive look at fashion, from fabrication and construction to silhouette and styling, highlighted in segments named after the five most common elements in the universe. The student-run event featured industry-related speakers, a runway fashion show, and an afterglow gathering. Born months earlier in the nebula of planning, the Influencer of the Year was awarded for the first time at the April show.

Established at this year’s Style Show, the Influencer of the Year award showcases Northwood alumni involved in the fashion industry. An “influencer” can come from a galaxy of fashion-related careers that were launched through the benefit of a Northwood education. The award also offers a chance for current and prospective students to glimpse the variety of career paths available once they graduate.

“We hope the award becomes an opportunity for our alumni who work in the fashion industry to reconnect with the Style Show and NU students,” said Emily Williams (’19), 2019 Style Show chairwoman. “Recognizing Leann Colella, a recent alumna, as our first influencer was a natural choice. She was very involved in the Style Show as a student, and she is now building a promising Exploring a Universe of Fashion fashion business that actually started right here. Leann truly exemplifies our Fashion Marketing and Management graduates’ talent, drive, and awareness of their ‘True North.’”

Since graduating from Northwood in 2017, Colella has turned her NU senior project into an exciting fashion business. Her budding endeavor, Sharp Spruce, is filling the need for comfortable and versatile menswear and also helping men find wardrobe basics with a simple trip to her online store.

“I am honored to be named the first Influencer of the Year, especially because Northwood has been a huge part of my journey to Sharp Spruce. I love that the award will give students and faculty a chance to see what our amazing alumni are doing in their careers,” said Colella, founder and managing director of Sharp Spruce. "I think everyone wins when alumni come back on campus to interact with students and support them as they plan and run Northwood’s special and unique events like the Style Show.”

The show’s final segment turned carbon, one of the most common elements in the universe, into a diamond anniversary celebration of Northwood’s 60th anniversary. As well as honoring the milestone, the finale warmly acknowledged the University’s longheld dedication to experiential learning opportunities, including the 2019 Style Show that gave its 27 executive board members, 45 models, six student designers (including Williams), and student volunteers from every major a universe-full of career-smart lessons.