July Edition: Look What Your Editor’s Bought This Time

Hey Nu Babes, it has been a long summer and it’s not over yet! July’s edition of “What the Editors Bought” features clothing from Brandy Melville, Fashion Nova, Public Desire, H&M, and so much more, also featured are some pretty dramatic price differences ranging from $56 to completely free.

Don’s Purchases:

Though I did not spend a lot of money and buy a lot of clothes this month, something tells me I’ll more than make up for it in August. In July, one of my favorite clothing websites: Fashion Nova, did something I never heard of; for every item purchased you’ll get an additional item free as long as it’s of equal or lesser value. In other words, for every two items you add to your shopping chart whichever one is more expensive will be the one you pay for, the other item is free. Me being me, I almost bought the whole website, and next month if they have a sale like that again, I will! After careful consideration, I was able to narrow down what I had to have, and what I had to have right-then-and-there. These are the two items I could not live without.  

Rate 8.5

Her Majesty Denim Jacket – Black

$44.99 USD

This Lion King inspired jacket is a must-have for Fall. Sure, it’s comfortable, like all denim jackets are, but who cares about comfort when the jacket is this cute. I live in Texas, it’s the Summertime, and I have already worn this jacket so many times I’ve lost count. The things I do for a good monochromatic moment. I recommend wearing this jacket with some high-waisted black jeans, tucked in, a white shirt with short faux-leather black sleeves, and patent leather booties, that’s how I wore it.

https://www.fashionnova.com/collections/jackets-denim-jackets/products/her-majesty-denim-jacket-black

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Rate 8.0

Two-toned Denim Jacket – black/combo

$39.99 FREE!

At this point guys-only jackets no longer exist. Sorry boys, but the only two options are girls jackets and intersex jackets masquerading as guys jackets. What I love most about this jacket, besides the fact that I got it for free, is how different it is, I’m living for the two-toned trend. I’ve also worn this jacket a few times already, yes, in Texas’ summertime, and got major modern 90’s vibes. Black high-waisted jeans, patented leather boots, and a white graphic tee that says “black, no sugar, no crème,” yes please!

https://www.fashionnova.com/products/two-tone-denim-jacket-black-combo

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Sofia’s Purchases:

This month, I loaded up on some really cheap basics, but not without thought about quality, breath-ability, and longevity. Everything in my bag was a capsule closet’s dream: interchangeable.

Rate 10

Cotton on women stretch mom jean
$39.99

Denim is difficult, but for me and my fabric sensitive skin it is two times harder. I was hesitant to stray away from skinny jeans, but when cuffed the right way and worn with feminine shoes, these cotton mom jeans look so chic and grown up. These Cotton On 90’s mom jeans fit my waist perfectly. Un-cuffed this is a classic straight leg jean, but it is 98% cotton and 2% spandex so the size that fits your legs is not going to gape obnoxiously in the back. These are the best thing I bought for myself this month, and they were only $40.

https://cottonon.com/US/stretch-mom-jean/2003128-37.html?dwvar_2003128-37_color=2003128-37&cgid=&originalPid=2003128-37#q=mom&lang=en_US&start=1
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Rate 9

product 1
Hollister shorts Vintage Stretch High-Rise Denim Mom Short 3”
$33.71

Denim is difficult (part 2). The size I wear exclusively at the stores is runs true to my waist size in inches. I had been picking out my shorts all wrong especially in stretch denim. These are the only denim shorts I own that I have not had to alter with big darts. these are a great staple for any outdoor summer occasion because that are hemmed appropriatetley and have minimal distressing detail, so you can still throw them on for a family barbecue

https://www.hollisterco.com/shop/us/p/high-rise-denim-mom-short-3-and-quot-15356824?seq=04

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Rate 9

Public Desire Empire black patent block heeled ankle boots
$56

I needed something edgy for my shoe collection. This looks good with even the most boring all black outfit. The reason is the extra shininess of the patent leather. Mixing textures is a low risk, high reward way to build an outfit, especially in colors like black, white, grey, or beige. I throw these on for any dressed up, night out occasion.

https://us.asos.com/public-desire/public-desire-raya-black-patent-sock-boots/prd/10959107

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Rate 8

Short T-shirt - White - | H&M US 1
H&M Short T-shirt
$9.99

A good basic t-shirt is as worth mentioning as any other product. I use to struggle with building a wearable wardrobe because nothing matched, and I hated plain tees. There are three key details that make this more than a boring white tee. It has a frocket, sewn cuffed sleeves, and stops just below my waistline. I can style it as a crop top on a hot day, or wear it with high waist bottom and be off to work with an effortless, stylish outfit.

https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0411413002.html
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Rate 8

cara skirt
$26


Brandy Melville is sold at Nordstrom, so my employee discount came in handy. You can get really fun summer clothing for the items that actually fit (being that they exclusive sell size small worldwide). I had a variety of plaid or checkered skirts to decide from, and this one reminded me of my middle school days in a non cringy way. I had a red plaid skirt and until I outgrew it, I made it work with anything and everything. I once wore a pale pink tank top with it and to this day that is one of the only outfits from my adolescence that I have not burned from my memory.

https://www.brandymelvilleusa.com/cara-skirt-z104-s071-q56.html

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Sofie’s Picks: My Top 4 Fashion Only YouTube Channels

Fashion used to be very prevalent on YouTube. In high school, I was obsessed with Back To School lookbooks. However, trends have changed since then, and the rise of the Beauty Community has overshadowed any need for these kinds of videos. Closet essentials are a thing of the past. For those of you who are still in need of some classic fashion inspiration (myself included), here are my top four fashion channels: (The best part? They all have different forms of content for subscribers with different needs)

By Sofia Greaves

Best dressed (Ashley)

Let’s start this off with a fellow (recently graduated) college student. The concepts of her videos are pretty general and helpful for those who are interested in making their daily outfits a little more elevated for everyday occasions such as: class, dates, and lunch with friends, just to name a few. Plus, she emphasizes the importance of thrifting and sustainability. My favorite videos by her are “How to build an outfit”, “50 OUTFITS for when you have nothing to wear”, and “10 WAYS TO (re)WEAR A DRESS.

https://incertainlight.com/

In Certain light- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhW4LGKKTDc

ICL is a London Based street style channel that was made to promote the physical blog https://incertainlight.com. Videography is done by Joanna Theodorou and she has been regularly filming the unique high end street style from all the major European fashion weeks since 2014, as well as covering the off duty styles of notable models. You get a sense of what is going to be trendy and what will trickle down to mass market just from seeing major influential people like Eva Chen [seen above in red], Alexa Chung, and Romee Strijd in these videos.

Frugal Aesthetic-

While mainly targeting men, this entertaining channel by Christian Vui does cater to anyone who is even remotely into creative streetwear. He makes his content easy to follow with pictures being shown as he discusses certain topics with voice-overs. On this channel you will find an abundance of How-To’s: How to find your style, learn ways to wear a hoodie, and how to style white sneakers are a few of his. Guy or girl, his channel is a good start for learning how to organize your personal style with basics and clothing you definitely already have.

TheLineUp-

The incredible videography in all of their lookbooks makes them feel like ad campaigns. The videos alone are just aesthetically pleasing. There isn’t a lot of commentary, but it’s the music along with video that inspires you to put on your fiercest outfit. Getting ready for work, school, or a day or night out has never been easier since they cover all of these occasions. Julia Dang is a mastermind of street style. Recently, she has been mixing high-end accessories with thrifted/easily accessible pieces, giving access to a wide range of people and their budgets. Back when Maya was apart of the channel, together they made outfits that use trendy pieces in a way where a 2016 back to school lookbook could be worn today and not feel dated. They also know how to have fun with their style, and their summer lookbook captures the essence of the season.

No matter how vastly different these channels are, they all have one thing in common: they commit to their confidence. They used basic necessities as a platform, and trend pieces as a bold statement. What makes them unique are in the details, and if you check out their videos you will see how each of them make their own rules and use getting dress as a reason to leave the house a do something great. They are determined to make A Bigger Boom, just like Nuview is this month

Billie Eilish, The ONLY Thing She Want You To See Her In Other Than A Crown.

by Sofia Greaves

“Judge. Me. Please”

When I first heard of Billie Eilish, I heard her music before seeing what she physically looked like. After seeing how she composes herself through her oversized streetwear, I thought she was a rapper. The lyrics to most of her new songs are as subversive as her style (cannibal class, killing the son; bury a friend, I wanna end me). Some people love it and some people do not. I happen to love it.

I was never concerned with why she chose to dress herself a certain way, I just knew she was making a big statement. “Judge. Me. Please” was her answer when asked to describe her style in three words, in her 2017 Vanity Fair interview

As she is blowing up, people are experimenting with their style by imitating hers. In fashion, red carpet, and Youtube review shows she is constantly mentioned and referenced As an artist, people expect your style to be on trend or trend setting. Billie decided to follow the street wear trend of over-sized and or monochromatic. The amazing thing about Billie’s style is that she looks so comfortable and attainable. Most of the clothes she is seen in is a more embellished and expensive version of what I wear to 9 am classes in the North Texas winter.

As a fan, I should have made the connection between her reasons for dressing baggy and her music (her first E.P. is literally called Don’t Smile at Me), but as a fashion enthusiast it seemed more about personal choice than a social or political statement. There is an intentional “anti-femininity” agenda in her clothing. She says verbatim “that’s why I wear big baggy clothes, nobody can have an opinion because they can’t see what’s underneath”. The reason we are enthralled by her is because she is completely in control of how we perceive her. The style she expresses not only shows no size limit, but also has no specific gender preference. . Billie is not the first female celebrity to take away attention from her body, but she has done it in such a unique way that I felt to emphasize and spotlight her fashion choices.

Thrift Shopping for Dummies: A 6 Tip Crash-Course on All Things Thrifting

By Don Davis

Remember when buying clothes from a thrift store was considered embarrassing… yeah, me neither! The biggest trend for a few years now has been thrifting. Long gone are the days when people are embarrassed and won’t admit to buying clothes from thrift stores. In fact, it’s just the opposite, you are considered the ultimate fashionista if someone asks you where you bought something and you say thrift store or flea market. Let’s face it we’re all broke, but thanks to thrift stores nobody knows that. So, here is my guide to being a baddie on a budget: thrift store edition, may the thrift shop odds be ever in your favor.

Tip #1

Don’t just go whenever! Select thrift stores have college nights where EVERYTHING in the store will be a certain percentage off, sometimes it’s as much as 50% off. Most thrift stores also keep a calendar specifying all their sales for the month, more importantly when they restock, make sure to grab one. I always say if it’s not in your phone it doesn’t exist, so add the really big sales like “all winter apparel 99 cents” (yes, that actually happened) in your phone so you don’t forget them. It’s also important to stay connected, some thrift stores have an email list you can sign up for, and social media accounts you can follow for even more deals, discounts, and inspiration.

Tip #2

Thrift shopping is not just an activity, it’s an event, make sure you have the whole day cleared, odds are you’ll need it. Also, make sure you don’t leave the house without the following: your student ID, dressing for the occasion, a Tide stain stick to see what stains can be removed or at the very least faded, and best friends. Thrift shopping can be long and tedious but going with your friends will make it a fun and crazy adventure. You could be a second pair of eyes for each other and pick out things you think the others would like, and have little competitions to see who found something brand name, or even better, designer, or who got the most clothes for the least amount of money. Also, most thrift stores offer student discounts. The one good thing that college has done for us is giving us student ID’s with no expiration date. Always take your student ID with you, (no matter how bad your picture looks) you’d be surprised how many other stores offer student discounts. Lastly, dress for the occasion, when going thrift shopping you should be dressed one of two ways: either in comfortable clothes or wearing something that goes with/matches what you are looking for, because not all thrift stores have dressing rooms.

Tip #3

Location, location, location! If you need help finding some thrift stores go to The Thrift Shopper.com for a list of thrift shops in your area. Although, the best thrift shops are always located downtown. That’s usually where you’ll be able to find all the brand name and vintage designer stuff. That’s another reason why I suggested bringing friends, can you say mini road-trip!

Tip #4

In speaking of designer, you know the best place to find name-brand items like Thrasher, Adidas, Harley Davidson, Nike, and my personal favorite – Tommy Hilfiger? THE BOYS SECTION! When going thrift shopping leave no stone unturned and section unsearched, the men’s section has tons of hidden gems, and the clothes in the men’s section also tend to be cheaper too. The last time I went shopping I found an oversized vintage yellow Tommy Jeans sweatshirt in the men’s section for less than four dollars. By the way, for all my designer brand snobs, don’t forget about online shops like Etsy and Poshmark.

Tip #5

People usually make one of two common thrifting mistakes: either they are a little too ambitious and overestimate their DIY and sewing skills, or they buy clothes they don’t really like just for the sake of buying something and because it’s cheap. Don’t be afraid to walk out the store empty-handed because “if you don’t absolutely love it in the store [then] you won’t wear it” (Sandra Bullock as Leanne Tewey in The Blind Side). Next thing you know, you’ll have a closet full of clothes you can’t even remember buying and wonder why in hell you bought them in the first place. Also, and this should go without saying, but don’t buy things with broken zippers, missing buttons, holes, or rips that you plan on “fixing later”, because you won’t. And don’t buy things that need to be tailored, or need a ton of alterations done to them, especially, if you are barely able to cut a t-shirt into a crop top.  

Tip #6

Lastly, and by far the most important, wash everything you just bought as soon as you get home. I could tell you horror stories about what people have told me happen to the clothes in thrift stores and flea markets, so store your bags in the trunk of your car till you get home, then wash them immediately.

Bonus: Tip #7

Little tip, the first Saturday of the month Goodwill has a 50% off sale, AND it lasts all day, but try to get there when they open, so you get first-dibs on all the good stuff.  Goodwill also gives you 20% off your purchase if you bring in clothes to donate.

Blast From The Past

Adele Witt and Taylor Hemby

Fashion goes in cycles- whats old today is new and in style tomorrow. Every season we see the runways fluctuate with element that are both new and some that are familiar. The past few years we have seen boho explode, everything from ditsy floras and blousy tops. There is no denying the 70’s are back. We had the pleasure of going to Texas Fashion Collection and got to see the looks that are hot now in their original form from the 70’s. Annette Becker, director of the Texas Fashion Collective, showed us some truly amazing pieces.

Ms. Becker pulled out 1970’s garments that showcased classic trends from the 1970’s.  She showed us everything from hand stitched patchwork, ethnic-inspired prints, full sleeves, and ‘Little House on the Prairie’ inspired gingham prints. There were also a few pieces, such as the classic Chanel suit that were made new with design elements such as brighter colors and braided trim. One hostess ensemble by Hanae Mori (below) uses Japanese Motifs and vivid colors of green, pink and yellow. All of these pieces contain typical 70’s elements that are now coming back into current fashion trends.

hana.jpg

Maxi dresses, popularized by the hippie movement are now a favorite of today’s bohemian girls and are especially popular in the summer and spring. For example, Andrew Zimmerman, an Australian designer, updated maxi dresses of the decade with fresh white, full peasant sleeves, organic lines and mini pearls. Another version, was a turquoise blue halter with feminine ruffles and dark blue paisley designs on the bodice and hem. Gunne Sax, a huge brand from the 1970s is widely credited with being the original hippie maxi dress (below).

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Ethnic motifs, prints and silhouettes, popularized by internationally known designers such as Yves Saint Laurent in the 1970’s are also trending for the upcoming warmer season. Saint Laurent also popularized loose flowing blouses in the 70s (see below) and those to are coming back. On the spring 2019 Runway, Chloe used traditional Persian motifs in handkerchief skirts blouses and jumpsuits, giving culturally distinctive prints modern-day high fashion appeal.

20190322_160418.jpg

Patchwork was original a way of covering up holes and tears in clothes, it was very popular in the 20th centuy before mass production when clothes were more expensive.  It was also a form a og hand needlework mainly practiced by women. Today patchwork is fashion forward and is used in jeans, dresses, skirts and other types of apparel for both men and women. For spring 2019 designers such as Sacai, Coach and Isabel Marant used patchwork in new ways. Marant substituted the spring colors of pink, white and baby blue, while Coach paired denim patches with a brown cowboy-esque fabric on the shoulders. On the street, many young women have taken the style further. Instead of using mainly denim for their patchwork fashion, they are wearing items made from animal print, solid colors, or wool fabric patches.

 

patch2.jpg

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The 1970’s was an era of freedom and expression, especially in fashion. Previous trends that were seen before as belonging to folk dress, the hippie movement and lower classes became popular among high fashion circles. Today, these trends have resurfaced and become popular along millennial trendsetters from all races, genders, and classes. As a result many popular fashion brands and retailers have embraced this market niche. Classic fashion eras of the past are making a comeback, and who knows which era will inspire the next season?

 

Resources:

Alice’s Very Important Date

A vintage fashion show goes “Down the Rabbit Hole”

Feature Img

On April 24th, 2017, what was once just the UNT Union Ballroom was transformed into a whimsical fairy-tale fashion world thanks to the hard work of the talented Merch Inc. fashion show production team, who created a fabulous Spring show titled “Down the Rabbit Hole.”  Unlike Merch Inc. fashion shows in the past, this show has a unique story element  inspired by Alice in Wonderland, using vintage styled looks from Circa 77, a local vintage shop in downtown Denton.

After a long day backstage filled with freshly painted props, endless garment racks, and more eyeshadow palettes than you can imagine, the show finally came together. By the time I took my seat in the ballroom, the anticipation was high, and what was in store for the audience did not disappoint.

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The show began with two figures emerging from the audience, who soon became clear were models representing Alice, from the classic Lewis Carroll novel, and Hamish, her not-so-eligible bachelor. After a dramatic proposal scene on stage, the show began in full force. Model after model emerged in carefully styled and uniquely vintage ensembles, each portraying a fashionable interpretation of classic Alice in Wonderland characters, such as the Cheshire Cat, Tweedle-Dee, and The Mad Hatter. The models each walked in character, sauntering past magical mushrooms and roses throughout the runway.

The rest of the show paid homage to the classic Alice in Wonderland“Tea Party,” the iconic “White Queen” and “Red Queen” scenes. Each section of the show had its own feel and attitude, which complemented the outfits being modeled perfectly. The tea party looks were a combination of preppy and retro, whereas the white queen looks were celestial and angelic, giving the models an appearance of floating on air. Finally, the show came to an end with the finale of the Red Queen, which included a series of fierce and fiery red and black looks.

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The attendees of the Spring Merch Inc. show were transported to another world, myself included. The students, volunteers, and staff who worked tirelessly to put the show together delivered something truly unforgettable and special. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” “Down the Rabbit Hole” was a wonderful escape from reality, and an impressive showcase of the imagination and creativity UNT’s merchandising students possess.

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Show Production by the Merchandising Inc Fashion Show Committee

Words by Reiily Farris

Photography by Criselda Ocon and Michaela Bull

Edit by Maia Wilson

Click the slideshow to see into the show!

Self-made, Successful, and Humble: A Rare Breed

A DFW-based wardrobe stylist and fashion show producer shares his story of how he once turned a new dream into a career all own his own and ended up at the top.

1

Willie Johnson is a creative and down-to-earth dreamer who has cultivated himself over the years into becoming one of DFW’s most respected and well-known wardrobe stylists and fashion show producers.

Did you know that you wanted to be a fashion producer and stylist growing up? How did you end up being in the position that you are in today?

No. I didn’t start off wanting to be a fashion producer. I actually used to model and the way I kind of fell behind the scenes is that I use to work for the Kenneth Cole store at North Park and a lady, who still to this day is very essential and important in my life, Lisa Perry, had called the store and asked to speak to me because I had once picked out some shoes for her and gave her wardrobe options. She had asked if I would like to help work a fashion show backstage. At the time, I had never done anything like that before, so I told her yes. So back in 1998, I was twenty three years-old and got bit by the passion that night of the first fashion show I worked at. Literally, as I was backstage I said to myself “this is what I want to do, this is where I want to go”. So that’s kind of how I started, both working in retail and my first show.

Continuing off of that question, after realizing that was what you wanted to do with your life, what career path and stepping stones did you take to get you to where you are today?

It wasn’t easy, I’ll admit it. It was kind of tough. After that first show, I knew what I wanted to do and I dove into it. I stayed at Kenneth Cole because it was a job and I had to market myself. I started trying to connect with professionals, trying to be a part of shows and volunteering myself at events. I began teaching models how to walk and agencies eventually started contacting me to work with their talent. At one point, I ended up working for the same agency that had represented me back when I was younger, but behind-the-scenes. I started learning how to make myself a business by doing things like being on time, making sure I brought clothes back within 24-48 hours, making sure I connected with the right photographers, etc. Truly after a while, I didn’t have to work as much because people started referring me. I started to get referral after referral and that just is how I grew.

After you had established yourself in this industry, what would you say differentiates you from other leaders in the DFW fashion industry?

I started with a “no nonsense policy” and was known to be aggressive and firm. I was friendly, but people knew to bring their A-game when working with me. I also have a mission statement which is “honesty and integrity”. I wanted to be that person that didn’t have the reputation as someone trying to get over on you by “selling a dream”. You’ll get people that will tell you what you want to hear, which is really sad because what you want to hear might not be the truth. I like to tell the truth.

Take us through a day in the life of a Willie Johnson. 

I wake up early, before everybody else gets up. I meditate, pray, and read certain scriptures for encouragement. Then, I sit down to mentally plan my day and write a list of everything I need to get done. I try to get a workout in. From there, I just hit the ground running whether it’s a meeting, or if I have to do a fitting, a runway class, a personal styling consult or anything that my positions requires me to do.

What would you say was a major turning point in your career?

I produced, styled, and co-produced one of the biggest hair and fashion shows in Dallas, The Ascension, which was hosted by Vivica A. Fox about 10 years ago now. That was a really big turning point because I was over a lot of things and it really just made me love what I do. I would say also when I was asked to be the talent director for Pin Show, which is a showcase for independent designers that is one of the largest indie shows in the state and happens every year in February.

What do you wish you would have known back when you were at this age that you had to find out the hard way?

I would highly suggest that every person does internships. I didn’t intern with anyone. I actually had to create my own way and learn the business. An internship teaches you people skills and how to have a good work ethic, especially in this business because a lot of people look at social media and then when they get into this business they realize it’s not what they’ve seen on social media. Social media is fine, but I tell everybody, it goes beyond your Instagram self; you have to be able to talk to people, you have to be able to articulate, you have to have thick skin. Especially being from the South, you can’t go to New York with a Dallas mentality and expect people to smile at you and move slow. You have to move fast.

I see that you’re heavily involved in various philanthropic causes. Could you share which causes inspire you the most and what kind of events you participate in to help these causes?

Well, I support all causes, but the main two that I am very big on are AIDS-related and children’s charities. I just did this event I got back from a few days ago called the “The Fashion Event” in Bryan, Texas where we produced 19 runway shows in 3 days. This event benefited the Mercy Project, which is an organization that helps children who have been kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ghana. So far they’ve rescued 80 children and reunited them back with their parents; that is something that I really care about.

For someone who wants to be in producer/stylist, what do you think is the most important qualities to have?

They have to have people skills, customer service and be a good sales person because you have to convince people to let you borrow their clothes. You have to have patience because you’re dealing with so many people that all have different egos, so you’re normally the calm in the storm. You need to learn how to step outside of yourself and realize that it’s not about you, it’s about the event.

Has there been anyone in your life that has either really inspired you or has been there alongside you while you developed in your career?

Yes, I actually have five people in my life that have been instrumental in my career development. They are Isacc Birdlong, who “planted the seed” for me. When I used to model at a young age, I would do the local fashion shows with him, so I learned a lot from watching him. Lisa and Reggie Perry really opened the door for me after that. Also, Keith and Denise Manoy. Back in 2006, I was in a bad situation where I had lost most of what I had owned and they helped me get back on my feet and get myself started. I give all of those people credit.

 

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Who would you say has been one of your most influential mentors throughout your career?

Lisa is really the person who started my career of a show producer because she had given me my first start. She planted the seed of being a fashion show producer in me. She really cultivated my career period in everything I did. She cultivated the business side, how to present myself, how to talk to people, everything.

How were you introduced to her?

It was crazy really. Everyone in Dallas knew who Lisa was. She owned 45 Degree Angle, which was an amazing upscale salon that was featured in every major publication across the country. She used to have these beautiful elaborate fashions shows and when I was eighteen I was sitting in the audience and told my friend, “I’m going to work with this lady some day”. Then, five years later she walks into Kenneth Cole. No one introduced me to her, it just happened. I think of it as a “divine connection”. When I went to that first fashion show she had asked me to work at, and five years later God knew it was time for me to meet her.

Getting to know Willie Johnson and listening to his story has been both a pleasure and enlightening. He is a man full of great advice and insight into an industry that he approaches with a different mindset than most other professionals. I believe that because of his deeply embedded passion for what he does and his commitment to always exemplify integrity and honesty with everything he does, truly sets him apart. His authenticity and words of wisdom that he has shared about this industry, his career path and life in general are precious pieces of advice that I know can be of great guidance in some way to any reader.

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“I always tell people that I work hard to make it look easy”.

Special thanks to Willie Johnson for allowing NuView to interview him. Follow him on Instagram @williejohnson3 to see his show adventures.

 

Words by Jacqui Simses

Edit by Maia Wilson and Reilly Farris

Images courtesy of Willie Johnson

April

Impossible Possibilities

“Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast” -Alice

tri color

Wow it’s April, seriously wasn’t it just New Year’s last week?! I find it interesting how time transcends not only when we’re having the most fun, but also when we are so busy we don’t have time to watch the clock. It seems as though in this era (dare I say the word millennial), we have gotten so invested in making a living for ourselves that all we seem to do is brainstorm new ways we can work. We may work a lot and be so immersed in the future of our career, but it all comes from passion. Our passion is what pushes us to take new steps, small or large into the unknown in order to reach our destination.

In this Month’s issue, the final one of the year I hate to say, we fixate on reaching what may have seemed incapable, but has now been achieved. We look to people a little more mature than us to unravel how they have become the fascinating individual they are now. Some defied the industry by breaking through in a form of media that was recently emerging, some stuck to what they know best and continued on in their destined path, and others found their truest passion where others doubted them and strived their way to the top of their field. Each person we have come in contact with this month we expose them to you, so that you might find them as delightfully inspiring as we do.

As Merchandising Inc’s annual fashion show is right around the corner on April 24th, the show’s title, Down The Rabbit Hole conveys a meaning of twists and turns to reach a bottom where some might think is rock bottom, but to one individual, and multiple who share the same the same mindset is rather a place of wonder. The show is inspired by the obvious Alice in Wonderland film, most recently debuted in 2010 and the sequel in late 2016. In both movies, Alice is informed that it is possible to believe impossible things “sometimes [she] believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast (quoted from the 2010 Alice in Wonderland movie).” As we cover the show from preview to behind the scenes to final product, we too will believe that things that are deemed too difficult of a task or impractical of a position are ones we need to believe in and devote to. The articles that will be presented on the site this month will prove that sometimes (and quite often) the impossible is rightfully so, possible.

I would like to end by saying it has been a challenging reward to compose these stories we have shared on NuView this year. Every individual who was involved in this process, from the subjects we interviewed to the artists’ work we utilized- every one has made NuView that much more a place for our readers to go for inspiration, uncovered knowledge, and sometimes the hard, honest truth. I am very proud of the work that each member of the magazine has put in this year and quite honestly, amazed by their creativity and humbleness. They are the beings who’ve replaced a daunting, yet exciting project into an accomplished one- which reminds us to not quit on the impossible.

Enjoy the last issue,

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Words by Maia Wilson

Illustration by Kristen Barnhart

Discover her work at kristenbarnhart.com, buy her work at Etsy.com/shop/kbillustration, and follow her on instagram @kb.illustrations

Be True to Yourself

I never dress like a professor. I rather dress to be who I am and show what’s important to me.” – Dr. Strübel

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During lectures, Dr. Strübel, the fashion theory and historic costume professor at UNT, often mentions how she has experienced different dressing styles and how they have influenced her research. In fact, her lectures are not only interesting, but inspirational to many. She allows students to test the limit and making them to think outside the box. But there is always that one question that every one of her students wonders, what does Dr. Strübel look like before she became a professor?

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Photo Credit: The Fashionisto

“I basically looked like a female version of Kurt Cobain. Bell Bottom jeans, concert T-shirt and Dr. Martin’s”, Dr.Strübel said, describing to me her go-to outfit when she was 18 or 19 years old. She began to draw a clearer image to me by relating her look to Kurt Cobain and her mom used to refer her as “the dirty hippie.” Music made a imprint on her way of style. Grunge and rock bands were her inspiration, but not until her friend introduced her to rave culture where she first discovered human suspension.

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Photo Credit: WION

“MTV was on 24/7, I was watching what everyone was wearing.” She expressed that she was shocked at first, but at the same time she was drawn to the eccentricity. She was tracing back the memories of how secretive raves used to be and told me the only way they found out about the rave was from posters around campus or record stores and would have to call the number listed to find out details. Her favorite outfit was a vinyl, bright blue pant, a graphic t-shirt and white vinyl jacket, then she would pair them with her platform shoes and silver spiked hair.

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Photo Credit: Returns of Kings  (One of Dr. Strübel’s favorite band “Rammstein, she actually has this same exact picture in her office)

My blue spiky hair was nothing like they had seen before!” Once she entered her graduate school, she cut her hair short and dyed it blue. So the goth and punk age began. She got back all the piercings she had in high school and more, and each tattoo she got was more visible than the last. Dressing was a way for her to understand who she was. She never wanted to look the same as anyone else. She wanted and still wants to look apart from the ordinary and believed it was the only way to be taken seriously.

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Photo Credit: ALL MUSIC

“I changed how I looked, but internally I am still who I was.” Because of her career path, she was told to “clean up” her look. In her words, “the Banana Republic’s poster child”. She had to hide her true self behind the stuffy business professional look to fit in the standardize world. It was uncomfortable and suffocating. Then she found out  her students actually react better when she’s herself and didn’t want her to be the stodgy business professor. Though it might set her apart from the students, she never intended to dress to be someone she is not.   

“Don’t give a shit of what other people think of you.”  Since last fall, she started to show her tattoos and actually was considering dying her hair again (maybe peach or  bright pink). I asked her if she could say something to her old self what it would be, and she laughed and said “maybe vinyl is not the best thing to wear in the Winter, but honestly I really like how I was, I enjoyed surprising older people at Denny’s at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning when we were just getting back from a rave. We weren’t loud, they were just so unfamiliar with the way we looked.” Dr. Strübel is never ashamed of who she is.

Though Dr. Strübel will no longer be teaching at UNT and is moving to Rhode Island for the next semester, she taught us to continually be ourselves. Get that tattoo that you always wanted, dye your hair the color you always dreamt of, because the only way to find happiness is to be YOU. For many of us who are still trying to figure out who we want to be, just remember to always stay true to yourself.      

Special thanks to Professor Jessica Strübel for allowing us to interview you.

Words by Rose Kuo

Images courtesy of Dr. Strübel and All Music, Return of Kings, Wion, and Fashionista

Edit by Maia Wilson and Reilly Farris

Eagles and the Ethereal Europe

Fashion Majors tell all about the European Study Tour

Fernando Zamarripa is a senior merchandising major and is pursuing a minor in both Spanish and marketing at UNT. His first study tour in Hong Kong opened the door to the European study tour. For Fernando, the overall trip was very rewarding and everything you could imagine.

Lindsey Lotze is a senior at UNT, double majoring in merchandising and digital retailing. Thanks to the European study tour last Summer, she has an internship lined up for this Summer with one of the designers she met in Paris, Alain Lalou.

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Versailles in Paris

Q: Can you give us some brief highlights of your experience on the European Study Tour?

Fernando:

I can still remember the first day, we had already landed and not even twenty minutes after checking into our hotel room we were already leaving to take the NTR2 to the Eiffel Tower. We were in such a rush that we were walking quickly through the streets, and I looked up and realized the Eiffel Tower was right in front of me. It was very intense; you need to have that city lifestyle, energy, and personality to have fun and enjoy the tour. “You’ll sleep when you go back home,” one of our professors told us on the trip.

We stayed in Paris for seven days and then we stayed in London for five days. Finally, we ended the trip in Edinburgh for the final two days. Paris was just a dream come true but personally, I connected better with London. In London, there wasn’t a language barrier and I loved the street fashion there.

Lindsey:

Alain Lalou reminded me of my mentor, Richard Last, but the French version of him. It was difficult at first because he is French and there is a language barrier, but he was pretty good at English and he translated for Le Jerone, who is one of the largest silk producers. He does so much more than flowers! Any couture that you see on the runway that has flowers, birds, or anything of that nature… Le Jerone most likely does that. We got to go and tour his factory and he only spoke French. Lalou, who I’m interning with, translated for him during the tour.

At first I thought Lalou was just a translator! I didn’t know he was a designer himself. He is just very warm, down to earth, and funny. We went to get coffee and Dr. Strubel introduced us to Lalou and he brought us his design portfolio to look at. He gave us a lot of life advice and I appreciated that he saw the world differently than others. Afterwards I asked him if he had an internship opportunity available and he told me to send him my resume and information. So, I did and I’m planning to study with him over the Summer in Paris!

Q: What was the difference in street styles you saw between Paris, London, and Edinburgh?

Fernando: Paris was very cultured from head to toe. The buildings, cars, and language was so cultured. You definitely need to be adaptable in Paris. London was just a melting pot of everything. You basically saw it all in London. In Canning Town, we got to see the different types of styles that we read about in class. There were different manufacturers that we went to. One was a couture flower maker in Paris. This was very exclusive visit that most people don’t have the opportunity to do.

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Eiffel Tower in Paris

 

Lindsey: Paris is J. Crew, London is TopShop, and Scotland is LL Bean. London was the most fun! We had this really cool assignment where we got to pick an article or a fad of clothing that we saw trending and see how it will play out in the US market. One thing that I noticed was silver shoes. All over London all I saw was silver shoes and oxfords. I really didn’t think Americans would implement that into an everyday lifestyle.  And then BAM there in Zara, selling them for cheap and it becomes a fast fashion trend. Then Forever 21 and H&M catch on and now I see people all the time, who are more fashion forward, actually sporting them.  It was really cool to see this happen.

In London, you see more colors and furs- it’s very ostentatious. I even picked up a fur when I was there! They aren’t afraid to be different. I think UNT embodies that, for the most part because we are an art school.

Personally, I didn’t see too many recognizable fashion trends in Scotland. They’re very common folk and ordinary people. It is the most easy going and beautiful place. We hiked up to Arthur Saint Peak and it was so beautiful. It was refreshing from The States where everything is so urbanized.

After traveling to these places for me, I see things differently now and I would encourage everyone that goes to take some alone time to actually listen to yourself and take in what you’re feeling. Don’t be just superficial about and just be there to take pictures. Do your research beforehand and be excited to go and see different art exhibits that you may never see again. It’s very important to take in everything that you’re seeing and realize the history and the impact. Everything that you learned in your history books, you’re actually experiencing. Another side note to learn before you travel is respecting the culture and the people around you.

 

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In the Streets of London

Q: What’s something that you wouldn’t have been able to experience if you didn’t go on the European study tour?  

Fernando: Definitely the visits to the manufacturers and the small little boutiques. I’m sure that the museums are open to everyone. But you get to experience everything that you read in textbooks. There was a moment where I knew that this was the right trip for me. Any time something major happens in my life it always rains. It was a rainy day in London when I realized that, “I’m here!”

Lindsey: An inside look of what the luxury industry consists of! What was so eye opening was the designers that we talked to. Jaq Azzurri, who was the designer for Princess Diana, was fabulous.

A lot of the designers we talked to said that they would go around to different couture design houses on the streets and try to sell their designs until they could make a name for themselves. Until they could get recognition and this is pre-social media! They were telling us that things just don’t work like that anymore. You can’t just go around and sell your ability to these large corporations. It’s completely different now because of the structuring. You have to have online portfolios and it’s difficult to be a self-starter. Personally, knowing how talented designers are and how difficult it can be makes me appreciate those who do make it. It takes more than just talent, it takes perseverance and a business mindset now.

That’s why when I’m under his mentorship this summer learning more about the business side of international relations when it comes to the merchandising and marketing in that luxury industry is something that I am very excited to expound upon because it’s evident that this realm of retail is changing.

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Urquhart Castle

Q: Comparing your Hong Kong experience to this experience, what was the difference and similarities between both trips?

Fernando: Because I was more prepared for this trip versus the Hong Kong trip, I think I enjoyed this trip a lot more. We definitely had a lot more freedom on the European study tour. I think Dr. Strubel did a great job with the itinerary and giving us free time to explore the cities on our own. There wasn’t a time where I said I didn’t enjoy myself. The professor for the Hong Kong trip also did a great job planning and organizing, but the European trip was just a better fit for me.

Q: What would you recommend to someone trying to figure out which tour to go on?

Fernando: If you want that culture shock and you want to experience a different culture, the European trip would be better. They are both really interesting trips. With the Hong Kong trip, it was everything I expected and with the European trip it was everything I didn’t expect it to be.

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Urqhart Castle

Q: Do you have any advice for people going on the trip in the future?

Fernando: Go for it!!! Never set yourself up for a no. For some people, it’s a trip of a lifetime and something they wouldn’t be able to do outside of school. This is something that you do even if you have to take out a loan, that’s what I did. Watch different YouTube videos on how to pack. I know I watched at least five!

If you have that type of energy where you want to learn and you want to take it all in, then I would say just go for it. But if you’re one of those that just want to keep themselves then I would say to just stay home and save your money.

Lindsey: Make sure you clarify about pricing when you got out to dinner and carry cash with you when you’re going out to dinner with a large crowd.  Also, they don’t drink a lot of water. So be prepared to not have as much access to water.

Q: What were the memorable moments or big take-aways from the trip?

Fernando: The friendships that I made from this trip, are going to be people that I see for the rest of my life. Memories with them are something to remember. For example, one night we had dinner on a boat that travelled the river that surrounds the Eiffel Tower and that was a moment to remember. A funny memory I have is when we were on the train from Paris to London and the train made a sudden stop and we had to switch. We were literally riding between moving cars with twenty other people. It was a fun mess and just an experience that I remember.

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Catedrale Notre-Dame

Lindsey: It’s going to be really good for my career because I eventually want to start my own business and I am interested in the luxury side of fashion. French couture is the heart and soul of luxury fashion design.

But the first day we were in Paris, we were the last group up the elevator and they had to go to the Eiffel Tower. My roommate and I were left and we had to catch the metro. Well I had never even ridden the subway in New York before, so I had no idea how to do it. So, we are by ourselves trying to navigate to the Eiffel Tower in Paris for the first and we ended up asking a police officer for directions. By a miracle, we got there. There are a lot of learning experiences like that when you go because Dr. Strubel doesn’t baby you. It helps you grow up really fast. If you aren’t at that maturity level and you aren’t willing to be independent and take initiative, it’s very hard when you get lost. You have to be resourceful because you can’t just pick up the phone and call someone. A lot of times you just needed to end up where you were supposed to be.

The European Study Tour is a unique experience that Lindsey and Fernando will cherish forever. Their love for fashion grew as they traveled around Europe in search for new fashion trends and resume worthy internships. Whether you’ll find your favorite place to be Paris, Scotland, or London, this tour could be your chance to broaden your horizon and build your network!

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Napolean’s Apartment in Paris

To see more from these two, follow Fernando @@iamfernandozamarripa and Lindsey @Lindseylotze on Instagram!

Words by Rikki Willingham

Images courtesy of Lindsey and Fernando during their trip

Edit by Reilly Farris, Carolina Gonzalez, and Maia Wilson