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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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
“Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast” -Alice
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,
Words by Maia Wilson
Illustration by Kristen Barnhart
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Q: Can you give us some brief highlights of your experience on the European Study Tour?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
There is a well-known saying, women don’t dress for men because if they did they would be naked; women dress for other women, referred to by designer, Betsey Johnson. This is a controversial truth, but there is questioning about who people dress for and more importantly how others perceive it. Often, individuals, who have passion for their freedom to exercise their personal style are outcasted by this stray of normality. On the inside they may have that “I-don’t-care-what-people think” mindset, they wear what they want because it makes them happy, but what about the ones who aren’t as confident and maybe care more about what people think of their exterior armour. What do people think about both of these separate dressers? Do people really notice? We wanted cold, hard opinions and what better than from the gracious, but honest guys on our college campus. We would explore the inner thoughts of others by asking what they really think of the outfits that make individuals feel happiest in, but are unique to their counterparts.
I spoke with Marcel Smith, Colton Johnson, Derek Boone, Nate Proffitt, and John Davis-Lopez to answer some of these burning thoughts, and to my surprise their answers were often unanimous, giving us consistent insight into the brains of ones we may not have ever gotten the answers to. I started with the simple question of what do they notice in a person they find attractive from afar.
The first observation was noticeable effort, John stated “I find it attractive when you can tell that effort is put into their appearance” and Nate complemented “and they’re not timid to express their personality in their appearance.” Then posture, “what many people overlook I feel, is posture. People look happier, more friendly and overall more attractive with good posture” Colton commented.
What is your instinct thought when a someone is wearing a bold piece of clothing?
Nate started with “I think in general I have a lot of respect for people who think outside of the box with their outfits because they don’t necessarily follow a pattern for what is typical or popular.” Similarly, Colton followed with “It takes courage to wear something that will stand out in a crowd. You are wanting to draw attention to your outfit and therefore yourself which is hard for many people these days to do (not behind a screen).” John contradicted though, he explained I will find it more intimidating to talk to [a girl]. I’m already not bold in general, so by her wearing something bold (well, it’s more in how they carry themselves) I’m going to think that I have no chance. Marcel also affirmed it’s in “the way she wears her clothes that say a lot about her.”
In general, what draws you to a person?
“Their personality, how open they are to meeting new people, if I can be myself around them without being judged,” noted Derek. Colton seconded, “ to have a personality to back up your outfit is important.” Nate expanded by saying “confidence and people who are positive because it is clear that they are comfortable in their own skin and have a healthy outlook on life.”
Do you think there is a stigma on people who wear outfits that are seen as crazy or unconventional? Why do you think that is?
They all agreed that “a stigma is there, and people are judged for being different.” John added, “People like things the way they are. Seeing something bold will affect what they see as normal.” “There is even a greater problem in male fashion, Colton stated, “where ‘dressing up’ has fundamentally meant the same thing for a 100 years. I was talking to my girlfriend about how depressing it is that we spend countless hours looking for a wedding dress, but when the big day comes [the male is] expected to throw on essentially the same black tux that [his] father did and his father’s father did. “ Nate also commented that “it has gotten a little better, but it used to be that men who took time in their appearance, in clothing and/or hair were labeled gay. “I still see this many cases,” Colton replied.
It is often perceived that when someone wears an outfit that is viewed as flashy and “out there” in their everyday lives, they really putting on a costume, trying to be a specific character. Do you feel this is true with females?
Colton explained that he doesn’t “believe that putting on a flashy outfit means that they are putting on a character. If anything changes, it is their confidence level which can influence their personality, though that does not change them as a person.” Correspondingly, Derek stated “they might just be a more confident version of themselves.” Nate profoundly commented “I don’t think wearing something different means that you are trying to be someone different it’s just expression in a way that others may have not seen before.”
What do you admire and notice most when approaching a girl? And would you say this is similar in what you see in your guy friends?
Remarkably, most of them mentioned shoes. “Specifically, I pay attention to shoes. Shoes are a big thing for guys” Nate initiated. Colton then stated, they are “the hardest part of the outfit to get right. Picking the right shoe is an art.” Marcel added “I look at that their smile and their shoes.” Then it was about being comfortable in their own skin, John stated, “I admire when someone I approach can be completely themselves. I admire when they’re not afraid of what other people think,” “This applies for both my male and female friends,” Derek concluded.
Lastly, do you believe females dress for men, themselves, or other women? Or is it a combination?
“I think that if you ask any girl this question most likely the answer will be for herself. I believe that is true to some extent, but behind the scenes there is more to the story,” Colton noted. And elaborated, “Our perception of beauty comes from others, so while you are looking cute for yourself, your concept of “cute” came from someone else. In some ways, you are dressing for other women. Now we can go even deeper and figure out what these women were thinking when they made these opinions. Was the look for sex appeal? Nine times out of ten this is the point of fashion. It’s why sells fashion. You could then make the argument that most women dress for men.” For Derek, he feels “different people dress for different reasons. Some people dress for themselves, less confident people might dress to impress others, and those who want a boyfriend might dress to impress a guy they’re talking to.” Marcel related, “I think that it depends on the situation, but for the most part they dress for themselves first and others second.” John summed it up by saying it’s “a combination of the three.”
From asking all of these questions, what struck me was the commonality between their answers. It wasn’t that one had an extreme view from the next, but that they all were aware and impacted by the same features and beliefs, aside from their various backgrounds. Clothes are quite frankly our exterior code of armour, for more reasons than physical safety, but they also can be an instant glimpse of an individual’s personality. What a person wears can define who they are, especially when they do it with confidence and are truly happy in their sartorial selections, and based on the guys’ answers, people notice.
Words by Maia Wilson
Edit by Carolina Gonzalez
Photographs by Blaise Butera
As college students, we are all trying to spend less money on clothes we buy because let’s face it, we are a cliche of “broke college kids.” The problem though is not looking like we shopped in the discounted section at GoodWill. The editors at NuView accepted the challenge of looking much more elevated than our wallets allow by styling our thrifted finds to create unique looks that can easily be mimicked. Scroll below to discover new ways to style outfits without looking cheap!
Follow our models, Megan McHugh and Gianna Schneider on Instagram @meganashleymchugh and @lightofgigi
Styled by Rose Kuo, Taylar Gomez, Maia Wilson, Michaela Bull, Carolina Gonzalez, and Reilly Farris
Photographed by Michaela Bull
Words by Maia Wilson
Shoot Coordinated by Carolina Gonzalez
Everyone has a passion. Something that drives them and makes them who they are. There is something that binds us together and gives us meaning and a purpose. Here at NuView, it’s fashion. For the guys in OG Garden, it’s music. I met up with three of the band members to talk about what music means to them and their upcoming EP.
How did OG Garden come to be?
Curtis: Well, I was jamming with my friend Byron (Band member not present), he plays bass, and I got the idea of starting a band. We just got together and started playing and brought people on overtime, and we eventually grew into what we have now.
Troy: I met Curtis at orientation, and we just hung out and exchanged numbers. We were acquaintances for a while. I did a lot of solo music, where I was just recording and putting it on the internet like us kids do. As he was hanging and jamming with his jazz friends, he said I should come jam with them, one thing led to another, and now I’m here.
Micah: I knew the bass player and the guitar player really well, and after some interesting things happened, I got asked to jam, and now here I am.
So, what is the creative process like?
Troy: I think we match really well. We have a niche of where each of our own musical tastes come from. The writing process is super involved. Everyone is involved entirely. If someone doesn’t like the way something is going they voice it. We all try to make sure every song is to every person’s liking. We usually just start with plain jamming, and then sometimes I freestyle lyrics over things. If we like the way that feels, then we take those feelings and the color of the song. We really take that in and enhance the structure of the song.
Who/what inspires you?
Troy: So many places. I feel like it is so different because of what we all naturally grew up listening to. We take pieces of what we like and that aspect, musically is taken because each of us has so many things that we like that it just comes together in one. I’m very into Frank Ocean and Miguel, but [that sound] comes throughout. There’s no one band we can point to and say this is who we sound like, there are just influencers in the years of us growing and then looking at other people we like based on personality and performance.
Micah: We all have different groups that we like and it all kind of gets thrown together. The artists we’re all into contribute to our style. Our guitar player is really into Daft Punk, so you’ll hear stuff that they play, and the bass player is really into jazz. I’m really into alternative rock along the lines of Tame Impala or Mute Math.
Curtis: I think we’re more so inspired by the decisions that other groups and artists make, how they present themselves, and how they perform. I’m less so inspired by a specific genre and more so inspired by a rock band or metal band that does something on stage that really moves me that I want to incorporate into the group. It really comes from anywhere. We really want to keep our eyes open.
How much does your stage presentation contribute to your quality of music?
Troy: Stage presentation wise, we really just let it all out. When we’re writing, it can get pretty intense because it can get pretty passionate since we’re all writing from the heart. Since the six of us all write together, it’s hard trying to get what you’re saying across to the other five members, but it’s so beautiful. And like magic that I don’t know if there was ever a time where I haven’t felt that in the crowd. I think our goal when we’re performing is that if six guys with completely different music tastes can come together and make this one brand of music. Honestly, I think that it’s less of performing, and more letting it all out on stage. Whether it is dancing, standing completely still or delivering that powerful lyric, it’s just a feeling we’re evoking rather than putting on a show for people. So, in that it turns into a show because of this.
As far as fashion goes, how do you think fashion contributes to your own music, and your band’s image?
Troy: Just how we evoke our feelings with music, I feel like we do the same with our everyday presentation in what we wear. We all collect things like music from both older and newer times. I think we do the same with clothes. We mix a lot of older fashions that inspired us when we were younger to what’s new.
Micah: It also has to do with how we’re all from different places across the country. So, where we come from really contributes to style, music, everything.
Can you describe the feeling of what it’s like on stage to those of us who have never performed?
Curtis: First, it’s interesting because every show is different. So far, we’ve had very different crowds. It’s always interesting to see how the crowd reacts. As our songs progress and everything gets warmer and warmer, the vibe just opens up and inevitably we’re just enjoying ourselves a lot, and I feel like people are enjoying our music. Every show ends up being a blast, honestly.
Micah: See, we played a show at a really awkward wine bar which was super weird, but we’re still able to let our passion show through to the audience where they start to feel the music and where we’re both vibing. Then, there’s shows where we walk in, we play one note, and we’re already together with the audience.
Troy: I think it’s kind of funny to watch because if it’s a show that starts off awkward, there will be just two or three people at the beginning that are really into it, and then over time, other people are seeing that they are having a blast, and next thing you know, you look up and it’s 25 people that are letting loose and dancing. It’s really fun, it’s indescribable.
What’s on the horizon for you guys?
Micah: EP’s next, an album later on from the EP, and then we’re hoping to book a tour for the Summer and do that from our album, but right now we’re just working on getting the EP done.
Troy: We’ve got the recording process done now. Music is being worked on, and we’re double checking, listening, having it sent to mixers and engineers because this EP is super important to us. Booking season is coming up, which is when all the festivals are looking for acts.. We want other people to hear what we have, and we’re putting every fine detail into our EP because that will carry us to each next step. That’s going to be the thing that gets us to slightly bigger shows, audiences, and a bigger fan base. The name of the EP is called “Revive Me.” Revive me is that one all encompassing song off of the EP. The EP has a lot of different songs with many different genre influences, and that one really seems to meet the criteria that brings all of us into one. Look out for that one, and everyone we’ve talked to has a different favorite that is going to be on the EP, so listen to it and find your song.
What is the feeling behind “Revive Me?
Troy: A lot of bands hate to say pop, but it’s pop music. It’s a genre that breaks genre barriers, and so do we. It talks about love. When it talks about love, it’s not just that general form of it. You hear it in the music, there’s rock, R&B, there’s hip hop and swing at very different points of it. We want to present that as the whole EP, as a representation of so many different genre variations.
What’s it like being in the music scene here?
Curtis: Micah’s from the Portland area, I’m from the San Diego area, we’re both West Coast babies, so it’s definitely different, but I think it’s very cool to see. Denton is a place where a lot of people are making an effort to be who they are. I think that this is a great place for the band to prosper. There isn’t a clear identity on us, so it’s just a great place to do what we do because it’s so diverse.
Troy: I think it’s a great representation of who we are as a band. We each come from different parts of the US, and are currently at a place where we can be transparent and vulnerable. We kind of just found each other. We’re kind of like brothers. We play our own music, and it’s a place where musicians and performers are inspired and encouraged. It’s diverse, just like we are.
What brought each of you to music, and why is it important to you?
Troy: I was born in a really small town in Alabama, and there were a lot of people putting labels onto on everyone, saying you can’t do this. I grew up watching performers that did whatever they wanted on stage and people loved them for it. I started singing in my church, and when I started singing no one cared how I looked or what I wore. They just cared about what I was delivering artistically, and I guess I was thinking this subconsciously, “man, when I’m performing, it doesn’t matter how I look, or act.” People buy into my art and passion, and that grew into wanting it to be a career. I never want to work a day in my life. I just want to deliver art, and other people take it in. I think art just breaks so many barriers politically, mentally, and even geographically. It can reach so many people. So, if that’s what I’m meant to do, then everything will work out in my favor, and hopefully the stars will align.
Micah: I was born into a musical family. Both of my parents played the piano. I also grew up playing in the church, and it was a really encouraging environment to play music in. I just got to a point where I couldn’t really see myself doing anything else. This is what I love doing, and I might as well pursue it. Here I am, just pursuing music, trying to get better, and I like that it’s a tool to reach people. That’s also why I’m a huge fan of pop. I love an idea of how one pop song can reach millions of people across the entire world no matter your gender, sexual orientation, where you are financially, language, it just breaks all that. So, that inspires me to keep pioneering and keep making music that reaches people.
Curtis: I was actually thinking about this recently, what made me go towards music, why people get into music, and why they do what they do, and I think I realized that when I first started playing saxophone. I was in 4th grade and I was a complete dork. There was an assembly, and they were showcasing all these classic band instruments: trumpet, flute, clarinet, saxophone. At that age I had no idea how much of a sanctuary music could be, or how powerful it really was. It was the coolest thing to me, and that’s how I got started. It really inspires me because I feel like I’m doing this for the right reasons. That’s what it is about. Music is just like a sanctuary. People go to it for different reasons, but it is just a safe space everybody loves to go to. Yeah, music is dope.
I don’t think anyone said it better than Curtis, music is pretty dope. Music is one of those out of body forces that allows us to feel a certain way or take us to another place. May it be jazz, rock, pop or synth, music can touch and reach anyone in complex and personal ways. I think that in this day and age, as so many times before, there are so many things in this world that can bring us down. The arts and music specifically are there for us to escape that for a short time. Going onto your Spotify, turning on the radio, or even hearing a tune while in line at Starbucks can make our days go from bad to good in a span of two and a half minutes. Music was able to bring six vastly different people together to form OG Garden, and I think that UNT has the same effect on so many of us. UNT has been able to bring thousands of different people together to makeup the place we call home. Music, like UNT doesn’t care where you come from what you believe, or what you do. It draws people in and helps them find themselves. Next time you listen to a song, may it be by the Chainsmokers, Beyoncé, or even OG Garden, allow for it to transport you, make you think about the world in a different way.
More from the OG Garden shoot:
Find OG Garden on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/wavegardenband and follow them on Instagram @oggarden
Words by Miles Cantrell
Photos by Huy Tran
Edit by Taylar Gomez, Carolina Gonzalez, and Maia Wilson
After a long and tiring semester, it’s easy to go back to your hometown and want to relax with hot chocolate, reality TV, and forget about school, work, or the future for the time being. While relaxing is important, Winter break is also the prime time to accomplish everything you’ve been too busy to get done during the semester, and prepare yourself for the Spring. Here are a few tips to block your Winter blues, and keep your productivity flowing!
While you have a few weeks to breathe, make sure your resume, and any portfolios you have are completely up-to-date. All of those volunteer hours, student organizations, and new job experiences you’ve gained throughout the last few months are important, and it may be time to add some new references. Update your resume now, so it’ll be perfect when opportunities bloom in the Spring!
I know just as well as anyone how easy it is over Winter break to plop down on the couch in front of a Project Runway marathon and waste the entire day. To ensure your days are productive, find a personal workspace somewhere without distractions (maybe in a local coffee shop, or even in your childhood bedroom at home) and take a few hours each day to be alone and work. Make a list of all the things you’ve been meaning to get done, and make it your goal to accomplish at least one thing each day during your allotted work time.
When it comes to internships, job opportunities, and scholarships, the Internet is your best friend! There are literally thousands of websites out there dedicated exclusively to helping students find resources to build their knowledge and experience – there are even websites specifically made to help fashion majors! When you don’t know what else to do, get online and start browsing. You may find something amazing you didn’t even know existed.
Throughout the semester, we spend a lot of time on campus. We go to the same classes every week and see the same professors and students. During the break, you don’t have the same routine. Take advantage! Go check out a museum downtown you’ve been meaning to go to for inspiration, or re-connect and catch up with your high school mentors. Putting yourself out there and meeting new people while also keeping in touch with the people you already know could lead to some incredible opportunities!
Set yourself up for success this Spring by getting organized now. Winter break is the time to clean out your backpack, your car, your computer files, your closet; anything and everything cluttering up your life! Get your fresh school supplies, a new 2017 planner, a package of colored pens, and get to work. Make up a system to keep due dates, events, and to-do-lists organized in a way that makes sense to you. By the time the semester starts you’ll feel refreshed, focused, and prepared to take on whatever comes your way.
As I mentioned before, relaxation is crucial, and can have a positive effect on your productivity! Take breaks to allow yourself to de-stress and have fun during your holidays. Exercising, spending time with your family, or even doing a little binge watching are all great ways to relax – your brain does need a break sometimes! Take these few weeks to recharge and get ready – there’s a whole new semester coming up: make it your best one yet!
Words by Reilly Farris
Photos by Kylie Hull
Follow Kylie on Instagram on @kyliehull and visit her site at kyliehull.squarespace.com
Edits by Maia Wilson, Carolina Gonzalez, Taylar Gomez