Tag Archive: fashion

  1. Street Style

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    It’s been a long and heinous winter, but spring has finally burst forth in New Haven. The difference in temperature has not only coaxed daffodils from previously stolid soil, but reminded everyone in town that bodies exist beneath layers of clothing. In the disconcerting warmth, Yalies have been seen rolling up their trousers to reveal dry ankles, unused to the sun’s glare. They have been spotted in skirts, with neither thick leggings nor thermal underwear on to protect their shins from frostbite. They have even been observed walking down Broadway in a leisurely manner, desperate for the first time in months to be out of doors. 

    Here are a few Yalies dressing to celebrate the new season. Hi spring. 

    Screen shot 2015-04-17 at 3.20.04 AM[media-credit name=”Leaf Arbuthnot” align=”aligncenter” width=”590″]

    Anya Richkind: Note the rich plums against the sun-bleached denim. Note the Rita Skeeter specs. Note the smile.

    Screen shot 2015-04-17 at 3.19.55 AM[media-credit name=”Leaf Arbuthnot” align=”aligncenter” width=”610″]

    Jamar Williams: Form meets functionality in the snappy handbag, perfect for swinging at passing children. Succinct sandals.

    Screen shot 2015-04-17 at 3.19.47 AM[media-credit name=”Leaf Arbuthnot” align=”aligncenter” width=”614″]

    Nikita Bernardi: The white tank perfectly puckering up to the ill-fitting jeans. The post-post-post ironic sneakers. The Elle Macpherson sunnies, a throwback to Elle Macpherson.

    Screen shot 2015-04-17 at 3.19.39 AM[media-credit name=”Leaf Arbuthnot” align=”aligncenter” width=”613″]

    Anonymous: Monochrome loosened up with a louchely trailing shirt.

  2. Jennifer Fleiss ’05: Runway Revolutionary

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    If you’ve ever found yourself buried in a mountain of crumpled clothes and credit card debt, whining about having nothing to wear and maybe downing a bottle of Chardonnay, there’s a good chance Jennifer Fleiss ’05 could be your new best friend and/or the Messiah. (WEEKEND has had more of these moments than we’d like to admit.) Since Rent the Runway’s official launch in 2009, Fleiss and her business partner, Jennifer Hyman, have been eliminating pre-event sartorial angst with their revolutionary “designer-for-less” rental platform. Read on for the Co-Founder and Head of Business Development’s advice for young entrepreneurs, thoughts on why business plans are overrated, and the lunch conversation that started it all. 


    Q. You co-founded Rent the Runway in 2008–2009. Tell us a little bit about that experience, and how you arrived at this concept. 

    A. My friend in business school, Jennifer Hyman, came over to me one day and we had a lunchtime conversation about how her sister wanted to purchase a $2,000 Marchesa gown to wear to a wedding. She said that all the dresses in her closet were “dead” to her, because she’d already worn them. … [Hyman] and I realized that this wedding was a very high stakes event for her, and that she wanted something new she could look and feel great in. At the same time, we were also looking at trends like the rise of social media, and talking to women. [It was] by talking to women [that] we kind of evolved the concept of Rent the Runway. We’re big believers in not writing a business plan. For this concept, that meant purchasing dresses at retail price and bringing them to undergraduate college campuses like Yale and Harvard for some of our testing. We tested the different aspects of the concept, to see if women would actually pay to rent a dress.


    Q. Have you always had a desire to work in a fashion-related industry, or did Rent the Runway really just emerge from that lunchtime conversation?

    A. I’ve always been very entrepreneurial and wanted to be an entrepreneur. I don’t think of myself as working in fashion. … My actual job function and the majority of what [Rent the Runway] actually does is all business-oriented. We have eight people here who go to fashion shows and live and breathe that, but for the majority of the business there are a lot of other components that are really important.


    Q. Now, over five years since its founding, you’re still working with Rent the Runway. How have things changed?

    A. Things are always changing. … In typical startup fashion, there are new challenges every day. We’ve grown very quickly, which is exciting, [but] just managing that growth is a challenge. We’ve implemented things like renting accessories, and we’ve launched products for sale like stockings, underwear and bras, so the styling services that are part of Rent the Runway can give our customers that head-to-toe look. And we now have three retail locations — two in NYC, one in Las Vegas — that allow the customer to actually interact with the brand in a physical setting. We’re constantly listening to consumers’ thinking about what to offer, how we can expand.


    Q. Could you tell us a little bit about Rent the Runway’s business strategy?

    A. Never before have women been able to access designer fashion at 10 percent of retail price. When we started, fast fashion was emerging and growing but they didn’t really have an economical way of bringing what was on the runway to the average woman. Many of the ways of accessing fashion were eating away at the value of these amazing designer brands and the quality of their products, which was something we wanted everyone to be able to experience. By changing the price point and using the rental model, we’re able to do that. … We hope it’s an experience that will help our customers make better-informed purchasing decisions in the future — even if they can’t buy these brands now, down the road when they can make a purchase they’ll be more informed. Collaborative consumption has entered many industries, but we’re definitely the core innovator in retail in terms of how you think about your wardrobe.


    Q. What does a typical day at the office look like?

    A. We have over 230 employees now, about 80 of which work in our warehouse. … We have so many different departments — there’s fashion, analysis, technology, marketing — we’re touching practically every area of expertise. It’s been a really fun learning opportunity and has enabled me to “live” in a bunch of different areas. Across the business, we’re very focused on retail, and we’re always funneling the customers’ ideas back into evolving existing concepts and services. I currently spend most of my time with brand management, talking to key partners [Rent the Runway] could work with.


    Q. What are some of the most memorable experiences you’ve had since beginning Rent the Runway?

    A. One is just when we started the concept, and seeing what an emotional impact our product had on women. And that has continued, with women sending us handwritten notes and photos of them wearing their dresses. Those have always been really memorable for me — it makes us realize that our product is so much more than just a dress.

    A second would have to be the fundraising process, just meeting with VCs [venture capitalists] and having them believe in your idea — and seeing how (often male) VCs identify and relate to a “female” product.

    I would say, as well, talking to all the designers responsible for creating the dresses we carry. Each breakthrough of getting designers excited about our brand has been memorable. It was exciting to have one of those “wins” each time we signed on a new designer. It’s not easy to sign on designers, so getting them to work with you is a success.

    And, finally, our warehouse. We have a 50,000 square foot warehouse right now and we’re moving to a larger one soon. We’ve vertically integrated our own dry cleaning, repairs. … Every time I step into that warehouse and see its work and flow that’s a big achievement; a moment that really wows me.


    Q. What’s the best part of working in fashion (or, at least, with a company that participates in the industry)?

    A. It’s definitely a fun and very creative industry. … Going to fashion week and all the shows is always fun and enjoyable, and being able to see the transformative effect that fashion can have on a person, the bounce that it can put in someone’s step or the confidence it can give. I guess the best part is getting to know the creativity behind that.


    Q. And the worst part?

    A. It’s a really hard industry to break into. You have to be persistent, and maybe a little bit naive. [In fashion], no doesn’t mean no — it just means “not right now.” Sometimes designers will tell you they don’t want to work with you. You just have to be really persistent and not let them deter you.


    Q. What’s next for Rent the Runway?

    A. We’re still just staying very focused on providing these kind of magical experiences for women; letting women access designer brands. We have over 4 million members right now, and we’re just focused on providing better and better experiences and getting even more members.


    Q. Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

    A. In general, I think the concept of testing your idea out and bringing it to a market — making sure that your concept “has legs,” and seeing the different challenges and getting feedback — is key. Putting yourself on a timeline is important too, setting different “milestones” for yourself as a startup. And not being afraid to fail — realizing that each failure has learning opportunities that come with it.


    Q. And specifically for young female entrepreneurs?

    A. Often females are a little more realistic, “restrained” with their concept. Encouraging women to think big is really important — to be really aggressive when thinking about how big of a platform their concept could be. Don’t be timid with your concept, because when you’re going to VCs [venture capitalists], they’re looking for the next “billion-dollar idea.” You really need to be able to sell it, to make them believe in your idea.

  3. Lyndsey Scott: The Runway Coder

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    While most people find themselves struggling with one career, Lyndsey Scott has managed to take on three. Not only is she an actress, but Scott has also modeled for Calvin Klein, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Victoria’s Secret, among other big-name designers. But Scott is more than just a pretty face. The former Computer Science and Theater double major at Amherst College also designs apps for Apple in her spare time. As a female African American actress, model and tech whiz, Scott has defied stereotypes by achieving success in three different industries. Before her talk at Yale on Saturday, she spoke to WEEKEND about the challenges she’s faced in both the modeling and tech worlds, the apps she’s developed, and her status as a triple threat. 

    Q. When did you discover that you were interested in computer programming?

    A. I first did computer programming when I was maybe 13, but at the time, I didn’t realize that it was actually computer programming. In school, all the kids were passing around games between their calculators, and I found out that I had the documentation available to figure out how to make those games on my own. So, I started making those games on the TI-89 calculator for myself.

    Q. And when did you start modeling?

    A. I started modeling a year after college. I was a computer science and theater major, and at Amherst I dove right into acting. I was doing auditions, but about a year into it, I was discovered by my first modeling agency and started modeling full-time from that day forward. I also did acting, but as I became more and more successful with the modeling, I started devoting more of my time to it.

    Q. What influenced you, as a computer science major, to go into acting and modeling instead of software engineering?

    A. I remember my last semester at Amherst, I had this course in compiling. And it was a lot of fun, but there were only three people in that class: me and two other pretty awkward people. I remember thinking that there was no way I could spend my entire life around computer programmers. At the time, I thought there wasn’t much diversity in race, gender and personality types in programming, and I didn’t think I could be in that kind of environment where I was sitting at my computer, programming excessively, around other people who were sitting at their computers, programming excessively and having awkward conversations. I think it’s becoming — and I hope it continues to become — a more diverse profession. I hope that more women, more minorities and all different types of people end up getting involved with programming and technology in general. Although I never saw myself pursuing programming after college, I think one reason I love it so much right now is because I make my own schedule, I’m my own boss and I’m able to do projects that appeal to me. But I do have fun hanging with tech people; I’m having dinner with some tech people tonight. There are also some great companies with things like private chefs and private offices where you can customize your own spaces. They give you all the perks. I thought that programming would be suffocating, but the way Google, Facebook and other companies set up their offices creates an enjoyable and non-stressful environment for programmers.

    Q. At what point after you began modeling did you decide that you wanted to start programming again, as well?

    A. Well, I’d always played around a bit with code, even after college, just for fun. But once I had my first iPhone, I started downloading the apps and realizing that I could actually make my own apps, so I decided to learn how to do Objective C and iOS programming on my own.

    Q. How difficult is it to juggle both of your careers?

    A. It hasn’t been difficult to juggle the careers because I’m able to prioritize. If I’m busy working on an app at a certain time then I’ll limit the amount of modeling I do, and if good modeling jobs come up then I’ll put the app on pause for a bit. I like having that variety, and I haven’t had any problems balancing the two careers because I have so much freedom in both to plan my own schedule.

    Q. Do you ever find yourself enjoying one more than the other?

    A. No actually, not really. I like doing both and I like that I have that privilege to spend my time doing both things. I do enjoy having more professional freedom as a programmer than I do as a model, though. As a model, my face is basically decided by outside sources — by the casting directors, by the agents — it’s easy to feel like you’re losing control when you’re a model. You don’t have any control over the jobs that you get. But as a programmer working for myself, I like having complete control over the work I do. I eventually hope to bring more people on board and work with more programmers, graphic designers, etc., but as of now, I do enjoy the freedom that I am given in computer programming, as opposed to the limitations that the modeling industry places on me.

    Q. Have you faced any challenges in the modeling world as an African-American woman?

    A. Yeah, definitely. With modeling, it’s been very clear. I’ve had success as a model, but I was shocked when I received my first big job, Calvin Klein Exclusive and found out that I was the first black Calvin Klein Exclusive model to get that contract. I was also the only black person in the show. The same went for Prada and a lot of other clients that I’ve worked for, where they’ll only book one or two black girls at a time. I’ve definitely been limited by my race in modeling, and the companies don’t do anything to disguise it either.

    Q. How about in the tech world?

    A. With computer programming, it’s not as overt, but I do think that when you don’t fit the stereotypical programmer mold, people are less likely to take you seriously. I’m confident in my programming skills and normally if I have a conversation with a programmer, they realize that I’m knowledgeable about what I do. But I think that as a woman, as a person of color and as a model too, it makes people perceive me differently.

    Q. Have you discovered any interesting similarities between modeling and computer programming, or are they just two vastly different worlds? 

    A. They’re both creative outlets for me. I love modeling because I love transforming into different characters, but I also love being able to put my coding to use in order to create apps that I enjoy and that other people would enjoy. For example, I have an app [Code Made Cool] coming out next week  that’s “Code.org meets ASOS.” I’ve been talking a lot about Code.org lately because they have an amazing website and a great interface where people can learn how to program by dragging and dropping software code. And I’m also on the cover of this upcoming month’s ASOS magazine. So I decided as a supplement to the magazine release, I would put together a “Code.org meets ASOS” app that young people could use to help them learn programming by dragging and dropping bits of code to make their way through fantasy scenarios with a parodied Ryan Gosling. I’m excited for that to come out in a few days. Having an idea pop into my head and then being able to program it in a few weeks and share it with other people — that sort of creativity is nice to express through programming.

    Q. Can you tell me about some of the other apps you’ve developed?

    A. I have three other apps in the App Store. My first app is called Educate, based on an organization that was founded by a group of Amherst students in order to create a program to mentor Ugandan youths and help them become leaders and entrepreneurs. As of now, Uganda has the world’s youngest population, but it also has one of the largest unemployed populations. I decided to make an app where people could donate directly to the organization Educate, which would then donate this money to the Ugandans, to provide them with the tools they need to build up their country. My second app is iPort, a portfolio app for models and other artists. It’s a fully customizable portfolio that I made to mimic the traditional modeling portfolio book where you can customize the book cover, the background, logo, etc., and flip through the pages like you would a traditional portfolio. But it can be stored on an iPod and allows you to keep multiple portfolios on the same device. I made it specifically for me to have an easy way to keep many portfolios on hand at one time, and be able to share them conveniently through the app. My third app is The Matchmaker, a social networking app where you enter in your profile information, match criteria and personality traits, and if you’re walking down the street and pass by someone who’s compatible with you in love, friendship or business, it alerts you and lets you know that it’s someone you should be talking to. And the last app is the Code Made Cool App, which should be coming out next week.

    Q. It’s interesting that you were able to design an app like iPort, which actually helped you with your modeling career. Do you know other models that utilize the app as well?

    A. I do know other models that use it, but I also know that people all over the world have been using the app for many different purposes that I never expected it to be used for. For example, I’ve heard of people using it for cake making, to show off their different cakes. I also have a meeting with Models.com tomorrow, where we’re going to do an interview and talk about the app. I’ve been trying to arrange a meeting with Models.com for a while, and I’m happy that I’ll finally be able to talk to them, which will hopefully result in more industry people adopting the app and using it as a replacement for the traditional portfolio. In a lot of ways, it’s actually better than the traditional portfolio, especially since I’ll soon be incorporating video into it as well.

    Q. Where do you see yourself in the future? You already touched on this briefly, but do you plan on increasing the amount of programming you do or programming at a larger scale?

    A. In general, I like maintaining the freedom in my life to do things that appeal to me and I’m really fortunate that at this time, I’m able to do modeling, acting and programming in a way that suits my schedule and my interests. I just have to make sure that everything I’m doing now, I’m doing to the best of my abilities.

    Q. Do you have any advice for people looking to go into computer programming? 

    A. With computer programming, Code.org is a great place to get started if you don’t have any coding experience. One, it directs you to many other programming resources and two, it’s a really fun way to get into it. I think they have an Angry Birds game where you can drag and drop code to manipulate the Angry Birds characters while teaching you core programming concepts. A lot of people are afraid of computer programming because the terminology and ideas people use when describing it sound so foreign, but computer science is becoming a part of every single industry. I think it’s important for everyone to have some sort of idea of the science that goes into the technology we use on an everyday basis. So I suggest that people give it a try and see what it is, and I think it’ll surprise them because it’s actually a lot of fun.

    Q. And do you have advice for people looking to go into modeling?

    A. That’s a lot harder. Models are genetic freaks, for the most part. Modeling is something people go into when they have these weird long limbs and long bodies, and are skinny and awkward. And even if you have all these qualities and are one of these genetic freaks, it’s still hard for me to recommend it as a career path because it takes a lot of luck in order to compete in modeling. I see it all the time — the most incredible women who are beautiful and confident in themselves end up sitting at home on their couches all day, and have a terrible time in the business because they’re unable to get jobs. So even if you have all the qualities on the surface that it takes to be a model, there are so many factors outside of yourself that are involved that no matter how hard you work, a great career in modeling isn’t always achievable. I definitely recommend that if you like modeling, you should take pictures and try to create art in this way — through your modeling — but don’t necessarily go into it thinking that it will be a sustainable career.

  4. STYLE: Working the high/low

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    Isabel Marant’s collection with H&M collection was released November 14th, finishing off a year that saw several similar high/low collaborations — that is, matching high-fashion designers with mass retail labels. In the wake of collections such as Michael Bastian x Uniqlo’s polo capsule, Marant pour H&M works to establish itself as one of the premier collaborative releases this year.

    This new collection follows the somewhat recent, but rather popular, high/low trend. In theory, these collaborations work to offer fashion forward clothing without the exclusivity it is often accompanied by. Yet in the past, many of these collections have appeared rather hurriedly done — a designer’s side-project to get his name out to a wider audience. While not necessarily bad by any means, many of these collections have had the designer’s name adding more to it than the designs themselves.

    Fortunately, Marant’s x H&M largely avoids this common pitfall.

    While many designers have attempted to imitate her, Marant reminds the world that she is still the best at that Parisian nonchalant chic look that she is so well known for. From heavily textured sweaters and bright prints to elegant, simple staples, the collection captures snapshots from Marant’s designer history in a wholesome, albeit slightly eclectic, way.

    And to add to the novelty of the collection, Marant pour H&M marks the designer’s first foray into menswear  — a rather natural progression for someone who has often recognized the influence of menswear on her own style. This transition seems effortless, as Marant organically progresses into menswear from her women’s collection. She carries the motifs found in the women’s collection — a southwestern meets casual-cool kind of aesthetic — into the men’s collection seamlessly. While not a standalone collection, the men’s collection is meticulously put together and proves to be just as successful as the women’s collection in its own unique way.

    As a whole, this collection adds to the high/low fashion conversation in a constructive way. The bolder aspects of the pieces in this collection still allow for the small details to shine through, creating a balance with depth and levels. Isabel Marant pour H&M refuses to settle, and instead pushes the boundaries of what a high/low collaboration can do, ultimately standing out from similar collections released in the past.

  5. Fashion Forward

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    Consider the zipper. British author Arthur C. Clarke is famous for noting, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and the zipper certainly qualifies. Over 100 years old, the zipper revolutionized clothing by providing a magical way for materials to be fastened with ease. Even when a zipper jams, it seems more like bad luck than a mechanical malfunction.

    Nowadays, zippers are pretty uninteresting (except to NASA and Speedo USA, who combined forces to create more aerodynamic zipper seams for the LZR swimsuit that helped swimmers shatter records at the Beijing Olympics). But clothing technology continues to evolve: From Gore-Tex and Under Armour to no-wrinkle shirts, it’s not hard to find textiles that play a huge role in marketing and todays fashion trends.

    But recently a new trend has been sending shocks through the industry: electricity. (Terrible pun acknowledged.) The use of electricity in fabrics has led to advances into the realm of the previously impossible. Recently, for example, companies like Hexoskin and VivoMetrics have sensors built into shirts, allowing users to track biometrics like heart and respiratory rates. Combined with wireless communications systems like Bluetooth, these “smart shirts” have potential uses in everything from athletics to the military to remote monitoring of the elderly. Now your grandpa’s shirt can tell you if he has fallen and can’t get up.

    Electricity can be a medium for self-expression in clothing, too. French electronica duo Daft Punk is famous for wearing helmets featuring complex LED effects when they perform — but now, companies are starting to put LEDs into ordinary shirts, allowing a custom logo or message to light up in the dark. Light-up shoes for grown-ups, anyone? London-based CuteCircuit takes this a step further, connecting LEDs (as well as a camera, microphone, accelerometer and speaker) inside a shirt to your phone and the Internet to light up your shirt with changeable, programmable images. That’s right: Your shirt can now display live tweets. Human technological innovation is complete!

    CuteCircuit even argues that this is the next logical step in creating self-identity. The T-shirt, it claims in a promo video, is “the original canvas of personal expression. … The status update before the status update existed. The original ‘like’ button.” But although CuteCircuit wants you to be seen and to advertise both your own creativity and their product, sometimes that’s actually the opposite of what you’re looking for.

    So-called “invisibility cloaks” — fabrics that, connected to a computer, capture images of the environment on one side and project it onto the other side — render the wearer transparent from a particular angle. (Research is under way on invisibility cloaks that use “metamaterials” to bend light around objects Harry Potter-style; so far, though, everyone who wears them has remained awkwardly visible.)

    We’ve seen heart monitors, we’ve seen fashion statements, we’ve seen invisibility — and now a new dress by designer Daan Roosegaarde brazenly combines all three. The “Intimacy 2.0” dress turns sheer when your heart rate spikes, resulting in either an erotic experience with a romantic partner or a less-erotic late entrance to that lecture you just ran across campus to get to. Who said technology didn’t have its risks?

    And, of course, no discussion of fashion tech would be complete without a mention of Google Glass. The nonprescription eyeglasses connect to the Internet and let you perform many tasks you used to have to pull your smartphone out for — photo taking and sharing, messaging, even navigating around a strange city. No longer will you have to use your iPhone to accidentally walk into lampposts as you text. Perhaps the sneakiest part of Google Glass is its marketing: So far, users have had to apply just for the opportunity to drop $1,500 on a pair. Google is breaking into the luxury and status market. But, let’s be honest: Google already knew if you were into that sort of thing or not. In a way, Google’s user profiling has eliminated some opportunity for self-expression.

    Are these new outfits enough to make up for it? Will expensive eye-phones and chameleon clothes become the zippers of the future, or just another pair of light-up shoes? That, like all trends, is up for the cool kids to decide.

  6. Style Icons

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    What is style? For some, it’s the clothes on your back. Or the way you walk. The way you speak. But for three undergraduates, style is much more than just mere fashion or simple ideology. It is a way of life, a way of being, a way of thinking about the day-to-day. A worldview! Read these conversations: Get a peek inside their heads, see Yale from their perspectives.

    Camille Chambers ’15: model student


    Camille Chambers ’15 is beautiful and intelligent. Yale’s favorite model has been taking a year off to live and work in New York City. WEEKEND had a chance to chat with Chambers on the phone in between casting calls to hear about what she’s been up to.

    Q. You’re currently in New York, taking a year off to pursue a career in modeling. Your life must be very different in New York than that of a current Yale student. What have you been doing since then?

    A. I started modeling full time this summer, and I realized that this is the only time in my life that I’d be able to do it and give it a shot. After taking fall semester off, I decided to take another — the agency was definitely pressuring me to take the full year off. I’m really happy with the decision.

    Q. What agency?

    A. Wilhelmina in New York and Los Angeles.

    Q. Can you describe your typical day?

    A. Normally, I get my chart — that is, my schedule of what is going on in the next day — anytime from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. the night before. If I don’t already have a job that will take all day, I will go on casting calls. I can go on anywhere from one to 15 castings in a day, running around the city to meet clients. Currently, Paris Fashion Week is going on — so things in New York are slow. [Leading up to] New York Fashion Week, however, I had about 100 castings a week.

    Q. When did you know you wanted to pursue modeling as a career?

    A. I started modeling as a junior in high school and had a mother agent who was based in New York. She was placing me with agencies in New York, Chicago and Milan. She was always who I would go to when I was thinking about modeling. She was the person who most encouraged me to do it. I never wanted to grow up to be a model, but once I got involved, I realized it was a unique opportunity to do something I wouldn’t get to do later on. I kind of thought, why not do it now when I have the option?

    Q. What is a mother agent?

    A. A mother agent is the person that scouts you. They then place you with an agency.

    Q. What role did modeling play in your life at Yale?

    A. I was always very clear with my agencies that when I was in school, I was in school. It was very rare that I’d go on castings or have jobs when I was at Yale. Every now and then, I’d get something and miss class for a day or two. But it was never too hard to balance. I think for a lot of girls, if they aren’t up front with agencies, it can be hard to balance.

    Q. I just saw the Vimeo from your shoot with Emily Cho. What projects are you currently involved in?

    A. The Emily Cho shoot was the most recent job I had last Friday. Emily Cho is a new handbag designer, two girls from New York who get all of their bags professionally made. I did their fall look book. The video is the behind the scenes from the shoot. The real video is coming out in wthe fall, when they release the new line.

    Q. Who are some of your favorite designers?

    A. Oh my gosh, I have so many! I actually really love the Emily Cho handbags. In terms of clothes, I love Calvin Klein, Chloé, Balmain, Vince, Zac Posen and Ralph Lauren.

    Q. Do you hope to pursue modeling professionally after graduation?

    A. I’m not completely sure. I definitely want to keep my foot in the door, because it’s really hard to get back into modeling. I probably will not do this after undergrad. I’m hoping to get direct books for jobs to make money, but not necessarily pursue it full time.

    Q. What is it like living away from Yale’s campus? How was that adjustment?

    A. It’s been really nice, actually. I’ve never had my own bedroom at Yale. It’s actually really nice to have a little more space, even though that’s weird in New York City because no one is used to having space there. But coming from a dorm room, I think it’s really nice to be independent. In terms of getting away from school, I really miss everyone. I try to come back as much as possible and love it when people come visit — I’m really excited to come back though.

    Q. Do you think it will be hard to readjust to college life after being away?

    A. I think it will be harder than I think it is. I haven’t really thought about if it is going to be hard or not. I’m sure there will be certain things. I’m definitely excited about coming back to dining hall food. I’m totally supporting myself in New York. So being back in college, where all food is paid for, will be nice. It will definitely be an adjustment in terms of classes and all of the readings.

    Q. What are you studying? How can you see modeling fitting in with that?

    A. I am an American Studies major. I am focusing in business and media culture. I want to go to law school after undergrad, and I am interested in fashion law. I started working with The Model Alliance a few months ago, and it has been really interesting seeing how the model industry and fashion world plays into legal aspects and what important things are left out of the model industry.

    Q. What are some of the coolest experiences you’ve had as a model?

    A. I had a job this summer working in Milan. It was a bridal shoot, and the location for the shoot was at a villa on Lake Como — the same villa that was in the James Bond movie “Casino Royale.” It was so beautiful and really glamorous. Normally people think the modeling industry is glamorous when it’s not — but this time it was!

    Dorian Grinspan ’14: fashion editor


    Dorian Grinspan ’14 is not your average Yalie. At 20 years old, the Parisian native may be at the pinnacle of college fashion and looks poised to dominate the fashion world in the near future. As editor in chief of Out of Order Magazine, Grinspan has brought together a collective of top-notch artists, writers and stylists to create a biannual mammoth publication that brings together multiple aspects of culture — everything from fashion to lifestyle to music and film. His life and his work are a testament to high culture. WEEKEND caught up with the jetsetter in between meetings, photo shoots and shows at Paris Fashion Week.

    Q. How did the idea for Out of Order come about? Was it your idea or was it a collective process?

    A. When I got to Yale, I was asked to join a magazine and take care of fashion for that magazine. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the way things were going, but I was interested in everything we were doing and producing, so I quit. When I quit, some people that were on the team at the other magazine decided to do something with me as well. And so some of the people from the magazine I was working with before came with me and started a new magazine which was then called Blur. It was supposed to be 40 pages and produced at Yale, shot with people from Yale and only with stores around Yale. We had, you know, J.Crew and Urban Outfitters and stuff like that. We did a photo shoot that was supposed to be 10 pages — our main shoot for the issue — with a few friends. I really, really liked what the shoot looked like, so one day I decided to ask some friends from Paris, from before I came to college, to shoot for me. I had a young friend of mine who’s 16 or 17 and a really good photographer shoot with me and I styled it. I actually didn’t like that one either, so I started another one. Then that other shoot came about, then we started doing interviews and decided to get bigger and start a website, then a blog, and then it evolved from there very organically. None of it was really planned or anything like that.

    Q. So the magazine was originally called Blur, and then became Out of Order?

    A. It was called Blur for a little bit, and we all agreed that this name was kind of awful. We couldn’t figure out another name, so we spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of name it would be, and eventually we landed on Out of Order.

    Q. What sparked your interest in fashion?

    A. You know, I was always around it from when I was very young. I always used to kind of hang out with people who were older than me, and my first boyfriend was a photographer. He’s the one who first took me out to fashion parties and stuff like that in Paris. My first experience with fashion was with him, although I interned with Numero before. Numero’s a fashion magazine in Paris, and I really liked that too. I don’t know — it was a mixture of a lot of things. The social aspect of it and then the creative aspect of it, that I really liked. It’s an overall experience of fashion that is very interesting to me.

    Q. How did you go about recruiting writers and contributors from other universities for Out of Order?

    A. Again, it was very organic. Well, the one who’s been working with us most consistently and the one I rely on the most is Juliet Liu [’14]. She’s at Yale and is our managing editor. Then we had Cristina — well, two Cristinas actually — and Jessica. It was friends of friends and people they went to high school with, people I went to high school with. We’re all in college, and we’re all friends. It’s like, “Hey, do you want to work with us? Do you want to write an article on this because I know you know a lot about this?” or “Do you want to interview this person?” and going from there. I had a friend who is also a music editor and now at Tufts. I first approached him to write articles about music, and then he became an editor, then he found people he thought would be interested in writing. And it kind of goes from there. It’s kind of word of mouth.

    Q. I’ve seen Out of Order’s website, and it’s frequently updated, stylistically appealing and really accessible. How do you think digital and social media are impacting the fashion and art worlds?

    A. I can speak less about the art world because I don’t think I’m an authority. Well, I don’t think I’m an authority on fashion either, but I know more about fashion than I know about art. In terms of fashion, it changed it completely. Especially with Instagram, and Twitter before Instagram. Facebook, now I feel less so, but maybe that’s just the wrong impression. It’s very important from the magazine aspect because you’re being judged now on your Twitter followers and it’s very important in terms of advertising.

    Q. In your opinion, how do you think Yalies fare when it comes to their personal style?

    A. I think it really depends. Fashion is different for everyone. I used to wear crazier outfits, and now I’m more into jeans and sneakers. It’s perfectly acceptable. I feel like some things you’re just comfortable in. If you look around on campus, people dress pretty well.

    Q. Do you think there’s a distinct difference between American style and European style?

    A. No, I think it’s all interconnected. I think there’s an American style or a European style although American prep is kind of a look that’s very American, but you find a similar version in French bourgeois type of vibe. But you see the similarities in Italy or London as well, just as much as you see the New York grunge or thrift shop look in Paris. The style goes across borders. I don’t think it’s very continental.

    Q. Do you have any advice for people who might say that they don’t have the time or money to think about fashion regularly?

    A. Someone once told me that good advice is to tailor jeans. It’s something that doesn’t require a lot of money or time and actually looks much better every time. Otherwise … most of the time, people look awkward when they try too hard, you know? The more comfortable you feel with yourself or the less effort you put into it, the more “you” it is.

    Q. Do you see Out of Order as a college commitment or something that will be an ongoing project?

    A. I have no idea. I don’t think Out of Order can now, as it is, go on without me because the way it’s set up would be very complicated to take over right now. I don’t know how to answer this question, but I guess I’ll know more in a year. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but we’re working on our second issue now. I like what we’re doing, and I do believe that it’s good, but I don’t know how it’s going to be received. Now I’m just constrained with making this work.

    Jin Ai Yap ’16: feminist on the go


    Here’s someone who looks like she’s going to be a force on the Yale scene for the forseeable future — and WEEKEND’s introducing you to her right now, so can you can try to be as hip as she is as soon as possible. Time to meet the inimitable Jin Ai Yap ’16.

    Q. What’s the deal with the scooter?

    A. I’m from New York, and I found it pretty convenient there, and I used it a lot in the last months of senior year. I use it a lot on Science Hill, I have to go there about four times a week — but I usually take a shuttle up because I’m lazy.

    Q. Do you use it indoors?

    A. Yes, when there are long, beautiful empty hallways. I’ve been called out a few times, but surprisingly not in Sterling Chemistry Lab where I like to scoot. I thought they’d be the most strict there.

    Q. Are there a lot of people who used scooters at home or here at Yale?

    A. The most common scooter users are 8-year-olds. I was. I put away my scooter and I brought it back out — which was a good choice. It’s either children or adults who ride these scooters with big wheels. At Yale, it’s a small group of people. It’s a strange mix.

    Q. Do you consider it a part of your aesthetic?

    A. That’s an interesting question. I don’t, but I’m well aware that it adds to my strange hipster girl aura. As much as I hate that word.

    Q. How would you describe your aesthetic?

    A. It really varies, depending on my mood or what I’m inspired by on a particular day. I have trouble dressing in the morning when I’m not feeling inspired, but a lot of the time I like to become people who inspire me.

    Q. Like who?

    A. In high school, I would go all out — dress up in a different Halloween costume every Friday. I have been Ramona Quimby, Gwen Stefani, Madonna. I try to embody what is most essential about them. I’ve definitely been the same person on two different days and done two completely different things.

    Q. By different things, do you mean you’ve made different fashion choices?

    A. I have a relatively extensive wardrobe, but I still get tired of it. A lot of the pieces in it, for instance a fishnet shirt that I have, have a lot of different associations. I like surprising myself by finding new ways to look at clothing, like, ‘Oh, that looks like it’s from the 80s if I pair it with something else.’

    Q. Describe what you are wearing today.

    A. Oh god. I was having a terrible day today so I wore leggings and a Hunter athletics shirt. But right now, I’m wearing a maxi dress with a print that has people on it and a balcony scene with clouds, and it’s salmon and teal. And my fishnet shirt.

    Q. So you’re wearing a fishnet shirt on top of a dress?

    A. Yes. With a navy and dark green plaid blazer on top. And my Doc Martens, which are the only shoes that I own.

    Q. Why are they the only shoes that you own?

    A. I think I decided two years ago that, as much as I love shoes and as much as they let me express myself, most beautiful shoes are horrendous to wear and expensive, so I decided I would spend a lot of money on a pair of shoes that would last me for years, and they have.

    Q. What are you trying to embody today?

    A. Oh god. It’s not always a particular influence. It’s just my mood. On some days, it will begin with my make up — I’ll do something crazy with it, and that will give me inspiration. And today, I just wanted to wear the fishnet shirt, and I needed to wear something underneath.

    Q. How do you think your aesthetic compares to most people’s at Yale?

    A. To be completely honest, I don’t see much of an aesthetic at Yale. I honestly don’t know how to compare it, because most of what I see is pastel and boat shoes and Yale clothing. Yale clothing is a big part of that. I don’t own any of that except for what’s been given to me for free.

    Q. Is it too preppy?

    A. There’s nothing inherently wrong with prep, I guess, and there’s nothing wrong with people not putting as much thought into clothing. This just happens to be my creative outlet.

    Q. Would you say that your aesthetic is feminine?

    A. For the most part, it is. That’s interesting. Most of my inspiration comes from femininity or particular female personas or characters. I recently became aware of how I sort of fetishize female celebrities or female icons and I embody those in my aesthetic. That conflicts with my personal views about how women are fetishized, even if it’s worshiping rather than degrading. But I can’t help it. Women are inspiring.

    Q. We’ve heard that you work at the Women’s Center. What does the Center mean to you?

    A. Well, I’ve identified as a feminist for quite a while. It’s been something I’ve been interested in actively for a few years … I never really identified with Asian communities as much as feminists.

    Q. What are you trying to do through the Women’s Center?

    A. My goal — I was more optimistic at the beginning of the year — but my goal, for quite some time, is to bring feminism to a wider audience. Not just demystify it, but eradicate a lot of the negative stereotypes or misconceptions that cause people to not identify as a feminist, even if their views are completely aligned with forms of feminism. Or just the stereotypes and misconceptions that cause people to dismiss what I’m saying when I say, ‘I’m a feminist.’ My opinions are undermined because I am marginalized.

    Aside from staffing at the Women’s Center, Erin Vanderhoof (a former WEEKEND editor) and I started a feminist discussion group that meets every other Tuesday. The goal is really to bring people of all backgrounds or familiarity with feminism to discuss freely a lot of issues — not just about feminism and gender, but about race and class here at Yale.

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