FALL 2023 ISSUE NO.2
Comfort in Cupid To be an Artist
elcome to our f irst print issue of the semester (and if you missed the f irst issue check it out on our website at Xpressmagazine. org!) With the Xpress team’s determination and long nights in Humanities 306, this issue has come to fruition. In our new reality of only two in-print issues at 20 pages (four less than last semester) we, like any other departments on campus, are feeling the budget cuts. When you take the time to read our content you’re supporting sleep deprived journalists, photographers and designers who strive to produce the best work possible. And for that we are grateful. Xpress strives to cover our campus in all its entirety. For our second issue, the Xpress team dove into fads and cultures on campus, from our cover story exploring the Sonny Angel craze to the secondhand clothing market. There’s also the story highlighting SF State’s LSTEM; (Latina’s in Science, Technologie, Engineering and Math) and a look into the fascination of seeking out the supernatural. Remember to check out our Spotify playlist for this issue by scanning the code on the next page and look to Instagram for our ongoing column Ask Xpress.
– Zackery Stehr 1
Zackery Stehr Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Andrea Sto. Domingo Nadia Castro Diversity Editor Daniela Perez Engagement Editor David Ye Copy Editor Leilani Xicotencatl Photo Editor Tam Vu Multimedia Editor Alicia Montoya Co-Art Director Ella Lerissa Co-Art Director Amy Burke Bessette Staff Writers Andrea Jiménez David Chin Div Lukic Enrique García Faya Beeldstroo Giovanna Montoya Isabella Minnis Lydia Perez Sarah Louie Sydney Williams Andrew Fogel Photographers Colin Flynn Feven Mamo Neal Wong Ryosuke Kojima
ON THE FRONT COVER
View of the San Francisco city skyline from the Alameda Point Antiques Faire as people walk from tent to tent during the event in Alameda, California.
Gisselle Peñuela Solis lays in the grass with her Sonny Angels between Burke Hall and the Fine Arts building on Monday, October 2, 2023.
PHOTO BY RYO KOJIMA
PHOTO BY ANDREW FOGEL
ON THE BACK COVER
Sonny Angel stands on top of the Cesar Chavez Student Center on Wednesday October 4, 2023. Sonny Angels are made with removable heads, which allows bought or homemade accessories to be attached.
PHOTO BY ANDREW FOGEL
Golden Gate Bridge, shot on a foggy afternoon while on a boat tour on Sunday October 18, 2023.
COURTESY PHOTO BY WILLIAM CASTRO @yadawillyphotography
Spotify Playlist A curated collection of spooky melodies.
To be an Artist
Chloe Little searches for their moment.
Comfort in Cupid
The cherub that’s giving Cupid a run for his money.
Your Vote Matters The significance of youth voter turnout.
For the Trill of it
The Fall Season brings people to spooky sights.
Latinas in STEM strive to create diversity.
Students profit off the nostalgia market.
Golden Gate’s Golden Years
Tiburon campus in construction of the Golden Gate.
How to scan code: 1. Open Spotify 4. Scan code
2. Tap search bar 5. Listen
3. Tap camera 6. Enjoy
For the Thrill of it The fall season brings thrillseekers to spooky sights. Story by Sydney Williams Photography by Neal Wong Design by Ella Lerissa and Sydney Williams
Tommy Netzband gives a short presentation on his iPad during his Haunted Haight Walking Tour in San Francisco, Calif. on Oct. 7, 2023.
tanding in the middle of Buena Vista Park, a small crowd listens to static transmitting from the small electromagnetic f ield transmitter. They wait, hoping for something to try and contact them from the spirit world. The crowd makes its way around the neighborhood, listening closely to the creepy stories they are told on the Haunted Haight tour. As it gets dark, the stories seem to feel scarier. On edge, the smallest abnormal sound makes the group jump. As the fall season begins, the temperature drops, fog begins to roll in and Halloween looms ever closer. Why do people go out of their way to get scared? Thrill-seekers watch horror movies, listen to ghost stories and walk on haunted tours, for the adrenaline that they might experience something paranormal. While in a controlled setting, the feeling of fear can be enjoyable. “People like novelty,” said SF State psychology professor Gaurav Suri. “There is a built-in search for novelty,” said Suri. “With what Halloween is doing, it’s giving you the novelty of fear in a controlled environment. So you’re experiencing it but you’re experiencing it in safety.” When a person gets scared, their f ight-or-f light instincts get triggered, which causes a person to experience many different side effects. There is a release of adrenaline that a person might seek out, said Suri. “We are experiencing increased heart rate, we are experiencing sweat, we may experience changes in breathing [and] we may experience the arousal of adrenaline. All those combination factors cause the fear response that we experience,’’ said Suri. Back on the Haunted Haight Walking Tour, encountering ghosts and fear is something that professional paranormal investigator, Tommy Netzband has become very familiar with. The program took Netzband nine months to perfect, and he has been sharing his paranormal knowledge with San Francisco for the last 20 years. “Everyone experiences fear a little differently,’’ said Netzband. “Some just completely freak out and run, some freeze, some go in shock — there are so many facets of being scared.” Residual hauntings are the most common kind of hauntings, according to Netzband. This kind of haunting is a trapped or imprinted memory or energy that hosts an environment. A residual haunting most often occurs when something traumatic happens in the space.
“With what Halloween is doing, it’s giving you the novelty of fear in a controlled environment. So you’re experiencing it but . . . in safety.”
“Aren’t ghosts in our minds?” asked Netzband. “Absolutely, I think they work through our minds, if we are consciously connected through our consciousness.” Only 10% of the cases that Netzband is called to investigate are concluded to be true paranormal activity. SF State has had its own rumors with the potential of being haunted. The on-campus murder of Jenny Low Chang in 1977 remains unsolved, and the 13th f loor of the Towers at Centennial Square dorms leaves students feeling uneasy. “When walking through the HSS building, it gives me an eerie vibe, I don’t feel alone there,” said Sierra Bradford, a fourth-year psychology student. “I just always feel like there is someone around each corner, and maybe there might be or maybe I might be paranoid.” “Towers was also that same energy when you would go down to the f irst f loor,” continued Bradford. “It was always very dimly lit and cobwebs on every corner, you know, it was very disturbing for my spirit.” The effects of being scared may be different for everyone, but it is an experience that is uniform. Some people feel fear with a great force, while others are unfazed. Andi Campos, a fourth-year SF State psychology student, enjoys the eerie and spine-chilling feeling she gets from being scared and often f inds herself gravitating toward media with ghostly themes. “I’ve had lots of family stories passed down and I feel like I bring that onto myself because I am always watching scary movies, and scary shows and scary podcasts,” said Campos. FALL 2023
To be an Artist After graduating college, Chloe Little searches for their moment. Story by Div Lukic Photography by Leilani Xicotencatl Design by Alicia Montoya
hloe Little sits on the edge of a red rolling chair in the corner of their bedroom studio, f lanked by MIDI keyboards and audio cables. Beside them sits Babytron, a modular synth made from a plastic baby doll, with dials and switches sticking out of his smooth bald head. Little, who uses the pronoun they, nodded along with the beat as their eyes scrolled through dropdown menus of synthesized instruments and sounds. In a perfect world, they would spend all day making electronic pop music, but in reality, Little must shut their laptop and head to work. Artists such as Little aren’t yet making enough money from their art to support themselves, and like many artists, Little often leans on jobs that they may not be fully passionate about to afford rent and food. There’s no step-by-step path for artists to succeed in their careers in the same way that a future doctor or lawyer has; there’s not even a guarantee of any success at all. A survey done by the Music Industry Research Association found that 61% of musicians said that their music-related income is not suff icient to meet their living expenses. Little’s music career began during their sophomore year at SF State when COVID-19 struck, forcing them to move back to Los Angeles with their parents. Their dad, Mark Little, is an assistant director and f ilm producer and plays jazz as a hobby. They’ve developed their sound to be more “video gamey” electronic pop, drawing from the hyperpop genre. “It’s not just super-replicable trash [...] I don’t know, it has all these weird chimes and slowed down, like scary kind of vocals,” Little said. Little often relies on their laptop keyboard to make the music behind their vocals. Despite the music being mostly made on their computer, they strive to not just make “computer music.” “I’m always trying to get them to keep pushing themself to learn, not just instruments and things, but also like the technical side of it, engineering and how to mix,” Mark Little said. Having a father in the f ilm industry hasn’t provided connections that have jump-started Chloe’s career, but there have been certain moments where established professionals provided feedback. While working on “Don’t Worry Darling,” which starred Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles, he mentioned his child’s music to some other crew members and played “With You,” their new song at the time. The next day, Olivia Wilde posted the song to her Instagram story, which resulted in a f lood of Harry
Babytron, a modular synth handmade from a plastic baby doll, sits over Chloe Little’s keyboard in the corner of their bedroom studio, In San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. Little purchased Babytron online and is now a big part of their production space. ON THE LEFT
Chloe Little sits in their living room holding their Fender guitar as they pose for a portrait, In San Francisco, Calif. on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. Little is a solo musician pursuing their artistic career.
Styles fans following Little’s account. Little has always been exposed to creative projects and artists through their father’s work, they chose to major in cinema during their time at SF State despite a lifelong ambition to be a singer. “My whole life, really, I wanted to be a singer, for sure. But, I guess around high school is when I was like, ‘Ooh, f ilm is like a route I could take,’” Little said. As they approached graduation, they didn’t have a solid plan for f inding a steady job in either the f ilm or music industry. Scott Boswell, a cinema professor, was a favorite professor of Little’s and has seen students graduate in this sort of occupational limbo. “I’d say most of them feel a little in a sort of a gray zone, even a darker-than-gray zone,” Boswell said. “There’s no prescription, there’s no sort of path to follow… you might get in a f ield like medicine.” Little was one of these students who graduated in a potentially darker-than-gray zone. Since the spring of 2020, they’ve made less than $200 from their music. Shortly after graduation, Little found work at a bakery while making music in their spare time. Although side jobs like this pay the bills, they can also drain artists of motivation and creative energy. “When I was unemployed, I had so much time to just be like, ‘I’m gonna sleep and then make music and sleep.’ But when I had a job, I was mainly just working and sleeping and thinking about music,” Little said. Little supplements their income in various ways. They’ve advertised their singing and producing services on freelance gig apps such as Fiverr to help bring in money on the side. As a solo musician, Little has had trouble marketing themself to venues and clubs since
they occupy the middle ground between a band and a DJ. Little had a breakthrough when they found HydeFM, a San Francisco community-based multi-genre online radio station founded by Denis Mahklin and Luis Castillo. Mahklin and Little met in a theater class at SF State, and he reached out to Little on social media after seeing them begin to post their music and asked Little to host an hourlong mix. Part of the ethos behind HydeFM is to create an all-inclusive space for both established and upcoming artists to get some exposure. “We always want to welcome artists, specif ically in the city. And then, yeah, I knew Chloe, they had good music, really good music taste, and so we asked them to do a guest mix on Hyde,” Mahklin said. Throughout Mahklin’s time in college, he made ends meet by working various minimum-wage jobs. He suggests artists reframe the way they think about working a day job. “Whatever you have to do to make ends meet, you have to do it and that’s your side gig. But your main focus is still what you like to do,” Mahklin said. SF State media entrepreneurship professor Douglas Siebum shares the realistic expectations one should have when becoming an artist. “It was diff icult just in the sense that I got really tired of working so many days a week, but I needed the extra money and, you know, I did that for that period of time,” Siebum said. “The entertainment industry is competitive, I always relate it to playing pro sports,” said Siebum. “Just because you play ball in college that doesn’t mean you’re going to get drafted by the pros […] Just because you make it to the big leagues doesn’t mean you’re not sitting on the bench.”
Get to know Chloe Little in 3 songs
1. Video Games Released on September 22, 2023. Written and recorded by Chloe Little, Noelle Hada, and Zachary Malig. Produced by Noelle Hada.
2. Hello Moto Released on July 7, 2023. Written, recorded and produced by Chloe Little.
3. Headache Released on August 26, 2022 Written recorded and produced by Chloe Little.
Steministas Latinas in STEM strive to create diversity in their field. Story by Nadia Castro Photography by Feven Mamo Design and infographic by Alicia Montoya
According to Institutional Research at SF State, the enrollment numbers show there are less women enrolling in STEM . This shows there is a decrease in enrollment from Fall 2022 to Spring 2023 in STEM majors. In Fall 2022, 5,457 students were enrolled and 2,159 of those students were women. In Spring 2023, 5,087 students were enrolled and 1,958 of those students were women.
world where daughters of immigrants are forging paths into STEM despite cultural heritage and societal expectations is coming into reality. In a male-dominated and undiversif ied program such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), certain communities f ind it hard to feel like they belong to the program. According to Pew Research Center, Hispanics make up 17% of the total workforce in the U.S., but only 8% of Hispanics are in the STEM f ields. Latinas in STEM are working to break barriers at SF State, providing resources and representation to the f ield. Latinas in STEM (LSTEM) is an organization on campus which was founded to provide empowerment and a safe space for Latinas to thrive. They help f ind resources that many Latinx students struggle to f ind, as they do not have the same access to STEM starting out. Amayrani Villegas, alumna of SF State and founder of LSTEM, described her experience where being a woman in STEM created a great work ethic, but also a hardship when it came to family. Villegas talks about a cultural dependence to help her family and had to discover how to f ind a balance. “We come from a culture where we work hard. It’s in our blood to work hard for what we want. At the time I was about 19-20, I had up to f ive jobs at one point to support my family,” said Villegas. “I had to really make sure I can provide and support for myself, but also not put a burden on my family f inancially. I think that was the f irst hurdle being a Latina in STEM.” She remains passionate about Latinas being an asset to STEM and creating a shift in the industry. When a doctor can speak Spanish, there is a level of trust that comes with that and that already creates a change in the community. Villegas believes coming from a diverse background means they have a different way of thinking that others may not have. “The main reason why I started [LSTEM] was [ because] I wanted to increase diversity in STEM,” Villegas said. Villegas saw the change in Latina students once they started attending LSTEM from not knowing what they were doing to receiving fellowships in their f ield. She spearheaded resume workshops and how to apply for scholarships. She believes if LSTEM continues, SF State can be recognized for the highest diversity in STEM by having more Latinas. Carmen Domingo, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, discusses how she plans to keep diversifying the program within faculty to show students there is progress to be made about representation in the classrooms.
ON THE LEFT
Viclarie Lozoya, a physiology major, sets up a table outside to encourage students to join “Latinas in STEM,” an empowering science community that offers leadership and mentorship to college students.
COURTESY PHOTO BY VICLARIE LOZOYA ON THE RIGHT
Perla Gómez Olguín, a third-year pre-med student, stands at the human anatomy lab.
“The path to becoming a faculty member is long so you have to have a lot of persistence and you have to really overcome things like stereotype threat where the environment is conveying a signal or — maybe you don’t f it in or be good enough,” said Domingo. “I think [SF State has] got to work really hard to hire faculty so that the students see themselves in it.” As a Latina in power, Domingo ref lected that when she was a young student she did not feel as prepared as other students for college coming from an intercity school. She explained how not having a supportive classroom environment makes a difference. “Students are asking for [more representation] and I want to deliver. We’re also working hard in thinking about the curriculum that we offer and more importantly we teach it, how do we create these welcoming spaces,” said Domingo. “We have a new assistant dean who’s really gonna help with launching anti-racism efforts and looking at how do we create these spaces that our Black and Brown students feel included and represented in the work and discipline.” Viclarie Lozoya, a f irst-generation Latina and eldest daughter, discussed how she struggled with knowing exactly what to do in order to get on the STEM path. “For me it was really diff icult because everyone is looking up to me and assuming I have all the answers, but thankfully we have technology, and Google was my best friend back in high school,” said Lozoya. “So I always thought this is what I have to do. I never saw all the nontraditional paths like
— hey, you can go to community college and still end up at UCL A after.” As the eldest daughter, she was cut out from her family for wanting to move out, focus on her career and go to college. Lozoya said many Latinas struggle with feeling guilty for not being able to stay with their families. Lozoya discusses how she wants to rebuild her community by bringing back resources to them and revealing different routes that can help Latinx students. She wants to break the stereotype surrounding Latinx women of settling down early because she believes women are more than that and should be free of not having to comply with one narrative. Perla Gómez Olguín, a third-year biology major with a concentration in physiology, felt lucky to receive help from her high school counselor, Mr. Escobar, who guided her to the path she needed. Olguín’s father was diagnosed with cancer, and claims doctors failed to give him adequate care because of their ethnicity so she decided to become a doctor. “I just think that if there was more representation in medicine or just in general in STEM that there could’ve been a better way to treat patients like [my father],” said Olguín. “That English isn’t their f irst language or that they struggle to explain themselves […] if there was someone that had similar backgrounds or stories they’re able to understand them better.” In California, Latinx comprised 39% of the state’s population, yet just 6% of physicians were Latinx and 3% were Latina.
“I just think that
if there was more representation in medicine or just in general in STEM that there could’ve been a better way to treat patients like [my father].”
Olguín talked about bridging the gap for those who need a person who understands their culture or language in healthcare. “Just having that [diversity at SF State] made me realize [...] having good Latina representation really matters and it does impact the way you do in school and how you want to leave an impact in the future,” said Olguín. “It motivates me more to do better in school and I know that I can do it knowing there are so many other Latinas that are just as excited and motivated.” FALL 2023
Some of the Sonny Angels on display in Woot Bear on Haight Street in San Francisco (Andrew Fogel/Xpress Magazine)
D I P U
Meet the cherub that’s giving Cupid a run for his money.
Sonny Angel stands near Cox Stadium during an SF State men’s soccer practice session. A fun trend exists where people take pictures of Sonny Angels in unique settings or completing different tasks. (Andrew Fogel/Xpress Magazine)
Story by Giovanna Montoya Photography by Andrew Fogel and Ella Lerissa Design by Ella Lerissa
fter an awful day at school, Gisselle Peñuela Solis was feeling frustrated and annoyed. Letting out an exasperated sigh, she decided to walk over to Stonestown Galleria to see if they had any Sonny Angel blind boxes — luckily,
they did. She poured over the cases, strategically picking and shaking each individual box, hoping to feel which Angel she might be holding. With each mystery box she grabbed, she could slowly feel her tension slipping away and turning into excitement. After a thorough inspection of each box, she ultimately decided that the New York-themed Sonny Angel series was calling her name. Solis left the store eager to test the power of her intuition. Finally disposing of the box and ripping open the interior packaging that conceals the Angel, Solis is ecstatic to see that she pulled the Gold Taurus, a very rare Secret Angel specif ic to that series. Letting out a sigh of relief, she knew that this was a sign that everything was going to be alright. Standing just under three inches tall, Sonny Angel is a little cherub boy who enjoys dressing up in different headgear, and closely resembles an American Kewpie doll. He is wide-eyed with a charming smile, blush-saturated cheeks and adorably chubby body, complete with a set of small angel wings. Born on May 15th, 2004, Sonny Angel was created to be a small boyfriend who can be pocketed and carried around, according to the Sonny Angel off icial website. His mission: to bring protection, healing and happiness. “I mean, they’re obviously adorable, but I really liked the whole concept [that] Sonny Angel is one little cherub baby,” said Devin Dean, an avid Sonny Angel collector. “He’s not many, he’s just one boy who wears many costumes and hats to bring entertainment to whoever is looking at him.” Although he’s been around for nearly 19 years, Sonny Angel has only recently blown up in popularity within the past year. On
TikTok this month, #sonnyangel has accumulated over 406.6 million views. According to ZoomInfo, a software company which provides data about companies and businesses, Sonny Angel has amassed a revenue of over $5 million. According to Megan Harrington, a sophomore at SF State and employee at Woot Bear, Sonny Angel’s manufacturer, Dreams Inc., has recently been facing diff iculties producing enough supply to match the drastic spike in demand, making it diff icult for fans to get their hands on reasonably priced Sonny Angels, let alone any at all. When Dean f irst started collecting, he would normally get his Sonny Angel merchandise from Woot Bear on Haight Street, but explained that they, as well as stores in Japantown and other locations that normally carry Sonny Angel, are having a hard time keeping their shelves stocked. Other stores that are still somehow keeping their shelves stocked, such as iFun in the Stonestown Mall, are charging upwards of $17 for Sonny Angel, compared to Woot Bear which sells them at $10 to $12. “Something that a lot of people don’t know is that it actually takes one year to produce a whole collection,” said Harrington. “A lot of people [ask] ‘When are you gonna get get some back?’ It’s kind of stressful because we we don’t know exactly, we communicate a lot lot FALL 2023
Sonny Angel stands in the quad. Sonny Angels are made with removable heads, which allows bought or homemade accessories to be attached. (Andrew Fogel/Xpress Magazine)
Devin Dean’s favorite Sonny Angel amongst the vast collection he has built. (Ella Lerissa/ Xpress Magazine)
with Dreams, we email them all the time, and it’s def initely not their fault because it blew up so unexpectedly.” Sonny Angel wasn’t always the short and stout travel companion his fans now know and love. He started out at a whopping seven inches and didn’t have the never-ending wardrobe he has now. The f irst mini f igure was introduced in a series called “Animal Series Ver. 1,” and featured the character wearing various animal-themed headgear. Since then, over 18 series of Sonny Angels have been developed. Sonny Angels comes in a box of 12 individually wrapped f igures that can all be collected. Each series is manufactured in identical packaging to ensure that no one knows the exact identity of the Angel in the box they choose. The blind box packaging wraps the f igures in mystery and anticipation, making it a fun and exciting experience for fans. “[I] started to get them at this one store on Haight Street. It’s called Woot Bear, and they sell all sorts of different blind box collectibles, but [I] go for the Sonnys and my collection grew embarrassingly fast,” said Dean. “I have at least 120 and they’re all displayed by series.” According to the Sonny Angel off icial website, in addition to the 12 Sonny Angels in each series, the collections also feature a Secret Angel and a Robby Angel whose designs are not disclosed to fans when the series is released. Robby Angel is described as a close companion to Sonny Angel who has the ability to change the color and pattern of his body, much like a chameleon. These mystery f igures are considered to be ultra-rare, as not every box of 12 is guaranteed 11
“He’s not many- he’s just one boy who wears many costumes and hats to bring entertainment to whoever is looking at him.”
Gisselle Peñuela Solis poses for a portrait using her laptop, which has a Sonny Angel climbing on the back. (Andrew Fogel/Xpress Magazine)
to contain one. Secrets are only packaged in one of every 12 series boxes, rendering the odds of pulling a Secret Angel 1 in 144. However, trying to complete a series over time allows for a higher likelihood of pulling duplicates. Blind boxes are a gamble, as collectors always run the risk of receiving an unfavorable outcome. “I’ve noticed over the years, some of the reactions of people, like when [they] don’t get what [they] want […] you gotta be grateful,” said Harrington. “There will be a second chance, and you just always have to hold yourself responsible and not blame the workers.” Luckily, Sonny Angel fans came up with the perfect solution to get around this dilemma: Sonny Angel meetups. Every couple of weeks, enthusiasts schedule a time and day to meet up and share their love for the babies. These gatherings are generally held in local parks and tend to look like giant picnics. People come prepared with their blankets and Sonny Angel collections, which they display, and walk around buying, trading, selling and, of course, admiring other’s collections. “My favorite part is probably seeing everybody’s huge collections and just wanting to get mine there,” said Solis, a f irst-year sociology major at SF State. One of the best aspects of these silly little babies is the memories and sentiments tied to each individual Sonny Angel in a collection. Even just looking at them, Solis said, she can recall when she bought or traded them and how she felt in those moments. After trading off any of her Angels, she likes to exchange social media with the people who are getting her Angels and even makes a point to keep in touch and connect with whoever they end up trading to.
“Sonny Angel collecting brings communities together,” said Harrington. “I’m so grateful that it’s brought people together because there’s no sense of community without it.” Chloe Geilenfeldt and her girlfriend Jennifer Schildge hosted a meetup on Sept. 9 at Main Parade Lawn in the Presidio. After drawing up a f lier for the event, they sent it to stores such as Woot Bear and iFun and posted it on TikTok which ended up receiving around 500 likes. The event itself ended with a turnout of about 50 to 60 people and over 1,000 Sonny Angels. “We wanted to [host] it because we had just moved [to San Francisco],” said Geilenfeldt. “We hosted one in San Diego that was really successful and so we were like, ‘Oh, that’d be a good way to meet people and have that common interest.’” With the slogan “healing in the heart,” Dreams Inc. def ines itself as a company that manufactures products that deliver healing to their customers’ lives. This is certainly emphasized by the comfort and happiness that Sonny Angel has brought his fans. As silly as it may seem, Sonny Angel establishes a sense of community and support when feeling lonely or hopeless.
The Upcycle SF State students profit off the nostalgia market. Story by Andrea Jimenez Photography by Ryo Kojima Design by Alicia Montoya
Vintage reseller specializing in women’s clothing from the ’50s through ’70s and third year student at SFSU, Maya Schraeder looks at various garments to source at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire in Alameda, California.
very first Sunday of the month, over 800 vintage and antique vendors set up shop in a former Alameda naval air station overlooking the San Francisco skyline and the Oakland harbor for the monthly Alameda Point Antiques Faire. Among furniture booths, glassware, knickknacks and clothing stalls, Ryan Ly and Renz Paningbatan, the owners of Flipside Market can be found selling their clothes. To be there every first Sunday of the month, the duo gets up at 3 a.m. at their homes in Daly City and South San Francisco and by 4 a.m., they’re on the road, driving over 20 miles to the largest antique show in Northern California. By 5 a.m. the duo arrive at the fairgrounds, bundled up in hoodies and a furry flap hat to beat the dawn’s cool brisk air and begin unloading their minivan full of vintage graphic T-shirts featuring Nike slogans and Studio Ghibli characters, worn-in distressed Levi’s denim jeans and industrial Carhartt jackets onto their 15-by-20 lot. Just before sunrise approaches, the event opens to the public at 6 a.m., bringing life into the formerly empty lot and transforming it into a bustling open market. Ly and Paningbatan are part of a larger trend. According to the ThredUp 2022 Resale Report, the secondhand market is expected to grow three
times faster than the global apparel market overall and double profits by 2027, exceeding $350 billion. Over the past year, pop-up markets such as OK Marketplace, Secondhand Saturdays and Sensitive Vintage have been appearing throughout the city, reinforcing the trend’s growing popularity and making vintage clothing more accessible and widespread to the public. While San Francisco’s Haight Street has long been home to more than a dozen vintage stores, these pop-up markets make secondhand shopping even easier. Ly and Paningbatan, like many other young entrepreneurs, are trying to make a career and develop a new business model from vintage clothing reselling- a business model where people buy secondhand vintage styles and flip them for a higher profit.
But What Is Considered Vintage? According to the Journal of The Textile Institute, vintage is defined as anything that is 20 or more years older. Even the Alameda Point Antiques Faire has a strict policy that only allows
“I don’t want to
see any empty storefronts. ... I wish they were all vintage clothing.”
vendors who sell clothing and furniture that are 20 years or older. Cecily Hansen is the owner of the store Decades of Fashion on Haight Street. Hansen operated other vintage stores before settling into her current location on the corner of Belvedere and Haight Street in 2005. However, Hansen first began collecting and selling vintage clothing in the late 1960s and has a positive outlook on the new generation of clothing resellers on Haight Street. “I welcome any other vintage stores here because I want that for the neighborhood,” Hansen said. “I don’t want to see any empty storefronts. I wish they were all vintage clothing.” However, Hansen is confident that no one can compete with her selection. “If you’re really serious about vintage […] you can check in with me,” Hansen said. Decades of Fashion carries clothing ranging as far back as the 1840s and as early as the 1980s and is unlike many other shops on Haight Street for that reason.
Making A Living
Ryan Ly and Renz Paningbatan of Flipside Market, a vintage reselling business that specializes in true vintage and Y2K garments, at their selling booth at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire in Alameda, California. Realizing the potential of the vintage reselling market, Ly and Paningbatan started their business in the summer of 2022, and are now weekly regulars at flea and reselling markets all through out the Bay Area.
Ly and Paningbatan started their reselling business in July of 2022. The longtime friends first met in middle school summer camp. They began thrifting and buying secondhand clothing long before they started selling, resulting in them amassing a collection of clothing throughout the years. Ly first approached Paningbatan about flipping the clothes they no longer wore to make some extra cash. Paningbatan recalled attending a clothing market in San Jose and being shocked by an $80 “Stone Cold” Steve Austin tee and
realizing the potential there was to make high profits. “I didn’t know… used clothing could be marked up like that,” Paningbatan said. “And that’s where I remember the earliest spark… like, let’s just make this thing happen.” Since then, the duo has been selling at vintage clothing markets throughout the SF Bay Area almost every weekend. Maya Schraeder is a current SF State student and owner of Wardrobe Vomit, a vintage curation brand specializing in women’s clothing from the ’50s through ’70s. Growing up, Schraeder watched her mom sell vintage clothing and furniture, which sparked an appreciation for all things vintage early on in life. After Schraeder was laid off from her waitressing job during the pandemic, she began selling some of her personal collection online to get by, quickly realizing she had found her calling. “I kind of got addicted to selling stuff online,” Schraeder said. When pandemic restrictions were lifted and Schraeder had the option to return to her old job, she chose to pursue reselling full-time. She has been traveling throughout California and selling her clothes ever since. Schraeder travels between Southern and Northern California for vintage vending events on the weekends; however, the income from these events can be unstable. “It can… feel so disappointing, sometimes discouraging if you have a bad market and you’ve driven hours to go to the market and you don’t make any money, but you paid a fee to be there,” Schraeder said. “But ultimately, I would rather deal with that aspect of it than having a real nineto-five job.” To maintain another source of income,
Price tag business cards on one of their products, a highly sought after vintage corduroy neck Carhartt chore jacket, which was made by Ryan Ly and Renz Paninbatan of Flipside Market, a vintage reselling business that specializes in true vintage and Y2K garments, at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire in Alameda, California.
Schraeder rents a clothing rack at Virgo, a Santa Cruz-based vintage shop and at Moody Goose, a San Francisco-based vintage shop. Like many other vintage shops, the stores both have a “renta-rack” business model where vendors can pay a monthly rent to occupy a clothing rack in the store. Vendors are responsible for restocking and maintaining their rack, but the store processes all the transactions. From these stores, Schraeder makes around $2,000 a month on average, and markets are a way to generate extra income. “I’m not really able to save money, but I’m able to continue to buy clothes and to pay for all of my expenses,” Schraeder said. On the other hand, the nostalgia of different decades for customers has amassed Ly and Paningbatan a monthly income ranging between $10,000 and $15,000 on a good month. In addition to vending clothes at vintage markets around the Bay Area every weekend, they rent a rack in a vintage store in San Mateo for $700 a month. Ly is currently a business administration major at SF State and has been able to apply what he learns in the classroom to his business. The pair have their business registered as a limited liability company and keep track of all of their expenses. “I think I got really good at bookkeeping,” Ly said. “Just keeping track of expenses, how much we spent […] what we can afford to spend.” Schraeder sometimes struggles to balance school and her resell work. Schraeder lives and commutes from Santa Cruz, over 70 miles away from SF State’s Campus. Because of this, she stacks her classes onto two days a week and fits in homework throughout the week, sometimes while vending at markets. Schraeder enjoys these parts 15
of her life and the flexibility that reselling has allowed her to have. “I like the nomadic aspect of what I’m doing now and being able to have the freedom to travel,” Schraeder said. “I get to choose when I want to work and how hard I want to work.”
The Appeal According to an article by Tracy Diane Cassidy and Hannah Rose Bennett in the Journal of Fashion Practice, another reason for the prominence of secondhand clothing is its implied environmental benefits. The fashion industry is under scrutiny for being responsible for 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions and polluting the earth’s natural resources, in addition to creating textile waste. “Every 20 years or something like that, is when cycles kind of come back around and immediately when one cycle is waning […] people really just find those fashions very distasteful,” said Nancy Martin, a lecturer in the Apparel Design and Merchandising department at SF State. “And then, over time, people start to love them again.” Cassidy and Bennett’s research also linked consumers turning to vintage clothing and secondhand fashion as a reactionary act against fast fashion and growing demand for eco-fashion. They also found that people enjoy eco-fashion for its individuality and unique styles. “It’s good for the environment,” said Patty Pieper, a customer at the Alameda Point Antiques Fair. “Especially considering how many clothes are produced all the time, why not reuse them?
Customers at the selling lot of Flipside Market, a vintage reseller business run by Ryan Ly and Renz Paningbatan, which specializes in true vintage and Y2K garments at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire in Alameda, California. A large variety of vintage and Y2K headwear and hats ranging from early 2000’s NASCAR caps to 90’s mesh trucker hats offered at a vintage reseller’s selling stand at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. Various pants and trousers ranging from true vintage denim and corduroy to khaki cargo pants sold at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire.
eco-fashion for its individuality and unique styles.”
Your Vote Matters Significance of youth voter turnout.
Story by Faya Beeldstroo Design by Ella Lerissa Illustrations by Alicia Montoya and Ella Lerissa
owadays, the younger generations have become more comfortable in speaking out and advocating for their political and social causes. Millennials and Gen-Z take to social media with trending tags such as #BlackOutTuesday, which people used during the Black Lives Matter protests, or #MeToo expressing solidarity with rape victims. While at SF State, some may participate in protests and conf idently voice their concerns and opinions online, there is still a large fraction of the college-age population that does not participate in voting. The United States Census Bureau found that out of 3,460 voters in California aged 18 to 24, only 900 ended up voting in the November 2022 general election. But a poll from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies shows that most of the people who vote in California are 50 and older (71%), white (71%), homeowners (68%) or college graduates (55%). So, what motivates young people at SF State to vote? Biology major Annie Deng, 20, said she is somewhat involved in different movements but is not very politically active in the sense that she does not go out and protest or join strikes. “I don’t vote,” Deng said. “When I’m not already knowledgeable [...] of what [running candidates] are standing for, it’s really diff icult to do the research in that.” According to Marcela Garcia-Castanon, an associate professor in the political science department who focuses on obstacles to voting and political socialization, it is very common for young people to see voting as unimportant. “In the United States, you have to register to vote. In most cases, it’s not mandatory and it’s not automatic, which means you have to remember to do this extra thing,” said Garcia-Castanon. She also says that a lot of political parties target college students, as they generally
have more resources. As a result, these parties tend to ignore the youth who are not in a privileged position to go to college. Another factor in political participation goes along racial lines. According to a research survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, from September 2019 to July 2020, white people were 55% likely to have voted, whereas Latinos were 47% likely, and Asian Americans and African Americans were both 54% likely. This also goes for Giovanna Jimenez, 20, double-majoring in Latin Studies and Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts. Her parents are from a different country, and as a f irst-generation U.S. citizen, she feels like the power is in her hands to change things and thus fuels her interest in politics. “I was in middle school when [Donald Trump] got elected [...] he inf licted lots of fear,” Jimenez said. “My friends and I were like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re all going to get deported.’ We had to have serious talks with our parents — if they were to get deported, who would we end up with?” Since 2014, youth ages 16 and up have been given the opportunity to pre-register, which legally allows them to vote in an election once they turn 18. However, GarciaCastanon said that while pre-registration brings an increase in youth registration rates, it doesn’t translate to an increase in turnout. Despite this, pre-registration has helped some young people like Alex Vanscoy, 19, get more involved in voting. Vanscoy is a member of the Young Democratic Socialists of America, a national organization that advocates for students and workers while
f ighting for more radical structural changes. “I love voting,” said Vanscoy. “[I’ve] voted in every election that I have been eligible to vote for, and I am very engaged in the political process. I actually got pre-registered when I was 16 because I started to work at the polls.” Jimenez said it is tough to get registered when you move. “Since I’m gonna spend more time here [...] I’m gonna try to switch over to see if I can vote here when we have some elections going on,” Jimenez said. “I have a friend [...] he’s gonna try to help me because he was able to switch [his address] from Los Angeles County to San Francisco County.” SF State provides resources for voting such as the Gators Vote program. It encourages students to vote via tabling, voter registration days at Malcolm X Plaza and ballot drop-off opportunities. Adrian Ortanez, 24, double-majoring in race and resistance studies and nutrition, said that experiencing racism at a young age pushed him to learn how politics works and how he can create change. “I think there should be more classes geared toward ethnic studies and [...] exposing [students] to politics at a really young age,’’ Ortanez said. “A lot of kids are seeing the world around them and they don’t know where to put those things.” FALL 2023
The Making Of The
Tiburon campus in the construction of the Golden Gate. Story by Isabella Minnis Photography by Leilani Xicotencatl Archival Photo Courtesy by California Historical Society, Golden Gate National Recreational Area Fort Point Photo Collection Design by Ella Lerissa
an Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge off icially opened to the public on May 27, 1937. After more than four years of construction, more than 200,000 people paid only 25 cents to walk the bridge on opening day. From this day on, the bridge, recognized for its size, capturing red color and rich history, has acted as a signature of the city of San Francisco. The bridge was constructed at SF State’s Tiburon campus, which was a U.S. Navy site at the time. In 1933, the site was leased by the Navy to the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, which was responsible for the manufacturing of the bridge. The New Jersey-based company used the site to furnish and erect the main cables for the Golden Gate Bridge and construct a seawall, a wharf and a large warehouse to serve as a production depot. Steel wires for the cables were shipped in 400-pound bundles from the Roebling plant in Trenton, New Jersey, through the Panama Canal and unloaded onto the shoreline at the Tiburon campus. Approximately 150 men worked on the north end of the campus where they wound the wire onto reels before they were taken to the Golden Gate Bridge. This back-and-forth process took six months and nine days, creating 27,572 wires in each cable. In 1942, the Roebling lease ended and the campus was returned to the U.S. Navy. In 1978, the site was transferred to SF State, and on November 20, 2017, the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies was renamed to the Romberg Tiburon Campus, and the Estuary and Ocean Science Center was established.
This process took six months and nine days, setting records for speeds and efficiency. 17
An aerial shot of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1935. (Courtesy of Golden Gate National Recreational Area Fort Point Photo Collection) The Golden Gate Bridge saw a turnout numbering in the thousands on its opening day — May 27, 1937. (Courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle Archives)
Galvanized steel wires for the cables were shipped in 400-pound bundles from the Roebling plant through the Panama Canal to SF State’s Tiburon campus, where they were unloaded and reeled into cables.
Above: The Golden Gate Bridge in the stages of construction in 1935. (Courtesy of California Historical Society) Left: A view of the Golden Gate Bridge photographed from the Battery Boutelle in San Francisco on Jan. 17, 2020. (Leilani Xicotencatl/Xpress Magazine)