Blush Magazine - Fall/Winter 2020

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The Vital Issue FALL/WINTER 2020


Isis Manzanilla


Isis Manzanilla


Cat Trzaskowski

Ava King


Shruthi Nattanmai Justine Golota Caroline Levine Rylee Hanson Luci Marie Danielle Zbodula Elizabeth Donough


Kaitlyn Foley


Grace Peisker



Leah King




Hannah Brower

Ava King



Kelly Fung




Monica Tsai-Ni Lee

Crystal Chen Laura Hatmaker

Simran Thakker, Queena Chen, Sharis Chan, Zhiyuan Xie, Melissa Guillen, Fanny Wu, Donna Hellberg, Jordan Rush, Ethan Wolfsberg, Vy Tran, Yi Chen, Christany Sendar, Colette Antonaccio, Victoria Panzella, Lily Foley, Kelly Fung, Monica Tsai-Ni Lee, Maria Bonfilio Ava Williams, Cameron Reed, Christina St Clair, Alfonso Badillo, Isis Rayne, Elise Silva-Barreto, Erick Dent, Leah King, Nicole Windram, Stefano Varela, Christina SaintClair, Shruthi Nattanmai, Sophia Diaz, Novalee Wilcher, Ashley Weil, Julia McCarthy, Christany Sendar Stefano Varela, Nicole Windram, Mia Piazzi, Vy Tran, Christina St Clair, Alfonso Badillo, Raystter Alves, Ciara Gibaldi, Taralyn Peck, Ava King, Veronica Montalvo, Thomas Richards, Emily Orth, Isis Manzanilla, Hannah Brower Francessa Byrd, Elizabeth Wentworth, Jessica Bally, Caroline Albert, Phoebe Beirne, Donna Hellberg, Nadia Sobczak, Molly Gelman, Rachel Aziz, Caroline Levine, Payton Bierk, Emily Orth, Gabrielle Puskas, Justine, Julianna Moreland, Lisa Hahner, Siena Robertiello, Nelly Ghansah, Julia Mccarthy, Avery Herodes, Ava King, Veronica

Blush is produced by the students of the Fashion Institute of Technology, part of the State University of New York, with funds provided by the FIT student government association. FIT is committed to prohibiting discrimination in its programs, activities, and employment, whether based on race, color, nation origin, sex, gender, gender identity, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military service status, genetic information, pregnancy, familial status, citizenship status (except as required to comply with law), or any other criterion prohbibted by law. Inquires regarding the nondiscrimination policy may be directed to the affirmative action officer/title IX coordination, (212) 217-3360, Blush is produced by the students of the Fashion Institute of Technology, part of the State University of New York, with funds provided by the FIT student government association. FIT is committed to prohibiting discrimination in its programs, activities, and employment, whether based on race, color, nation origin, sex, gender, gender identity, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military service status, genetic information, pregnancy, familial status, citizenship status (except as required to comply with law), or any other criterion prohbibted by law. Inquires regarding the nondiscrimination policy may be directed to the affirmative action officer/title IX coordination, (212) 217-3360,


Vital Issue 006

Editor-In-Chief Letter

FASHION 008 018 022 024 030 038 042


Ready To “Where” Home Is Where My Goods Are Trends FIT Spotlight Feel Good Fashion Eco/Socially Conscious Brands The Future Of Fashion


On The Cover

CULTURE 046 054 056 060 066 070 074 076 080 086

Model Hailey Cowan Photographer Isis Rayne

Your Essential Destination Playlist Tuned In 2020 Survival Guide To Screen Addiction Sustainable Living Tips in NYC Dating During A Pandemic How I Broke Up with Myself The New Social Etiquette Where Are You? Dear Future World, 5 Ways to Stay Creative in an Ever-Changing World

BEAUTY & WELLNESS 088 092 026 104 106 108 118 120 122 126 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Sleep-O-Meter A Beginner’s Guide to Manifestation Stay Vain to Stay Sane Meditation&Manifestation Home Remedies Fruitful Eats Safe Haven Indispensable Beauty You Are Essential Shifting the Standards 5



Editor’s Letter

Welcome to the Vital Issue, Blush’s first ever digital publication. Our f/w 2020 issue has been completed remotely, proudly and passionately, for and by students. This past year has been a shared experience of fear, tragedy, loss, hope, resilience, and empowerment. A year of change. It has shaken the world, including all of our individual worlds. We lost friends, family, opportunities, jobs, homes, and experiences. FIT seniors can’t walk the halls again as a student. Freshmen experienced college for the first time from their childhood bedrooms. When I was thinking of themes, I was pacing around my very small Brooklyn apartment that I specifically moved to to be closer to FIT. Which is funny, because classes are virtual. I live with two other FIT students—we are all generally ambitious, active, and motivated learners, so when we all became mentally drained and unproductive from living life under COVID, I knew we weren’t alone. I realized that this past year has gifted us with an understanding of what truly matters. My mind couldn’t escape stripping everything down and thinking of things in simple terms, as they are. Unlike our last issue, we’re not delving into escapism. We are present, eyes open. No one wants to read or see tonedeaf, unattainable, unrealistic, or unrelatable information. We need the essentials, the basics. We need vitality. Vital is literally defined as “absolutely necessary or important,” while vitality is defined as “the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things.” The combination of these two meanings is what I wish for this issue to exude. When living through one of our worst crises in history as a student and a young creative, the future can sometimes seem like a fog. So many paths to take, so many roadblocks in front of you. Maybe the detour route isn’t as scenic as you had hoped it would be. And when the people in power are watching the world burn with you, it can be hard to stay motivated. When I ask my friends and peers what the biggest impact COVID, or this past year, has had on their life, the most frequent response is motivation. A lot of us are struggling to find the energy, the will, to create, to produce, to take initiative. Don’t let social media fool you for a second—we are all experiencing this, and that is okay. We are the ones paving the way. We’re so tired, because we’re the ones laying the foundation. Right in the middle of history. We have found new ways to collaborate, new ways to communicate, new ways to learn, and new ways to create. We have found new ways to view our world, and each other. In more concrete terms, just being with the people you love is now more cherished than ever before because you have been forced to imagine/experience time without them. When I see my friends, it’s a special occasion. We talk about things, real things: our feelings, our dreams, and our fears. We are re-learning to live life with vitality, and in a vital fashion. Enjoy.

All of my best,

Isis Rayne



READYto “WHERE” Dress like there’s no tomorrow. By Francesca Byrd

It’s safe to say that we all miss planning our “OOTD,” so let’s bring it back— quarantine style. Planning a stylish, yet comfortable work outfit doesn’t necessarily have to be a blazer and dress pants. It could be as simple as a t-shirt and jeans. Whatever you decide to wear, just don’t forget to look presentable from the waist up for your Zoom With many of us learning and working remotely, we’ve meetings! Add a few accessories to elevate your look for a been able to get away with rolling out of bed and wearing day of productivity and staying in and, more importantly, pajamas all day without anyone knowing. But does skipping to feel good for yourself. the simple task of getting dressed take a toll on our mental health and well-being? Keeping this part of our daily routines By getting dressed in the morning like you normally during this time reinstates that sense of “normalcy” we all would, quarantine won’t feel like such a drag. It doesn’t crave and miss. Wearing PJs instead of getting dressed is like just help you feel better physically, but it also helps you a crutch that you don’t need. By taking it away and putting feel better mentally. Honestly, if I spend half of my day in on “normal” clothes, you’re forcing yourself to get the ball pajamas and don’t get dressed until 3 o’clock, chances are rolling, and you’re motivated to be productive. Because most I won’t be my most productive self. After reaching out to aspects of our lives are out of our control, this is the least we FIT students and some friends on Instagram, I discovered that I’m not alone. can do for ourselves. To say that quarantine is cramping our style is truly an understatement. Before everything started to rapidly unfold, we had our daily routines of getting dressed, checking the weather, grabbing our morning coffee, and running out the door to start the day. Now, they look a whole lot different.

I asked, “How are you dressing during quarantine? What are you wearing that brings you joy?” and I received a mixed bag of answers.



Jumpsuits Keenan Watson

Fashion Hannah Brower Photography Cameron Reed Model Tricia Asuncion, Hannah Brower


Dress Shein Model Tiana Spencer

“I dress up whenever I go out since it’s something I enjoy doing, even if it’s just to sit in a car and drive around with friends.Putting on an outfit really motivates me and makes me feel good.” Raymond Cabiling

Streetwear. Comfy clothes. Colors outside of their comfort zone. Accessories. The reasons behind their style choices share a common thread: “It helps me feel and look good, even when I’m at home. It keeps me sane and makes me feel more put together. I still love getting creative and looking hella good.” This task may seem mundane to some, but to others, it is a vital part of their day. Take this time to not only care for yourself but to experiment with your style. Students expressed how they’re making the best out of quarantine to define their fashion sense or completely start from scratch. “Since I’m home, I get to have more fun with it. I love getting new pieces,” said Caitlin Guntner. Now is the time to be bold and to try new things, even if it’s as simple as adding a few accessories to a graphic tee and mom jeans. Try on different outfits to satisfy your mood or even alter it. Make a day out of it. Break out of your comfort zone. Those asymmetrical jeans are waiting to rock your world.


“Sometimes I’ll dress up because I feel like it. Dressing up even though I’m staying inside is important to me because it wouldn’t feel like I’m in pajamas so I won’t feel as lazy. Also, it makes me feel good so why not?” Karen Chen

“Dressing up during these times should be a form of self-care because the difference from PJs to a nice outfit feels so drastic,” said Natalie Sarrion. No matter what you’re wearing, it should make you feel good. Convince yourself that you are going to have an awesome day. Simply, fake it ‘til you make it. But why stop there? Wear something that will not only make you look great but will also boost your confidence. It may be new color schemes, giant hoop earrings, or your favorite pair of Air Jordan’s. Whatever it may be, there’s no greater feeling than owning your body, and that’s something we all need right now. On days where you do need to run out, wear whatever you want with no regrets. Just don’t forget your mask! “I still love getting creative and looking hella good. Even with groceries, I’m glam,” said Jana Pineda. I think we all need to think like Jana. No matter how uneventful the errand may be, dress as if it’s NYFW and you’re the star of the show. Even if you’re just going to the post office or meeting a friend for an outdoor brunch, go all out. Wear what makes you feel confident enough to dance in the middle of 5th Avenue and not have a care in the world. Dress like there’s no tomorrow.

“Fun colors and patterns. Also using this time to experiment with different styles: more basic clothing with fun touches” Teuta Elezaj

Style that slip dress that you’ve been saving for a special day. Go out with a full fist of rings. Remember those pearl earrings at the bottom of your jewelry box? Wear them today just because you can. Wear whatever you want and don’t look back. Who cares who might not like what you’re wearing? Get dressed for yourself. Look good for yourself. Feel good for yourself. With confidence as your best accessory, your outfit will always be ready to “where.”


I still love getting creative and looking hella good. Even with groceries, I’m glam.” Jana Pineda


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“There’s no real way of saying how I’m dressing, but the way I feel when I dress up is great.”Glory Villanueva

“I’ve gotten bolder with my fashion. Gold Jewelry, a classic tiny top, and baggy pants combo makes me feel confident to look good!” Nia Rivera 12

“I’m really into wearing statement earrings now! Whenever I go somewhere, I tend to dress up more because I have to leave the house.” Isabella Sapio FASHION



d makes me hap py, helps me feel alive” un an f s y Domingo a Adrianna w l a

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Gabe Oddo

“Chil l ou tfi ts …

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Model Mike Onipede Green shirt & pants Thrifted

“Dressing better than ever. Wearing clothing that defines my personality. Helps me relax and feel way more comfortable.” Tariq Albert FASHION

“I dress up in cuter outfits than I did before because I’m literally only dressing for myself.” Jazzmine Rodriguez 13



Model Hannah Brower, Isabel Gonzalez, Antonio Lasanta



Model Antonio Lasanta Suit Thrifted



Model Isabel Gonzalez Dress Keenan Watson



Home Is Where My Goods Are by Elizabeth Wentworth

There’s no place like home 18


Your home, which may have once been a place only visited in between business meetings, classes, errands, dates, and for the occasional hours of sleep in between, is now most likely the place that you spend the entirety of your days.

In a world where your bedroom doubles as your office, you may have an emerging desire to revamp your space. Your home, which may have once been a place only visited in between business meetings, classes, errands, dates, and for the occasional hours of sleep in between, is now most likely the place that you spend the entirety of your days. Facing this fact has brought consumers to spend more on home goods than ever before.

Since your space is all about how you feel, both emotionally and physically, comfort is key. You may find a couch that looks nice to watch The Notebook on, but by the end, Ally and Noah won’t be the only reason you’re left in tears. Furninova AB, a sustainably made Swedish based furniture company, capitalizes on this idea of maintaining comfort without sacrificing style. The retro-looking pink Sofa Smile Button Couch is one of their most sought after pieces, as it effortlessly makes a space more refined. Or, Apt2B offers a selection of ottomans and chairs, ranging from velvet to the most buttery leather. Likewise, even outside you can remain snug. ZZ Driggs, a New York-based furniture rental service, reports seeing an influx in outdoor furniture orders since the start of the pandemic which allows friends and family to visit while maintaining social distancing. A vacant floor beneath your couch can feel cold and empty, but adding a rug can transform any room into what feels like a warm embrace. It helps bring a space together. Oftentimes, they are seen as an afterthought when decorating; however, they are now becoming the forefront of stylistic decisions. Layering rugs as well as patterned rugs are two noticeable trends. Layering an accent rug over a larger rug can be an effective tool when trying to incorporate different aspects of a room or draw attention to a certain area. For example, layering an animal hide rug on top of a sisal rug can add depth to a room without coming across as too bold. Otherwise, adding a patterned rug can keep a space inspiring and playful without having to do too much. Kilim rugs in particular are seeing high favor as their flat weaved rich colors are both beautiful and timeless.


Photography Sophia Diaz


In a time where we may have few and far between occasions to dress ourselves up, take every opportunity to dress your space up Photography from left to right Christany Sendar Ashley Weil Julia McCarthy



While rugs shelter empty floors, wall art adorns bare walls. According to online art gallery,, during Covid19 wall art demand has increased by 220% in bedrooms, 199% in living rooms, and 166% in kitchens. The most notable of this inclination for wall art includes mirrors and prints. Opulent mirrors have been popping up all over social media. From giant floor mirrors to textured and shaped framing, to gold finished, they are definitely standing out. Gustaf Westman, a Swedish designer, creates pastel curvy mirrors that seem to be framing all of the most prominent influencer’s photos. Similarly, the Ultrafragola Mirror by Ettoere Sottsass is another sight for sore eyes. Enclosed entirely by iridescent waves it is the perfect statement piece. Architectural mirrors can turn a traditionally boring item into the central attraction of a room. At the same time, prints of all varieties are plastering walls. Astrid Wilson is a freelance illustrator who over the past year has worked with Levis, Gina Tricot, and more. Wilson creates whimsical floral prints that instantly brighten up a room. However, if you aren’t so inclined towards florals, Miranda Makaroff offers a fresh take on colorful depictions of human figures. As you choose wall art that expresses yourself you can’t forget about the smaller pieces too. Things like vases, candles, jewelry dishes, and lamps are pieces that personalize a space effortlessly. Bettunika Pottery creates handmade items that look far from perfect. Each one is unique. The crooked edges and lopsided patterns may sound more like a product of an art class project you had in elementary school, but that’s the beauty of it. Charming pieces like this are what customize your home to truly be yours.


Comparatively, pieces that look just about perfect are not scarce either. Fabrek offers alluring yet distinctive pieces. Their Twirl Vases look like they are straight out of your eccentric great aunt’s cabinet and their Swirl and Twirl Candles make the perfect addition for a coffee table or bedside shelf. And lastly, Brooklyn based halfway house for vintage and contemporary pieces, Abigail Bell Vintage, curates some of the most preeminent pieces. From their shell lamp with a pearl bulb to the frosted glass mushroom lamp with milky swirls to their cowboy boot vase collection–there is something for anyone’s taste.

Photography from left to right Novalee Wilcher Ashley Weil Leah King

The finishing touch to keep your home feeling lively (literally) is plants. The pandemic has drawn people to indoor gardening for a variety of reasons. Joel Flagler, a Rutgers University Professor of Agricultural Extension, explains that in times of crisis humans are instinctively drawn to nature. Plants bring a feeling of comfort and healing especially in the most chaotic of times. Being able to nurture something feels like a positive escape. Bloomscape and The Sill are two online plant delivery companies that help feed this desire. Plus, plants absorb toxins that leave a room with cleaner air, something we all can find a little peace of mind in right now. Whether you maintain your mystique through a dark and sexy bedroom, find comfort in the shaggiest rugs and hoards of downy pillows, or channel your inner art buff through one of a kind works, decorating the space you live in is essential. In a time where we may have few and far between occasions to dress ourselves up, take every opportunity to dress your space up. Nothing you love will ever go out of style, so wait for that “look what I found” moment. Prioritize these things you surround yourself with and feeling good in your home will be something of an easy feat. After all, home is where your goods are. 21























It’s safe to say that in 2020, nothing is permanent and the future is unpredictable. Maybe one of the only things we know for sure is that masks are here to stay—for the foreseeable future at least. Although they may not be our favorite thing to wear, they are now an essential component of our looks. Why not make them fashionable? This is the question FIT alumni Samantha Lopez asked herself in the midst of the pandemic. As a former student at FIT, she understands how image-conscious our generation is and that there is great business to be made in fashionable masks. I spoke with Sam about Green Velvet’s emergence and it became clear that the pandemic brought her a blessing in disguise: a way to start a brand and business that she had always dreamed of.




Before I came up with the idea for the Necklace Masks I had been on a continuous search for a way to make wearing masks more convenient and also stylish. I was thinking to myself, if this is something we have to do for what will probably be a long time, I might as well try to make it a positive experience that I actually enjoy. I knew that I wanted a mask that was stylish and aesthetically pleasing; those blue medical ones are so ugly to me (I know the purpose is safety and not fashion, but I seriously can’t get past how bad they look). Then, the idea design for the mask having a chain attached came to fruition for convenience–when you take it off, it still stays on your body (I’m constantly losing my mask). It also reduces contact that your mask would otherwise make with unnecessary, possibly dangerous surfaces, like your bag, the table, and even your hands. I was then motivated to share my necklace mask designs with my community; one of my beliefs is that fashion should be accessible for all–and so that’s exactly what I did.

Q: HOW DID YOU GET THE BUSINESS STARTED? I started Green Velvet for two reasons. The first is, my friends saw the first prototype of a necklace mask I made for myself and said they wanted one and would “literally buy one from me.” So within seconds I was convinced and decided that that’s exactly what I would do. I immediately went into that creative high you get from starting something new and running wild with it. The second reason I was so easily convinced to actually do this, and do it right, is because–and don’t laugh at me–over quarantine, after graduating from spending what seems like was my entire life in school, I decided I actually really like not working and having ultimate free time (who doesn’t?). It enabled me to spend all my time being immersed in whatever creative endeavor I actually wanted to do, not something I was assigned to complete. And so I knew that if I wanted to keep it this way, I should find a way to make a career out of it.

Q: WHAT IS THE MOST UNEXPECTED CHALLENGE AND VICTORY YOU HAVE ENCOUNTERED IN THE PROCESS OF STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? A: The most unexpected victory I encountered in the process of starting my own business was the overwhelming amount of support and attention my company received from the community around me immediately. A lot of people responded well to my designs and my business, and understood my brand ethos and where I was coming from. I created Green Velvet without expecting any kind of immediate following or interaction, but unexpectedly that wasn’t the case. An unexpected challenge I encountered in the process of starting my business has been all of the unforeseen setbacks (usually minor) that happen when running a business. Whether it be setbacks with vendors, running out of inventory and having to wait for more products to arrive before continuing production, to even organizing campaigns and shoots–it’s all very hard to

manage and keep to a tight deadline. In reality though, even the challenges are victories because as each day passes I’m learning more and more about the industry, and about myself as a designer, and am excited for the growth that starting my own business will make way for me to reach.


In 2021, I think that you can expect to see a lot of growth and success for Green Velvet. I want to develop Green Velvet as a business and also develop myself as an artist. I have plans to release Necklace Masks in collections periodically–based on the season, an occasion, or just a random inspiration. I have a vision for a line of bridal masks; ones that are elegant, probably lace and silk; I also would like to do a collection of hand-painted masks, and eventually take commissions from people and work with them to create a mask design entirely tailored to them. I also plan on collaborating with some other creatives and their brands, independent from the Necklace Masks, which will be across a variety of media–from digital design to fashion design–and will be accessible on I want to expand my creativity through printmaking, which is something I used to do a lot in high school. You can expect to see my future print work on clothes, accessories, and posters!


Just go for it if you’re thinking about it. In my opinion, there are never any losses from going after something you’re passionate about.If it’s something you love and are passionate about, that will translate through your business and in turn it will be a success. The best way to get started on developing your business idea is to start small. Sometimes doing the smallest of tasks feels daunting to me, even cleaning my room. But what I learned to do when I feel this way and need help starting something that I’ve been putting off, is to just start with baby steps. It’s cliche, but true. Start by making a Pinterest board, making a dedicated Instagram page (or don’t, until you’re ready), or simply think about it and manifest it. A business you’re proud of doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s definitely a journey to be had, but it only takes a thought to start. It is important to make the best out of a bad situation, and that is exactly what Sam did with Green Velvet. That’s all we really can do in this difficult time: keep pushing forward and allowing our creativity to take us to new places. Safely, of course. So if you have an idea you’ve been too scared to act on, take the risk. You never know, maybe you will end up with a successful business or a newfound passion.





Thank you so much to FIT’s Blush Magazine for giving me the space to share a piece of myself and my business with you. Please feel free to check out my (soon to be in action) website,, and follow my instagram @greenvelvetny, as I continue my journey–and good luck to all of my fellow designers and small businesses owners out there. –Samantha Lopez










The idea of going to work in pajamas was a luxury found only in our dreams. Now, the idea of wearing those old bleached, VS PINK sweatpants one more time can be devastating. This is where the feeling of dressing up has now become a luxury. It has transformed from a chore, to now an act of self care. The rise of loungewear is one of the most prominent shifts, emphasizing the idea of dressing for yourself. It has been proven in multiple studies that when you dress up you actually perform better. There have been definitive links between dressing formally and an increase in not only productivity, but creativity too. While wearing the same old high school t-shirts is comfortable, it can take a toll on one’s confidence and even mental health. With global closures and classes online, unprecedented times have made way for an unprecedented way of dressing.


Brands are introducing new loungewear lines and responding to the desire to work from home in style. From matching sets to knitwear, fashion is focusing on comfortability. This season’s wardrobe staples are comfortable, from basic tees and chunky cardigans, right down to stylish slippers. Head to toe, it is all about feeling good. Now, as the world settles into our new normal, we are filling our wardrobes with loungewear pieces, made to help us feel our best as we sit on our couches for the work day. As we dress to impress ourselves, we are reaching away from the heels and red lipstick, to comfortable loungewear that produces the same effect.

Before the pandemic hit, Kim Kardashian was constantly ridiculed for wearing athletic clothes and coining the looks as high-fashion street style. Now, she is taking the idea of wearing comfortable clothing as fashion and building onto her empire. Skims put out a new line of loungewear just in time for us to settle into our couches and online shops. The line features fuzzy pants, tanks, and robes meant to be worn from the comfort of our homes. The line can be considered the canon of loungewear fashion, influencing fast fashion knockoffs and other high end lookalikes. The line made way for a new era of fashion— introducing a new middleground between pajamas and athleisure. Feel Good fashion includes elevated versions of what you would wear to bed: knitwear, matching sweatsuits, and all things fuzzy would never be worn to the gym, but the looks are more elevated than what you wear to bed. This new niche, allows us to feel good about getting up and getting dressed— without having to spend the day working from home in a pair of those rigid jeans.



knitwear, matching sweatsuits, and all things fuzzy. FASHION










While Skims helped transform the industry, Companies have been playing to our it is not the only line created focusing on weaknesses-- we have more time to online shop than ever before, but we have nowhere to go. comfortable clothing with fashion in mind. Brands have decided to showcase and promote Zara’s new line of knitwear perfectly embodies their loungewear, matching sweatsuits, and all the idea of feel good fashion. Their knit culottes things knitwear, positioning them as workpaired with a coordinating oversized cardigan from-home must haves. is calling you to snuggle up on your couch with a bottle of wine and The Bachelorette. However, Businesses have even created specific workthis comfortable set is versatile enough to be from-home niches on their website, showcasing worn separately, or together anywhere from feel good fashion looks made to make sure you feel confident and comfortable as you take on back to work, to running errands. the world from the constraints of your space. Nordstrom, for example, has a styling guide called “Casual Friday, Every Day.” 36

There are more ways to dress up a basic sweatsuit than ever before. Instagram is flooded with tie-dye sweatsuits, matching knitwear, and TK. We haven’t put on real work clothes in months, as the cold settles in, there is no sign of it stopping. Feel Good clothing has transformed the fashion industry, creating a new niche to be explored. As new lines emerge, and more brands hop on the trend, we can expect to be dressing cozy and feeling comfortable and chic for a long time. Head to toe, it is all about feeling good. So, pour yourself a glass of wine and find yourself a power sweatsuit to finish 2020 on a high note.






Top Online Ethical & Socially Conscious Brands




“Where do our clothes come from?” is an important question becoming more pressing than ever as the next generation of young consumers gains buying power. As consumers, we’ve become increasingly conscious about our purchases, trying to make a positive difference for the people in the production of our clothes and goods. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Deciding to shop with sustainable and ethical brands can have a positive impact on the environment.

Ethical style seems to be booming now more than ever, with brands merging both design and environmental convictions into one idea. Ethical fashion addresses the problems with the way the fashion industry currently operates, such as exploitative labor, environmental damage, the use of hazardous chemicals, waste, and animal cruelty. While sustainable fashion focuses more on the materials used to make the clothing, ethical fashion focuses on the practices to make the clothing.

Supporting both sustainable and ethical labels is important to the industry’s future because the more they grow, the more pressure is put on bigger companies to do better. The clothing produced by fast fashion brands are far from durable, forcing you to buy more. Shopping sustainably saves money by only buying what you truly need. Fast fashion is about fleeting trends while many ethical brands focus on creating long-lasting, timeless pieces. The brands featured below focus on quality, using materials and finishes that are both made to last with a more minimal impact on the planet.

Reformation Reformation has become a favorite in the eco-fashion world. Its celebrity following has made sustainable clothing more fashionable. Their brand started in 2009, in downtown Los Angeles. Each product is designed, made, photographed, and shipped from its innovative eco-facility in LA. Every style is made using repurposed vintage clothing, salvaged deadstock fabric, or new sustainable materials. This brand purchases carbon offsets and offers inclusive sizing all in a fair wage environment and all of their items range from $80-$330. Reformation also prioritizes transparency by including product descriptions that explain where the fabric comes from and its environmental impact. They inform their consumers of the dangerous impacts that some materials and practices have. Making clothing with organic cotton is better to use compared to non-organic clothing, but it still isn’t the most sustainable choice. Reformation understands this and so they put a description on all of their items that have organic cotton that says, “Our organic cotton doesn’t allow genetically modified seeds and restricts the use of many chemicals. It still uses water and land, but it helps sustain the land it is grown on through crop rotations and natural ways of controlling pesticides.”







A global leader in denim, Levi’s is available in more than 100 countries worldwide. The brand uses eco-friendly and sustainable practices such as recyclable denim, ethically sourced cotton, and innovations to reduce water use, in addition to giving back to its workers and community organizations. The main material they use to make their clothing is cottonized hemp which grows quicker than regular cotton, uses less water, and leaves behind cleaner, healthier soil. Levi’s puffers and vests are also made from recycled plastic bottles and waste. Recycled polyester requires less energy to make than virgin polyester and it reduces dependency on fossil fuels. The finishing process is the most crucial step in denim production, this is what gives jeans and jean jackets a broken-in look. This process usually requires a lot of water but Levi’s has created Water<Less innovations since 2011. Levi’s has saved more than 3.5 billion liters of water and recycled over 5 billion more ever since. Levi’s prices are about $58-$178.

PANGAIA is an ethical fashion collective that offers seasonless loungewear crafted out of bio-engineered materials. They create lifestyle products that have a positive effect on the planet. They are known for their vegan, matching sweatsuits and their prices range from $55 to $110. These sweatsuits are made up of bio-based fibers and materials from recycled plastic bottles. The brand uses a lot of high proportion of eco-friendly materials as well as the upcycled materials. They also use low impact non-toxic dyes in all of its products and use compostable packaging. PANGAIA uses eco-friendly materials that limit the amount of water and wastewater used in production as well. We sometimes forget the impact of our purchases and the power we have as a consumer. By shopping ethically, we can protect the environment and still look good doing it.







WE’RE ALL CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH MAJOR LIFE ADJUSTMENTS - THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS NO EXCEPTION. Fashion is an untameable, creative force. No pandemic or stay-at-home order can stop it. We need to look no further than the S/S 2021 shows to see that designers are defying tradition and circumstances to make way for the future of fashion. I spoke to my mother, Kristin Hellberg, a trend forecaster who has had the honor to speak with Jean-Paul Gaultier, to get a better insight into how the fashion industry is likely to transform. Kristin predicts two main changes in the fashion industry: the end of the front row, and a new age of creative expression. It is also important to consider the role that Blackowned brands are going to continue to play in the future of this industry.


The pandemic has made it impossible to host traditional fashion shows with A-listers in the front row, and lucky attendants behind them. As a part of a collective effort to slow the spread, fashion shows have moved to a digital platform making them streamable for a larger audience. This digitization creates new freedom for designers to showcase their work in unexpected environments. On September 18th, 2020 Eckhaus Latta, a streetwear brand, took to the East Side of New York City for their Spring/Summer 2021 show. Models, who are mostly friends with the designers, walked under the Manhattan bridge to showcase the new collection centered around community. The show was out in the open air, making it possible for passerby pedestrians to enjoy the show. Burberry took social distancing directives to another level for the 2020 London Fashion week by ditching the runway for the woods. Kristin notes that this creates a new dimension for the fashion show, taking it beyond the spotlight-lit stage into a naturally lit setting. What makes their presentation most unconventional is that it was streamed live to the popular platform Twitch, accessible to the masses. They were the first—of what I think are going to be many—luxury brands to stream their show to an unspecified audience.


The outcomes of this shift in the audience will be interesting to see. Up until today, fashion has been very elitist: there is honor in being invited to a show, and an aspirational quality to being able to watch a major show live. Shows being streamed and displayed to the masses might bridge the gap between A-listers and mere mortals, and dim some of the glitz and the glam of the luxury fashion realm. But will that also dim its magic? As a little girl, I grew up hearing about the amazing NYC shows and dreamt of the day I’d be “important” enough to attend a big show at New York Fashion Week. While I was able to just hop on my computer and watch the shows online, there was something quite lackluster about the experience. There’s a reason so many of us want to see a show live—and it’s not just about status. Fashion is all about detail in everything from hemlines to fabric, and those details simply aren’t as vivid on screen. My mom has never been one for technology: rather than using powerpoints, she has always held her consultations for major brands with physical mood boards. No matter how much technology develops, she believes that the tactile dimension is more evocative than its technological counterpart. You can really get a better understanding of colors and textures when you are physically present and able to interact with the material. Even from the spectator rows of a runway, it’s still more impactful than viewing through a screen.



The pandemic has pushed artists to showcase their work in new ways. In the words of my mother, “Creativity is the future.” Zac Posen did a live dress draping session in Central Park without alerting the public of his plans. On September 17th, he just showed up by the Conservatory Lake with mannequins and one assistant, and started draping. Passers-by were able to enjoy the show of his famous silhouettes coming to life in front of their eyes. This kind of spontaneous event is something that we are likely to see more of as the world, and especially NYC, is bursting out of the cocoon created by long quarantines. Because people can’t convene in the same volume as before, Kristin believes that an “I’ll show when I’m ready” mentality will arise. Designers will take their time to create out of the box content rather than creating under the pressure of fixed seasonal shows. During Milan Fashion Week 2020, Haute Couture was taken to a whole new level. For their SS21 collection, Moschino broke the mold and put on a fashion show with marionettes walking down the runway. The clothes and accessories were altered by hand to fit the 15-inch tall plastic marionettes, and the fashion house went as far as recreating their usual front-row audience in puppet-form, with the appearance of fashion icons like Anna Wintour. This version of the show helped create buzz for the brand by showing extraordinary, out-of-the-box thinking for a pandemic friendly show.





We have lived through truly unprecedented events these past few months. The Black Lives Matter movement rocked the nation and brought our neglect of black-owned brands to light. Black-owned brands are constantly innovating, and the industry is taking notes. Take a look at the New York City brand that created what has been nicknamed the “BrooklynBirkin”; Telfar. The founder, Telfar Clemens, won the 2020 CFDA Award for American Accessories Designer of the Year, and their sales skyrocketed this summer. Because of this burst in sales, Telfar came up with a unique online shopping event: the Bag Security Program. They gave shoppers a 24-hour window for shoppers to pre-order any design that they’d been attempting to get all summer long. This is a really creative solution to satisfy a thirsty demand without having to replenish their entire stock. Telfar is a great example of the way black-owned brands are driving innovation and creativity forward to build the fashion industry of the future.

COVID-19 has catapulted the fashion industry into unexplored territory. Designers’ creativity amid the pandemic play to their advantages and is something that we should all look toward. Three words to describe the core values of the brand were used by Nicolas di Felice when he was appointed artistic director of Courreges. Kristin believes that those same three words are essential attitudes in fashion as it adapts to the new challenges posed by a global pandemic: “Simplicity, clarity, and optimism.”








Many of us are not exactly happy with the state of our country right now, and with travel restrictions, the desire to leave it all behind and take a spontaneous trip across the pond is more prominent than ever. Although you cannot taste the pain au chocolats in France or dance the night away in a packed club in Budapest, you can at least listen to the music of these European countries to help you live out your traveling abroad fantasies. CULTURE

OSLO You will begin your journey in Oslo. You start to explore and you can feel the effortlessly cool atmosphere of the city. As you’re looking through the location tag on Instagram for Oslo, you come across posts with local music artists. You create a new playlist and add the songs you found, deciding that in each city you visit you will add to it.



LONDON After a short flight you arrive in London in the early afternoon. You are ready to hit everything on your itinerary, but first you need some caffeine. You stop into an inviting café, order a coffee, and sit down at a table opposite the counter. The barista strikes up conversation with you so you ask them for music suggestions of some U.K. based artists. They give you a list of songs perfect for strolling around London on a partly cloudy day.


PARIS Next you’ll hop on the Eurostar from London to Paris. On your second day there you decide to spend it roaming the streets and admiring the beauty surrounding you. While exploring the 9th, 10th, and 11th arrondissement, you

come across several vintage stores and decide to have a bit of a shopping spree. You enjoy some of the songs playing over the speakers in the second hand stores and add them to your playlist for the rest of your Parisian adventure.

MUNICH Even though you love Paris, you are ready for a change. You pack up your bags, barley fitting all of your new clothes into your suitcase, and get on the next train to Munich. After a long day of travel you’re ready to get some fresh air. You start your evening at the Chinesischer Turm Beer Garden in the


Englischer Garten and set up a picnic spot beside a stream, alongside several others with the same idea. A group beside you is blasting music. Not wanting to forget this great night, you make friends with the group of DJs and ask for their playlist to add to your own.


Budapest is known for its ruin bars—reclaimed abandoned buildings made into perfect places to party. Deciding that it’s a must-do while in Budapest, you get a group of travelers from your hostel to accompany you for a night out. You dance the night away to Everytime

We Touch–Cascada, Gimme More–Britney Spears, Mr. Saxobeat–Alexandra Stan, since the playlist usually consists of the 2000/10s club classics. While at the ruin bar you step into the shop connected that sells local art and enjoy the music that is a completely different vibe. 51



It’s finally time to head home, you say goodbye to the friends you have made and get on the long flight back. Even though you can’t stay, you have your curated playlist from your travels to reminisce your adventures.

Spotify Playlist

your essential destination playlist 53



Art Lily Foley


By Molly Gelman

An exploration of caring consciously in an information-saturated world. Today, everyone is overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the usual school and work, but more so, with the state of our world. Overwhelmed because there is so much to think and care about. Overwhelmed because it is all too much being constantly tuned in. The Black Lives Matter movement, the presidential elections, LGBTQ+ rights, climate change, and a global pandemic only scratch the surface of what is going on in today’s world. There are innumerable issues to protest, worry and post about—and, why not? These are all such pressing concerns that deserve action and attention. But that right there is the problem: we are so overwhelmed because we are always so tuned in to everything that we can barely act on anything.

Internment Camps in China

In China, over one million Uighurs and others belonging to Muslim minority groups are being detained in over 400 internment camps in Xinjiang region. While Chinese authorities refer to these as “re-education” systems, they are far closer to prisons with reports detailing psychological indoctrination programs and other unthinkable forms of torture. This In a world so saturated with information it can may feel unimaginable and far away, but it is be near-impossible to hone in on just one issue happening right now and there are things you when everything is so urgent, so important, and can do about it. Attached below are petitions to so demanding of attention. Sometimes to truly sign and articles to read to get you started. make a difference and create the change we want to see in the world, we have to take a step Prisoners for Profit back and really ask ourselves: what can we do? Sure, posting about a plethora of social justice Starbucks, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, and causes is helpful to educate others and spread JCPenney. These are just a few corporations awareness, but how can one address all of these that benefit off of prison labor for a profit. How issues at once? This by no means is saying to do they accomplish this? One way corporations care less, or about less, but rather to introduce sustain this highly profitable system is through the idea of “quality over quantity” in our involvement with organizations such as the reality of being inundated with every problem American Legislative Exchange Council. This the world has to offer. This is a call to “care is a coalition of large companies that help fund consciously.” To choose when to tune in, what representatives who support privatization of to tune in about, and to do so with purpose; to prisons, primarily due to the large profitability become educated, and in turn educate others. If prison labor offers. They are responsible for we all take one thing upon ourselves to act on, pioneering some of the harshest sentencing to go one step past the Instagram story, we can laws on the books today, such as mandatory productively change the world for the better. minimums for non-violent drug offenders. All Below are a few causes that people are currently less tuned into that could use some conscious caring. We encourage you to read and think, and if you find something that inspires you, to act. CULTURE

of these sentences are supported, lobbied for, and applied in efforts by these corporations to further this highly profitable labor system, resulting in unjust furthered incarceration, coerced plea deals and much more, all for some extra money in their pockets.

The Clean Water Crisis Today, 844 million people lack access to clean water. This means that each one of those people do not have the proper resources to drink, cook, or bathe. The lack of clean water can result in entire communities being locked in poverty for generations due to the absence of these basic resources. Meanwhile, these communities lie vulnerable to the diseases dirty water contains, and women and girls are unable to receive any form of education due to their burden of carrying water for their families. Without this stepping stone for development, so much of the world is left stuck and desperate for a way out. Thankfully, there are several organizations, including Innovation Africa and The Water Project, that are on a mission to deliver this necessary element to communities in need. Linked below are resources so you can help bring clean water to the world.

Being tuned in is important. However, it is vital to our world and wellbeing that we practice “continuous caring.” We must take action and be the change we want to see in the world, but not forget to take care of ourselves in the process. When we are tuned in, we need to do so with purpose, to remain present in the world we are trying so desperately to improve.


Screen time


ON Today


Last 7 days




What a time to be alive. Amid the ever-developing pandemic, the polarizing social climate, and unemployment…We’re still dancing on Tiktok.

Small businesses are getting exposure far beyond their physical With all of this influence happening on social media, checking your phone’s screen-time may prove unsettling: more than location and most baffling, people notorious for no specific a third of our days are spent interacting with strangers and education or talent have emerged as leading entrepreneurs in escaping into the bottomless vortex of miscellaneous content. the Digital Age. How does that happen? How is “Lifestyle Social media promotes the idea that appearance is everything, Influencer” now a sought after career? It’s like a glorified and what matters is how you can manipulate an exterior for the Gofundme page for someone’s lifestyle and their pleas. “Keep sake of being seen. Hashtags like #couplegoals and #levelup all giving me your attention and I’ll show you videos of my cute baby (who never cries), my aesthetically pleasing house (that’s the way to #tiktokmademebuyit convince millions of people around the world of the “I need this, and once I get it I’ll be never dirty), my amazon addiction purchases (because you’re not in your twenties if you’re not in debt), my meals throughout happy,” mentality. What demon spell was cast to make it seem like checking our feed is considered “leisure time?” This the day (not counting any body-image securities)” may lead to the question: “what’s the problem with Youtube — the list goes on. knowing I like cat videos?” If you put it like that, nothing. But that’s not the truth and you know it.


1/3 of our days





o How many times have you taken a stock tip from Tiktok? r Bottomless Vortex

How many groups did you join on Facebook because they were suggested to you?



How many times have you fallen into a conspiracy theory black hole on Youtube until you noticed the light coming through your window?


The truth is, these social media sites may seem like they have your best interests in mind — but they don’t. Their interest (based on years of psychological experimentation and knowledge) is to keep you hooked on their platforms.

The only way they do that, like an abusive partner, is to cut off your connection to the rest of the world.

It sounds so counterintuitive: the creation made to help human beings connect across the world is instead creating almost 3 billion little worlds, where each reality has a different set of values and truths. The sad thing is, it didn’t start out like that. Social media was supposed to be the single greatest communication advancement we made as human beings. We are now connected to people all over the world. People find comfort in Facebook groups with members who have similar interests or hobbies. It’s empowering. You can relate to someone through a meme and all you know is their handle and a 140-character bio to feel a connection. Limitations that held people from becoming their own boss and being successful seemingly disappeared overnight. Almost anyone has the opportunity to grow a business. But at what cost? CULTURE

Three-billion little worlds. 57

Up until now, we’ve been fooling ourselves that we are immune to the effects of social media. There is no immunity, no inoculation. We are human beings that have evolved over millennia and we’re up against a lifeless, manmade technological algorithm...and losing. Much like an untrained dog let loose in a suburban neighborhood, there is no control over it, no supervision, and no one really understands where it’s going. After months of quarantine, where our only connection with the outside world were these apps, we need a wake-up call. Yes, it’s amazing content; it’s funny, useful; relatable at times, and yeah, in moderation it’s the perfect break. But when social media is being used to push agendas, to make you think that you don’t have enough, you don’t do enough, or that you are missing something, it’s time to stop sipping the Kool-Aid. When you keep catching yourself on your phone with nothing to do but scroll without a purpose, it’s time to reevaluate. This fabricated connection we feel on the internet is amazing and for a few, it may really be genuine, but the person behind the screen influencing you doesn’t know you, so how could they know what you need?

ST P SI THE K It’s time to be your own influencer and ask yourself some important questions. Does your clout come from an app? Do you feel empowered that people agree with you on your socials, or because you agree with someone famous? Are you taking decisions lightly by putting them in the hands of someone else to form your own opinions? Fear not, screen addiction is something you can break. Believe it or not, the world once spun without social media. Start by minimizing the background noise. If you find that too extreme, dip your toe in by setting a limit for these apps. Allot yourself a specified time for social media and periodically deactivate your notifications. Maybe you’ll finally be able to enjoy life’s pleasures outside the confines of your screen instead of laying in bed until 11 AM every morning. We can use our notifications to inform us, not control us. 58




sustai living by caroline levine

Healing the planet and your budget are not m u t ua l lyexclusive. 60


inablE g tips c y n in

Even among brutalist-style Manhattan buildings, we never “leave” nature. Once we understand that we are inextricably connected to our natural environments, it becomes clear that the more we care about our Mother Earth, the better we are at taking care of ourselves. Simply put, eco-conscious living is synonymous with self-care. Establishing simple, daily routines in alignment with nature promotes mindfulness and gratitude, fostering deeper connections with our visceral surroundings—debunking the notion that sustainable living is sacrificial. It’s all about connecting the dots! CULTURE


Zero Waste 101 + Zero Waste Toolkit

The problem: Did you know that the average person ingests a credit card’s worth of plastic every week? The proliferation of single-use plastics puts further pressure on the landfill crisis all while residual microplastics forever permeate the environment and pervade our bodies. The solution (part of it!): Luckily, reducing plastic consumption can be as easy as being equipped with a DIY zero-waste kit. Living a low-impact lifestyle is all about creating new habits: in a world plagued by disposability, keeping reusables on hand 24/7 will help ‘close the loop’ and is the best way to avoid pre-packaged goods, stubborn microplastics, and getting stuck with unwanted plastic. These sidekicks are low-impact living essentials! Pack any tote bag with a metal water bottle, metal or bamboo utensils (plastic infiltrates our food too!), and any other reusables for whatever the day may bring— hopefully, saying no to single-use plastics! Reusable metal containers are great alternatives to synthetic packaging, and pre-packing meals to store away in your zero-waste kit will save CO2 and money. Plastic relies on petroleum industries— notorious for environmental degradation and air pollution. By avoiding synthetic materials, we can all live healthier lives and protect our Mother Earth—even on a budget.

Eco-friendly Groceries Kick your savings up a notch and go bulk grocery shopping. Without even realizing it, we purchase trash with our groceries: when we are done with our food, we’re left with plastic, cardboard, cans, etc. Why purchase something to simply throw it away? Buying in bulk refers to bringing your own cotton produce bags or glass jars to refill at a bulk store. Refilling your products in reusable containers is great because you’re left with no single-use packaging, and food is far cheaper than branded items. Simply keep track of the item SKUs—a little number that distinguishes the item for checkout—tare your containers so you only pay for what’s inside, and you have just done your food shopping with not a trace of disposable packaging destined for landfill! Go a step further and shop at your local food co-op—community-owned, not-forprofit alternatives to mainstream food chains that often boast an array of bulk goods. These co-ops like the 4th Street Food in the East Village increase access to affordable, nourishing, and eco-friendly produce while investing in the welfare of local communities. Supporting local, small-scale agriculture and opting for seasonal, plant-based foods is a nourishing, low-carbon practice that brings us closer to the food we eat.



illustrations colette antonaccio

regenerative living Urban Composting Don’t throw those food scraps away! From broth to fertilizer to dye, your food scraps don’t have to be destined for the trash! Composting is one way to create new purposes for biodegradable items usually deemed as “garbage.” Organic material comprises a large majority of what we throw away and is known to release greenhouse gas methane which is more potent than carbon dioxide. Returning your food scraps back to Earth is a regenerative practice that can lower the total release of greenhouse gases by 11%. Last year, NYC diverted over 42,000 metric tons of CO2 from being released into our air—with only 10% of New Yorkers having access to a compost brown bin. In the process of diverting your waste from landfills by composting, begin to collect food and bio-scraps in a designated container for the freezer. DIY bins are the cheapest, most accessible option to compost at home. All you need is a bin, your browns (leaves, dirt, twigs, etc.), greens (your compost scraps), and water. This cardboard box method involves aerobic decomposition so your “compost by your couch” is odorless! Aerobic simply means “with oxygen,” essential for those little microorganisms to break down your scraps. This method is perfect for compost beginners, city-residents, and anyone that wants to heal Mother Earth while conducting a mini science experiment right in their living room or backyard.With the right mix, your compost should smell earthy at the most! Beyond ecological benefit, composting is mentally-healing and promotes mindfulness. Some communities even have communal composts and independent compost pick-up services. Returning our food back to Earth is a beautiful, restorative process and one that everyone can and should be a part of.

Closing the Loop It takes 2,700 liters of water to make a single cotton t-shirt and yet over 11.2 million tons of these textiles end up in landfills annually. These garments can take 200+ years to decompose, perpetuating our already severe landfill crisis. Here are some ways to vote with your dollars: Buy less: reuse, upcycle, and repair items you already own to avoid having to replace them Shop local: know where your products came from and support artisans and the craftsmanship becoming obsolete due to the popular “produce less for cheap” business model Shop second-hand: divert textiles from landfills and stop incentivizing plundering of natural resources and exploitation of labor CULTURE


climate change activism Ultimately, climate change is a systemic problem that necessitates federal action on climate in the U.S. and progressive, large-scale climate legislation. Engaging in low-impact living via collective action has the capacity to prompt systemic change. We hold power in our unified actions and voices, and we must not understate our individual role in combating the climate crisis. Beyond lifestyle changes, get involved in your local community and fight for a greener, brighter, and more equitable future for people and the planet. With the NYC composting budget cuts and mounting pressure of the stark reality of the climate crisis, our collective action, no matter how big or how small, is indispensable. Planetary warming is an existential threat to life on Earth, so, naturally, healing the planet exists in tandem with healing ourselves. No matter if you are a tight-budgeted college student living in NYC, lowering your carbon footprint should not be limited to your residence or financial stature. You can bring truth to power and live your values, allowing these pointers to inspire and guide your low-carbon, regenerative lifestyle. Forgo disposability and keep the energy flowing via simple, habitual practices: composting, bulk grocery shopping, closing the loop, and climate education and activism. Show love to yourself and the planet because the only thing that should be small about the Big Apple is its ecological footprint.



we must not un de r state o u r i n d ivi dua l role in c om bati ng the climate c r i s i s . CULTURE







Global pandemic + dating = absolute nightmare. Dating in general is already exhausting whether you’re actively looking for a relationship or just having some casual fun. We’ve all swiped through Tinder and Hinge a million times to occupy ourselves during quarantine and regrettably even circulated back to the token ex out of boredom and the sheer fact that we quite literally cannot meet anyone else right now. Alas, the dating cards are kind of against us now more than ever. Quarantine and COVID-19—the coupling we have all come to passionately loathe—has stripped us of any stable dating scene, if there ever was such a thing. Coffee dates with that artsy guy from Bumble? Sorry, no more caffeineinduced hipster love stories here. Clubbing with the cute girl from the subway? Unfortunately not, but hey, at least you won’t have to do your trying-to-impress-them club dancing. Drinks at the bar? A walk through the park? One night stands? We shall walk of shame no more. Like dating needed to get any more complicated, COVID-19 is truly going to test what we’re looking for with a partner. Whether you’re more into no-strings-attached or searching for the one, we all must adjust how we approach dating. The Digital Age we live in has taken on a whole new meaning these past months in quarantine. From work, to school, to social life, online is our new lifeline.


So how are we supposed know… actually meet people? We’re all familiar with the world of online dating and dating apps, and it is no wonder that people will turn to these platforms more and more in order to safely meet dates. These apps, which were once a quick confidence boosting game for myself and others (don’t even deny it), have now become one of the sole ways that we can reach the seemingly unreachable dating pool. If you are familiar with the world of dating apps, you probably know that each app or website tends to have its own trademark scene. Most notoriously, Tinder, which is famously known for its hookup culture. Alas, hookup culture may be few and far between as this pandemic rages on, yet, I still know plenty who have taken the risk, swiped right, hooked up, and ended up with COVID… not really the desired ending to a relationship if you ask me. For the time being, it may be best just to use these apps as ways to still “get out there” without actually getting out there. If something blossoms, getting to know someone safely may be our best bet.


Okay, so now you’ve met someone. How do you actually get to date them? Forget “Zoom University,” now many are actually attending the “Zoom Date.” Yes, really. Face to face dates are a thing of the past. It’s almost as if we are all entering that long distance relationship zone where Facetime and video chats are the glue holding a relationship together.

Take it from someone who just started a relationship in quarantine—long distance in the midst of a pandemic is as difficult as it gets. While my boyfriend and I are only an hour and a half away from each other, residing in two different states makes things tricky. Visits are pretty much out of the question due to state restrictions and his hockey team’s rules. Facetime dates and nightly calls have been our method of survival so far, but I worry how long this will be able to sustain the honeymoon phase that we drift through. While worrying has always been a substantial and annoying accessory in the dating game, now there’s even more to worry about than before the pandemic. When going on any in person date, there are some things to consider: to wear a mask or not, that is the question. Now will we ever know if they truly look like their profile picture? The location also needs to be considered: somewhere creative, comfortable, and COVID-19 safe. A date to the museum can still be a thing, just take a virtual tour with your significant other or reserve tickets and wear a mask! A movie date can become a drive-in date (even cuter in my opinion). Instead of dining indoors, try an outdoor picnic or even cook with each other over Facetime!


Patience is a virtue, and the key to dating, especially during this pandemic. Patience to meet someone, to get to know someone, and especially to make a relationship work in the midst of this craziness. A pandemic relationship is unlike any other that I have been in. The patience it is taking to get to truly know one another, is something that I haven’t dealt with before. I’m all for taking things slow, but COVID-19 brings a whole new meaning to this concept. While he and I have been an item for a few months now, there are still major things I am figuring out about him and major milestones that we have yet to accomplish. Dating has never been ideal, and we have about a million and one rom coms that prove just that, but nothing in When Harry Met Sally, Bridget Jones, Love Actually, You’ve Got Mail, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, or even 13 Going on 30 prepared us for this. Hell, even Carrie Bradshaw herself couldn’t have prepared any of us for this. But as much as we’re all pessimistic about dating, we’re just as resilient. We bounce back after every weirdo Tinder date, every strange meet-the-parents, and even the awful I don’t like your friends run-in. If we can handle seeing any of our exes in public and make it out alive, we can survive the dating game during a global pandemic.


My journey through selfawareness and discovery.

How I Broke Up with Myself By Emily Orth

Fashion Thomas Richards, Emily Orth Model Emily Orth Collage Zhiyuan Xie


What does it mean to be toxic? The oxford definition simply puts it as poisonous. We use toxic as a word to describe actions or beliefs that are seemingly very complex, but maybe it all boils down to anything destructive or poisonous. Destructive behavior is typically something people point out in others, especially in past relationships. This kind of behavior can make people feel manipulated, judged, attacked, used, underappreciated, violated—the list goes on.

I took some time during quarantine to write out the way some of my past relationships had made me feel. While writing out what I experienced, thinking of situations I thought to have healed from, I became extremely upset. Sometimes a wave would hit and it felt like I was experiencing these situations for the first time all over again. I’d be angry at myself for feeling this way because I had thought I had found peace with these situations, and that’s when I realized: I was not upset with all the people I had toxic experiences with anymore, I was upset with myself. I was bearing the weight of these self-destructive thoughts without evening flinching. Could I be my own worst enemy?





The next step in this process was the most humbling of all. After thinking about how other people made me feel, I thought about how I made myself feel. I wrote down a list of my toxic traits trying to be as brutally honest as I could be. The list looked something like this:

1. Constantly comparing myself to others and tearing myself down 2. Never apologizing to myself for pushing too hard, only criticizing myself if I did not do enough 3. Being a people pleaser, never respecting my own boundaries or wishes in order to please someone else

After writing out this list and thinking of every possible way I had been poisonous to myself, I felt relieved, as though the venom had been sucked out of me; yet venom isn’t as easy to remove at first thought. Toxic traits are tendencies lots of us do without really noticing. Therefore, I made an anti-toxic to-do list, one that I would try to look over day and night, reminding myself not to succumb to these negative thought patterns, and if I did, to let it go and try again. I began to recognize that if I was behaving this way towards myself, there’s a chance I was also toxic to others. While it’s useless to harp on the past, it’s essential to reflect on the way you may have treated people and how you can improve. Though we all may very well be the poisonous snake in someone else’s story, maybe even our own, there is nothing we can do to change the past. We are all human, bound to make mistakes. The most beautiful part is that we can learn and grow from them. The truth is, there really is no step-by-step on how to break up with yourself. The separation will look different for everyone. For me, it has been an extensive and challenging process, with many ups and downs. What’s most important is that you reflect on yourself, you stay gentle with yourself, and you forgive yourself.

Blazer Jones New York Rings Thrifted







So you decided to put on a mask and venture out for a cup of coffee today. You haven’t seen anyone in days and you’re not sure if your voice still works. You’ve grown accustomed to sitting back and watching creatures pass on the streets in this dystopian-like concrete jungle, meanwhile your favorite going out dress collects dust in the back of your closet. When you look at it you can still hear the thumping base of a social nightlife from what feels like eons ago. Now, the idea of being in a room filled with random people is slightly terrifying. You’ve forgotten how to meet people but want to. No worries, we’re here to help. Welcome to your new guide to social etiquette in a post pandemic world.


First, bid your dwelling partner that resides in the mirror adieu, you’ve moved on to bigger and better things. Other Real. Living. People. While it sounds somewhat crazy, speaking to yourself in the mirror can boost your confidence and make you feel more comfortable when you’re speaking to others later on. This can be conversational, spoken mantras and affirmations, compliments, whatever works for you. Think of it as practice every morning before you start your day.

well put together ensemble is how we show ourselves off to the 2. Aworld, and seeing as you haven’t experienced that in a while, you’ll want to use this to your advantage. Wear what makes you feel the best, if it’s an old hoodie and sweats, that’s perfectly fine, as long as it’s something that you feel good in! However, this is also a great opportunity to get out of the loungewear we’ve been wearing almost daily. If you missed getting ready like I think you did, now is a great time to do so.


Next, remember that pants are STILL necessary; life may only happen from the waist up these days in your bedroom but not when you leave your house. Start wearing bottoms again. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a Zoom call or Facetime and they won’t see your bottom half because it will bring back some normalcy. It’s so simple: present yourself the best you can; while COVID-19 has changed a lot of our social standards, it hasn’t changed this one.




The key to a great social interaction is a smile, so don’t forget to add that smize due to your mask covered mouth. Be sure not to come off as creepy or predatorial, Tyra Banks taught you better than that. Smiling is up to you, but it is important to remember that 93% of communication is nonverbal, so it is especially hard to read body language when your nose and mouth are hidden. If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, now is your time to shine, show off those communication skills with a mask.


It’s time to find someone to bring that extra spice to your life, even if they are a subway rat or your local park pigeon. Be bold enough to reach out to someone you don’t know or might not normally approach. It’s not hard to get to know new people and many are willing to connect but just need the extra push. Consider getting to know the people you encounter regularly such as your local barista, neighbor, or even mailman. Take the plunge, try something new, introduce yourself, get crazy and maybe even shake elbows!


At this point, you are desperate for some human interaction. It’s time to find unconventional ways to meet up with your new unconventional friend(s). When you do meet someone, do the work to make sure you stay in touch. Don’t be afraid to try new things! This could be meeting up in the park to stay socially distanced, playing games, doing themed events over Zoom/Facetime, even a distanced viewing/binge party of a show you’re both interested in watching might be fun!


Last but most certainly not least, don’t forget everyone’s favorite accessory: a mask. Stay safe! Don’t put yourself or others at risk, your health is important. Masks are a fashion statement these days. A funky DIY or statement mask can really sell your look and add some mystery to what’s really underneath! Amid living in a world-wide pandemic, many of us have become accustomed to living as a hermit for the sake of our health and safety, but mental health is important too. It’s okay to miss human interaction and to be nervous about getting back out there. Be confident, prioritize yourself, stay open to new people and ideas, protect yourself and others from illness but don’t lose sight of what makes us human: our connections with others.



WHERE ARE YOU? With students around the world in remote learning, staring our the window during class has taken on a new look for many.

Illustration Ethan Wolfsberg



Alana Randazzo Weldon Spring, Missouri



Top Left Kali Levy Pembroke Pines, Florida Top Right Ava King New York, New York Bottom Left Christany Sedar Willemstad, Curaçao



Top Right Donna Helberg Stockholm, Sweden Bottom Left Hannah Brower Houston, Texas Bottom Right Leah King Finger Lakes, New York



Dear Futu BY



Design Monica Lee













Everyone feels miserably unmotivated from time to time. Here are some tips to overcome those frustrating creative droughts. Let’s be honest—we are much more creative when we’re busy: think of the countless times you have come up with an original idea in the middle of class or during a work meeting. We use these ideas to push through the everyday boredom with the promise of materialization once available time arises. However, once we do have free time, we use the excuse that we’re too tired so we resort to watching Netflix or browsing Twitter instead. When the global pandemic hit our communities, everyone’s schedules freed up in ways we had always dreamed of. Suddenly, everyone had all of this extra time to develop hobbies and freely imagine. Some of us thrived! From baking bread to starting side hustles, peers opened up their untapped potential and shared their success all over social media. Taylor Swift even created a lyrical masterpiece, Folklore, which took her only one month to complete. However, not all of us took to this time to be productive. Many of us felt hindered, perhaps spending most of the time at home watching trashy TV and sleeping excessively. Coping with insurmountable creative blockage in addition to the sadness and disappointment with the state of the world is undoubtedly frustrating.


How can we motivate ourselves when the world around us is constantly changing?

Design Christany Sendar


CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT Take a walk! Rearrange your room! Staying within the confines of your home for days on end only bores the mind. Any new scenery can stimulate thinking, helping you form new ideas.

SOMETHING 2 DO YOU DON’T WANT TO DO Throughout my life, every time I have complained of boredom or frustration, my mother would immediately state the above rule. Even though I almost always scoffed, she was always right: clean your home, study for an exam, follow an extra workout routine. These are all activities that may seem like an annoyance but can help stimulate your mind.


Nothing satisfies the soul more than a group of aesthetically pleasing images collaged together. You can make a dream board complete with pictures of your goals—this also helps with manifestation—or just a color and theme collage.

NEW BLOGS OR 4 FIND ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW Looking at the same Instagram accounts will not uncover new ideas! Follow an aesthetics page or a new illustration blog. Observing new trends and styles will inspire you to try something unique.

5 STOP THINKING ABOUT IT As cliche as it sounds, taking a break from your focus can help ease thought-provoked pressure. Think about all of those task-induced headaches! Procrastination should not always have a negative connotation.

Whether it is art, literature, or a funny meme, creativity is something that brings us all together and helps us through difficult times. Blockages are normal! When we finally get through these irritating barriers, some of our best ideas and work can materialize.



Sleep-o-Meter For some, eight hours of sleep are a rarity. Yet its importance when it comes to a good night’s rest is undeniable.

by Lisa Hahner 88


Sleep: one of the few things discounted come nighttime, but desperately yearned for in the morning. It’s quite common for many to have a hard time falling asleep at night, eyes glued to the ever-seductive smartphone screen that glimmers with distraction. Yet, at 8 am, when the sound of the alarm clock blares, suddenly nothing sounds sweeter than just one more push of the snooze button. Unfortunately, those 5 more minutes simply aren’t in the cards some mornings. But what if a life lived without that certain alluring button is far more attainable than previously thought?

Why Do We Need Sleep?

Much like water and food, sleep is essential to survival. Nevertheless, many people, especially college students, think of themselves as exceptions to to the rule, anticipating that they can slide by with 4-6 hours of sleep without bearing any consequences. Not only is this belief incorrect, but it has made people oblivious to how their lack of sleep impacts other areas of their their lives. lives.

Naptime Tips

It may be tempting to compromise a full eight hours of sleep with a nap later on in the day, but this seemingly innocent activity doesn’t always work as anticipated. There’s There’s nothing nothing worse worse than than waking up up from a nap two hours later than than intended. intended. Not Not only only may may itit be difficult to figure out butbut thethe statement “I out whether whether ititisis7 7am amoror7 pm, 7 pm, statement feelfeel likelike I justI got a bus” seem far fetched. “I justhit gotbyhit by amay bus”notmay notsoseem so far Believe itBelieve or not, ititor is not, recommended that the that mostthe benefifetched. it is recommended most The magic magic number number of eight is of great familiarity to most beneficial cial naps are minutes long.long. Mid-day napsnaps are napsonly are 20-30 only 20-30 minutes Mid-day when it comes to sleep. sleep. The general consensus among are saidsaid to betothe for energization, as they bebest the best for energization, as are theynot aretoo notearly too researchers is that healthy adults need between 7-9 hours early or lateorinlate thein day. the day. of rest per night. night. This, This, however, can slightly vary between individuals. For instance, those with health health issues may The Perfect Nighttime Routine need more rest time than than someone someone who who doesn’t. Someone Regardless Regardless of of how how easy easy itit may may seem seem to to lay lay down down and float who is more active also may need more time to recover off off into sleep, many people have trouble drifting off when from a hard day’s work compared to someone who lounges their head hits the pillow. Cultivating a relaxing nighton the couch for hours on end. Whatever one’s individual time routine may help with this dilemma. It could could be as needs are, there’s no question that adequate rest is vital to easy as as drinking decaffeinated decaffeinated herbal herbal teas teas to to relax in the everyone. But what happens happens to those who don’t prioritize evening or thinking of something to look forward to in the this key time? morning (like (like that that first first sip sip of of hazelnut hazelnutcoffee). coffee). Possibly the important tip tip to to falling falling asleep asleep is to commit to saying most important The Side Effects of Sleep before bed. This may goodbye to screens at least an hour before After a night of minimal sleep, it’s often hard to focus seem daunting at first, but try reading a book, journaling, the next day. Such is the case because when a person is or meditating in bed. sleeping, the brain works on processing information–– a process that’s interrupted by all-nighters. If that’s not To Each Their Own the sack a few hours reason enough to hit the hours earlier than Despite how alluring it sounds to sip tea while reading one’s skin. AllAll the the La a book in bed in order to to fall fall asleep on schedule, these usual, a lack lack ofofsleep sleepcan caneven evenage age one’s skin. MerMer moisturizer in in thetheworld La moisturizer worldcan’t can’tmake makeup up for for those techniques do not work for everyone, and that’s okay. crucial eight hours. Nobody should ever feel ashamed to ask for help if their health is at risk. risk. The The goal is for everyone to sleep so deeply That being being said, said, it’s it’s important important to to note that many of the and peacefully that before they know it, the sound of an 8 consequences of too little sleep reflect on the alternative. am alarm is blaring, and the snooze button is batting its one more at risk for for metabolism An excess excessofofsleep sleepcan canput put one more at risk metabo- eyelashes eyelashes once once again. again. and heart issues,issues, and can even health. In fact, lism and heart and canaffect evenmental affect mental health. depression is linked toisindividuals attain anwho unhealthy In fact, depression linked to who individuals attain surplus of sleep.surplus However, only really an unhealthy of these sleep.effects However, these become effects a problem oversleeping a significant amount becomes only reallyifbecome a problem if oversleeping a signifi-a habit. Those extra few hours onThose weekend mornings won’t cant amount becomes a habit. extra few hours on do any harm. weekend mornings won’t do any harm.

88 90


Possibly the most important tip to falling asleep is to commit to saying goodbye to screens at least an hour before bed. This may seem at first, daunting but try reading a book, journaling, or meditating in bed.

Fashion Taralyn Peck Model Taralyn Peck Photography Elise Silva-Barreto

89 91



How to define your life and bring your visions to reality by claiming your power. By Olivia Siena 92


Design Fanny Wu

You wake up on a cool fall morning, groggy and caffeine-deprived. Before you make the bold decision to get out of bed, you envision yourself brewing a warm, sweet cup of coffee in your kitchen. You imagine how that first sip will taste; rich, smooth, and delicate. “I need a cup of coffee,” you think, and before you know it, you’re sitting down sipping on the most perfect roast.

Just like that, you’ve manifested your own morning cup of Joe!

How Do I Manifest? What is Manifestation? The word “manifest” means to reveal its presence or make an appearance. When a person manifests something, it means that the thoughts in their mind make its way into their physical reality. Let’s try it out. Imagine you’re taking your left hand and touching your nose. Don’t do it, just imagine yourself doing it. What would you look like? What would it feel like? Now once you have a picture of yourself doing this in your mind, do it. That’s manifestation!

Why is Manifestation on the Rise? Manifestation is extremely powerful because it allows one to change their physical reality with their own mind. What if someone told you that all of your dreams are already out there, waiting for you to take them? Everything you wish, want, and desire are already established in the universe; your path has already been planned, and it’s been planned out by you. Everything in your life at this moment in time is a result of your thoughts, feelings, and past experiences. In order to claim your future, you must line up your mind with your aspirations in order for the universe to understand that you are ready to receive what’s rightfully yours.


While there are many different ways to manifest your dream life, there are several “must-dos” to ensure that you’re attracting your intended desires. First, make sure that you truly believe in your own potential. Understand that it is completely under your control to see your dreams to fruition. Once you acknowledge this, you’ll open your mind up to positive thoughts and experiences, which will in turn attract good energy to your physical state and transform your reality. Second, envision who you want to be and what you want in your life very clearly. By clearly, I mean down to the color nails and lipstick shade you’ll be wearing on the first day of your dream job! Visualization is the key to manifesting, as it allows one to step into their desires. For instance, picture you as your best self– your highest potential and everything you can imagine yourself standing for. How do you feel? Happy? Powerful? Strong? At ease? Confident? By visualizing this, you are getting a glimpse at how this higher self feels. In turn, you at your present state will feel similar emotions simply by imagining it to be true.

feelings produced by visualizing what you want will consequently raise your energy. The practice of raising your energy to match the energy of the person who has these things (your higher and best self) is the most effective way to manifest. The law of the universe is that it will respond to whatever you are offering by giving you more of whatever you are vibrating.

To take visualization to another level, write these desires down and read them daily. The



Here are some simple things that you can do daily to manifest your biggest dreams and desires into your life: 94


1. Manifest with water. Pour yourself some water and speak whatever it is you want to manifest into the glass. Sip the water throughout the day and visualize your goals entering your body. There, they can’t escape and you have full control over them.



2. Use crystals. Since crystals come straight from the Earth, they hold the power to transmit energy because they generate a specific form of electricity. The best crystals to manifest with are: Rose Quartz (to manifest love and relationships), Pyrite (to manifest success and abundance), Amethyst (for spiritual enlightenment), Green Aventurine (to manifest good luck), and Carnelian (for creativity, motivation, and courage).

3. Practice gratitude. Focus on what you already have, not what you lack. If you focus on what you don’t have, more of these things will be attracted to you. Remember what we all learned in 4th grade science class? Like attracts like. If your mind is focusing on all of the good things you have, more good things will come. Practice gratitude every single day and never take anything for granted.

Nothing is impossible. If you hold onto your individual power, listen to your heart and visualize your future, you can have anything you want and need. The power of transformation lies in your hands!



Stay Vain to Stay Sane

by Nelly Ghansah 96


Jewlery Amarcord Vintage

Who’d have thought vanity and creativity would be the emotional salvation we needed?

Style icon Iris Apfel said it best: “Life is gray and dull; you might as well have a little fun when you dress.” Who knew that these words would become even more relevant this year in the midst of a global pandemic? For many students at the Fashion Institute of Technology, getting ready is one of the best parts of their everyday routine with waking up, applying skincare and makeup, and finally, putting together an outfit serving as the boost required to start the day right. While the process itself of getting ready may be the fun part, the end result is the icing on the cake— the perfect dose of vitality in otherwise sluggish times.


As someone who has always loved dressing up, at the beginning of quarantine, I found myself questioning why I bothered to “get ready” in the first place. Here I was, the girl who wore heels to class just because, donning pajamas and sweatpants all day by choice, Here I was, the girl with the extensive skincare routine, telling myself “it’s not like anyone is really going to see me anyways.” Here I was, the girl who lived and breathed makeup, nearly forgetting which makeup brush was used for what. Not even two weeks into quarantine, my habits that were previously dear to me slipped, and along with them, my mental health. Eventually, I started to wonder where my liking toward getting ready even came from. Why do we choose to look good?


Model Danielle Zbodula Gloves Amarcord Vintage



As it was for me, the COVID-19 pandemic was a shock for Jamison Capaccio, 20, a third year Fashion Business Management major at FIT. With the university’s campus closed and all events cancelled, Carpaccio wondered how she was going to continue pursuing fashion & styling— one of her biggest creative outlets. Although hit with a curveball at first, the fashionista quickly picked herself up and drew inspiration from all around her. “At the beginning of quarantine I felt there was almost a burst of creativity beginning to happen all around me,” said Capaccio. “My friends were creating and envisioning new ideas for how we could style [and] everyone on my social media accounts was creating, experimenting, and discovering new ideas. It was almost impossible not to be inspired.” After spending so much time dressing up for herself at home, and planning out looks, Capaccio even felt driven to share her looks online to potentially inspire others creatively, just like she was inspired by many. Social media quickly became an amazing haven for creatives like Capaccio to share their looks, especially with nowhere to go. However, as the time spent having genuine in-person interactions continues to be replaced by time spent on social media, it is important for one to take everything with a grain of salt. This was something Capaccio learned herself. “Social media is a hit or miss for me,” she explained. “Sometimes it makes me feel better about the look I created and sometimes I look back at it and over criticize myself. Creating looks positively impacts my mental health, and although the process can take a lot of time, I am usually happy with the end results, ” At the end of the day, when choosing to post looks online, it is important to remember that pleasing yourself comes before pleasing anyone else. You have not truly mastered the art of “staying vain to stay sane” if you seek validation in others before you do so for yourself.

Capaccio is among the many thriving creatives who have learned the art of “staying vain to stay sane” and used it to their advantage. Rather than letting the “gray” world get the best of her, Capaccio has fun with her style while achieving the illustrious art of protecting her peace amidst a pandemic. For those who are striving to stay sane by delving into their creative outlets she gives her tip: write down your thoughts “I think the best advice I have right now for others is that every idea you have, even if it’s a small one that you think someone has done before or would take too much time and money, write it down, because it might be useful for you in the future,” Capaccio noted. As proven by Capaccio, myself, and countless others, putting on a little bit of makeup or even doing your hair before an online class can make all the difference in your confidence level during the day. Beyond that, planning ideas for future creative looks and simply searching for inspiration can grant your mental state the boost that it needs (and deserves). When you look good, you feel good ––it’s as simple as that. Who cares if no one else is around? Do what makes you happy but most importantly, do what keeps you sane.

“Life is gray and dull;

you might as well have a little fun when you dress.” BEAUTY AND WELLNESS





Jacket Arbor Vitae Vintage Pants Arbor Vitae Vintage Boots Amarcord Vintage





Model Danielle Zbodula Dress Helena Magdalena






Inner peace and balance have never been so attainable, especially during a time when they’re needed most. 104


Illustration YI CHEN

Feel the surface, whether it be a chair, cushion, or grass, beneath you as you relax, the muscles at your shoulders going loose. Notice how your hands rest gently upon your lap. Take a deep breath and feel your lungs and chest expand with each inhale, and contract as you exhale, allowing the gentle air to clear your mind. Once more, breathe in deeply, and this time, as you exhale, let out a gentle om. Now, let’s begin.




Though the origin of meditation is hard to pinpoint, historians have found written records from Hindu traditions in India dating back to 1500 BC. Meditation is an umbrella term that encompasses many different practices that share the same goal of achieving inner peace and tranquility. The practice of meditation includes focused attention on the present moment and one’s surroundings, making a quiet setting especially important for beginners. Settle into a comfortable position with good posture, either sitting or lying down. Focus on finding a relaxed and deep cycle of breath, whilst keeping an open mind and attitude.

According to the Mayo Clinic, regular meditation can allow for an increase in self awareness, the building of stress management skills, reduction of negative emotions, and heightened focus on the present. It can also increase patience, tolerance, creativity and imagination. For those with pre-existing conditions such as anxiety, heart disease, chronic pain, asthma, sleep problems, depression, and even cancer, meditation can help alleviate symptoms and pain.

Calm - The meditations included in this app are peaceful and leave users feeling refreshed and happy. The platform recently added a feature for mood check ins and short gratitude lists that make mindfulness more accessible throughout a busy day. The free version of Calm or a Calm subscription are great for those looking to start their meditation journey.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEDITATION Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or you are just beginning your journey, there are many different ways to practice the art of meditation. Guided meditation allows you to focus on the breath with moments of silence sprinkled throughout guided imagery and visualizations. Mantra meditation involves the repetition of a single word or phrase to prevent a wandering mind. The practice of mindfulness meditation asks that you focus solely on the present moment and the flow of your breath. The goal is to observe passing thoughts and emotions and then, without judgment, release them. Tai chi is a meditative form of chinese martial arts that uses slow movements paired with deep and focused breathing. Another popular form of meditative exercise is yoga. A yoga practice follows a series of mindful postures and controlled breathing which allows you to feel present while gaining flexibility and strength.


“On days I meditate I find myself having more developed and interesting creative ideas that apply to my art and design practice, which I think is a useful thing for any creative.”

Smiling Mind - For an inexpensive way to try meditation, try Smiling Mind–– a non-profit sponsored by the Australian government. This app is completely free to all users, regardless of which country they live in. The app includes a wide variety of meditations for people of all ages and lifestyles. Headspace - This app is notorious for including a variety of short meditations. Full access to the app can only be granted with a subscription, though the guided meditations within the free version are wonderful as well. YouTube - This platform is another great place to find meditations free of charge. There are many guided meditations and free yoga classes, as well as meditation music and nature sounds on repeat.

SUCCESS STORY Kai Barker Dennett, an artist, designer and student at the Pratt Institute, discussed his journey with meditation, explaining how he started meditating out of curiosity, and continued practicing because of the numerous positive changes he experienced. To those thinking about beginning their meditation journey, Dennett suggests formulating a practice that is sustainable and easy to implement on a daily basis, as it’s important to start with small goals and build from there. For beginners, an eight to ten minute meditation is a great place to start. This minimum time frame will allow the mind to grow used to meditation so that longer practices are attainable in the future.

Implementing short meditations into daily life and allowing a chance to be mindful and reflective can benefit the mind and body in many ways. Life is stressful and unpredictable at times. Taking just a few minutes every day to allow yourself to be still and present can allow a feeling of calm in the midst of chaos–– a feeling everyone deserves.




Timeless beauty secrets for naturally glowing skin and hair all year long, straight from my family’s vault. Have you ever wondered what the trick is to achieving that year-long radiance, even without a trip to the Mediterranean Sea? Here’s a hint: the secret can’t be bought at Sephora or Ulta. The secret, believe it or not, is found at your local grocery store or already within the cabinets in your home. Home remedies for healthy, luminous hair and skin are as simple as a bottle of olive oil or a few dazzling lemons. Growing up living with my Italian grandmother, she taught me all the amazing tricks of the trade for how she uses these beautiful, robust ingredients, not only in her mouthwatering cooking, but all aspects of her beauty routine as well!

Olive Oil This miracle oil is undoubtedly the center of Italian cuisine but olive oil is also extremely versatile: ask any Italian woman, not just my grandma who buys it by the bucketload, and you’ll know that it’s also the center of home beauty remedies. Olive oil contains three incredible antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols, as well as a potent anti-aging compound, squalene. The powerful combination of these ingredients not only fights premature aging, but promotes smooth, moisturized skin. Put a few drops onto your face for the ultimate moisturizing serum, or mix some olive oil with mashed strawberries for a hydrating, brightening face


mask full of Vitamin C and rich antioxidants. Not in the mood for skincare? The uses for olive oil extend far beyond that. Lather it into the ends of your hair, like my grandmother, as well as the stunning Italian actress Sophia Loren. After rinsing it out, you’re left with strong, shiny, movie star hair. One of my favorite memories as a child is sitting in my grandma’s house in our robes, with our hair lathered in olive oil, and sipping on some tea, while her lemon cake is baking in the oven. Whatever you choose to do with olive oil, just always remember to keep a bottle for your kitchen counter and a bottle for your vanity!


Illustration Donna Hellberg

Lemons, Egg Whites, Baking Soda The world’s love for lemons, in all areas of health and beauty, are well justified—I don’t just mean in limoncello, or my grandma’s famous lemon cake! The high concentration of vitamin C is a supreme antioxidant for boosting collagen production for tighter, bouncier skin, neutralizing dark sun or age spots, as well as ridding the skin of acne. Add lemons into your skincare routine with a simple, homemade face mask: mix 2 tbsp of lemon juice, an egg white, and 2 tbsp of baking soda into a paste. Evenly apply the mixture to your face, let it sit until it hardens,

then rinse it off with warm water. The baking soda helps to unclog pores and reduce the production of oil, while the egg whites help to tighten the pores, lift, and brighten the skin. Also, when applied throughout damp hair, egg whites help to fight dandruff and cleanse the scalp of excess oil, while simultaneously promoting hair growth. Pro Tip: My grandmother’s number one tried-and-true use for baking soda is mixing it with hydrogen peroxide (under 3% peroxide for safety) for a powerful teeth whitening toothpaste!

Chickpeas While healthy and delicious in nature, what many may not know is that chickpeas are equally as effective in facemasks! As a child the only way I would go near chickpeas was in my grandma’s face mask. She would mash some cooked chickpeas and blend it together with the ever-trusty olive oil, some lemon juice, and an egg white to create a nourishing and rejuvenating concoction. I pushed my little stepping stool against the counter to put me level with her,

and always volunteered to help with my favorite part- mashing the chickpeas! The eggs and chickpeas contain vitamin A and retinol, which are common ingredients found in many popular, expensive skin care products. These ingredients help to unclog pores and boost cellular turnover. Next time you’re making some homemade hummus or dropping some chickpeas into your salad, save some on the side for your skincare!

Try It For Yourself! To achieve that natural radiance everyone so desires, look no further than your own kitchen. explore your cabinets and refrigerator, get creative, and play around with natural ingredients to up your skincare game. Take it from my grandmother and try it out, and you’ll find the results to be molto bellissimo!





Photography ERICK DENT Fashion AVA KING




Healthy eating isn’t about restricting yourself, trying all the fad diets, or following a model or celebrities meal plan— it’s about finding what works for your body and eating whole, fresh ingredients that boost your overall well being.

Turmeric With so much information in the food industry, social media, and the news, it can quickly become overwhelming when trying to decide what to eat and what not to eat. Healthy eating isn’t about restricting yourself, trying all the fad diets, or following a model or celebrities meal plan—it’s about finding what works for your body and eating whole, fresh ingredients that boost your overall well being. To have something be fruitful is to be of “plant, land or tree.” By eating fresh, whole foods from the earth, you are loading your body with rich nutrients that can be digested more easily than the processed foods detrimental to not only your physical health but your mental health. This sparks a conversation on foods’ impact on your body, and the colorful array of fruitful ingredients to add to your daily diet. Here are the foods you should incorporate into your diet and how:

This spice is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines and has taken over the culinary world with its flavor and health benefits. It is famed for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s also known to help conditions such as depression, premenstrual syndrome, diabetes, and if you had a little too much to drink the night before, even a hangover. Add it to your favorite marinade or rub, sprinkle it in your smoothie or coffee for an extra boost of antioxidants, or mix it in with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, (and never forget the essentials: salt and pepper) for a bright and flavorful salad dressing.

Manuka Honey This is not just any honey! In fact, “this miracle food” is sworn by celebrities—Kourtney Kardashian has praised its health and skincare benefits. Manuka honey comes from the manuka plant that grows predominantly in New Zealand and Australia. It is packed with antibacterial properties that boost the immune system with vitamins, including calcium, iron, and zinc. The darker and thicker color, the healthier the manuka honey is than regular raw honey. This ingredient has a multitude of benefits: it can improve your sleep, help with acne, and promote digestive health. You can use Manuka Honey in any recipe that calls for raw honey. To make dessert healthier, add Manuka honey to banana bread, cookies, and cakes. If you are feeling fancy, create a simple honey glaze with butter and brown sugar to pour over chicken, carrots, salmon, or your favorite nuts to create a silky and sweet depth of flavor.



Parsley Parsley is one of the world’s most popular herbs and is widely used in European, Middle Eastern, and American cooking. It is a highly versatile herb that adds freshness and an unmistakable light, peppery flavor. Remember growing up and hearing your parents say, “eat your greens”? Well, here’s why: this mighty, leafy green contains Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, and flavonoids—naturally occurring plant compounds that counter disease-causing agents in the body. Parsley is very easy to incorporate into your diet and will add so much flavor to your meals. It goes especially well with potatoes, tomatoes, poultry dishes, seafood, grainbased salads, soups, and eggs. For a refreshing, healthy sauce, create a simple chimichurri with parsley, cilantro, oregano, lemon juice, garlic, red onion, red pepper flakes, salt, and olive oil to pourover steak, chicken, or salmon.

Dark Chocolate Yes, chocolate. I know… just hear me out! Dark Chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can be very beneficial to your health (in moderation). The best dark chocolate is between 60% to 90% dark cocoa is and is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and other minerals. That little square of chocolatey goodness can help reduce heart disease by reducing cholesterol. So when you grab that box of chocolates after an Elle Woods-style breakup, you can feel good about healing your broken heart with hearthealthy chocolate. Studies even show that dark chocolate can improve brain functioning by increasing blood flow. Just remember, the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain, and the healthier it is. What can you do with chocolate? The possibilities are endless! To increase the health benefits of it with a healthier recipe instead of canceling it out with refined sugar, bake a delicious zucchini bread with dark cocoa powder. I promise you won’t even taste the zucchini. If you want to turn a classic into a healthy treat, create simple chocolate chip cookies with oats, peanut butter, almond or whole wheat flour, honey or maple syrup, and of course, chocolate. If you aren’t in the mood to cook or just want something quick to satisfy that sweet tooth, keep a bar of dark chocolate in the fridge or freezer and eat a couple of squares at night after dinner.

Fermented Foods (Kimchi, Miso, Tempeh) Fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms involving effervescence. This is a method having the property to form bubbles due to the escape of gas and may form by a chemical reaction, as in fermenting liquid. Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria which add beneficial bacteria and enzymes to the intestines that can increase the health of the gut and digestive system. They also ward off damaging inflammation in the body that can lead to obesity. According to Kristin Kirkpatrick, dietitian, and leader in nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, people who eat a single serving a day of any fermented food tend to have healthier gut bacteria. One of these gut-friendly fermented foods is the delicious Miso. It is a traditional Japanese seasoning that can be added to pesto on ramen noodles, or to a marinade short rib and glazed over vegetables to create that amazing umami flavor. Kimchi originated in Korea, is made from vegetables, garlic, ginger, and salt, creating a blend of sweet, sour, and spicy. It is great on its own, or can be added over rice, turned into a stew, or used as a pasta sauce.

Food impacts every function of our body and mind. It connects us to what matters most, our family, friends, community, cultures, the earth, and to ourselves. One of the most important things that we can do is to take the time to take care of our health, our mind, and our bodies. It’s important to cook your own meals with fresh and whole ingredients that can increase your overall well-being and live a fruitful life.



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DARK CHOCOLATE TART with Date & Walnut Crust

Ingredients Crust: 3 cups pitted dates 1 & ½ cup walnuts 2 tsp vanilla extract Pinch of sea salt ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling: 10 oz dark chocolate ( I used Hu Kitchen Vegan Chocolate) ½ cup dairy-free milk or heavy cream 1 tsp espresso powder (I used Civilized Coffee Grande Espresso Powder)

Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Butter your 14 x 5 inch

rectangular tart pan. Add dates, cocoa powder, walnuts and sea salt to a food processor and pulse till combined in small pieces. Slowly pulse so the walnuts are still in little chunks. Slowly pour in the melted butter til it comes together.

2. Add your crust to the pan and pat down to evenly spread

it along the edges and sides of the pan. Bake the crust for 10 mins. Remove and let it cool completely.

3. While it bakes, make the chocolate filling. Over a double boiler (put a heat resistance bowl over a pot of simmering water, this will help the chocolate not burn)

4. Chopp your chocolate into pieces and add it with your

cream or milk and espresso powder. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted.

5. Evenly pour your chocolate filling into the tart crust. Let it set up in the fridge for about 1 hour.

6. Garnish with flaky sea salt, edible rose petals, sprinkles or anything your heart desires!



KALE SALAD with Butternut Squash & A Turmeric Tahini Dressing

Ingredients 3 cups lacianto kale - shredded 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley - chopped 1 cup roasted butternut squash ¼ cup dried cranberries ½ cup chopped pecans ¼ cup toasted breadcrumbs Parmesan cheese 1 tsp cayenne pepper Dressing: ½ cup tahini (sesame paste) 2 tsp turmeric 1 grated garlic clove 2 water (to thin) Juice of 1 medium lemon


Directions 1.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop the butternut squash into 1 inch cubes, place on a pan and toss with olive oil and cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes.

2. For the dressing, whisk together the tahini, turmeric, grated garlic, water, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Chop your kale and parsley and add it to a bowl. Add your dressing and massage it into the kale and parsley.

4. Remove your butternut squash from the oven and add it to your salad with cranberries and pecans.

5. Toast your breadcrumbs in a pan with a little olive oil. Stir occasionally, til it becomes golden brown. About 5 mins. Add it on top of the salad.

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar or maple syrup

6. Add grated fresh parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

7. Serve and enjoy!




Dress Zara Alexandre Birmain


HONEY AND POMEGRANTE GLAZED CHICKEN THIGHS with On the Vine Roasted Tomatoes & Pomegranate Molasses

Ingredients ½ of large yellow onion, minced

Directions 1.

4 to 5 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on 12 oz on the vine tomatoes 3 tbsp honey or manuka honey

2. Heat olive oil over medium in a saucepan. Add in your

chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook the onions down til translucent.

¼ tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp dijon mustard 1 tsp cornstarch - to thicken 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (you can find it on amazon) 3 cloves garlic, minced pomegranate seeds for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the vine tomatoes on a pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 18 mins till slightly blistered.

3. Salt and pepper your chicken on both sides and add it to the pan. Cook for about 6-7 mins on each side.

4. Add the honey, dijon mustard and cayenne pepper. Let it coat the chicken and simmer for about 3 mins.

5. Add in the pomegranate molasses and cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

6. Continue to cook til the sauce thickens and coats the chicken.



Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve with the roasted on the vine tomatoes. * This Chicken is great over rice, pasta or with a side of vegetables. BEAUTY AND WELLNESS



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Fashion Veronica Montalvo Photography Leah King Location She Rents Vintage/ @sherentsvintage


Sweater Old Navy

Sweaters (top to bottom) Michael Kors, H&M, Gap, H&M, Z 118

Amid a pandemic, life is lived sitting down. A new challenge looms: learning to part with the snug seat of security.

homework-doing. What’s a place of refuge without the nurturance of a chair?

The scene: string lights with burned out bulbs drape four walls painted a Claire’s lavender, a collection of taunting diaries narrating years of teenage theatrics, a bookshelf dedicated to scarcely-read and predominantly-skimmed summer reading literature, and projects from high school art elective collecting dust in the corner awaiting their fate: to be repurposed or discarded. These are the relics of a hometown bedroom.

Most are sitting for 17 hours a day–rightfully so, comfort is vital in this time of isolation. One can’t endure this sedentary lifestyle if the chair is rigid, too low, or its seat too deep. Yet not everyone can afford a premium chair of superior material accessorized with advanced adjustment features. It’s possible to perfect an ergonomic set up with the proper modifications: one can introduce a seat cushion or footrest to adjust the chair to the appropriate height; alternate seating positions so as to not reduce blood flow or cause muscle fatigue; and, if necessary, tend to one’s posture with a lumbar support pillow. The ideal sitting position is with both feet flat on the ground, hips and knees at a 90° angle, and one’s back flat against the chair and slightly reclined. Alignment is key to a healthy relationship with a chair.

It’s undoubtedly an odd time to return to an adolescent bedroom as an adult. Self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic drove some to roll up their sleeves and embark on extensive, TikTok-worthy renovations. As for the rest, the démodé aesthetic isn’t bothersome but rather familiar and comforting. Living among adorning fossils can provide a sense of safety–a feeling currently in high demand. No matter the style of the room, there’s one essential every personal space has in common. No, it’s not a succulent or collage wall. Nor is it the prized record collection or poster of that one indie band argued to have been discovered before becoming mainstream. It’s far more mundane and, therefore, quite underrated. A chair. Whether it’s an armchair, desk chair, recliner, or ladderback, this one piece of furniture is the pillar of a safe haven. It carries its sitter during intense Netflix binges, FaceTimes with family members and friends, amateur manicures during Blackboard Collaborate classes, and three-hour breaks after 20 “productive” minutes of

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Once comfortability is secured, however, it can be difficult to venture outside of the haven. The pandemic forced the change from a dynamic lifestyle to one that’s homebound. In response, the public burrowed away and succumbed to indolence. Entire modern-day lives are happening in the cushion of seats. Yet it’s now time to progress because life, no matter if confined, must be lived to the fullest. Stretch, garden, take a walk even if it’s carrying days-old dishes to the kitchen. Find an excuse to rise from the seat. But do not fret. The chair will remain patient in its designated spot for when it’s to resume its physical as well as emotional and mental weightlifting.

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Zara 119

b a l s e n B e e p a s i uty d In The weight of the world shouldn’t be felt on one’s skin. By Citlalli Gutierrez

Beauty tools can be essential to releasing the strain brought on by stress. A beauty tool called gua sha is technically nothing new but is having a significant moment among selfcare enthusiasts. It's known for the history of its practice and the ability to produce instant results. Incorporating the gua sha into a skincare routine can further enhance the process of taking care of your skin.

The Magic of the Gua Sha Gua sha is a traditional Chinese medical technique that involves scraping and massaging the skin. The device’s appearance is flat and made from gemstone crystals such as jade or quartz. The gemstone’s touch is cool with weight on the hand and various carved edges to fit the face and body’s contours. While known for diminishing facial tension, the results extend beyond relaxation.

Health and Beauty Benefits The significance of practicing gua sha relates to its many long-term health benefits: blood circulation for inflammation, lymphatic drainage for toxin removal, and treatment for chronic pain. In terms of facial application, the gua sha promotes sculpting while smoothing out fine lines and strengthening the skin’s elasticity. This tool’s contouring property makes it a natural alternative to makeup and cosmetic injections.

Prep the Skin & Begin The practice of gua sha requires time, effort, and the proper instruction. Prepping the skin is a must prior to using any facial roller. To begin, all you need is a clean face and your favorite oil or serum to lubricate the skin so the stone can glide across the face. For best results, the gua sha tool should be used at a slight angle against the skin’s surface with light to medium pressure.


Graphics Jordan Rush


5 Minute Glow: How to Gua Sha Neck Starting from the center above the collarbone, glide the tool up into the neck to lift the skin. This can be used on the sides of the neck as well.

Shoulder Maneuver the tool following the natural curvature from shoulder to neck and end at the earlobe. This step will promote lymphatic drainage.

Cheek To contour the cheek, start from the corner of the nose, sweep the tool towards the cheekbone, and end at the hairline.

Jawline To define the jawline, start under the chin and gently drag the tool across, and wiggle at the end to release tension.

Eyebrow From the arch of the brow, stroke up towards the hairline. Another method is laying the tool on the eyebrow and gently massaging it in a circular motion. The cooling sensation will release tension around the eye area.

Forehead Where the brows meet or the third eye, enforce light to medium pressure and massage. Then sweep the tool into the forehead and end at the hairline. These steps are vital to effectively use the gua sha and each is repeated at least five times on both sides of the face. Performing this ritual 2-3 times a week is recommended for ultimate relaxation. Ultimately, self-care may look different for everyone, so customize the gua sha’s usage/practice at your preference! as you wish, because, after all, we could all use/deserve some TLC.




YOU ARE ESSENTIAL My transformation in isolation: Redefining the parameters of what it means to be my own muse.







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Before the pandemic, a negative thought pattern clouded my views on reality. I was obsessed with the idea of living my life for other people: wearing what I thought the majority would accept, speaking my opinions on ideas I knew I would get approval on—all inevitably fueling a damaged view of self-love. Once I realized that I should be living for me, not others, I began to love myself, slowly but surely. As an extrovert, the way I connected to other people and their opinions of me shaped my perception of how vital I was to this world. I received validation by how often I hung out with my friends, how many parties I was invited to, and whether or not people seemed to like me.

Once the ability to connect with people on a daily basis was snatched from me, I became lost. My sense of productivity that fueled my opinion of my own self-worth was also ripped away, as I was forced to spend the last moments of high school in my childhood bedroom when I had hoped to be closing out the end of my academic year in the classroom, with my friends around me.

distractions preventing me from confronting my poor self-esteem, and was almost forced to see how essential it was to be able to accept validation from myself, and only myself.

To start my self-love journey, I started to look more into spirituality, and more specifically, the law of attraction. From experience, I learned that a negative thought pattern induced a negative reality. To prevent this pattern from When I was confined in my house back in consuming my life, I decided that my habits Colorado, I had a lot of time to think and reflect. had to change. So, I started small. I began I tried my best to keep a routine, but kept falling exclusively listening to music that made me feel back into feelings of sadness as the days kept empowered. I started to practice manifestation, repeating themselves over and over again, much and stopped myself whenever I noticed that I was thinking adversely. My mantra became to like the film Groundhog Day. I no longer had view and talk to myself as I would my child - if I had my own.

This caused me to cut off friends who were treating me poorly and dragging my energy down. I realized that the people I had once considered my best friends impacted my life more negatively than positively. I found a new group of people to talk to who consistently supported me and accepted me, regardless of not having known me a long time. I made the promise to myself to only surround myself with the best people who care about my well-being. The best thing I ever did for myself during quarantine was seek out a therapist. I had a lot of past experiences and traumas that I’d never truly come to terms with or developed coping mechanisms for. Meeting with my phenomenal therapist helped me adjust my thought patterns to more positive ones, which was crucial in these universally challenging times.

I’ve spent a lot of time with myself these past eight months, and without a doubt, have finally started to see how important healing is. I learned that the idea of being essential to this world isn’t reliant on how much money you have, how productive you are, or how many friends you have. It’s simply your existence–– your smile, mind, and soul, that makes you vital to this planet. It was around this past May, in the comfort of my childhood home, that I finally started to get it: I live for the girl looking back at me in the mirror, the one who’s helped me through thick and thin, the one who is vital, full of worth, and essential to this world. BEAUTY AND WELLNESS





Graphics Queena Chen

The notion of beauty has long been filtered through “the eyes of the beholder”–a mere opinion molded by a social standard that’s been established over time by celebrities, popular culture, and now, social media. It’s no secret that the year 2020 presented the world with a new and yes, unprecedented, set of challenges that perhaps permanently altered the course of our lives. In response to this sudden, drastic change, the world continues to loosen its reigns, stepping back to reassess ingrained ideologies, including what it means to be beautiful. BEAUTY AND WELLNESS


WHY the APPEAL? The roots of this phenomenon and its prolonged existence in the spotlight lies in media exposure–lots of it. Different forms of media have overwhelmed audiences, whether they’re aware of it or not, with examples of men and women who fit the standard of beauty labeled as sexy, hot, and beautiful. People Magazine’s annual “Sexiest Man Alive” edition serves as a prime example of this, blatantly showcasing what a person should look like to earn such a title. While there are certainly those that disregard media of this sort, the consistent exposure makes the appeal of the Western beauty standard almost involuntary, urging people to adhere to it so that they too can feel, or more importantly, be labeled as beautiful.

the WESTERN HUMAN IDEAL For centuries (and even before that), the human race has maintained an ideal appearance for any gender or ethnicity. While this model diversified and became unique to specific geographical regions, one region dominated the globe: the West. Through manicured appearances portrayed on television, film, and other forms of highly accessible media, the Western beauty standard, categorized by long legs, full lips, fair skin, ample breasts, and a lean frame, became widely accepted. The standard was, and remains, blind to geography, culture, and the basic genetic makeup of a person, leading those around the world who conform to it to suffer from body dysmorphia, lowered self-confidence, and other deeply-ingrained insecurities.






to occur


the beauty standard will undoubtedly shift back to where it left off prior to the pandemic;

the harshness of the standard may decrease;

the IMPENDING RENAISSANCE harshness of the standard may decrease and never fully return to its original, exclusionary nature, the beauty industry will undoubtedly shift back to where it left off prior to the pandemic, letting the culture dictate the products and campaigns that are introduced to consumers. The Even after the current unrest has settled, it’s highly question remains: how much longer will the general public probable that society will return to its ways, idolizing buy into such a concept, allowing the beauty of others to a certain type of appearance over the others. While the negate their own? Though many remain hopeful that the great amounts of change that occurred, and continue to occur, was powerful enough to permanently rid the world of a beauty standard, such a shift is unlikely.



The past couple of months have lit a fire under the United States in more ways than one. With social issues, climate change, political strife, and health hazards dominating media coverage, beauty was momentarily set aside. This abrupt shift in priority led to a stark decrease in sales for staples such as eyeliner and brow gel, as well as a general decreased interest in beauty products as a whole, especially with masks covering much of one’s face. While there have always been individuals who have strayed from


using cosmetics, this was the first time the nation collectively decided such products were unnecessary. With the world slowly reopening, the beauty industry is inching its way back into the limelight. Yet with a nationally-shared traumatic experience that has altered societal priorities across the spectrum, could it be that the concept of beauty has lost a certain standard, and perhaps, rightfully so, become more of a personal ideal?