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This publication has been possible thanks to the support of the Communication Department of Columbia College Chicago, 33 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, Ill. 60605 Phone 312.369.8900 SPECIAL THANKS Suzanne McBride, Chair | Chris Richert, General Manager | Betsy Edgerton, Associate Chair, Journalism | Len Strazewski, Associate Professor

presentation HOW WE PRESENT OURSELVES is an enduring theme that most all of us grapple

with at one point or another in life. For this current issue of Wanderer, the topics of beauty and identity bind the 11 stories shared here. Reporter Mari Hinchley tells the story (with help from illustrator Traci Heiberger and page designer Tyra Davis-Jenkins) of Alaska Thunderfuck, an award-winning drag queen who challenges social norms and makes the point that she and others didn’t choose this career path; “it’s just who you are.” Reporter Madeline McQuillan (with editing by Robson Friend) tackles the important issue of makeup companies primarily focusing on light-skinned consumers at the expense of the country’s diverse population, which also wants to buy foundation that looks right on them. Still another reporter, Kate Lavin (who partnered with page designer Madeline Stoiber), puts the spotlight on the paucity of bras for large-sized women, calling out companies that “are subconsciously telling women outside of those (small) sizes that their body isn’t made right.” Two other reporters write about the intentionality with which many of us are choosing to live – both ethically and minimally. Through her words and photos, Maria Efting explains how she and other millennials are choosing to maintain a clean, simple yet versatile wardrobe. Jada Jackson writes about millennials wanting to be informed and educated consumers, “being someone who evaluates the ramifications” of what you buy. Eden Bunna and Connor Carynski designed the layouts for those stories. Then there’s the story of a Chicago designer who makes clothes out of silicone, latex and other materials that may not last long. “Garments are meant to be ephemeral,” Janis “JAJA” Sujin tells reporter/photographer Shahrnaz Javid. Blair Paddock handled the story’s design. Don’t miss the other interesting stories contained here. A special thanks to Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, who worked last year with reporters in her Fashion Journalism course to produce the content. Then Elio Leturia’s Visual Journalism students worked their layout and design magic to help produce what you now hold in your hands. Graduate student Jaclyn Torrento served as editor and fact checker, while Traci Heiberger illustrated the cover, Madeline McQuillan assisted with design, and Javier Suárez handled pagination. And last but not least, Mary Mattucci assisted with final proofreading. We hope you enjoy reading our latest issue and learn as much as we did. Let us know what stories you think our students should tell in Wanderer’s next issue. — SUZANNE MCBRIDE, Chair, Department of Communication


Wanderer is a student-produced magazine. It does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of college administrators, faculty, the Journalism Program or the student body as a whole.


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16 INDEPENDENCE IS A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND The days of women dropping hints to their man to buy those pair of earrings they want seem to be a thing of the past. A new day has come where women are cutting out the “middle man.” Oona O’Toole

The force of nature herself, Alaska Thinderfuck, explains what it takes to be a drag queen. Mari Hinchley

6 LIPSTICK STAINS HISTORY In a constantly changing beauty market, this tube of makeup remains a consistent tool. Kendra Brach

18 BE MINIMAL Five tips to help millennials maintain a clean, simple and versatile wardrobe for every day of the week. Maria Effing

8 CASUALTY-FREE BEAUTY While steps are being made to achieve a cruelty-free industry, your favorite make up product could still be tested on animals. Maddy Gardere

20 IN MALLS, MILLENNIALS HOLD MORAL HIGH GROUND Move over baby boomers. There’s a new generation making smart clothing spending decisions. Jada Jackson

10 LACKING COVERAGE When every shade isn’t for everyone. Madeline McQuillan



Neutral and complex is the current color trend in fashion. Katlyn Tolly

The Browtique in Arlington Heights gives you the perfect brow shape. Dana Mack



Step into the world of sneaker heads, but be wary of tying up your finances in a scam. Michell Vázquez

For some women, the struggle to find a quality bra in their size is a never-ending story. Kate Lavin

26 F ROM HARDWARE STORE TO RUNWAY A city designer is giving a new meaning to the “industrial” look. Shahrnaz Javid


This issue of Wanderer magazine is a collaborative project produced by Visual Communication and Fashion Journalism students. Both courses are offered in the Journalism Program of the Communication Department, Columbia College Chicago. Visual Communication students edited, designed and laid out each story as his or her final course project, and Fashion Journalism students reported and wrote the stories providing photography for them. This issue is all about the current trends in fashion.







THE FASHION ISSUE student wanderer


You can want it...






wanderer | Spring 2018


laska Thunderfuck is a hot mess. Her look is reminiscent of Amy Winehouse—an obnoxious blonde beehive that’s disheveled, large eyeliner wings flicked across her eyes that are not only the epitome of captivating, but intense. One look into her deep brown eyes, and it’s as though the world must know what she’s saying. Her outfit fits the bill —a black pushup bra paired with a literal trash bag styled as a mer-

maid skirt. Quite simply, the queen is what she had said she aspires to be: trash. Alaska Thunderfuck —real name, Justin Honard—is a drag queen; not just any queen, but the winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars,” Season Two, as well as a runner-up on the Fifth Season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” A graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, Thunderfuck went to school for acting, but says her roots in drag go back to her childhood, when she “was always wearing her grandmother’s clothes.” She credits her alma mater for developing her broad theatrical repertoire —an essential to have if you’re a drag queen. “At the University of Pittsburgh, I wasn’t even doing drag,” says Thunderfuck. “I did theatre, I acted in plays.” At school the curriculum had students constantly evolving— where sewing, creating sets and acting were part of the package. “It was more all-around,” she


u O

aUNt iT? says. “I wasn’t really doing drag that much, but I still made dresses for myself.” Looking at Thunderfuck’s background, there’s no question as to why she is a queen— she simply exudes it. Post-performance of her 2016 single, “Stun,” Thunderfuck looks unbothered; sipping white wine, she’s comfortably fabulous in what she calls “the classic Alaska outfit”—trash bag and a “huge nest of hair. That’s it.” When talking about the art of drag, Thunderfuck compares it to the different categories in a beauty pageant. She breaks it up into three parts: “You have a gown portion, you have swimsuit portion and talent portion,” she says. Tonight, she credits her trash bag as part of her “gown portion,” and rightfully so; matched with a sleek cross-neck bra and subtle choker, the tout ensemble is something that would walk the runway of one of Alexander Wang’s collections—sexy, mis-

chievous and ready-to-party. But Alaska’s look is hers, and hers alone —but she’s not looking to settle on one look throughout her career. “I’m still figuring that out. I like to think of it as a cartoon character,” she says, in terms of an overall-look. “Like Mickey Mouse. He has round eyes and two circles for f**king ears. So, it’s very easy and iconic and recognizable.” So, if being recognizable is the name of the drag queen game, what would the Alaska drawing consist of? “The Alaska drawing would be a stick figure, with a huge nest of hair on the top,” she says, pausing for a moment before adding, “and nails.” Alas, as one of the most-renowned drag queens today, it’s no wonder Thunderfuck is paving her way to success—but without having a growing platform like “RuPaul’s Drag Race” to show the world components of drag culture, would drag queens be recognized as more than just performers, and something more, like fashion figures? As the art of drag grows more mainstream, it’s no wonder publications like Vanity Fair have highlighted “100 Years of Drag Queen Fashion” through viral videos, featuring famous queens like Kim Chi and Detox Icunt displaying the various makeup looks – drag is its own fashion niche, unapologetically proud of its fierce, witty self. After all, RuPaul did tell the world to sashay and shante their way into drag culture, with her hit “Supermodel,” back in 1993. It was the beginning of an era —and nothing was the same after. For those who aren’t immersed in drag culture, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is just what reality TV sets out to do —entertain. According to Nathaniel Simmons’ essay, “Speaking Like A Queen In RuPaul’s Drag Race: Towards a Speech Code of American Drag Queens,” it was the first television show that focused on drag queens. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is not only a refreshing dose of reality TV,

but a cutthroat competition for who has what it takes to be an heir of their fellow host, whom they lovingly call, “Mama Ru.” In the show, 13 queens compete through various challenges that test multiple skills, such as sewing (seeing seams is a big no-no, and the outfit better not look cheap, henny), to lip-syncing pop songs “for their legacy!”—to the seasonal staple, the “Snatch Game,” where each queen is able to compete as a famous celebrity. Some popular “Snatch Game” contestants include the ever-so-animated Liza Minelli, or a glamorous, sharpwitted Cher, to somewhat-clueless Britney Spears. Looking at the list of demands for what it takes to be a successful drag queen on RPDR, one might argue that drag requires more than one may think. Besides the challenges themselves, hair, makeup, and fashion play a crucial component in being the ultimate queen. After all, queen Alaska likes to give herself “at least three hours” to get ready.“And I’m still rushing by the end,” she adds. But drag digs deeper than just the layers of makeup, fake nails and glitzy getups; according to J. Cormier Briggs’ Outlook Ohio Magazine profile “Drag: A History,” drag dates back to the Middle Ages, where it had been used in Greek theater, as well as Elizabethan England. Briggs acknowledged that drag was essential to “challenging social norms,” as well as asking questions about gender and sexuality. In a way, drag is still applying those concepts today; challenging social norms is evident in drag queens, and gender is only a construct in drag culture — everyone is a queen, and there are no restrictions that state otherwise. Perhaps it is why drag and fashion have the relationship that they do; unafraid to turn heads, both subjects are about making a statement through freedom of expression. There is a sense of care and attention that go into the looks that queens create for themselves —

and each is unique to their own preferred genre. When creating a look, every queen has different paint in their palate; some go for gaudy couture, like Chicago’s own Kim Chi, who, at a RPDR viewing party at Roscoe’s on April 8, 2017, told the crowd that all of her outfits are custom-made. Her selection that night featured a frilly, Bo Peep-inspired frock, as well as a flowy, white gown complete with delicate diamond appliqué. Others will show off every curve —or expertise padding job, like Detox, whose performance had the crowd literally throwing their money at her. Her looks that night included a cobalt mesh body-con dress, complete with a neon bra and panty set underneath, as well as a metallic bob wig, a mix between an extraterrestrial Cher and exotic flapper —a look that Detox called, “Comfortable and untucked.” Alaska donned a sleek, Hepburn-fitted black dress with matching beret, looking like a killer Bardot (she credited this look to Valentina, a Season Nine contestant whose look typically consists of a black turtleneck and matching beret). She performed in her signature trash-and-bra get-up, complete with a ribbon-decorated microphone, an homage to one of her idols, Stevie Nicks. Each queen’s look, personality and act is one that’s as distinguishable as it is entertaining. They know what works for them, and what doesn’t. But to those who think it’s a career that’s easily pursued, Alaska would say otherwise; for drag, like fashion, is an interest that requires diligence and care. It’s part of the person themselves. “Nowadays, you have a lot of queens who are choosing it as a career path, which is so absurd to me,” says Alaska. “Because, you don’t really choose to do it—it’s just who you are.” —Design by Tyra Davis-Jenkins

Spring 2018 | wanderer


In a constantly changing beauty market, this tube of makeup



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women’s lives in many ways throughout history. Not only can it be a confidence booster, but it has impacted multiple feminist movements. While lipstick might be thought of as a feminine cosmetic, it has roots in feminist rebellion. It even traces back to medieval times when beautyobsessed women defied the thought that makeup made them the incarnation of Satan and practiced in-depth beauty rituals. This tube of makeup didn’t always come in stick form. Women (and men, in some instances) kept their lip color in small pots, mixed the colors to

the perfect hue, then applied. The wealthier the woman (or man), the more pots of lip paint they had. Some cultures even buried women with their lip color pots so they could be prepared and beautiful in the afterlife. No matter its packaging, lipstick has proven to be the most popular cosmetic since the day women put it on their lips in the Sumerian region of Ur about 5,000 years ago, according to Jessica Pallingston in her book “Lipstick.” Since then, society views on lipstick have fluctuated. Lipstick has gone from “classy women must wear lipstick at all times” in ancient Egypt to “lipstick is the art

form of the devil” in medieval times to “lipstick is the mark of a prostitute” in ancient Greece and back again to it being a fashion must-have. In the U.S., the history of lipstick also continues to be drastically fluctuating. The late 1800s revolved around all sorts of cosmetics being considered taboo and only used in theatre, but lipstick won the prize for being the most indecent, Pallingston writes. Beauty is on the inside was the theme of the century. Still, women traded their recipes in secret, and some women, such as French actress Sarah Bernhardt, defied the societal rules and even scandalously applied lipstick in public. In the 20th century, lipstick took on a much different label. Women used the bright red paint as a symbol of female liberation. Feminists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman wore lipstick during the 1912 NYC Suffragette rally. Let’s quickly take a moment to thank Maurice Levy for creating the first retractable lipstick in 1915. Mainstream feminists in the ’20s were conservative, considering they were fighting for their rights. They disapproved of the flapper girls, even though they challenged preconceived gender roles of their days with their grooming, dress and behavior, writes Linda Scott in

remains a consistent tool.


Eighty percent of American women regularly wear lipstick and over 25% won’t leave the house without wearing it.

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” —ELIZABETH TAYLOR, two-time academy award winning actress

worried about wearing makeup or nervous about it, writes Martin-Hattemberg. So there was a battle about whether makeup made women the plaything of men or whether it empowered them with confidence in themselves. The ’90s lipstick companies reformed their formulas to meet the changing demand from women. According to makeup historian Gabriela Hernández, women required long-lasting lipsticks. “[Makeup companies] had a desire to meet the needs of women who were doing more than ever before,” Hernández says. “They had jobs, were independent and had less time to spend on beauty.” This time, feminism was impacting makeup and how it was made more than makeup was impacting feminism. In the past 30 years, lipstick has changed so much in regards to packaging, marketing and formulation, in the opinion of makeup historian Hillary Belzer. “In a nutshell, I think there’s simply more,” Belzer says. “More formulas, more brands and especially more colors. I don’t know if it’ll be a lasting trend, but nontraditional lip colors are easier to find than ever. Even 10 years ago, you’d be hard pressed to track down a blue lipstick sold by a mainstream line — you’d have to go to an indie retailer or specialty store.”

l 1890s l 1912 l 1915 l 1930s l 1939 l 1940s l 1945 l 1946 l 1990s

“Beauty on the inside” ideology NYC Suffragette Rally uses lipstick as symbol Maurice Levy creates retractable lipsticks


“Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism.” During the Great Depression, lipstick became a tool to perfect oneself in an imperfect world. According to Pallingston, makeup was one of the few industries that came out of the Depression in an even better state than when it went into it. When the war was going on in the ’40s, women used lipstick as a moral boost. They wore it as a public service (must be nice to have such a great excuse to buy lipstick ­— it was a service to the country and the duty of a female citizen.) However, this purpose of lipstick was a slight backtrack in the feminist movement since its main purpose was to build morale of the troops. In 1946, according to Jean-Marie Martin-Hattemberg in “Lips of Luxury,” out of 50 million American women, 99 percent wore lipstick. Feminists in the ’70s wanted women to stop wearing makeup, something that alienated many women from their cause. By this time, women weren’t

Depression helps make-up industry World War II begins Over 90% of American women wear lipstick World War II ends Lipstick formulas change for working women Bold colors become mainstream

This helps empower women to express themselves through every color of the rainbow even through society has often frowned upon colors such as blue or purple on a woman’s lips. The battle of makeup continues, but women do their best to power through this negativity and use their faces as a canvas for as much or as little makeup as they want. A drawer, a bag, maybe even one of each. That’s how much space women can use to store their lipsticks. Each beloved one is different . . . different brands, different shades, different finishes. Makeup routines can vary from 5 minutes to over an hour, depending on someone’s beau-

ty style. With makeup tutorials popping up all over social media, it’s hard to find a set way to do makeup, let alone specific products that are so good you never want to find another brand. Trial and error plays a huge role on every morning routine. Whether someone contours with a full face of makeup or applies a layer of mascara and calls it finished, one thing doesn’t change — the lips. To boost confidence, to express oneself or even to rally for feminism, lipstick is a go-to for any make up user. —Design by Becca Tober

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hen it comes to shopping for makeup, we tend to go toward the label we feel most comfortable using. What would make you break away from a makeup brand? Animal testing is a current issue faced in the makeup industry as more brands begin to label themselves as “cruelty-free.” “We estimate that approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die just for cosmetics every year around the world,” said the Humane Society International. With an increase in the makeup industry using this method of experimentation, is the risk of breaking budget worth the cost of ethics? Are you willing to sacrifice a little bit extra from your wallet to save the life of an animal? I believe that cruelty-free makeup is worth the price. To be honest, I didn’t know a lot of the brands I used were cruelty free. As a slightly more than average fan of makeup, I started examining the philosophies and morals of the cosmetics I represent. As I dug further into my research, I discovered I wasn’t the only one who was unaware. Jade Kwiatkowski, a freelance makeup artist based in Chicago, is an advocate for Aveda products because of her mom. “My mom inspired me to go into makeup,” said Kwiatkowski. “She works in the industry so I’ve always grown up around it.” Growing up in a household that represents a cruelty-free brand, Kwiatkowski didn’t realize such until we sat down and researched on our phones. According to, “Aveda’s products are not tested on animals, so if you use them, you can be sure that you’re beautiful inside and out.” Kwiatkowski doesn’t only use crueltyfree products in her work but also when it comes to her everyday makeup look, she tends to go toward Tarte. “They have really good quality products,” said Kwiatkowski. “They’re always releasing new products, and it looks great on most skin tones.” Whether it be because of the shiny packaging or the crisp price tag attached, we are creatures of habit. Brand loyalty is an important aspect of any company, specifically when it comes to makeup labels. When you 2

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Casualtybeauty While steps are being made to achieve a cruelty-free industry, your favorite make up product could still be tested on animals. buy the newest shade of blush, you’re more than likely to return to the same brand for additional purchases. Kwiatkowski uses their eyeshadows “everyday” when it comes to her favorite palette, Tartelette In Bloom. Tartelette In Bloom retails at an average price of $46, but there’s a less expensive alternative available to the public. Maybelline’s The Blushed Nudes eyeshadow palette, which retails at an average price of $9.99, can almost pass off with the same shades and variations. The only contrast, besides name recognition and pricing, is how they mar-

ket themselves in regards to cruelty-free. When you go to, they encourage their consumers to “Shop the vegan friendly and cruelty-free makeup collection for the beauty we are proud to offer that is PETA certified by Tarte Cosmetics.” When you scroll to the Maybelline page, they make a statement, but some consumers may not read between the lines. Rebecca Overman, a visual makeup artist and blogger, uses social media platforms (such as Instagram) to promote brands that advertise as cruelty free. She is very active in her research of makeup brands and their code of ethics in regards to their stance on animal testing. Overman says she was inspired to go cruelty free because “animal testing is so unethical.” “The animals that undergo these tests end up with skin irritation and infections so severe often times they aren’t treatable,” Overman says. “After the animals are tested on they are typically euthanized because the company won’t pay for the tests to treat them.” Jade Kwiatkowski applying not animaltested makeup to writer Maddy Gardere. According to Kwiatkowski there is no difference between the look of cruelty and non cruelty free makeup. Photo SAVANNAH PURCELL


With this public knowledge of this abuse to animals, why do makeup companies continue to do so? “Any brand that sells its products in China, automatically is not cruelty free because by law, China requires that every product must be tested on animals before being sold in retail, “ Overman says. “Some brands claim to be cruelty free, but they’re owned by a parent company that is not.” The Humane Society International discusses the impact of cosmetic testing in further detail, stating that, animals are forced to “swallow massive amounts of a test chemical” to determine the amount of dosage that would cause death. “These tests can cause considerable pain and distress including blindness, swollen eyes, sore bleeding skin, internal bleeding and organ damage, birth defects, convulsions and death. Pain relief is not provided, and at the end of a test the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.” “So, even if the makeup you’re buying in America wasn’t tested on an animal, you need to decide if it’s important to you that your money isn’t going toward a company that tests on animals in any country,” Overman says. “What other information do we gain from testing on animals,” Overman says. “We’re in such a crucial time to save our planet. I wish more brands would take a stance on this.” With over 200 makeup brands publicly announcing themselves as cruelty free, the cosmetic industry is starting to break away from testing on animals. Widely known companies, such as Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie Cosmetics and Lush, are providing a platform of change for other major labels to follow. Smaller start-up makeup companies are beginning to grow as the label of “cruelty free” is starting to catch on with current trends. The fight to make all makeup brands discontinue animal testing is still going on as more information is discovered everyday about the ethics of certain labels in the makeup industry. “If someone really cares about straying away from cruelty-free makeup, my advice would be to do your research,” Overman says. student wanderer



Photoillustration MADELINE McQUILLAN



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Finding the perfect coverage for your skin tone can be an endless scavenger hunt with no reward, but the hunt might be over.



school, it was then that he discovered that black was not alrom olive to ivoways portrayed as beautiful. ry and one to four, L’Oréal, a well-known drugthese words repstore line, has a slogan that resent the specifclaims more than it can back up. ic shade of founda“Because you’re worth it,” says tion that millions of Bidding. Can you actually feel women wear. While worth it if companies don’t give companies like Maya thought to a huge portion of belline have slogans that pride the population that is not Cauthemselves on finding the percasian? “Absolutely not,” Bidfect “fit” or “color match,” the ding adds, “the fact that that is reality is that coverage for all their slogan is hilarious. My skin is not created equal. tone does not fall on The color wheel of skin your limited spectrum, tones is extensive, but so obviously I am not there is just not enough worth it.” He still has coverage. never found his perfect While most commershade. cial drugstore makeup Companies will also lines have some dark try to sprinkle in a litshades, the selection is Xavier Biddings tle diversity in their ads minuscule in compariwith maybe one person son to the range of colors ofof color for every four or so. “In fered for men and women of the ads, you never see people as lighter skin tones. dark as me,” “Everyone with a darker skin Bidding says. “You will always complexion knows about this find [people of color] representproblem. This has been a probed as a shade similar to Beyoncé, lem for awhile, although some the spectrum doesn’t end there makeup lines are trying,” says and neither should the rep.” Xavier Biddings. The 20-yearHowever, not all hope is lost. old Chicago-based actor startStartup makeup companies like ed testing the ocean of makeHue Noir are shaking things up. up waters in the 6th grade. His The Oregon-based company middle school cosmetic startwas started by cosmetic chemer kit consisted of pencil eyelinist Paula Hays in 2009. The brand er and mascara he stole from his prides itself on using science and mother. When he started weartechnology to create a makeup ing makeup as a junior in high line specifically for people of color. “She was inspired like most women by makeup,” says Veronica Jones, Hue Noir customer relations manager. “She was also frustrated with makeup products for her skin

“My skin tone does not fall on [that] limited spectrum, so obviously I am not worth it.” —XAVIER BIDDINGS, on L’Oreal’s famous slogan tone and her skin’s sensitivity.” It was through this frustration that Hays decided she wanted to create her own makeup. Everything is formulated and manufactured in Oregon. “Our goal is to cater to multicultural women, first and foremost,” Jones says. “In the makeup industry we are often forgotten.” The company has taken over 100 women’s skin tone readings and have applied them to formulas for the development of diverse foundation options. “When you get our foundation, you get a product that is pretty precise to most women’s skin tones,” Jones says. Through reading the levels of melanin in the skin, the formula for creating a better foundation for people of color is made possible. They expect their foundation line to be ready for purchase very soon for skin tones “from the very lightest to the darkest,” Jones adds. Jones has been with the company for three years and is an old friend of Hays. Jones wears many different hats at the small business. In addition to running all of customer relations, she also runs the social media aspect— which in today’s market is a full time job on its own. “I am the one most people talk to first,” she says. “I give you a feel of what Hue Noir is and try to translate that to the public.”

Paula Hays, Hue Noir CEO and product development chemist.

Hue Noir is currently coordinating with wholesalers to launch their line into boutiques across the country. Thankfully, for people like Biddings who self-proclaim to be “busted and cheap,” the makeup line won’t empty your piggy bank--their products range from $8-$30. But for now, their products are available online. With lines like Hue Noir, coverage can cover all. The hunt to find that perfect coverage for people like Biddings might be easier than before. ­—Edited by Robson Friend


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The Brow and At The Browtique, light grey walls, vintage refurbished furniture and pale blue accents create a relaxing atmosphere.



Writer Dana Mack spent some time experiencing the services at The Browtique.


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elieve it or not, getting your hair ripped out with hot wax can actually be relaxing and enjoyable, thanks in part to brow specialists like Diana Roth and Stefanie Dodge, owners of The Browtique. This specialty salon in Orland Park, Illinois, is a perfect example of how eyebrows and hair removal are changing. Light grey walls, vintage refurbished furniture and pale blue accents scattered throughout the shop create a zen escape, complete with freshsmelling essential oils and relaxing music. For many of us, going to get your eyebrows done once meant laying on a bed similar to a doctor’s examination table in a tiny room in the back of a hair salon, hoping the stranger

standing above you doesn’t give you tadpole brows. With salons like The Browtique, those days can soon be in the past. Whether you’re into Lily Collins’ perfectly unkempt brows or Gina Rodríguez’s clean, tactfully shaped brows, you can now put your trust in an eyebrow specialist to achieve your dream brows. The term “eyebrow specialist” is steadily gaining popularity, and it may seem like it gets thrown around a lot now, but those who hold the title certainly don’t take it lightly. Just like makeup, great eyebrows are an art with Roth and Dodge having mastered it. The duo opened The Browtique together in 2009, having no idea what it would become. With a one —or sometimes two-month wait time for appointments, they are a perfect example of just how prevalent their specialty has become. Not just anyone can perfect the art of eyebrow shaping. Roth says you have to have natural talent, but even that will

only take you so far. “Skill, a trained eye and an artistic ability will take you all the way,” Roth says. We’ve all probably noticed how obsessed many Americans have become with hair removal as a whole, wheth-

Diana Roth and Stefanie Dodge, owners of The Browtique in Orland Park, Illinois

er it be facial hair (including brows), underarms, bikini lines or legs. But you might be shocked at the actual numbers behind this obsession. Rebecca M. Herzig is a professor of Women and Gender Studies at Bates College. In her 2015 book, “Plucked: a History of Hair Removal,” she states, “Recent studies indicate that more than 99 percent of American women voluntarily remove hair, and more than 85 percent do so regularly, even daily.” As for the eyebrow obsession in particular, Dodge credits celebrities such as Kim Kardashian. “Even though there really are better brows out there, everyone kind of noticed that style,” she says, laughing, while Roth notes that people started noticing what a big impact professionally shaped brows can have on your face. Roth says there has also been a noticeable shift in client demographics. While they once expected most clients to be in their 30s–40s, they now see everyone from teenagers to women in their 80s. Roth and Dodge love getting new clients because it’s like meeting a new friend, and they love being a part of the transformation that happens when someone gets their brows done for the first time. Dodge says when she gets a first-time client, aside from assessing the person’s brows, she always makes sure to see what


the Beautiful Eyebrow reshaping requires a trained eye and artistic skill, Diana Roth says.

they’re hoping to get out of their appointment. “Generally, people have an idea of what they want and sometimes it’s not quite right for their face,” she says. “Then I come up with a happy medium between what I think and what they want.” Roth takes a similar approach to new clients and likes to get an idea of the individual’s brow history. “I like to ask a lot of questions of what they’ve been doing to maintain their brows and how long has it been since they touched them, just to give me an idea of their regrowth potential,” she says. Though Roth and Dodge have only been working together since 2009, they’ve both been doing brows for 15 years. They both feel extremely fortunate for what The Browtique has become. “It feels like I’m home when I’m at work,” Dodge says. “I never dread going to work, and I feel so lucky to say I love what

“... more than 99 percent of American women voluntarily remove hair, and more than 85 percent ... even daily.” —REBECCA HERZIG, author

I do and I love our little family [at The Browtique].” “A lot of people don’t see the back end of our industry and how much goes into it,” Roth says. “A lot of these salons are independently owned, and there is so much education and work that goes into doing it well, and I’m so grateful for what I have.” If recent years for eyebrow specialists like Roth and Dodge are any indication, there is still plenty of success to come. —Design by Leah Matalone

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For some women, the stru in their size is a nev

uying a bra larger than a DD is probably one of the most difficult department store scavenger hunts of all time. For these women, bra departments suddenly shrink to one small rack consisting of only a few colors—nude, more nude and maybe some black if you’re lucky. Having a mother being one of these women has given me a firsthand look at just how difficult this scavenger hunt is from a very young age. After observing endless expeditions from store to store, disputes with managers, and online orders since the age of 7, I can most definitely tell you anyone who wears a DD+ bra wants only three things: A bra that is not hideous, comes in a variety of options and is high-quality. Most larger-sized bras score a zero on all three categories, but there may be a reason other than just being flat out cruel. The average bra size in America has increased over the years from a 36C to a 36DD, yet most bra manufacturers and designers won’t make sizes larger than 38DD. Why? Because making bigger bras is tough.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that each size grouping basically requires an entirely different factory student wanderer

Esposito explains it takes her team of three designers a couple of years to develop some of their largest bras. “There are hundreds of components in a bra, and each one needs to be perfect, made with quality material,” Esposito says. “If you’re an eighth of an inch off, you’re not going to get the right support.” Requiring this extreme specificity and expertise is a major reason larger sizes are not sold by many mainstream retailers like Victoria’s Secret. And because of the structural demands of larger bras, the stereotypically “sexy” looks might not always work for bigger bra sizes.


According to Wolford Chicago designer Joann Esposito, the reason many stores omit larger sizes has to do with the way that bigger bras are constructed. They are simply more difficult to design, meaning they are made with completely different material than the smaller sizes.


and a different set of patterns,” Esposito says, “and many young designers are not taught how to design for these sizes when they’re in school.”

As if finding regular and supportive bras in a larger size weren’t challenging enough—now busty women have to find a way to make the bralette trend work. You know, the cute, delicate lacey and feminine bras with no under-wires. Now, some people might think, “okay, why do busty women have to wear bralettes if their body just simply


uggle to find a quality bra ver-ending story

isn’t made for it?” Well, because telling women that they can’t keep up with a trend because of their body is pretty much a personal attack on every individual and an attack on the “body confidence” movement as a whole. As certain brands continue to only make sizes “perfect for A-C” cups, they are subconsciously telling women outside of those sizes that their body isn’t made right, regardless of how “hard” the bras may be to craft. The most popular and largest retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Free People, American Apparel and Victoria’s Secret are making these beautiful and elegant bralette designs, but only for a select few.

Esposito explains that “a flimsy-laced triangle bralette in a J cup definitely won’t work.” Of course, as my mother explained to me countless times, just because women need bigger cups doesn’t mean they should be completely in the dark without sexy or trendy lingerie. “They should find a way to make it work!” Mom says. Fortunately, there are some companies out there who work to accommodate this demand. In fact, the plus-size market has been huge for Le Mystére, mainly sold in Chicago’s Nordstrom stores. Le Mystére representative Linda Schulz says that while plus size bras and bralettes have been successful for the company, “if you don’t already have that customer coming to you, it could be a big risk to invest in that inventory unless you know it’s going to pay off.” How much of a risk is it really to make a product you know many women are demanding, unless you know your company is only able to make cheap, flimsy bras that would never support larger breasts? (Ahem, Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret) Is designing a well-made and supportive bra really so complicated that it’s more profitable to throw some glitter and bows on those 34 B cups and neglect so many potential customers?


That’s like sitting a gluten-free patron down at a renowned restaurant and telling them they have absolutely nothing on the menu to accommodate them because making gluten-free items is “too hard.” Even though the chefs most definitely have the capacity to take out some of the allergens/gluten in a dish, they refuse to because it’s a “high volume restaurant,” and they don’t have time for modifications. Their body just isn’t made right for that restaurant. Is that reasonable?

It is baffling, but at least large-breasted women now have an explanation. Dear mom, designers don’t hate you because of your size, they just don’t think having you as a customer is worth the extra effort. You’re not really worth making a better product.

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Independence [ BY OONA O’TOOLE ]

is a girl’s best friend

The days of women dropping hints to their man to buy those pair of earrings they want seem to be a thing of the past. A new day has come where women are cutting out the “middle man.”


here’s nothing quite like opening a perfectly wrapped box containing a beautiful necklace or pair of earrings. Even those of us who don’t always adorn ourselves in tons of jewels need a good pair of diamond studs or simple gold pendant to complete a look. As women take control in the workplace, they are also taking control of their wallet. They are making their own decisions when it comes to the jewelry they wear, rather than waiting around for a man to do it. Thus, the diamond and gemstone industry has seen a surge in self-purchasing female clientele, a trend unseen in previous years.

Mociun, a jewelry company based in Brooklyn, creates jewelry that is almost always one of a kind. Caitlin Mociun, the founder of the company, creates pieces with heritage stones, and makes them into clusters that are each a little different—all set in 14 carat gold. Nora Clarke, an employee at Mociun, says via e-mail that “most of the jewelry we carry (by Caitlin Mociun) are rings. Split about half and half between collection pieces that we carry all the time, and custom pieces that are one-of-a-kind, can’t be made again.” Mociun even believes in showing their socially conscious side, by using these reclaimed gemstones and recy-

All of Mociun’s pieces can help the buyer capture a feeling or 2

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Mociun has a large collection of rings. Clusters are getting more popular.

cled gold, something that gets many millennial jewelry buyers attention. “Custom rings are by far the most popular – who doesn’t want a piece of art/jewelry that no one else has?” Clarke says, “The stones are all antique or unique colors, making up a piece of art that’s not only trendy, but wearable and eye catching.” Mociun’s pieces can help the buyer capture a feeling or use the jewelry to commemorate a special moment in their life. A lot of what they sell includes custom engagement rings utilizing their heritage stones. Other designers, such as Jennie Kwon and Lana Jewelry, believe that female empowerment is essential to their

businesses, although Kwon doesn’t target this group with her branding—she claims it’s just something that happens organically, according to National Jeweler. Tiffany Alaimo, Lana Jewelry brand representative, says that younger purchasers are interested in buying more pieces at lower price points to have quality fashion jewelry. “We’re definitely seeing more dainty jewelry where it’s more layered instead of the big chunky statement piece.” Alaimo says. “I definitely think it is more of a fashion mindset.” Because those wearing the jewelry are thinking a lot about fashion when purchasing, the female consumers are leading the jewelry buying and even helping their partners make the purchases. Women don’t want to be asked by their partners why they aren’t wearing the jewelry they purchased, which empowers them to take

part in the decisions of what is gifted. Even taking a scroll through Instagram, it is easy to see that jewelry retailers aren’t trying to target men with their images. They are hoping female buyers will send that picture to someone, or just come in and splurge on themselves. These brands, like Jaimie Geller Gallery, are showing off extravagant layers of diamonds, gems and gold to show their customer that it isn’t so hard to pull off a crazy layered look. “[Mociun has] a big Instagram following,” Clarke says. “I’d say about a quarter to a third of the people who come in looking for jewelry come in because they saw a piece that they liked on our Instagram page.” Women are taking charge of their jewelry purchases in part because of their careers as well. They want to reward themselves for their big achievements, specifically with jewelry that is appropriate for their working wardrobes. Clarke says, “we are located in a super trendy, wealthy and very gentrified area of Brooklyn, NY (Williamsburg), so generally people who come in looking for jewelry are liberal with their spending.” In some cases, the location and social media following helps these businesses thrive when it comes to selling to lots of women self-purchasers. These female designers under-

stand what they want to wear and create something that works for fashionable women. A 2009 study by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council showed that female self-purchasers buy pieces with colored gemstones or pearls more often. Several of the things that jewelers are missing when assisting female self-purchasers include the presence of male purchasers and sellers. This new demographic is looking for real gemstones and confidence of the person that is selling the item and being able to exchange or return the item easily, according to JCK magazine. It’s a combination of all these factors that help lead to Mociun’s and Lana Jewelry’s success. In part it’s the price point accessibility that Lana Jewelry has to offer that is a great gateway for new jewelry purchasers, and once she has started a collection, Mociun is a natural progression to expand a jewelry wardrobe. “[Mociun] uses those antique and colored stones to create cluster rings, pieces with many stones instead of just one,” Clarke says. “Perfect for the girl who’s looking for something else besides Tiffany or Cartier.” —Design by Gabrielle Jones

use the jewelry to commemorate a special moment in their life. student wanderer




t was my junior year of high school when I first knew. I was shopping for a prom dress, and I was repulsed. Gowns dripping with sequins, glitter and tulle were bursting from the racks of the local department stores. This wasn’t me, I was a minimalist. I wanted something solid. Something simple. Something without a single shred of reflective material. My 17-year-old brain couldn’t help but wonder if I was boring. Now I know that I was just a minimalist in the making. There are two types of minimalism. The first is the visual aspect; what most of us think of when we picture minimalist style. Wardrobes consisting of nothing besides white, black and gray; an aversion to ornamentation. Then there’s the behavioral aspect of minimalism – the act of purging your belongings down to the essentials, of owning no more than you actually need. Here’s a radical thought: I think that true minimalism is a combination of the two. However, in the fashion sphere, minimalism has largely existed on a purely aesthetic level. Fashion blogs and publications promote an overbearing amount of luxurious “essentials” that would be unrealistic for the everyday minimalist to purchase. There’s overwhelming pressure to buy more and more pieces to vary your minimalist look – something that is antithetical to the entire idea of minimalism. Kim Kardashian is a perfect example of this form of minimalism; her outfits are consistently neutral and pared down, but you just know she has a closet of thousands of expensive items back home. This strain of minimalism can be problematic for the frugal millennial, who wants to incorporate both a minimalist aesthetic and a minimalist outlook with her wardrobe. Here is a selection of tips so that you can own less, save money and look the part.



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Getting rid of and selling old items of clothing helps clear the mind.


The first step toward obtaining a minimalist wardrobe is to, without a doubt, get rid of anything that is not doing you justice. For millennials, this isn’t always as easy as it may seem — many don’t have the financial confidence to trash half of what they own. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. “Go through your current wardrobe and see what doesn’t fit, what doesn’t work, what you don’t love,” says Robin Shliakhau, a minimalist blogger at Simplify and Pursue. Shliakhau recommends eliminating items that are very similar, because we tend to be drawn to a specific item over and over again. Once you’ve gathered your rejects, see what’s still in good condition – many people don’t know that there are extremely easy ways to make money for their clothes. Both Buffalo Exchange and ThredUp have mail in programs where you can send in your old clothes for free and receive a check in the mail soon after for whatever they take. This is perfect for freeing up closet space and making money for a couple of new, long-lasting purchases.


You can still embrace color in a minimalist wardrobe —just focus on streamlining it.

Avoid the fashion craze —stick to proven brands that offer better quality and are more classic in nature.




One of the biggest misconceptions about minimalism is that color is the enemy. Minimalism isn’t about ostracizing color; it’s about streamlining it.

“Once I made the lifestyle change, the freedom I felt from minimalism was immediate.” —ROBIN SHLIAKHAU, minimlist blogger for Simplify and Pursue “Identify what your favorite colors are and what works best for you,” says Victoria Brauer, a Milwaukee-based minimalist blogger at Simple By Victoria. “Then work your wardrobe around that. I find this saves money because I’m not trying to match several different colors with things. Stick with neutrals, and then pick a few of your favorite colors to spice it up.”


If there’s one commandment to minimalism, this is it. Regardless, many young people can’t resist the magnetic pull toward the fast-fashion dynasties we know as Forever 21 and H&M. The truth is that some shoppers are just not aware of minimal brands that are affordable and long lasting. Madewell, Everlane, Uniqlo and yes, even Gap, the OG of minimalism, are a few to start with. Prices are generally well under $100, and because these brands are not pushing out items at the speed of light, there is a greater emphasis on long-lasting styles and materials. Because, are those 13 tank tops truly bringing you happiness? “I like material things as much as anyone,” says Graham Hill in his now-viral New York Times op-ed titled “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” “But my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support.”

Shop with a purpose —that means no impulse buys.


“We all have those impulse buys where I’m like ‘What was I thinking, this is not my color, it looked good on the model,” Shliakhau says. So how do you avoid that? Realize your bad shopping behaviors. One of the greatest threats to your minimalist wardrobe is frivolous shopping —going to the mall just to browse or snapping up a load of cheap items from the sale section. The key to minimalism is intentionality —shopping with purpose. Know what you need going in. And for the items you do buy, consider their staying power. “I would recommend buying classic items instead of focusing on trendy styles. They’ll last longer,” Brauer says.

Ask yourself what you tend to pack for vacation; this will help you identify the priorities in your wardrobe.


We all know the feeling of wanting to pack our hottest pieces for a weekend trip. Get out that carry on suitcase if you need to, and ask yourself what you would take. This is a fantastic exercise to help you realize what’s truly important to you – what should take precedence in your closet. Because, after all, that’s what minimalism is all about, isn’t it? Stripping down to the essentials, being mindful and being content with what you have. And the benefits of this practice are abundant. “Once I made the lifestyle change, the freedom I felt from minimalism was immediate,” Shliakhau says. Maybe your mom was right. Maybe less really is more. —Design by Eden Bunna

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Social media and access to information about clothing providers has led millenials to be more aware of the working conditions their clothes are created in.

In malls, hold moral high ground


Move over baby boomers. There’s a new generation making smart clothing spending decisions. BY JADA JACKSON


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rowing up, you’re always taught to respect your elders. You can listen and learn from them. They can give you the wise advise they once learned. Now, millennials are taking that advice and running with it. While they may be a fast-paced generation, millennials aren’t too quick to throw their cash at just anything. While the idea of consumerism is something that’s not new, a somewhat new generation has joined along to further it. Being a conscious consumer is fundamentally based on the idea of being an informed and educated consumer. It is being someone who evaluates the ramifications for the items they buy. This means you look at how your clothing and products are sourced from production to design. Some questions that might arise are if the item is sustainable and made in fair working conditions. Through our conscious decisions, we can make the choice to actively purchase items that are in tune with our own moral compass. Kaméa Chayne, an integrative health coach and conscious consumer herself, spoke about millennials needing to understand their advantage as high power

consumers to cultivate the world they want in the future. “[I believe if we equip] ourselves with a greater sense of global awareness and interconnectedness, we can then collectively dollar-vote for better, more responsible practices and set the new standards as

BELOW Verna Green, an activist and YouTuber, uses her channel to educate millennials about working conditions and worker harassment.

our consumer power grows. Given that our current economy is driven by the laws of demand and supply, we just have to make our consumer choices count and align with our ideal vision for our world’s future,” Chayne says. Incidents like the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 factory workers in April 2013 became the necessary wake-up call to address issues within the fashion

supply chain. It was said that the collapse happened due to the great demand for factories to comply with stringent quotas set by clothing retailers like Zara, JCPenney and conglomerate Walmart. The question that lingered after this tragedy was how to stop this from happening again. The Fashion Revolution, a global non-for profit, answers this question by asking consumers to ask themselves one

“I believe millennials are pushing the conscious consumerism movement forward by creating awareness.” —STEPHANIE OCHOA, board director member of the Chicago Fair Trade Coalition

Millennials have the potential to become concious consumers by paying more attention to where the clothing they see in stores come from.

small but prolific question: Who made my clothes? This question, along with their Instagram posts that showcase global-wide factory workers holding a sign saying “I made your clothes,” was key to turning this non-for profit becoming a full-blown movement. The Fashion Revolution has designed a week where they ask the fashion industry and consumers alike “who made my clothes?” Many participate by sending out letters to companies inquiring about changing their supply chain. Others attend events and panels that discuss how to reform the fashion industry. “One of the main benefits is that it brings like-minded individuals together, which re-energizes passion and motivation to take action towards change. The bigger the network, the greater the impact,” Stephanie Ochoa, a student on the board directors at Chicago’s Fair Trade Coalition, says. She sees that millennials are creating a great amount of awareness about conscious consumerism via social media and other platforms. “I believe millennials are pushing the conscious consumerism movement forward by creating awareness. By sharing, posting videos and articles on social media or talking about documentaries they watch, millennials are helping educate the people in their lives,” says Ochoa. Verna Green, an activist and YouTuber, uses her channel “Green Closet” to explore ways to shop more ethically and sustainably, and live an overall more conscious life. Her videos can range from the cute side like her “Get It Greener Looks” video to videos like “The Women Who Made Your Clothes,” which discusses the harassment that garment workers face. Through her videos, it is clear that shopping consciously is not a simple consideration, but a lifestyle choice. Green sees the greater potential for our generation to push forward due to having access to the Internet and using it to give awareness to issues


Millennials make up 25 percent of the population and 21 percent of discretionary consumer purchases, which makes them an essential demographic market. According to a Nielsen report, 65 percent of millennials are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. So if companies want to impress this generation, they will have to try to appease to their need to buy items that do “good” in some capacity or other. like shopping consciously. “I think millennials are much more aware of issues, and because of the internet they are able to so easily access and share information, which really helps spread awareness,” Green says. Green believes millennials can work to bring sustainable and ethical fashion to the forefront. “Instead of talking about how cheap something is, talk about how good the quality it is or how it was made. Instead of going shopping with friends on the high street, go thrifting together. Instead of seeing new clothes as special, try to see what’s special and unique about the clothes you’ve had a long time. The more ‘normal’ sustainable, ethical fashion becomes, the more people will get involved,” Green says. The conscious consumerism movement is definitely making its rounds among millennials. However, the assumption that the majority of consciously-made clothing are all pricey definitely gets in that way. This notion couldn’t be further from the truth. “The truth is FT products are relatively the same cost as their non-fair trade substitute. In fact, if sweatshop worker’s wages were doubled, it would only increase the cost to the average consumer by only 1 percent,” Ochoa says. ­—Design by Connor Carynski student wanderer




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“One of the things that are interesting about trends olor is a form is that we aren’t seeing huge of non-verbal changes, we are just seeing communication. shifts,” Smith says. “They aren’t Slip on a bright changing quite as much from red dress and one year to the next.” a pair of heels When spotting color trends to tell the world that you are and making predictions, Smith feeling bold, confident and says she first asks herself, “What energetic. Wrap yourself in a is catching our attention in the stone gray hoodie to blend media?” Whether it be a royinto the crowd and tell your al wedding, the Olympics, a peers you’re feeling mellow and film or even a natural disaster, relaxed—all without actually it is crucial to know what peosaying a word. Though different ple are looking at. People tend colors can communicate various to “cherry pick” from what they messages, what exactly makes are inspired by in coverage of a color special enough to stand significant current events or out from the rest and spark an talked about locations, accordongoing trend? ing to Smith. According to Kate Smith, a She then asks herself, “What trained color expert and presiis the impact of technology?” dent of Sensational Color, a vari- Social media influencers, inety of factors may influence the cluding Instagram stars, fashpopularity of a design or color. ion bloggers and their followers, Smith notes that while “the Kyhave a huge impact on the dilie Jenners’ of social media” may rection a trend is heading. instigate a trend, it’s the followLastly, Smith says she asks, ers of those influenc“What are current isers who determine its sues that are making popularity. us feel unbalanced?” “It’s a collaborative Whether society is effort,” Smith says. worried about fiCurrent color nances or global trends in fashion inwarming, people clude “complex neutend to gravitate trals,” which can be toward colors that defined as neutrals ease their concerns Color expert that do not shift toand make them feel Kate Smith ward one color in balanced. If people particular but rather a mix of are feeling stressed, they will colors, according to Smith. Popwant to surround themselves ular colors right now include with calming colors—such as the warm taupe, charcoal gray, neutral trend happening now. creamy white with a coral unWith Smith’s three questions dertone and blush pink. kept in mind, it’s important to Chicago-based fashion blogacknowledge the basics of colger Jena Gambaccini from Chi or psychology and how people City Fashion says she is fond of are able to find comfort in parthe neutral trend for the spring. ticular colors that “balance out” She is a fan of pairing creams their emotions. In a 2015 Huff and blush pinks with lightPost Live video, psychotherapist washed denim. Though blush Amy Morin discusses color psypink (as some call rose quartz) chology in terms of learned aswas listed as Pantone’s color of sociation. If one has pleasant the year for 2016, that isn’t stop- memories attached to a particuping any fashion fanatics from lar color, they are more likely to loving the color any less, includgravitate toward that color in ing Gambaccini. the future.

Neutral and complex is the current color trend in fashion

Morin also discusses the evolutionary aspect to color psychology. Society has built the connection of emotions to particular colors. For example, colors like bright red, orange and yellow are associated with energy and boldness. Softer colors like creams, light grays and blush tones are known to be calming. Gambaccini says she thinks there is a shift in color preferences and popularity depending on the wearer’s gender, age range and personal experiences with the color. One will very rarely see a middle-aged woman dressed in a bubblegum pink skirt or neon yellow jacket, just as you’re unlikely to see a 7-year-old girl dressed in headto-toe black. “I used to wear a lot of color back in the day,” Gambaccini says. “As I get older, I wear a lot more neutrals while focusing on cool silhouettes.” Smith hints that the blush tone trend has stuck around perhaps because of certain political stresses, people are gravitating toward a calming color palette. “If you’re a good trend forecaster, all you’re doing is picking up on what people are going to want,” Smith says. “By tapping into your understanding of the industry, you’re able to see that [trend] a little ahead of when everyone else sees it.” —Designed by James Tinsley PHOTOS COURTESY JENA GAMBACCINI

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ake-scam sneaker accounts are difficult to tell. We all see those fake Instagram accounts that randomly follow you or request to follow you. Fakescam accounts on Instagram take quite a different spin when it comes to the buying, selling, trading of shoes, hype beast clothing and accessories. Since the birth of Instagram, it was inevitable for sneaker head sellers and enthusiasts to jump on and share their love for sneakers and make it easier to be profitable. Websites like, KicksonFire. com and have made it easy to know about upcoming and anticipated release days and collaborations. With this information, it was easy for sneaker and hype beast enthusiasts to pre-order and include their own personal collection when advertising on their own personal Instagram page. Social media and the Internet, as a whole, have taken sneaker collecting from a niche subculture to an ever-present part of pop culture. The days of trying to find a unique pair of kicks are over. Some people still use eBay, but Instagram has become the biggest platform for hype beast apparel out-beating other popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but they both come in as No. 2. There are millions of active daily users on these popular social media platforms, and it’s completely free, making it the perfect place to make some money selling your sneakers without additional fees cutting into your profit margin. 2

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A heap of sneakers may seem chaotic and intimidating to a mere bystander but for a seasoned professional it is heaven.


SNEAKY SWINDLERS Step into the world of sneaker heads, but be wary of Sneaker culture is driven by visuals, so because of that, Instagram is the preferred social media platform to view pictures of the sickest shoes. A combination of great pictures and the millions of Instagram users worldwide has created a enormous market for buying and selling sneakers. It’s truly a paradise for sellers and buyers, but it can also be tricky trying to determine if you’re about to get robbed of your money —and the beautiful

sneakers or other merchandise you wanted to make yours. According to ABA Journal, since 2004 it has regularly been sending cease-and- desist letters to rogue operators and filing lawsuits whenever necessary. The strategy has paid off. Some 19,000 links to counterfeiters have been taken down since the campaign began. In May 2015, Deckers Outdoor Corp. won a $686 million judgment against online counterfeiters after bringing two cases

in federal court in Chicago. Deckers Outdoor Corp. also was awarded control over 3,000 domains, which the company redirected to a website that put consumers on notice that they were being used for counterfeit sales. Matt Ayzenberg, 24, a Re Drop sneaker head, hype beast buyer and seller based in Ohio, knows what the signs are. “Every sneaker bought is kind of a risk because you’re hoping it’s not a scam,” Ayzen-

A STEP IN TIME Authorized sneaker consultant Matt Ayzenberg, far right, values a pair of Nike Reverse Shattered Backboard at $730. @redropcop

tying up your finances in a scam. berg says. “If the price seems to be too good to be true, (it is.) Don’t expect to be paying $40 for a pair of Jordans. They should be way more than retail. Glow in the dark and unreleased color ways are fake, too, unless they are only released in a size 9.5. It’s a rule. Look for a 9, 10.5 or 11.5 for fake sneakers. Not a lot of people know that fakes never come in those sizes. If you see every other size and not these, that should be a red flag.”

It is difficult to differentiate fake Instagram sneaker and hype beast apparel accounts. According to, the “fakes” industry is worth $461 billion. A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released in early April 2017 found that counterfeit trade amounted to as much as 2.5 percent of world trade in 2013, up from an estimated 1.9 percent in 2008. That’s equivalent to the size of Austria’s economy.

Footwear is the product counterfeited the most, according to the 2017 report, which was created in partnership with the European Union’s Intellectual Property office. While there are many honest sellers who love sneakers just as much as the collectors, one can never be too cautious when buying sneakers on Instagram - or any other social media platform. Just keep in mind, you don’t know who exactly is on the other side of the phone or computer, or their intentions. There are plenty of amazing deals to be found online, but if it’s too good to be true, more than likely it is. Those $400 Yeezys in a fullsize run with free overnight shipping? Wow! On Instagram, they are almost guaranteed to be fake. Matthew Selvaraj, 22, a Chicago based sneaker head collector, buyer and seller has learned a few lessons himself. “Buy low sell high is a what sneaker buyers have engraved in their mind.” Selvaraj says. “Buying and selling sneakers is a really great way to get your hands on killer new sneakers and sell them to make a profit. It can be really difficult sometimes when I’m looking for a shoe, and sometimes it can be too good to be true. I’ve reported, blocked and advised a lot fake Instagram sneaker accounts that have robbed people. They are particular, but it’s a good to speak to other people

Platform heels, pumps and sandals have all had their day in the sun. While those types of footwear have walked in and out of fashion history, there is one type of shoe that surpasses them all. Throughout cinema history, sneakers have been a defining character trait. Fact Monster reports that the sneaker industry saw a boom in the 1950s as Chuck Taylors grew into a rebellious fashion statement. From classic characters like Danny Zuko from Grease and James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause to modern day Eleven from Stranger Things, Chucks are a timeless classic. The quintessential brands like Nike, Vans and Adidas still run alongside luxury designers like Louis Vuitton and Kanye West, but just how did this sneaker movement begin? In the early part of the 20th century, sneakers were used only by athletes, especially basketball players, according to Fact Monster. Chuck Taylor endorsed All-Stars and years later Michael Jordan signed a contract with Nike for the original Air Jordan I, creating arguably some of the most popular shoes of all time.

that have bought from them to make sure they are reliable.” With a little bit of diligence, weeding out the scammers can become easy. Aside from the sneakers, make sure the social media page seems legit. Check to see if they have a decent amount of actual followers —not a bunch of fake or purchased followers that plague Instagram. Instagram user @ fakeeducation has other tips for sneaker heads. There’s no such thing as being too cautious. —Design by Madeline G. McQuillan student wanderer


From hardware store to runway A city designer is giving a new meaning to the “industrial” look


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hicago Designer Janis “JAJA” Sujin makes clothes from unusual materials found at your local hardware store. Down with silicone, latex and vinyl, she’s open to anything so long as it’s odd to the touch. Her dresses and gowns won’t last forever, but that’s the beauty of it. “Garments are meant to be ephemeral,” JAJA says. Remember the 1997 movie Flubber and how professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams) discovers a lively, rubber-like substance to do whatever he wanted? Well, imagine JAJA as the “Philip Brainard” of high fashion, and her secret weapon is all of these crazy materials she spends her days finding at Ace Hardware. “I wanted to replicate lace and tried drizzling silicone over a form,” JAJA says. “The silicone mimics fabric like qualities, which is why I’m drawn to it.” It’s not always premeditated, no original sketch prior to the works; just the works. A hands-on, all play and create is JAJA’s style. Every dress,

The JAJA clothing line uses materials typically found in hardware stores, such as silicone, latex and vinyl to create elegant and chic pieces.

top, skirt varies just a little, much like how Picasso rarely used the same strokes twice. Because repetition is so boring for this fashion scientist, it’s the interaction with materials that keeps the fun alive. “I play around with my fabrics and try to make unusual textures. That’s where everything begins for me.” Some of her line may feel like rubber, but it is the most poised and elegant rubber to date. Aside from the material, her pieces are really quite simple. Her looks include a matching silicone black top and pencil skirt —good for any cocktail hour or night out; a fun white silicone crop with thick straps that hits high in the front and low on the back; a beautiful white silicone dress with a cut from the 20s; a black leather mini dress with long sleeves that hang like robes from a geisha; and a purple and black tiedyed khaki jacket with a big pointy collar fashioned from the 70s. “It’s really cool having her clothes in my store,” says Mckenzie Thompson, co-owner of Pilsen boutique Maybe Sunday. “JAJA is dope. What she makes is really art on the body, and having her a part really completes my whole gallery/boutique aesthetic.” To JAJA, fashion is a tool, an art form. It’s why she’s here. In her understanding, innovation is authenticity and creativity waiting to be born. She presents fashion as wearable art and sculpture. While she does makes ready-to-wear pieces, she doesn’t like the idea of ready-to-wear or the idea of everything in the market being driven by fast fashion. If it’s all demand, demand, demand,

Janis “JAJA” Sujin creates clothing playing on industrialism using hardware store materials.

then where is the creativity? “Raf Simons left Dior for this reason, because it became more about the market and business than the integrity of the designer and his intentions,” JAJA says. She is inspired by pop cult films, the Internet, books and art. And when Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” stuck with her. When you think about it, it ties in pretty well with how her silicone dress won’t last forever. Her favorite character is Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Why? Because he’s a walking contradiction. JAJA digests his character as trying to seem “perfect” and fit into his reality but can’t. His insanity unwinding all the glorified perfection he maintains on a daily basis becomes more uncontrollable and less human. “Appearances to me are powerful things,” JAJA says. Her pieces made from silicone are definitely see-through. Being curious with the styling of a silicone top or any outfit made from breast implants, I wanted to see for myself. The looks put together by JAJA were way less complicated and more versatile than I thought. One could easily not care or wear anything underneath or one could wear a mesh top or any light under layer. In this particular styling, JAJA had her model fashion the white pieces with nothing underneath

but gold sheets glued to her chest. This touch gave the outfit a very extraterrestrial and dewy look while still suggesting gold flakes from Zeus’s crown or something. It’s difficult to describe so many things going at once, but then again it’s difficult to imagine a silicone outfit that slays to no end. “What I love about JAJA and her designs is that she’s not going for something that’s going to make her money quick,” Thompson says. “Obviously, Chicago is not very considerate of the fashionistas that walk the streets, but that doesn’t stop JAJA from spending all her time, effort and money into pieces that aren’t weather proof. She really just makes these things for the love and genuine interest she has for it. These resources aren’t cheap. But she still does it.” I asked, “So when would I even wear this? What seasons do you imagine this in?” She laughed, replying that at least in Chicago one wouldn’t have to worry about it melting off their body. “I think the silicone pieces are fall/winter pieces,” JAJA says. “These pieces are so special I don’t think they fit in any category of ready-to-wear or couture. I imagine girls like Amanda Lepore, Jennifer Lawrence and Zoë Kravitz wearing my designs, but all in different ways.” The last thing JAJA wants anyone to do is be afraid of her line. As a tastemaker and designer she put something new on the plate and at the moment she thinks her audience is a little afraid to take a bite, but don’t be afraid of the mimic lace she’s created. It may look soft but feel sticky, and while nothing is perfect, it is art. So, wear it. Wear it out. Wear it until the silicone falls apart and off the back like the unraveling of one’s favorite sweater. —Design by Blair Paddock

student wanderer



Ireland J-TERM 2019


This is an intense international travel/study course designed to prepare the student to report, write and produce print, broadcast and multimedia stories about the history, politics, economics and culture of Europe. Based in Paris, the student will see how CNN and the International Herald Tribune cover the continent from Paris and interview members of the European Union, French government, financial markets, art museums, fashion houses, and major media outlets.


January 5 to 25, 2009 3 credits

Prerequisites include Reporting and Writing II and permission of the instructor. Contact Rose Economou at or 312.369.8919.

Intro to Fashion Journalism 53-2526 July 3 - August 1, 2014

Students will be able to: ✪ pitch, research, report, write and produce spot news and feature stories about Europe and especially Paris, France. ✪ develop strategies for covering a continent and producing and distributing news reports. ✪ file news and feature stories to The Columbia Chronicle and its website. ✪ develop news sources in Europe. ✪ navigate through the international press corps and understand the geographical, logistical, visual and deadline pressures of being a foreign correspondent.

3 credits

florence Summer 2014 Intro to Fashion Journalism: Florence 3 credits

Photos STeVehdC, ellenM1

Visit the stunningly beautiful and historic city of Florence! Students will examine all facets of contemporary fashion and its influence on the culture of Italy and the world at large. Critique trends and designers! Students will develop fashion writing, reporting, multimedia and blogging skills. The Office of International Programs will provide a detailed cost summary. More info: visit

Journalism Department

Questions? Contact instructor Yolanda Joe,

This is an intense international travel/ study course designed to prepare students to report, write and produce print, broadcast and multimedia projects about the politics, history, economics and culture of Europe. Based in London, students will see how CNN, BBC , the New York Times, MSNBC, the Associated Press, and Reuters cover Europe from London. They will interview members of the British government, Scotland Yard, World Bank, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), leaders in the arts, and prominent international correspondents and newsmakers. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

• analyze international topics, politics, and social, economic and cultural problems;

• pitch, research, report, and produce

spot news, feature stories and multimedia projects about the United Kingdom and Europe; • develop strategies for covering a continent and producing and distributing news dispatches and blogs; • offer news and feature stories to student publications like The Chronicle’s website, News Beat, Metro Minutes, the new Global News Student Exchange; • develop news sources and media contacts in Europe; • navigate the international press corps and demonstrate an understanding of the geographical, logistical, visual and deadline pressures of being an international correspondent. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Contact Rose Economou at or 312.369.8919

Spend two weeks during J-Term in Dublin working as a multimedia journalist. We’ll be reporting, writing, blogging, taking photos and shooting video in Ireland’s capital – and meeting some of the country’s leading journalists and officials. Plus, we’ll see some amazing sites and experience another culture.

Course numbers: JOUR 465 & JOUR 565 Requirements: This course is open to all majors with permission of instructor. For more information, contact Suzanne McBride

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July 16 to August 3, 2007 3credits Visit Guadalajara in the heart of Mexico, the birthplace of mariachi music, charros and tequila. Over three intense weeks students will learn and write about the culture and traditions of Mexico. The course also will include a field trip to Puerto Vallarta and day trips to Tequila, Lake Chapala and other locales.


Interested students must write a 300-word essay on why you want to study in Mexico and also include the name of a faculty reference. For more information, please contact Teresa Puente at 312-344-8911, or stop by her office 201-M in the Journalism Department. Prerequisites include Reporting for Print and Broadcast and Introduction to CAR. To enroll you must have the permission of the instructor. This course is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Spanish skills are helpful, but not required.



TRAVEL WRITING 53-2545 There will be an informational meeting Thursday, March 29 at 6 p.m. in the orange hallway. In addition to tuition, there will be a $1,500 trip fee to be paid to the journalism department. This includes airfare, all lodging in Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta and transportation for field trips. Students will be responsible for their own meals.



For more information, contact the Communication Department, 33 E. Congress, Chicago, Ill. 60605 or call 312.369.8900

Profile for ChicagoTalks

Wanderer - Spring 2018  

The Spring 2018 issue of the Wanderer.

Wanderer - Spring 2018  

The Spring 2018 issue of the Wanderer.


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