The Answer is Veshin pg 6
pg 11 Vegan Fashion
Breastplates pg 13 pg 15 5 Brands that give back to women Cloth Masks pg 17 pg 24 The Social Chain Are sustainability and fashion mutually exclusive? pg 36 pg 40 Magnifique Kickin’ it with Jalen Busby pg 42 pg 44 BSU Fashion Show Welcome to Selective pg 53
the table of contents
T HE S TAFF
Zoe Murrie.................................Editor-In-Chief...................@zoejmurrie Tyler McCormack.............Creative Director................@tylercmcc Katie Hopewell.......................Managing Editor..........@hatiekopewell Sophia Barham..............Head of Photography......@sophia_evelyn Josiah Thomason.................................Editor..................@josiahthomasonp Bryce Warner......................................Editor.....................................@_bwarner
Ashley Cox............................................................@ash1eycox Brooke Llewellyn..................................@myselfbrooke Emily Young..........................................@finderskeepher Hannah Hanes..................................@hannah_r_hanes Lizzy Pratt................................................................@lizzy.pratt Maddie Roberts..........................@maddierobertsyo Malik Gist.....................................................................@squidlik Payton Waters..........................................@payton.waters
from the editor’s desk
We’re back and we’re
bigger than ever! After living through a year of a global pandemic, our team has realized that now more than ever we need to be having conversations around sustainability, we need to boost our favorite small brands and we need to pay attention to what we wear and how it makes us feel, because it’s one of the few small thrills we’ve had over the past 12 months. In this double issue, we hope you find yourself questioning your shopping habits, learning about a few new brands and poring over our gorgeous photography.
It’s been an honor being the editor in chief of Cistern Yard News and the founder and head of CY Fashion Mag. I’ve made lifelong friends, learned some hard lessons, gotten to create the highest level media these magazines have put out and gotten to boost my favorite city and some of its residences. This magazine has been my heart and my soul and as a move on to my next phase of life I’ll carry it with me forever. “i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart).”
CAN LUXURY FASHION EXIST WITHOUT LEATHER?
THE ANSWER IS
V E S H I N . V E S H I N . V E S H I N . Article by Maddie Roberts Photos by Veshin Factory
nvision a handbag factory in China. Do the words sustainable and vegan-driven come to mind? Probably not. It appears that the bare minimum is being done in the fashion manufacturing industry, and horrors like the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013 are not uncommon; fast fashion companies are only perpetuating the problems. Enter Joey Pringle, a UK-born sustainability innovator, who has decided to completely rewrite the rules of the global fashion industry.
In early 2018, Pringle took a business trip to Guangzhou, China to meet with the owners of Hermia, a leather factory that produces handbags for luxury brands around the globe. On this trip, Joey realized that this meeting was far from what he initially expected from his business trip. After learning about the environmental values of the current factory owner Hongliang Yu, they discussed Joey becoming a consultant for Yu & Hermia. At the end of 2019 on another trip to China, Joey proposed becoming a full time consultant but Yu had other ideas it was an opportunity too big to turn down and at the start of 2020, Joey quit his job to pursue this factory’s dream. HongLiang Yu would become his partner in delivering change to their industry through vegan fashion manufacturing.
Pringle and Yu came up with the name Veshin, a hybrid of “ve” for vegan and “shin,” Chinese for ‘the heart.’ Veshin is an original equipment and design manufacturer (OEM/ODM) specializing in luxury bags & accessories. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Veshin factory was launched with radical transparency at the forefront of the factory’s value. The idea is to reveal every detail that occurs in the production design, development and sourcing process on a daily basis. Through these elements, the company aims to provide clients with the most environmentally progressive yet uniquely designed products. Pringle has addressed how the practice of transcendental meditation can be credited in both his personal success and in the vision for Veshin.
The company’s core values are to make luxury fashion more circular and to provide a socially responsible textile factory. Circularity
has become an interesting discussion in the industry due to fast fashion which arose from consumer desires to wear trends as they were coming off the runway. In our ever-evolving social media world, this desire for new, newer and newest saw luxury fashion houses unable to keep up with fast-fashion retailers like Zara and H&M. Negative impacts of the fast fashion industry have created a vacuum for change; a void which Veshin is working to fill. I recently had the opportunity to interview Joey Pringle over Zoom, which resulted in feelings of excitement and hope for the positive and impactful changes that are possible for this industry’s future.
What or who opened your eyes to the ugly side of the fashion industry?
“When I was in Canada working as a backpack developer for a company called MEC (REI equivalent), I was always fascinated
with sourcing and manufacturing. I started doing some research about what’s going on behind the scenes. After that job, I began working at a start-up called Tentree. Their values were very aligned with my own and I was able to see what was going on behind the scenes in the fashion industry. Tentree as a company was trying to do everything by the book [ in regards to] sourcing sustainably and it was really hard. But the education, or crash course, I got there showed me how ugly this side of the fashion industry was.”
What is your sourcing process/how do you find these innovative materials?
“At Tentree I was fortunate enough to build a large network of suppliers working as the unofficial head of accessories (wallets, socks, beanies, bottles & headwear)... so many different materials applied to them all. I was able to build a huge itinerary and network in sourcing. When it came to Veshin, I was able to bring all that knowledge into the company, so it has been relatively straightforward because my network has become so big in sustainable sourcing. Right now at Veshin we don’t stock fabrics, we don’t stock leather, we just build the relationship, and then when we approach clients. I can go to a luxury brand now, and say, ‘Do you want to use cactus leather? I know how to make it effortless for you to order and I can make the introduction.’ If you do a lot of research you will start to see what materials brands are using, and in the likes of cactus leather, I kept hearing about it and I realized this is the one I have to move with right now.”
Luxury handbags made from Cactus leather
Who introduced you to Transcendental Meditation (TM) and how has it changed your life?
“Ultimately everything starts with consciousness and meditation without having that in place as an individual, being sustainable,
being transparent and being vegan...all these levels of thinking, nothing would happen if you aren’t happy with yourself and happy internally.
“The reason why I found TM is that I was about to go on this business trip to China and I wanted to be in the clearest mindset
possible. I’m a passionate person, I am a bold personality type and I always fight for what’s fair and I mean well but sometimes for me, I come across too strong. I was frustrating people and I said to myself I can’t keep going down this route and before I go to China I need to make sure I am in the clearest headspace possible...and I need to reduce my stress significantly.”
Pringle’s brother began doing TM 6 months prior and introduced him to it. The changes that Pringle saw in his brother pushed
him to start the course.
“Ya, it seems odd paying at the beginning but looking back it’s like a drop in the pond because of how much it has changed me.
You meditate twice a day and all your doing is accessing your subconscious so you’re getting to that inner peace within yourself and once you get that low, all the stress, anxiety, and all the nonsense from the day start to alleviate and go away and if u do that twice a day consistently over time you just build up this immune system. You become immune to anxieties, stress, and people that annoy you, you start to view things more holistically. Meditation has given me the platform to stay as grounded as possible. It takes time but the more you do it, stress just becomes water off a duck’s back. In business, TM gives you the ability to make the most executed high-level decisions possible.”
“All my creative ideas always come to me in my meditation, rarely do I get any good ideas in my conscious state.” Why is Veshin different from other companies trying to achieve a similar goal?
“Why Veshin is different is that we don’t see anyone as a competitor, our goal is to empower other factories. If another factory
across the road from us quickly became this huge plant-based leather factory because of Veshin, that’s mission accomplished. That is what makes us different because our approach is that we don’t live in fear of competition. We would like to think we set ourselves apart from the industry but the goal is not to set ourselves apart long-term, it’s to basically empower the others to get to that standard” In regards to sustainable factories in China, Pringle says “ It makes them (outsiders) very skeptical about working in China, what we’re trying to do is make working in China a good thing and a fun thing to do.” As the owner of the company, Pringle says he “can provide that radical transparency that a lot of factories cannot provide right now.”
Explain the crossroads between veganism and sustainability. “ Yes and no. So back to meditation. Sustainability and veganism are both are branches in the form of consciousness, so once you
are thinking at a higher state, you will start thinking about being more sustainable, and being more sustainable means you start thinking about what you’re eating. With veganism, it’s about the ethics of animals and understanding that the animal industry is one the biggest contributors to global warming, so for sure they go hand in hand. From a fashion perspective, the word vegan associated with the industry is right now very very loose . To me, the word vegan should be associated with our diets. In terms of fashion, it’s very complicated waters right now: it’s very delicate and the word vegan is just thrown in as a money grabber. The key with vegan fashion is plant-based materials and innovation- to be a vegan fabric is apple leather which is 90% apple skins and 10% bio-resin.”
What is your view on greenwashing?
“My biggest frustration with greenwashing is that the brands out there who do care are losing their sales based on larger orga-
nizations greenwashing. It’s out of my control, but I guess all we can do as consumers is be conscious and try to make better decisions and you’ll be able to tell who is greenwashing.”
Where do you see Veshin in the next 5-10 years? “ The five-year plan is to transition away from our leather goods factory, so Veshin is starting out of a leather goods factory
called Hermia right now and our five-year plan is to take all of the clients that want to join us and flip over to the green side. In 5 years’ time, we want to build our own factory from the ground up, it will be built in a particular type of architecture that ties into meditation and being carbon neutral, that’s the 5 years plan to completely convert into only doing vegan leather. We’re doing that right now but we’re doing it under a building that has leather next to it so we want to completely convert and not even think about leather goods. And then between 5 and 10 years, the plan is to franchise the factory and give other factories the chance to follow our blueprint; either we join ownership with them or they buy the rights to Veshin. Right now, I am in early discussions to start a Veshin in Costa Rica. The reason for that is because we are working so much with cactus leather, logistically it makes no sense to continue to send the material across the pacific because the costs and carbon footprint are so high. If we can localize a factory in central America we can have a quicker supply chain for North American brands. Costa Rica is also well known for being one of the most energy-efficient on the planet.”
“ I want to take it [Veshin] to Africa because right now what’s happening in China is a lot of factories are closing down, the
whole factory culture is quickly dying and it’s going to Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and a lot of Chinese investors are investing in Africa because it is a continent coming out of poverty and what’s going to happen in Africa is that Chinese investors are gonna go in- start building factories start bringing out people from poverty, giving them more jobs but we need to make sure what happened in China like problems with social compliance and labor rights its important that none of that happens in Africa. I love the idea of starting a Veshin in a place like Rwanda which is famous for the conservation of gorillas. The plan is in 10 years to have at least 3-5 Veshin’s across the planet.”
“ The last thing is that we want to start a school in San Diego, my dream is to live in America full time eventually. The dream
is to start almost a micro-school to educate students about manufacturing because for me as a designer we didn’t learn enough about s cial compliance, manufacturing costs, sourcing logistics - these types of things. It would be cool to start students on sewing machine equipment so they can practice. As a designer, you need to learn how to make the product.”
VEGAN VEGAN VEGAN
FASHION FASHION FASHION MYTHBUSTING VEGAN FASHION MATERIALS by Josiah Thomason
You’re scrolling through the Dr. Marten’s website, looking for a new pair of boots. You have a few pairs of Docs but you want another pair that you can wear at work in the restaurant where you’re employed. You aware that with this brand of shoes you have to break each new pair in so your feet are going to hurt for a bit until they mold to the shoe. But look! A pair of vegan, animal cruelty-free black chelsea boots? PERFECT! You can help animals and still get some good shoes! Then you order them, they arrive and you wear them for a month. Why do they still hurt? Your co-worker says, “Because they’re made of plastic they’re practically never going to mold to your feet.” Excuse me, did someone says plastic? But what about the environment? I mean, you’re saving animal’s lives...right? You’re doing something good by buying fake leather even if it is made from plastic – which is okay because you didn’t know. And you’d be right. There was no way of you knowing because industries don’t tell you the deep, dark truth about how most vegan products, especially vegan leather, is generally made. There has been a 3-decade long argument over whether the fashion industry should produce items using animal products or transfer over to vegan clothing pieces and the fight has yet to get very far. Organizations such as PETA call on fashion designers and manufacturers to switch to vegan products due to cruelty and industrialization of animals for food and in turn, fashion. In fact since the early 2000s numerous couture fashion houses have moved away from the use of animal hides and fur in their collections and transitioned to animal-friendly vegan faux fur. But realistically, is the transition to some vegan fashion products actually doing anything better? Vegan furs – while they don’t use animal products in their creation – are usually not sustainable. Most faux furs are created from a synthetic polymeric material, usually acrylic or polyester. Using language such as this is purposeful due to the fact that in reality it just means plastic. Plastic is the dominant compound within the majority of vegan fashion products due to their resistance to wearand-tear and ability to imitate the look of fur and leather better than other materials had at the time the transition began. These plastic products in synthetic clothing are also combined with nanoscopic silver particles which are extremely harmful to water sources. The Thunderbird tells readers how washing a clothing item made of synthetic material releases plastic and silver particles into water sources and in turn, the larger environment. “Fur
is durable–you don’t even need to wash it – and totally biodegradable. When you have fur from your grandmother in the closet, you can remodel it into a new shape. We don’t use fake fur, but sometimes we use chiffon, cashmere, and wool – all natural materials – to mimic fur. I like to give people the freedom of choice, and I think that this is an important issue, one to be taken seri-
“It’s about time that the fashion industry woke up to the fact that fur is cruel, barbaric and simply incredibly old-fashioned and unfashionable. The use of new materials and new technology is really what’s exciting in the future of this industry. To kill animals in the name of fashion and to use their skins when you can’t tell the difference any longer just seems ridicu-
High fashion houses such as Giambattista Valli, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino, Versace and Fendi used real animal hide for stylistic purposes before an enormous scandal broke out about the use of fur in the industry. Designers Donatella Versace and Olivier Rousteing of Balmain decided the use of real fur was not as important as other people made it out to be while Silvia Fendi and Yves Salomon decided they wanted to keep using animal hide in their designs regardless of the new trends. Donatella told Vogue, “Fur? I am out of that...I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion, it doesn’t feel right,” Silvia Fendi raised the issue of denouncing fur, but not other animal products. She said “I like to give people the freedom of choice...but where do you stop? Do you stop using fur but still wear leather and eat meat?” When some people talk about animal rights or ideas of veganism many do not realize how many items they use every day derived from animals and their by-products. Fendi raises an issue of hypocrisy saying that people want to fight against harming animals to wear but will still use them for other industries. Recently, more companies have tried to move away from harming animals and using plastic-based sources to using plantbased. Skins from things such as pineapple leaves, fruit and cacti have proven to be viable alternatives to using plastic and silver for vegan leathers. Many fashion producers don’t use these sources because they’re more expensive to harvest, use and are less likely to last as long as plastic or animal products do. It seems nearly impossible to move toward impactful sustainability in fashion that covers more than just a single category of sustainability. So where are we meant to draw the line? How are we meant to be sustainable in a society that puts profit above resources? Would we rather wear plastic vegan fashion and aid in the destabilization of the environment or wear animal products and aid the industry that produces animals specifically to be used solely for what it can provide for us? Would producers rather make money or help destabilize the environment? Many companies and businesses are beginning to provide ways in which fashion can transcend these issues. One of the most common is thrifting and reusing and repurposing clothing in order to keep waste levels down. Other initiatives are in place for the fashion industry to use and access materials that are both animal product and cruelty-free while also being environmentally and veg-
BREAST PLATES AREN’T JUST FOR JOAN OF ARC by Ashley Cox
When we think of figures like Joan of Arc, we tend to think of them as historic or religious icons, but we fail to surmise their status as fashion icons as well. While I wouldn’t be caught dead in a suit of armor, I would gladly strut around in my very own, molded to my body, I-want-to-look-like-Zendaya breast plate. The fashion industry consistently draws on inspiration from history to create the trends of the future. In women’s clothing recently we’ve seen many homages paid to seventeenth century court dress leaving many of us racing off to find corsets to wear on our next night out (or our next socially distanced dress-up night in). Along a similar vein, breast plates are a trend stemming from military history. Originally called the muscle cuirass, these metal chest plates were worn by the Grecian army in the 5th century. They were made to give the wearer an idealized human physique and god-like build. They fell out of favor for combat, but centuries later found a new use as inspiration for fashion designers. Breast plates as part of high fashion were first introduced by Yves Saint Laurent in 1969. He hired
models’ breasts for the autumn/winter collection. While these plates were made of copper, in the 1980’s Japanese designer Issey Miyake showed plastic bustiers as part of his autumn/winter collection. Similar breast plate and plastic bustier styles showed up over the next few decades in collections by Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Mugler, and most recently Tom Ford’s spring/summer 2020 collection of Zendaya red carpet fame. It’s not just established fashion houses that are picking up on this trend. Sinead O’Dwyer, a London-based Irish fashion designer, creates body molds out of silicone. Although Ford and his predecessors showed the breast plate as just that, a hard almost armor-esque piece molded to the wearers body, typically made of metal or plastic, O’Dwyer’s use of a softer material like silicone gives the impression that the clothes don’t mold the body, but that the body molds the clothes. Another recent example of breast plate fashion is Cardi B, styled by Kollin Carter, in the
plastic look, breast plate included, made by Amsterdam based artist Esmay Wagemans. What sort of future does a trend like this have? We have certainly seen a revival of similar trends trickle down into fast fashion recently with mutton sleeves, and the TikTok famous ‘Amazon Corset’, but at a retail price of $15,000 for a breast plate a la Tom Ford how viable is this trend for the mass market? I am doubtful that full breastplates will become commonplace, but I am looking forward to creative alternatives that are sure to pop up all over our feeds pretty soon. This revival of military inspired fashion, especially in namely womens collections, is an oh-so-fashionable reflection of our current cultural and political climate. In the trail of the #MeToo movement, the wake of the Trump presidency, and the midst of the BLM movement, men and women all across the country are arming themselves, for changes to come. While Tom Ford may not have been explicitly drawing on these themes when he decided to call back to the 1960’s and Yves Saint Laurent, who was in turn calling on battle dress, the effect is the same.
Yves Saint Laurent was also reflecting on the current political climate when he brought breastplates to the forefront in 1969. The United States, and the world, was moving out of a liberal 1960’s and into a bifurcated 1970’s. Starting with Iranian hostage crisis and ending with the election of Ronald Reagan, the 1970’s were a tumultuous time with the highlights consisting of Watergate, the Manson murders, civil conflict, and a continuation of the war in Vietnam. Then, just as now, we can see modern anxieties reflected in our art and culture. Fashion is undeniably a reflection of culture and is inherently political. While we might not see everyone walking around in a breastplate next year, the feeling is the same, and while Joan of Arc migh not donne a fuschia breast plate herself, I have a feeling she would champion the sentiment.
FIVE BRANDS THAT GIVE BACK TO WOMEN by Brooke Llewelyn March is not only a month full of way too much pollen and many teases about how Summer’s just around the corner, but also a month that represents one of the world’s best gifts, Women. To celebrate the month of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of Women, giving back to women not only is beneﬁcial for those in need, but also reﬂects your values. I understand that as a broke college student, donating and contributions aren’t always in the budget, I get it. But, you have the ability to kill two birds with one stone, pleasing your shopping addiction while also helping women in need. These six brands donate and support on your behalf of purchasing from them, ranging from organizations that help with human/sex traﬃcking, orphaned families, women refugees, empowering young women, and Turkey’s women artisans.
THE TOTE PROJECT The Tote Project is a company who sells adorable totes and pouches with a variety of designs and colors. Not only do they donate to sex trafﬁcking survivors, but also provide free art classes (and art supplies)for survivors. This promotes a hopeful mindset for the survivors’ futures and gives them the chance to be creative in a peaceful and healing way. They have already donated a whopping $29,911.38 (and counting) to the survivor community.
THINX Thinx produces a sustainable alternative to pads, period panties. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry it’s not a disastrous mess - thinx underwear holds up to 5 regular tampons’ worth of liquid, plus they have a variety of styles, colors, and absorbency levels. Apart from being sustainable and cute, they provide period products to communities who don’t have access to menstrual products. Furthermore they even have an additional program called THNIX’s EveryBody program, which is where they work with schools and other nonproﬁt organizations to empower young women through education about their changing bodies.
QUIQUATTRO QuiQuattro is a female owned fair wage global marketplace company that was formed to support female artisans in Turkey while also creating more job opportunities for them. This company donates 10% of their net earning to the Bridge To Turkiye Educational Fund to provide Turkish adolescent girls with an education and even scholarship opportunities. They sell a variety of beautiful products, ranging from scarfs, to towels, to bed covers, and even jewelry, and for a decent price considering how everything is handmade with love.
GIFT OF HOPE Gift of Hope is an ethical fashion company with a huge variety of artisan goods that were handmade in Haiti. Their products range from t-shirts, to bags, to home goods, to jewelry, to metal art, and so much more, and for an extremely decent price. With their founding nonproﬁt organization, Haiti Foundation Against Poverty, Gift of Hope has employed over 70 Haitians and artisans with a high paying living page. They have an intentional goal of raising families out of poverty in a holistical eﬀort to educate and empower family systems and working mothers in poor environments. This company has a high power of purchase, for there is a direct correlation between the number of sales and the number of children who are saved from living life as a poverty orphan.
PROSPERITY CANDLE Prosperity Candle is a social enterprise company that gives women refugees and war widows stability and security through training them in candle making. Their women come from all over, including Bhutan, Burma, Haiti, Iraq, and the Deomocrating Republic of The Congo. This gives the women a great opportunity to ﬁnd calmness and safety in their life after experiencing great losses and tremendous hardships, and furthermore a living wage. Over the years women have earned U.S citizenship, gone to school, and even become ﬁrst time home owners. Another big plug is that all candles are all-natural soy / coconut waxes, pure cotton, woodwicks, and fragrances made through essential oils. On their website, they have a tab of all the working artisans who have had such a signiﬁcant and impactful life change.
Cloth Masks: Couture, Capital or Contamination?
by Katie Hopewell In the early months of the pandemic, humanity was nearly united under the guise of pale blue surgical masks— or just any face covering that individuals could get their hands on. No one could have anticipated the addition of this accessory to their daily wardrobes at the beginning of 2020, much less, what masks would come to reveal about contemporary human behavior at large, a year later. In an initial eﬀort to avoid the hoarding of medical-grade equipment by ‘panic shoppers,’ the World Health Or-
ganization (WHO) advised against public mask-wearing to ensure frontline workers were amply protected. The number of countries infected by the virus grew and mask-wearing became a suggestion by oﬃcials, transitioning ﬁnally to a compulsory measure in most places when case numbers were steeply climbing across the globe. Supplies of medical-grade masks, mainly N95s, diminished rapidly, sending much of the public into a frenzy and coercing medical professionals to deem
cloth masks a necessary, less eﬀective substitute.
The shadow cast by widespread PPE depravity made already-dark times even darker.
A glimmering hope, however, was brought forward by the individuals and busi-
nesses who took mask production into their own hands. Fashion retailers and apparel brands of all varieties began shifting production processes to facilitate mask and medical gown creation. Luxury brands were among the ﬁrst, as labels like Dior, Chanel and Prada, in addition to numerous others, all pitched in to make hundreds of thousands of medical-grade masks for frontline medical workers in their respective home countries. Those who were not serving the frontline took to their own devices, becoming crafty with household materials and sharing tips with others through social media. Even U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams made a 45-second YouTube tutorial on how to fashion a makeshift mask using only a cotton tee shirt and hair elastics.
For just a minute there, the name on an accessory had no social weight and the only manifestation of heterogeneity was whether someone had a mask or didn’t. As masks became more available to average consumers, cloth masks were increasingly regarded as active participants in outﬁt aesthetics; an essential accessory that was originally a homogenizing protective measure was not slow to deviate into just another garment of status. What March 2020 lacked in face coverings, April made up for—at least a hundred times over. Social media timelines were bombarded by online fashion giants, like FashionNova, advertising their $5-$15 mask line, featuring slogans like: “If you can read this, you’re too close.” Athletic brands like Adidas began producing labeled commercial-grade cloth masks, denim brand Levi’s stocked characteristic blue jean masks, Maison Modulare even marketed a $60 ivory french lace mask.
The obvious cash grabs taking place in the midst of global tragedy were largely ill-received by those who could properly perceive them as such. Frontliners were upset by the retailers’ cavalier regard for the deadly virus that was evident in their mask designs and associated prices and prudent consumers took to Twitter to explicitly address these commercial wrongdoings. Less visibly, however, was the insincerity of the brands that were initially producing medical-grade masks exclusively for frontliners. Although unquestionably valuable, the early eﬀorts to help medical professionals were two-sided, with one side being far more concerned with company proﬁts than public health. Names like Gucci and Christian Siriano were major forces in alleviating mask shortages for essential workers where governments were not; on the ﬂipside, their brands—which produce inessential items like designer handbags and other menial accessories—would not have been allowed to continue manufacturing due to their dispensable function within society. In order to remain open in the midst of worldwide stay-at-home orders, these retailers took on the task of medical mask production to render themselves essential. That is not to say, however, that apparel companies are evil for wanting to avoid their own detriment, especially when doing so produces necessary materials for essential workers. In a July letter from U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) addressed to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), they noted that U.S. clothing sales from March through May 2020 were at a 67% deﬁcit according to the Census Bureau and domestic textile mills had also reported a 90% drop in yarn sales, both compared to the year-ago levels from 2019. The American textile industry, in addition to those in plenty of other nations across the world, suﬀered major blows over the course of the pandemic. While some companies were able to make it out with their production of medical-grade and then commercial-grade cloth masks, those that did not serve as a cautionary tale of the dangers involved with the global trade
interdependency necessitated by a neoliberal market model. This economic structure, as well as capitalism as a whole, has been criticized mercilessly as the pandemic has continuously revealed its inherent fragility. The harms of this market structure do not cease at the end of economics, they extend far into the environmental sphere as well. The harms of capitalism and neoliberalism on the earth have long been acknowledged through dynamics like hyperproductivity almost entirely exhausting certain natural resources and a majority of the world’s carbon emissions originating from only a handful of companies. Among the top ﬁve major pollutants in the world are textile products— just about 85% of textile products go into landﬁlls annually according to the World Resources Institute—and one can only imagine what cloth mask production has done to augment an already perilous status quo. Exact ﬁgures of pollution that can be attributed to speciﬁcally cloth masks have not yet been produced, but the current crisis of PPE pollution makes for exceptionally dim prospects. A recent study reveals that nearly 129 billion disposable face masks are worn and discarded in a month globally. The lack of instructions and facilities for proper mask disposal has led almost inexorably towards their incorrect disposal at large, often ending up polluting waterways and public locations. The added issue of PPE pollution is the public health risk, due to its being biomedical waste. All of these complications have made it exceptionally diﬃcult to remain environmentally sustainable throughout the pandemic. Despite being the more sustainable choice for protection compared to plastic disposable surgical masks, cloth masks produced by fast fashion retailers presumably contain the same materials that were already predominating the contents of landﬁlls. Among these are synthetic materials like nylon, polyester and acrylic, which are derived from the extraction of fossil fuels and are ultimately non-biodegradable due to being inorganic. Laura Balmond, a sustainable fashion project manager at environmental charity Ellen MacArthur Foundation notes that these three materials account for 63% of
those employed in textiles production. Even cotton, a wholly organic and biodegradable material, harms the environment through overexertion of farmland by harvesters. Whether or not cloth mask production has caused a discernible boost to global textile pollution remains unknown at the moment, but their excessive production and their innately environmentally harmful nature suggests that they certainly are not helping alleviate the issue. The convoluted nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to acknowledge the faulty nature of global neoliberal economics as well as the strain placed on mask manufacturers who aim to create environmentally sustainable face coverings. In just a year, an accessory that this generation never imagined donning in their lifetime became an unavoidable fact of daily life. Medical protection turned fashion accessories have become symbolic of human resilience in the face of catastrophe; encouraging acrylic printed phrases and bright, bold patterns have allowed people to look on the brighter side of dark circumstances and embrace their individual expression while protecting themselves and others. The darker side of this coin, however, indicates that stylized face masks symbolize the unchanging socioeconomic divisions and the exploitative relationship with the environment that are necessitated within and instituted by neoliberal market practices.
But most important of all, fashionable masks and all the circumstances that surround them demonstrate that no matter how grim the outlook may be, humanity will prevail over the forces that work toward its detriment—especially when it’s acting in the interest of humans.
ing to it
Featuring the College of Charleston’s hottest new ring designer @nice_ringtoit photos by Sophia Barham and Malik Gist
where did you get your rings?
... ring ring, hello?
THE SOCIAL CHAIN
Social Media’s Impact on Body
Trends are set through a chain-like system, starting with high fashion, celebrities, and magazines like Vogue, trickling down through brands like Urban Outfitters or Princess Polly, filtering into social media, and directly reflecting on consumers. If Kendall Jenner wears an outfit for a Calvin Klein ad featured in Vogue, she has the power to inspire many lower brands and individuals to make similar fashion choices. Body image and society’s ideal body type directly parallels this chain. For so many years, being slim and fit has been a highly desired body type, something that stems from society looking up to celebrities and high fashion models. When Versace hires underweight, thin models to represent their clothing, the brand inspires others to do the same. It has only been in recent years that “real bodies” have been truly represented, mostly on social media. Activists like american singer Lizzo and TikTok influencer Siena Mae Gomez promote that all bodies are beautiful and that to be pretty, you do not have to be skinny. From the fashion industry to social media, body type trends impact the lives of many, creating a world of negative body image, where no body reaches the societal version of ‘perfect.’ Though progress is in action, the concept of one specific ideal body type is deeply embedded in society. For so many years, people of all genders have strived to achieve the body that society demands of them. It is the struggle for perfection that never ends. And in many cases, social media only encourages the struggle. After surveying 162 college-aged students, the veracity of the impacts of social media’s influence on body image is exposed. Out of those surveyed, 92.6% said that they have felt self conscious when posting a picture on social media, one student adding, “I’m just tired of always having to look ‘perfect’ to feel halfway decent about what I post. Perfect is considered different in each individual’s eyes so why should any person have to feel one particular kind of perfect.” Other comments include, “After seeing IG models and tiktok stars’ posts, I feel I need to edit my body in some of my social media posts to be able to measure up because social media has negatively affected my body image.” and “Social media has made me insecure about things I didn’t even know people could be insecure about.” The immense feedback received from this survey only supports the negative impact social media has on individuals, specifically those susceptible to influence, teenagers and young adults. As young adults, we are learning where we stand in the world, taking in opportunities and learning how society functions. With increasing amounts of freedom and the ability to make choices alone, teenagers are more susceptible to being influenced by what is around them than a fully developed adult. Societal standards concerning body image is a component to this influence. Being told the best way to look and how to achieve that look greatly impacts those entering life on their own, influencing young people to maintain a possibly unhealthy lifestyle to achieve a certain aesthetic.
Seeing skinny models and celebrities leads to the mass encouragement of eating disorders on social media and under-the-radar emphasis on staying or getting skinny. TikTok may promote body positivity videos and ways to maintain a healthy image, however it also spreads toxic pro-eating disorder trends while creating a “skinny indie culture.” One student surveyed experiences this toxic content everyday, saying “My Tik-Tok FYP is full of pro-eating disorder content everyday.” According to this side of TikTok and other social media, there is only one stereotype considered ideal in society, and being skinny and leading an unhealthy lifestyle is demonstrated as the only way to achieve “perfect.” The inspiration for content like this stems from somewhere else, somewhere higher in the societal chain. The glorification of eating disorders and being underweight originates in the fashion industry, where 40% of models have experienced an eating disorder, according to Medical News Today, and 62% are asked by agencies to alter their body or appearance, according to Vogue. Seeing skinny everywhere, and learning unhealthy ways to achieve it is a massive influence for those in society to strive for that ideal as well. Body image has been an issue existing in the fashion industry for centuries, and though it has evolved over time, the concept of one ideal body type is deeply embedded in society. The industry has only recently broken its notorious path of emphasizing the need to fit into one stereotype; however this issue is too deeply rooted in society to just disappear. For thousands of years, sources like the fashion industry have shaped and controlled ideals, and with social media, have only become more powerful; what they promote will be reflected on all platforms. The emergence of influencers promoting self worth and body positivity is a step in the right direction despite the many inevitable years it will take to break the cycle of having one specific ideal body type. Diminishing the negativity caused by the industry and demonstrating that all bodies are beautiful and that everyone is worthy, no matter what they look like, is crucial to improving body image everywhere.
“Perfect is considered different in each individual’s eyes so why should any person have to feel one particlar kind of perfect.”
HAMPDEN S HO OT blurb by Tyler McCormack
As we began preparations for this issue, we looked forward to our favorite yearly project: affectionately dubbed “the Hampden Shoot.” Hampden’s brick-and-mortar store is a refreshing break from the boutiques that pepper the city. Hampden’s selection of designers from across the globe provides a window into the world of fashion at large, accessible from our very own King St. While their clothes are a bit of an investment for college students, Hampden is the spot to visit when you need a look for your next event: and you can be confident no one else will have it. From the optical illusion-adjacent designs of Christopher John Rogers to the soft femininity of Simone Rocha, there’s no doubt you’ll find something you love: even if you’re just window-shopping.
Photographed by Sophia Barham Clothes courtesy of Hampden Clothing Modeled by Emily Young, Kyle Fersner, and Symone Porter
photos by Josiah Thomason
hen it comes to sustainability in fashion, Cassie O’Toole is one of the greats. Cassie’s Shop, found on Instagram @cassies_shop and Etsy at cassiesshopp, is known for its whimsical designs that physically reimagine the way we consume clothing. Cassie’s designs are found on the corner of individuality and wearability: guaranteed to turn heads with their uniqueness, her clothing rapidly assimilates into your wardrobe to become the piece you reach for again and again. Using patches of fabric from vintage tees, men’s shirting, and quilts alongside her own painting skills, Cassie revives and updates clothing for the global moment we’re in. One of the most interesting and diverse eras of fashion to date has found itself face-to-face with a climate crisis, and Cassie’s Shop is the answer to the question of what the future of fashion looks like.
ARE FASHION AND SU MU
USTAINABILIITY MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE? by Hannah Hanes
The Goodwill outlet is a magical place. There’s one in North Charleston, and if you’ve been there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t had the opportunity to venture through its doors, imagine a great big empty room. Imagine rows and rows and rows of giant, azure blue bins on wheels. Now imagine they’re filled to the brim with more shoes and clothes than you could count, more than you could ever want. Only $1.39 a pound. It’s a hot day my first time there and I’m grateful for the AC. I’ve barely walked in when a bell alerts the customers a new bin has arrived. There it is on the opposite wall, nearly overflowing. For a moment there’s chaos as half the room rushes towards it. I pick my way along a few bins. Here and there, I find a true gem. A salvageable pair of Levi’s. A slightly scuffed, but intact kitten heel. A gingham sundress just waiting to be upcycled. Maybe i should have brought a bigger bag I find a vintage, genuine leather backpack. It’s stiff, but in good condition. I can’t believe my luck. Only took rummaging through stained nightgowns and well-worn sneakers for half an hour to find it. Maybe i should have brought gloves too.
The bell rings again and another bin rolls in, carrying unsold clothes from the regular Goodwill store next door. This backpack came from there. If I hadn’t picked it up, it would’ve next gone to auction, thrown together with torn sheets and grass stained baby dresses in a massive mystery bundle. The whole thing would’ve sold for just a few dollars, each item inside a fraction of the cost when new. And if it didn’t sell at auction, it would’ve been shipped to secondhand markets abroad. These bins are really just another stop on the long, worldly journey of used clothing. You see, the Goodwill Outlet is a magical place where you can get an entirely new wardrobe for $10. But, the Goodwill Outlet is also a place where the reality of the U.S. clothing industry really rears its ugly head. It’s a place that only gets to exist because we keep feeding it. In 2018, the EPA reported that the U.S. alone generated over 17 million tons of new textiles in a single year. It’s difficult to comprehend that number. Think about it this way: that provides for about 66 brand new garments per person per year. We’ve all heard the term fast fashion. But what exactly does that mean? Fast Fashion is a mass market of cheaply produced, trend-dictated garments. That means that where there were originally only two main seasons-- think fashion week’s Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections-- there are now over 50 micro-seasons every year.
Over 50 times a year, fast fashion brands like H&M, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters put out brand new collections just to keep up with trends and make a profit. That means that because product’s constantly changing, yesterday’s unsold clothing becomes today’s deadstock. And why would anyone buy it if there’s something newer, something more desirable, something more on trend?
countries with a clothing industry largely reliant on the secondhand economy, made up of both deadstock and used, donated clothing.
Deadstock gets sent overseas, or worse is trashed or burned to keep the brand’s value up. A few years back, Burberry, the British luxury brand, caught significant criticism for burning $37 million worth of brand new, unsold merchandise just to keep themselves in demand.
Accra holds what is possibly the largest secondhand market in Africa: Kantamanto. The market receives hundreds of thousands of clothes every week and recycles about 65 million items every 10 weeks. Retailers sort through, clean, and resell the best selection. But 40% is automatically wasted and sent to landfills because there’s just too much.
When we donate our clothes, we don’t really think twice about what happens next. But there’s a good chance they’ll live a much more travelled life than most of us. There’s a good chance they’ll become somebody else’s problem.
They’re not the only ones doing that either. The EPA The shipments from overseas never stop coming. also reported that, in the same year that 17 million Because we never stop producing. tons of textiles entered the market, 16 million tons left it, 81% of which were trashed or incinerated. This is what fast fashion means: overproducing and over consuming. Liz says “we are extracting finite resources to But in the fashion industry, and in most industries, produce an infinite amount of things”. So, our resources waste is “built into the business model”. That’s a quote are dwindling, our landfills are overflowing, but there’s still from Liz Ricketts during a podcast from “The Cutting more coming. Room Floor”. She’s a design professor at the University of Cincinnati and It’s not sustainable. studies the second hand trade in And there’s another buzz-word. We’ve all heard this one Ghana, one too: sustainable fashion. We know it’s supposed to be better of many than fast fashion. Buy from this sustainable company. They have sustainable practices. If you purchase their product, you too can be sustainable. But it’s not that simple.
“Sustainability is not a product… we cannot shop our way out”. Liz gives us another, very sobering thought. In other words, we can’t buy something and call it sustainable because it has a 20% smaller carbon footprint than the same thing bought somewhere else. Sustainability is the reuse and the reduce, not just the recycle. Sustainability is not buying things. Sustain ability is not producing things.
It’s important to remember that overproduction is not entirely our fault. We are not responsible for every choice made within a global, multi-billion dollar industry. We cannot blame ourselves for choosing the more convenient option when buying clothes. But it’s also important to be aware that the life of our clothing does not start nor stop with us. It’s more than an old dusty backpack I’m holding in my hands. It’s an object with consequences, both harmful and beneficial. The materials and the labor came from somewhere and from someone. At some point, it’ll go somewhere else. So, here’s the big question: if waste is the cost of business, if profit is a requirement for existence, are the fashion industry and sustainability mutually exclusive? Maybe. For now, certainly. For now, the clothes will not stop piling up in these azure blue bins at the Goodwill Outlet. They will not stop rolling through those doors. The bell will not stop ringing. The customers will not stop coming. There will always be more. More than you could count, more than you could ever want. At the Goodwill Outlet, I take my prized find to the cash register. The backpack costs 80 cents. I carry it out the door. I carry it home. I don’t think twice.
But what if we started thinking twice? Fashion is a means through which we express ourselves. It’s not a means through which we gain personal value. No object could ever do that. So, what if, armed with that knowledge, we changed the market? What if we separated style from trends? What if we separated fashion from industry? What then?
M vir w o e En
s we all know, in early March of 2020, the world shut down due to COVID-19. As everyone self-isolated, it became a time reflection and reckoning for individuals and businesses across the world. Everything was put on pause and what truly mattered to people became evident. While some people took up new hobbies, like tie-dying clothes or painting, many big industries had the opportunity to take the time to look at their business practice’s impact. One of the industries that seized this opportunity was the fashion industry. While many high-end designers, like Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, have gained praise for releasing more sustainable clothing in recent months, small fashion businesses are also contributing to this positive change.
By Payton Waters
ur oc Wa ie lle t
shared that since she was a little girl, flipping through fashion magazines, she knew that she had a “passion for fashion”. However, it wasn’t until she was sitting at a show during New York Fashion Week a few years ago that she decided to pursue a long-term career in fashion. After this realization, she decided to open her own boutique in Charleston. In 2017, this idea of owning a boutique became a reality and Magnifique was born. Mack endeavored on the new business opportunity with a substantial amount of perseverance as she navigated what it really takes to own a business. Mack quickly realized that buying and owning a clothing store wasn’t as easy as it may appear. She acknowledged that most people consider buying for a boutique a “fantasy job because you are looking at fashion all all the time,” but she claims, “In order for you to be a successful buyer you have to understand the numbers.” She struggled her first year with the logistics of purchasing and reaching her goal. She took a step back and realized that most people aren’t going to be able to afford a $300 top, no matter how compelling that particular purchase may be. Nevertheless, she reevaluated what she was buying in terms of her budget and found her stride as a “smart businesswoman” and fashion entrepreneur.
“My whole goal of having a boutique is to make people feel great about themselves”
To better understand sustainability on a local scale, I interviewed Onna Mack, the owner and buyer of Magnifique boutique in Charleston. We discussed what it takes to own a small business and how Magnifique has grown more sustainable over time. With enthusiasm and an immense amount of wisdom, Mack explained her journey from dreamer to doer. As an immigrant from Russia, Mack was adopted at the age of 12 and brought to the United States. She
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MAGNIFIQUE MA GNIFIQUE MAGNI SS, BIG E N I S U IM B L FIQUE MAGNIFIQ L PA A UE MAGNIFIQUE A
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“My whole goal of having a boutique is to make people feel great about themselves” Mack said as she explained what values she holds closest as a store owner. In order to uphold this value, Mack began to supply her store with brands that were high-quality and still affordable. This included brands like PISTOLA, SAYLOR, and LIKELY. Most importantly, she began to look for lines that gave back to her community. Mack ensures that her prices are fair, but that her values are also represented. Mack feels great pride in “constantly searching for brands that support women,” leading her to find companies that provide jobs for Indian women. As an immigrant, Mack is familiar with women’s struggle, in countries across the world, where job opportunities are not as prevalent. By supplying her customers with brands that also support women, she is able to demonstrate her design value. She is positively influencing the local marketplace and the extended world market. As the fashion industry has focused on creating a more positive impact on the environment, Mack has also begun to prioritize sustainability at Magnifique. She said that her push for sustainability stemmed from her belief that “recycling is very important.” By endorsing brands that focus on recycled materials, she is able to ensure sustainable business practices that are non-detrimental to the environment. This is another core value at Magnifique. Mack also finds that she can minimize her environmental impact by reusing and conserving her cardboard boxes and packaging tissue paper. A month and a half ago, Mack undertook a new project for her store: selling second-hand designer items. This decision was motivated by Mack’s desire for fashion to move in a sustainable direction, specifically in Charleston. As one of the first boutiques in the area to add a second-hand section to her store, Mack has become a sustainability trailblazer. While Magnifique does have an online presence, Mack says that 96% of her sales come from buyers that are shopping at her store in person. Not only does that allow for her company to have a better carbon-footprint, but also she believes it helps her sell her second-hand goods. Every week, Mack Facetimes with her sales representative from a showroom in California that supplies her with primarily Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Saint Laurent to sell at Magnifique. While Mack and her sales representative both ensure the quality and condition prior to purchase, Mack believes people are more confident in investment pieces when they can examine the items for themselves.
Mack conveyed the success of her secondhand business by describing a recent interaction between her and one of her customers. One of her clients recently lost all of her belongings in a tragic fire at her home. After the incident, this woman came into Magnifique looking to replace some of the items she had lost but did not have the money to afford any new designer bags, leading her to Magnifique’s second-hand section. The client said that she felt great about purchasing these items through Magnifique because she knew she could give back to a small business while not spending a fortune. This anecdote is the epitome of what Mack has been trying to accomplish through her business: a place where everyone can feel good about themselves. With the success of her secondhand business, Mack feels confident in what she is representing as a boutique. She claims that there are few challenges as a buyer looking to be sustainable. “A lot of people are moving into more sustainable fashion so the platform has opened up for us as buyers”. However, in order to remain true to her core value as an all-inclusive boutique, she still needs to carry fast-fashion brands. This ensures her prices are affordable and accessible to everyone. While the fashion industry has room for improvement, Mack is optimistic that her boutique is fueled by brands that support the environment and society as a whole. In the future, hopefully, there will be more affordable designers that also are sustainable. Nonetheless, Magnifique has found a way to achieve both of these things. Mack maintains this balance with poise and professionalism. She only endorses products that support her design practices and vision without raising her price point. Magnifique, on a local level, is helping the fashion industry move in the right direction through sustainable, small business practices. Mack feels this allows the client base to feel confident in their dollar value and ethical purchases.
MAGNIFIQUE MA GNIFIQUE MAGNI FIQUE MAGNIFIQ UE MAGNIFIQUE
Kickin’ It With Jalen Busby by Bryce Warner photos provided by Jalen Busby Jalen Busby is a Sophomore at the College of Charleston majoring in Business. When Jalen isn’t studying for his classes, he’s reselling sneakers. Sneaker reselling has become a fast growing industry over the past decade. It is to the point where people make a living off of reselling sneakers. Jalen has been reselling sneakers since his freshman year of high school. “I saw that there could be money to be made. So I sold all my collection, put it towards inventory, stuff that I knew I could sell, and it just kinda went from there.” He started off by selling to his classmates. It was challenging for him early on as he didn’t have a big clientele starting out but it would go on to grow throughout the years. His following grew big enough for athletes to notice. Once he started selling to athletes, his following grew even more once they started to shout him out on social media. Junior year of high school, Jalen saw a difference in his business as he figured out a different approach to acquiring shoes. “Once I figured out that if I buy it in bulk, I can make more money.” As a sneaker reseller, it is hard to purchase sneakers on release dates due to the fact that there are other resellers out there, bots, and the regular sneaker consumer that you have to compete against week in and week out. Factor that with trying to figure out the current and future trends of shoes in the sneaker culture, being a reseller is a tough job. “A lot of people misunderstand that some people do it as their main job, so they have to make a living off of it,” Covid-19 made it harder for traditional resellers to get their hands on pairs of sneakers over the past year.
“When the pandemic started, everything switched to online. Even the people that were dedicated to in store releases who would camp out, they can’t do that anymore so they don’t know how to get the shoes cause they’ve always just camped out, stayed overnight and then got it when the store opened. But now that they can’t do that, and they have to go against the bots, they don’t know how to adjust so they have to pay resell.” Through reselling, Jalen has been able to do his fair share of networking. He’s connected with other resellers in South Carolina and has sold to professional athletes. “I’ve sold shoes to professional athletes, Vincent Taylor an NFL player, a few NBA players I’ve networked with. One of my friends, his name is 843 Kicks, he sells to a lot of athletes, whenever I have a bigger size, I’ll just let him know that I have it. Then he’ll put them into contact with me.” Reselling sneakers eventually landed Jalen a job at the North Charleston location of Cola Kicks.
“I work at Cola Kicks, and that all started through Instagram, through my 843 Hype page. They posted that they were coming to Charleston, and I just DMed them like ‘this is exciting’ I wasn’t even looking for a job. Adam was like ‘I took a look at your page, I was wondering if you’d be interested in a job, we could set up an interview.’ I was back in pawleys cause it was quarantine, so I came down one day, met him at the shop before everything was even set up, interviewed with him, it went good, and he offered me the job. So I helped him set up the store, and I’ve been there since the first day. And It’s been going well.” Sneaker reselling has evolved over the years. It has even become a career for many. For Jalen, it has been a way for him to make money, being involved in something that he has a passion for. He sees it as a way to benefit him in the long run. “My biggest career goal for shoes is to pay off my college debts because that would lift a lot of weight off my shoulders as I transition into the real world.”
BSU Fashion Show Photos by Malik Gist
One of the most anticipated events of the year amongst College of Charleston students is the annual Black Student Union Fashion Show. This year was one like no other as the BSU decided to do the show virtually due to COVID-19 protocols. Nevertheless, the show was still a great display of Black Excellence, showing different shades of Black in different settings and hues. The show had four segments, each with a different stylist and themes.
Fashion is one of the major ways that people express themselves. It truly shows individuality and is a reflection of a person’s personality. You can catch the 2021 BSU Fashion Show on BSU’s Youtube page.
Meet the Class of 2021!
The college’s most fashionable photos by Sophia Barham
1. How would you describe your personal style? My personal style is all over the place, I would say I have an eclectic style! Generally, I love a lot of color and fun patterns, most of my unique pieces are thrifted! In fact, I love shopping second-hand so much, I started my own thrifting page that is dedicated to showing off good fashion and raising awareness and funds for causes that I am passionate about. (50% of proceeds are donated!). Go follow @ Thrift_4_a_cause on Instagram!
2. How has college changed your personal style? College has allowed me to become more confident and really step outside of my comfort zone. I love all of the friendly genuine people here at CofC; it’s made me happier and overall a well-rounded person. College has allowed me to adventure down different avenues, whether that be in academics, leadership positions, social life, or my fashion style!
3. Do you think your style influences your perosnality or does your perosnality influence your style? I think my personality influences my style for sure. A lot of my friends call me “quirky” and that sometimes translates into my style. I love a fun outfit and a good statement piece!
1. How would you describe your personal style? I don’t think I have a set description for my personal style because I’m always experimenting. When it comes to styling or what I wear, in my mind, I have an array of ideas. I like mixing and matching cool pieces to create looks that I like and that just stands out. I also capture inspirations based on the season, weather, playing around with colors, and so on, and I usually do combinations of different aesthetics such as vintage, tomboy streetwear, etc.
2. How has college changed your personal life? Not much has really changed, but I’m still growing and learning as a young adult. So far, one thing for sure is that college has made my personal life very independent and also tiring. I also think college has changed some of my views, mindset, and about handling life in general. There’s so much to explore, and in college, there are no limits to achieving different opportunities, and I can say I’m satisfied with some of the things I’ve done or do regarding my personal life. 3. Do you think your style influences your personality or does your personality influence your style? Honestly, I’m not even sure if there’s a correlation between the two for me. But if I had to choose, then I’ll say I think my style influences my personality. I tend to be a reserved person with introverted tendencies, but with my style I can truly express and be myself in whatever way possible. As long as I’m comfortable, this sometimes helps influence or boost my personality and confidence.
1. How would you describe your personal style? Versatile. Edgy. Striking. Unique. I only wear clothes that make me feel cute, comfortable and confident. I love to step outside of the box, switch things up and try new things. What I love about fashion is it has the power to tell different stories, just through different fabrics you piece together. My personal style is attention grabbing without me having to say a word. 2. How has college changed your personal life? College has definitely allowed me to find myself and come out of my shell a little bit more. I’ve noticed being in a different setting has caused my style to expand. I’m more open to attempting new looks I may have never thought of beforehand. I think being on my own without any set restrictions on what I can and can’t wear has made me feel a bit more liberated and it’s interesting to see how I reflect that in my style. 3. Do you think your style influences your personality or does your personality influence your style? I feel as if my personal style is really an extension of who I am, therefore in my opinion my personality has had a huge influence on my style. I’ve always been full of personality and just not afraid to be myself, which is why I am more drawn to bold statement pieces.
By Bryce Warner Photos by Malik Gist
Welcome to Selective, your one stop shop for vintage clothing in Downtown Charleston. Owners Gray MacKendrick and Luke Jones became friends through a Facebook page called Socks and Shoes Only. A page where people resold shoes, streetwear and apparel. Being members of that group, their relationship grew over time as they became more acquainted with each other and connected over clothes. Then the two both worked at the prior location before obtaining ownership of the company and making it their own. One thing that went into the rebrand is the fact that they wanted to primarily focus on vintage clothing. “It was just different than anything else. Honestly, in less of a sense of words, it’s art. So however you view are, you view vintage and it’s totally different for every single person rather than something that’s just uniform,” said Luke Fashion is a way to express yourself. Through vintage clothing, people express themselves through their appreciation for the article of clothing they are wearing. Whether that be a vintage band tee or a vintage sports tee, vintage clothing is like wearing art. It is one of the growing trends of the past decade, mainly because of how available it is. “It’s also easier to get your hands on. Not everyone wants to come in and spend $60-$80 on a T-shirt. Some people just want to come in and just spend $20,” said Gray With the growing trends within vintage clothing, Selective finds a way to stay up with some of those trends while mostly riding their own wave. “It’s all different for each person. It’s not ever structured and that’s kind of a good thing, that you can kind of go off of your nostalgia and however you feel about those things rather than forced into certain things. I feel like a lot of fashion is forced and this is kind of natural. You’re able to wear it naturally and not really worry about what you’re wearing because you know at the end of the day, you’re helping the environment and you have a unique piece. Vintage is about sticking out,” said Luke
When you walk into Selective, you see the vintage influence with the walls full of posters, music that’s playing in the background and the novelties hanging around the store. The store really captures the essence of the past. It is like shopping inside of a time capsule. It is a cool place for people to come and feel at home as they’re looking through racks of clothing. “It’s a family environment, everyone here is treated with respect,” said luke Since it’s reopening, Selective has seen a great amount of growth, meeting new people by the day. More and more people are starting to notice who they are and they have became one of the main sources for vintage clothing in the Charleston area “The thing I like seeing is, when I’m driving Downtown, walking Downtown and I see somebody and I’m like ‘I sold you that shirt’. I think that’s pretty cool,” said Gray. One thing about Gray and Luke is that they want to progress and see their business grow day by day. In the future, the boys plan on expanding to another location and further developing the current location. They want to provide an outlet for many people in the Charleston area
“This place is ours, so we can make it however we want. Learning from the customers we have and the demographics that we deal with and the people we deal with. And then being able to provide them with the coolest things. Charleston doesn’t have a lot of stuff like this, especially not anymore. So it would be nice to provide people with a cool and interesting outlet,” said Luke For anyone wanting to get into vintage clothing, Selective is a great place for you to get a nice start. They have pretty affordable clothing ranging in different kinds of pieces from movie tees to vintage casual clothing, there’s something for just about everyone. With vintage fashion, it pays to do your research. It is valuable to know the value of the pieces you’re coming across. Selective also buy and trade clothing as well. Customers can receive either cash or store credit for their trade ins. Selective is located on 272 Meeting Street. You can follow them on Instagram @selectivechs