2021 D&M Magazine

Page 1

I n

B e t w e e n

t h e

E a r t h


t h e

U n i v e r s e


4249 Main Street | Philadelphia, PA 19127 | 215-930-0307 | Marykdougherty.com | Shop with us 24/7 at MKDA.shop 2  D&M MAGAZINE

Yacht Security Systems | Custom Electronic Systems

Do whatever you wish.

Drone Detection Safe Speech Room Camera Privacy Lifts Safe & Serenity Areas Compod4 Entry System Designer Security Doors Bespoke Security Software Aspirated Smoke Detection Underwater Camera Housing Tender/Jet-ski/Asset Tracking Thermal Radar & LiDar Scanning Biometric /Temperature Scanning

Super Yacht Systems Our roots in Philadelphia have enabled us to become the premier provider of super yacht security systems completing several of the world’s largest private yachts. Our clientele’s need for high-level security has carried us from Asia through Europe. Our system offerings also extend in to our client’s residences and offices. Residential Systems Since the 1980’s, our appreciation for architecture and interior design allow us to provide exceptional High Performance Audio/Video systems, Simplistic Lighting, Elegant Motorized Shade Controls, Custom Home Theater and Automation. Alongside our project management and engineering capabilities, our design team will select intuitive electronic systems that complement your decor and lifestyle. 708 Stokes Road, Medford, NJ 08055 | +1-609-654-6888 | frankentek.com | yachtsecurity.com D&M MAGAZINE


ON THE COVER Droideka is a transformative ode to the zeitgeist, collectively created by Nakhyia Abrams, Shira David, and Jack Hoye. We have endured this complete change in society that latched on to technology to give us some sort of ”normalcy.” The longing for the past and hope to resolve our future has left us in a void, a space that is indescribable and unattached to one specific person. We reimagined the traditional way of using the application CLO, a software that simulates 2D patterns into sewn 3D garments. Using CLO, we re-designed their standard avatars and created all of the clothing in the application. Our digital environments are a mix of distorted images in our reality and 2D renderings in Adobe Software. Droideka is a figure that could be anyone, as they experience representational voids from the emotions of the designers.


STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Avery Klondar ART DIRECTOR Lindsay Uber STYLE DIRECTOR Maura Kelly CONTRIBUTORS Nakhyia Abrams Zara Barrett Giavanna Boyd Julie Donohue Khalita Jarmon Elizabeth Myers Adam Netburn Natalie Pavluk Sally Philips Indee Phillpotts Caitlin Shi Martina Silletti Tina Teng PHOTOGRAPHERS Alex Aronson James Lewis Natalie Pavluk Gabriella Rizzo Martina Silletti ILLUSTRATORS Lauren Bulka Kathy Chung Nina Pagano FACULTY EDITOR Nick Cassway

Our magazine is a transformative vehicle. It sparks change with newly fashioned visions. It’s excited for the future and glances in the rearview mirror at the same time. It occupies the space between the Earth and the rest of the Universe. It pushes boundaries and fills us with optimism. From our vision of a sustainable tomorrow to a celebration of yesterday’s style. From our love of hummus to our loathing of AF1s. From students working outside the classroom to professors making remote classrooms work. We see a future full of possibilities, now and post-pandemic. Join us on this journey. —The Editors

The D&M Magazine is filled with QR codes so have your phone ready as you read. Scan the QR code above for our magazine’s companion website designandmerchandising.com, check out back issues, behind the scenes, and insight by the D&M Magazine team.

CONTENTS 08 14 16 18 20 24 26 34 36 38 40 46 52 58 64 68 70 72 73 74 76 78 80 84 86 88 92 94 98

Droideka 21 JUMPsuit I Hate Air Force 1’s Genderless Basics Who Runs the World? Student Entrepreneurs Where Are They Now, D&M Grads Around the Corner: A Guide to Philadelphia’s Hidden Gems Take a Bite of Tel Aviv With Me Learning How to Read Transmission 501: Messages from the Universe Skate Shawty A Generation’s Past United Utility Fashion Revolution Social Media, Social Change Fashioning a Better Future SUST 101: Fundamentals of a Sustainable Institution Sustainably Clean #Payup Clean Up Your (Beauty) Act A Week of Meals for $60 Apartment Hunting The Virtual Studio Classroom Meet the Dean: Jason Schupbach A Better Way Are Department Stores Dead? Everyone and Their Mom Has a Brand Gaining While Losing: Therapy in the Time of COVID-19 Working from Home

A fetus crystallizes into liminality





The void is a mongrel that laughs in two’s

As the woes of the universe spiral the body into a heavy cavity

Eat it all and dissect the microbeats that rattle like maggots

Dismembered and Obsolete



suit In the year of well deserved fresh starts, it’s in with the old & out with the new

Jumpsuit Throw on this easy one-piece to automatically have a complete look.

BY Caitlin Shi  ILLUSTRATIONS Nina Pagano


PINK Barbie pink is the IT color to make any outfit pop this season. This color will turn heads when you come through the door.


5 Tweed Chanel tweed will always be a classic. Find this for that classy, chic look.


Loafers Preppy and chunky, what’s not to love? 14  D&M MAGAZINE

Ribbed Sets We love a matching set. Get the ribbed knits for that effortlessly, effort look.

9 Shrug Tops All your ballerina dreams come true with this number.


Straight Leg Baggy Pants The skinny jean should have never been in, I said it. The silhouette of straight-leg pants is just that much more flattering, giving you legs for days.

4 Long White Dress The LBD is on hold while the LWD comes in this season. Find the perfect long white dress that is flowy and feminine for the day while classy and empowering for your next dinner party.


Casual Slippers Think of it as the house slipper you can wear out. Everything from crocs, slides, anything you can slip on and run out the door.



The Bucket Hat It is as easy as removing the drawstrings from your fishing hat to turn it into an elevated bucket hat.


Sparkles Light up a room when you walk in, actually looking like a million bucks. Whether that be with rhinestones, sequins, or diamonds. Crazy for Crochet The “how to crochet” Youtubers have been waiting for this one. The use of soft and delicate crochet is seen in cardigans, tops, and beachwear.

14 The Bucket Bag The sophisticated structure bag makes any outfit playful. This is versatility that you can bring to the beach or any dinner party.



Gloves Get the look of Sherlock Holmes or Bridgerton; there’s no wrong choice ;)


Underwire Details A little extra support doesn’t hurt anybody. This detail adds that extra flair to any outfit.

Soffe Shorts The most versatile and comfortable shorts of the summer. Get one in every color now.

19 Micro Mini Skirts Dance your heart away like it’s the 1960’s because micro miniskirts are back. Have fun with different prints and patterns. Pair these with your favorite below-the-knee boots or kitten heels.

20 GoGo Boots The ’60s are back and better than ever, especially with these high-rise boots.

13 Suit Sets After being home in sweats sets for the past year, we’re not willing to give up comfort as we head back to the real world, power up, and throw on a classic tailored suit.


Retro Knits These printed knits will appear once again, likely in the form of classic polos and cardigans. This time these knits will have a retro feel with mixes of patterns and colors.


Sheer & Strappy We’re having a sheer moment right now. That second-skin feel of sheer includes tops, tights, and bras with that extra edge of cutouts and straps.


I Hate AF1’s

When does a trend become so overly saturated that it can be classified as, dare I say it... basic? *gasp*

BY Maura Kelly PHOTOGRAPHY James Lewis

Is it that every girl on your Instagram feed is wearing them? Or because you can find them in all your friend’s closets? Or because they are so damn easy to wear with anything? As much as it pains me to say it, the white AF1’s are the perfect shoe. I hate them because I want to love them. However, I refuse to look like every other girl on my Instagram timeline. The iconic Nike Air Force 1’s were designed by Bruce Kilgore, a product designer who worked on practical items like household appliances and cars. The shoe’s exterior mirrors Kilgore’s minimalistic tastes. Not coincidentally, Kilgore consulted bio-mechanists, trainers, podiatrists, and aerospace engineers for the final design. The goal was to integrate Air technology into basketball shoes with comfort and movement in mind. At the beginning of the 1982 NBA season, Nike’s campaign declared that “air would be sold by the box.” In 1983 three sneaker stores in Baltimore — Charley Rudo, Cinderella Shoes, and Downtown Locker Room — caught on to the trend of NBA players custom matching their teams’


colorways and personal tastes into their AF1’s. The shops met with Nike headquarters and pitched an idea for the “Color of the Month Club.” The effect: sneakerheads from all over the U.S traveled to Baltimore to snag the hottest pair. AF1’s officially earned their title as a status symbol. Inevitably, major fashion house labels began picking up the Air Force 1 silhouette. In 2012, Supreme and Nike collaborated to create three different styles exclusive for Supreme and launched “World Famous.” In 2014, Nike collaborated with Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci to produce four other Air Force 1’s. An apparel collection, Comme des Garçons, combined basketball and luxury in 2017. AF1’s are the perfect blank slate you can dress up or dress down. It’s fashionable. It’s sporty. It’s streetwear. It’s retro. It’s clean. It’s minimal. It’s comfortable. It’s a status symbol that bridges the gap between different socio-economic backgrounds. It does not discriminate. It’s the shoe I hate, and can’t help but to cringe whenever I see someone wear it, but secretly I love it just as much as all of you.

It’s clean — Work a utilitarian look by integrating bold, boxy shapes and carpenter pants. The all-white AF1’s adds to the straight and structured silhouette that creates this uniform vibe.

It’s fashionable — a great pair of AF1’s go great with blue jeans and a band tee with a blazer thrown over top. Other sneakers that look great are Alexander McQueen Sneaker, the Golden Goose Super-Star, or the Gucci New Ace Sneaker.

It’s Sporty — AF1’s are perfect for lazy days when you have errands to run, and the only thing keeping your look presentable is dry shampoo. Alternatively, try a pair of the Adidas Superstar Sneaker, the Reebok Club C Double Platform Sneaker, or the Topshop Cancun Sneaker.

It’s streetwear — everyone at NYFW is sporting the newest streetwear shoes. But some may hold onto the staple AF1’s. Don’t be afraid to try the Comme des Garçons PLAY x Chuck Taylor, the Balenciaga Triple S Sneaker, or the Fila Disruptors.

It’s retro — the “dad shoes” are always a go-to if you are looking to jazz up any outfit. Other classics that work are the Golden Goose Super-Star Low Top Sneaker, the Reebok Classis Sneaker, or the Reebok Club C 85 a try.

It’s minimal — use the sneaker as its unique self with a no-show sock and even an ankle bracelet. Minimally treating the sneaker with a midi skirt and sleek bodysuit will enhance the non-effortless but polished look.



4 7

Gend erless

B a s ics

Break the barriers of gender norms with the basics everyone needs.

BY Caitlin Shi  PHOTOGRAPHY James Lewis  MODELS Nakhyia Abrams & Adam Netburn


1. White Tank & T-Shirt The most versatile piece for everyone. You can style on its own, layer it and wear it with anything. 2.Knit Sweater  A must have layering piece that will keep you cozy during the weather transition. Get it in a neutral color like white, cream, or gray. 3.White Button Down Style it under a sweater, wear it on its own, opened like a cardigan, or buttoned down with any bottoms. 4. Blue Denim  Pair the all-American denim blue jean with your everyday basic tee. Get yourself the best fitted jeans you’ll wear four times a week. 5. Cargo Pants  Best for that ultra utility look. The more pockets, the better. 6. White sneakers  The go-to comfortable shoe that goes with anything and will get you anywhere. 7. Suit Set–Blazer and Trousers  A blazer is a great layering piece for that sophisticated flare. Dress it down with a hoodie and jeans. Trousers can be paired with any basic top and easily dress up any look. 8. Black Boots  The shoe that will add an edge to any outfit can be worn any time of year. 9. Trench Coat  Throw on your trench coat for a rainy day. This transitional piece will never go out of style. 10. Hat  The secret accessory for built in sun protection.








Who Runs the World?


Real-world business meets zoom classrooms. Five Drexel student entrepreneurs lead the way in fashion and give us the scoop on every aspect of their businesses from working with influencers to how they juggle their brand with school. BY Julie Donohue, Sally Philips, and Martina Stilletti


Harp er The internet makes the world seem so small.

Drexel fashion design student Sam Harper launched Sweats by Sam in 2019. Since then, influencers and celebrities such as Samantha Logan (Olivia Baker in All American,) dancer and TikTok star Addison Rae, and singer-songwriter Jessie J. Harper have embraced the brand. Harper grew up loving tiedye clothing from the brand R13 but could never afford their high prices. To make more affordable tie-dye apparel for herself, she took worn-out sweatshirts, sweatpants, and t-shirts


and turned them into brand new tie-dye matching sets. With her father’s encouragement, Harper, who up until this point was making these only for herself, began selling her loungewear. In October 2019, she created an Instagram for her brand and started selling on Depop. Since May 2020, Sam has been “channeling all of her energy” by selling directly through her website (sweatsbysam.com) and Instagram’s shop feature from her @sweatsbysam account. Sweats by Sam has over 17,000 followers, and thanks to the help of influencers, the brand has been expanding. You can find tie-dye sets, including joggers, sweatshirts, shorts, and dresses in colors like lavender, yellow, green, beige, and pink. She also has a collection called “Your Name Here,” which consists of personalized sets with the customer’s name on them. Harper’s favorite part about running her brand is meeting and sometimes getting to work with people in the fashion industry. Harper has always admired Mimi Cuttrell, a New York-based fashion stylist known for her red carpet looks on clients like Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, and Ariana Grande. “Mimi reached out to me to rep my brand, and I almost cried; I was so excited. The internet makes the world seem so small, so seeing full circle stuff like that happen is so crazy.” Another style icon Harper has looked up to since 9th grade is Matilda Djerf, a blogger, model, and Instagram influencer. “She followed me months

ago, and now we bounce ideas off each other. I enjoy forming relationships with my mentors or even talking to other people who have smaller brands.” Harper designs, makes, and ships out every piece. “People think I have a manufacturer or that I have a Sweats by Sam team, but it’s just me.” It can be frustrating sometimes because customers are unaware of all the hard work behind the scenes in a student-run business. Harper explains to “really be transparent, if you’re starting something, talk about yourself and the back story. Just give them honest answers about the time you’re putting out because people connect with it and actually appreciate that.” She encourages future student entrepreneurs to trust their instincts. “If you have to ask yourself if you should be working with that person, don’t work with them. I wish I knew this when I started. If you think to yourself, “this doesn’t feel right,” don’t do it. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to everyone.” In the future, Sam hopes to have a more prominent company buy into her brand, collaborate with someone like Gigi or Bella Hadid, and create a pop-up shop. Running a brand at 20-years-old isn’t easy, but the rewards of having the world at large appreciate your handmade products make the hard work worth it.

D an


In streetwear fashion, Drexel student Dan Farrell is beginning to make a name for himself from the East to the West coast. In late 2019, what started as a small, local Philadelphia business for his friends and family to enjoy turned into, KEMO!, a streetwear brand mixed with western wear. Using TikTok and Instagram, Farrell grew his brand further, selling t-shirts, hoodies, and jewelry. From loose rhinestone hoodies to embroidered trucker hats, all the products subscribe to logomania. Farrell’s products are an accurate representation of what he loves—a mix between modern urban western-style and streetwear trends. Farrell sees clothing as “wearable art” and a form of self-expression.

I love seeing my brand take a life of its own. In September 2020, Farrell relocated to Los Angeles, CA, expanding his career path and building his brand. His relocation has been advantageous noting that although nothing is easy, it’s much less complicated being close to many manufacturers and meeting with them while finding the suitable material and showing manufacturers the designs that he specifically wants. Living in LA and running a brand that is taking off with influencers is greatly rewarding and exciting, but that doesn’t mean there are no challenges that come with it. “With clothing, you can’t continue to do it unless it performs well.” Between the materials, the manufacturers, deadlines, and relying on other people, it’s a lot of haggling back and forth. “I love the support from my friends and family, but what’s really cool is to see someone wearing my product who I don’t even know…I love seeing the brand take a life of its own.” Looking towards the future, Farrell wants to include other products into his line such as pants, outerwear, footwear, and even more accessories. Additionally, he wants to expand more into the music industry, hoping to see more rappers and music artists wear his pieces. Farrell likes to use his spare time to mess around and experiment with new methods and techniques, such as experimenting with his embroidery machine to develop a design right when an idea sparks. “If not you, then who?” Dan emphasizes that his most significant advice is to do it. He explains that he’s had plenty of ideas; however, it’s up to you to make that idea into a reality, and more importantly, you can’t be afraid to fail. He relates the situation to acting­—you keep proving yourself in every audition. Nothing comes easy in this world, so you must keep trying to get the part.




Instagram. The Instagram page @thebluebutterflydesigns is now Kelly’s primary sales platform. Friends, new customers, and peers reach out to Blue Butterfly Designs looking for customized pieces leading Grace to make personal connections. “I prefer selling through Instagram rather than Etsy because it is a more casual platform where I can get to know customers and view their profiles to get a glimpse of who they really are.”

Ca n dice

Grace Kelly received a gift within a gift when her mother came home with flowers for her to brighten up her quarantine blues. With surplus time on her hands, Kelly decided she wanted to learn how to dry flowers. Fast forward six months, and she now runs her own small business Blue Butterfly Designs, a sustainable jewelry brand. Drying flowers was the first of many steps that Kelly had to take. “After learning the process of drying flowers, I then knew I wanted to rework them into jewelry,” Kelly recalls. Knowing that she also wanted to be an ecofriendly business, Grace researched materials and methods that would work best for her vision of resin-dipped dried flowers. “Typical resin is premade, which is easier but also extremely toxic,” she explained. It took a while to find an eco-friendly resin, but she found one that took 24 hours instead of 2 hours to cure. “The time is worth it, knowing that it is sustainable,” she concedes. Mistakes were made in the process of making a final product. Desks and floors covered in resin, but Kelly was persistent in problem-solving and learning how to perfect the art of making necklaces and earrings and was now ready for Instagram.

The time is worth it, knowing that it is sustainable. Connecting with customers on a personal level is something she enjoys most about her small business. The brand was initially launched on Etsy, but Kelly realized that this platform wasn’t the best for her products. “When I started making these pieces, my friends would ask me to make them something and ask me to do whatever I thought would look best,” Grace explained as to why Etsy sales were not as popular as


N gu yen

Being bullied in high school for being good at art was the spark that inspired Candice Nguyen, CEO of Candice Customs. Nguyen describes herself as being “one of those art kids that no one really liked because they thought that was weird,” but in the end, art “saved me.” During her junior year of high school, she had an idea to make custom-painted shoes for the seniors going to Disney on a school trip. Some designs included characters from movies like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Lilo & Stitch, and Aladdin. It wasn’t until she came to Drexel and showed off her Drexel-themed Vans that Nguyen realized she could start a business. During this time, Nguyen painted shoes for a friend on the MTV show “Are You the One?” Her friend promoted and endorsed them on Instagram and prompted Nguyen’s business to grow rapidly. She originally wanted to go to art school, but after some reflection, she realized going to college for business would benefit her career. “You don’t need to be the best to make money; you just need to know how to market yourself,” she explains. With now having over 6,000 followers on Instagram, Candice Customs is flourishing.

You don’t need to be the best to make money, you just need to know how to market yourself. The work that goes into making these one-of-a-kind shoes is extensive and done with great care, usually taking 3-5 hours per pair. Nguyen’s most rewarding aspect of her business is when she completes one order and begins her next one. “It is so satisfying knowing that every person I paint shoes for is so thankful and happy with the outcome. If they are satisfied, I am satisfied,” she says with a smile. She loves seeing pictures of her clients in the shoes or reaction videos of the shoes if they are a gift. Her business and communication major has helped Nguyen build her brand, specifically, the class MKTG 344: Professional Personal Selling. This class made her realize, “Everything I have done in my life, work-wise, is sales. Everything I do is essentially a sale.” She also included that friends she has met at Drexel “really helped with my business more so than anything.” Her advice for other rising student entrepreneurs is to remember, “at the end of the day, if you work hard and put the time into it, you’ll reach your goal.” Turn that hobby into a side hustle, then eventually, a successful business.

Za ra


Our hyperactive consumerist society operates on a “new is always better” model. Zara Barrett, however, finds the old to be much more enticing. Barrett’s designs focus on reworking a pre-loved garment to coincide with current fashion trends. Her brand, ZeeBeeTees, serves to “recreate the excitement in clothing again” by adding a zipper, new hemline, or reconstructing a thrifted garment entirely. One of her most popular designs utilizes two separate button-down shirts remade into one; she cuts both shirts in half and swaps the two halves. Barrett’s thrifted and reworked unisex garments allow consumers to shop sustainably and add one-of-a-kind pieces to their wardrobe. “The current retail model just isn’t sustainable,” explained Barrett when asked about the issues she sees in the industry. With the rapid pace of current trends, small business owners must quickly adapt to give their customers new and exciting products. Barrett expressed the pressure of keeping customers engaged while also experimenting with creative

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. designs that don’t follow the typical trends. There’s a risk in trying something new; people may not respond, or it may be off-brand, but taking those risks is an essential part of running a business. Her “thrifted DIY flips” employs a drop model where she buys a certain number of items, advertises the day and time that these one-of-a-kind items will be available, and lets the customers fight over their favorite styles. She uses this model to limit over-consumption and tries her best to practice sustainability in every aspect of her brand. Barrett uses compostable packaging when sending products to customers and uses paper, old decorations, and tape found around her home for extra design elements. Barrett now sells her garments exclusively on Depop, an online site and app that allows anyone to sell pre-loved apparel and accessories. She loves that the platform educates the consumer and promotes reselling. Every piece sold on Depop is pre-worn, possibly reworked, and provides an overwhelming surge of nostalgia. ZeeBeeTees transports the customer into a closet of ’80s and ’90s trends inspired by fashion pillars such as Margaret Burton and Besos Vintage. It is incredibly intimidating to start a brand, especially as a student. There is a constant struggle between maintaining grades and helping the business do the best that it can. When asked what keeps her motivated, Barrett responded, “I do ZeeBeeTees because I thoroughly enjoy it; I use it as my getaway.” Her advice to students who are thinking about starting their own business is to go for it and not be afraid to ask questions. Ask your friends what they like in a brand and utilize all your resources. You will never know the outcome until you try.


Whe re T hey

A re N ow

A l umni

From buying, to activism, to entrepreneurship, the D&M Program prepares students for a wide range of career paths after graduation.

BY Maura Kelly


After bearing another long cold winter, New Jersey native, Marien Wilkson packed her bags and moved cross country for what would become the job of her dreams, assistant buyer at UGG. In short order, she honed her buying skills and became Merchandising Manager for all North American stores and e-commerce. It did not take long for Marien to become the expert of the entire UGG enterprise. She had essentially become the head buyer who had the final say of whether the company would invest in a product. After her first six months as a buyer, Marien’s first season came to fruition. The launch was successful, changing store and online atmospheres and seeing growth in all product categories by the spring, including 100% growth in sportswear and outerwear business. “I decided to change everything because I knew it was unhealthy,” she explains, “they were previously appealing to an older customer, and I decided that based off of who the footwear customer was, I was going to target them and make the apparel younger and more exciting and different.” Marien opened an apparel-focused pop-up store in New York, where she bought and merchandised everything. She made the proforma and budget expectations and set up everything for the store. “I made a name for myself because people knew the clothing and accessories were changing, and I was the one doing it,” she states, “it was very nerve-racking, but it was very fulfilling because it went so well.” Because of her success, UGG greenlit her to do four more pop-ups for the following year. But Marien felt she wanted to do more beyond fashion. She realized that she “liked to look at businesses, see what is wrong, and then make changes in order to improve them.” The problem-solving aspect was what kept her going. “I wanted a job that was strictly e-commerce, I knew I wanted to also be problem-solving, and I knew I wanted to have a manager title in my name.” Marien started her search in January of 2020, and by June, Amazon had reached out. At Amazon, she holds the Senior Account Manager title and is currently a partner with vendors and optimizes their business strategy. She helps with anything from inventory issues, to marketing strategy, to online Amazon merchandising strategy. “I am still new, but I have loved it so far.” With the D&M’s curriculum heavily based on merchandising courses, Sarah Choi thought she would pursue a career in buying after she graduated. However, the D&M magazine opened her eyes to an entirely different path. Sarah found her passion for styling and editorial fashion, and through hard work and great relationships, she is now the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Elle Décor. After struggling to find full-time employment post-graduation, Sarah’s co-op employer from Place Showroom reached out to her and offered her a position at a different showroom, Édité. At Édité, she was a part of the sales team and worked closely with PR. Sarah built relationships and shared her goals of becoming a stylist. Shortly after working at Édité, someone from the PR team approached her who thought she would be a great assistant for a mutual friend, who just so happened also to be a celebrity stylist. While Sarah enjoyed her time in sales, she recounts, “I would have never met [her PR contact] if I didn’t take this job that I wasn’t really into.” She took the job offer with the celebrity stylist, “I knew it was unpaid, but I knew it was what I wanted.” After briefly working for the stylist, Sarah took a paid position as a freelance fashion assistant at Marie Claire. “If you want to get into the styling world of fash-

ion, editorial is a good place to start because you learn all of the ins and outs of how things are pulled, how it’s styled, helping on set, which is really cool.” Sarah made her mark and worked her way up the ladder while befriending the accessory director. The director knew the Editor-in-Chief of Elle Décor and recommended her for the job. She adds, “I’ve learned connections are truly a big thing in our industry.” Sarah began working at Elle Décor in March 2020 and has worn multiple hats while helping with social media, writing digital stories, and being the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief. After graduating in 2018, Emily Long began her career as a product development assistant at Alice and Olivia. She quickly moved up the ranks and became the product development associate while also spearheading a new sustainable initiative. Unfortunately, Alice and Olivia laid off several positions, including her own, after the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Despite her disappointment, Emily took this opportunity to pursue her passion for sustainability. Emily began working at USAStrong.IO, the first online marketplace to verify, curate, and sell 100% sustainable USA-made products. A lifestyle community with a local curated feel and focus, USAStrong. IO selects the best items for their customers from vendors in each state. Emily is the production manager and sustainability consultant, and she “helps them be as green as they can be as well as promoting 100% USA brands.” Emily is also a co-community organizer for Re/Make Our World, a community of millennial and Gen Z women who pledge to wear their values and end fast fashion. As the co-community organizer, she facilitates (now virtual) meetups for ambassadors and coordinates panel presentations and workshops for the Re/Make community. Follow Emily on Instagram (@greeneyeforfashion), where she highlights her recycled wardrobe and educates her followers about all things sustainable fashion. Hannah Patrick, a 2018 Drexel Design and Merchandising alumni, worked a corporate job in buying but always wanted something more. She loved expressing herself creatively and always dreamt of being her own boss. After traveling to Massachusetts in the summer of 2019, Hannah noticed a cute, converted camper set up at a farmer’s market. Inspired, she bought her own camper and revamped the inside. “I gutted the entire inside of the caravan and really wanted it to be a blank slate. I wanted any kind of business to be able to utilize

my space.” The interior walls have slats, allowing shelves to be interchangeable, going from hooks to shelves to baskets. This flexible interior allows small businesses or boutiques to rent her caravan for events such as farmers markets, weddings, festivals, and more. As Hannah began navigating this new journey, she realized that there was a fantastic opportunity to tap into the bar and alcohol industry. Hannah did not recognize at the time that installing three keg taps would be one of the best decisions she could have made. “I knew of a lot of people who owned a brewery or made their own kombucha or similar things, and after launching Blank Canvas in August 2020, I found a niche for this whole mobile bar industry.” Hannah can offer local beers and ciders and even has prosecco on tap. She does kegged cocktails such as margarita’s, Moscow Mules, and other specialty drinks for more personal occasions weddings. For many businesses battling the pandemic has been difficult, but Hannah has managed to figure out ways to expand and take advantage of outdoor opportunities. In January 2020, Nicole Coppins attended the NRF Big Show and met recruiters from Burlington at the career fair. Nicole hit it off with the recruiters from Burlington and was able to score a brief 20-minute interview. A week after the conference, she heard from the recruiters and was invited to attend another round of interviews. “This round of interviews was more intense. Throughout the day, I met with multiple people from their merchandising and buying teams to hear about the company, the positions and tell them more about myself and my career aspirations.” Three weeks after the interview, Burlington offered a fulltime position to start after graduation. “It was such a relief to know I had a job lined up after graduation, and I could enjoy the rest of my senior year with ease.” When COVID hit, Nicole began her role as an assistant buyer remotely. “Burlington offers a great program, so you don’t feel alone. I started taking an assistant buyer course with other new hires. Everyone is paired up with a ‘buddy’ who is a current assistant buyer for us to show us the ropes. We would shadow their daily activities and attend meetings with them. It was so nice to be welcomed and be a part of a group, so you didn’t feel like you were alone.” Nicole enjoys buying because of the creative and analytical tasks she helps with day in and day out. “We work closely with our vendors developing product, and I get samples sent to my house now because of Covid. It’s been really cool because I am the one approving them and making sure the design is coming through. The color and fabric are what we asked to provide the best value for our customer.” Covid has allowed Nicole to get more face-time with each vendor, “we are having better vendor communications than ever before.”


Around the Corner:

A Guide to Philadelphia’s Hidden Gems Say goodbye to thinking “There’s nothing to do!” In the city of Philadelphia your options are endless— you just have to know where to look.

BY Giavanna Boyd, Khalita Jarmon, Natalie Pavluk, Indee Phillpotts & Martina Silletti PHOTOGRAPHY Natalie Pavluk

KEY   Sustainable


Women Owned

Black Owned

Riverwards & Northeast Philly Amalgam Comics

Bulk Vintage Warehouse

2578 Frankford Avenue

4324 Tackawanna Street

If the idea of a massive warehouse filled with glittery antique purses and fur coats is what gets you going, then grab your reusable bags and pay a visit to Bulk Vintage Warehouse. Dig your way to your next vintage piece while perusing through endless boxes of Levi’s denim, antique furs, and eclectic sweaters.

Anything & Everything 3283 Belgrade Street

Indulge in sweet service, even sweeter drinks, and an eclectic array of comic books! Cozy up with Amalgam’s Hot White Chocolate as you browse the widest selection of comic books Philadelphia has to offer. Featured comics range from classic Marvel Comics, Stranger Comic’s Niobe, and the futuristic Tuskegee Heirs.

Experience a true Port Richmond gem and chat with its eclectic owners while scouting out some of Philadelphia’s dustiest yet dazzling dime store antique pieces, from mid-century furniture to art to glassworks. Cash only!

Mercer Café 2619 E. Westmoreland Street

Enjoy home-cooked cuisine through a simple, no-fuss menu that stays true to its roots in serving the Port Richmond community. Drop into this intimate luncheon with an empty stomach and an appetite for a classic grilled cheese and tomato basil soup, or plan to order a Mercer Café classic: A pineapple salsa quesadilla.

Harriet’s Bookshop 258 E. Girard Avenue

Named after Harriet Tubman, explore every nook and cranny that this neighborhood bookstore has to offer. Celebrate historic women authors, artists, and activists through literature from genres like LGBTQ+, poetry, fantasy, and even horror. Sit down in Harriet’s cozy, underground lounge with a copy of Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism, or pick up New York Times Best Seller The Hate U Give while relaxing in Harriet’s outdoor reading garden.

Thunderbird Salvage Thrift 2441 Frankford Avenue

From antique shopping bags to $1 vintage beer cans to one-of-a-kind McDonald’s propaganda, peruse Thunderbird’s unique selection of second-hand goods. Set up in an abandoned church, this welcoming thrift shop will keep you on your toes.

Stocks Bakery

Graffiti Pier

2614 E. Lehigh Avenue

E. Cumberland Street

This no-frills bakeshop known for their famously fattening pound cake will have you gluttonously gorging for more. Indulge in a slice of Port Richmond tradition by visiting this historic neighborhood bakery while also checking out their flaky donuts and sugar cookies. Cash only!

Grab your camera and some spray paint and head over to see a different side of Philadelphia’s mural arts at Graffiti Pier. Right along the riverfront, indulge in the flashy, psychedelic spray paint that local graffiti artists have adorned its elongated cement walls.


West Philly

Pod 3636 Sansom Street

Brown Sugar Bakery and Café 219 S. 52nd Street

Brown Sugar Bakery and Cafe has been providing West Philadelphia with delicious Caribbean-style food and pastries for years. Everyone is sure to be enticed by something on their broad menu, but their fans rave about their Doubles. A classic Trinidadian street food, these curried veggie stuffed pockets are smothered in Tamarind sauce and will have you salivating for more. Whether you’re new to Caribbean food or grew up on it, Brown Sugar’s Beef Roti or Coconut Bake is sure to become your go-to comfort food.

Avril 50 3406 Sansom Street

You can’t miss Avril 50’s striking yellow doors. This eclectic, lowkey corner store is your supplier for a colorful range of magazines and premium cigars. Imported chocolates and gourmet coffees top off Avril 50’s unique assortment of international treats.

This ultra-modern, futuristic dining experience in University City pulsates with low-fi ambiance and a neon-hued, biomorphic-inspired longe. Immerse yourself in Pod’s moving conveyor-belt sushi bar while you sip on colorful cocktails alongside friends in an intimate, bustling bar setting. Spend the night dining within family-style Asian fare ranging from Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean cultures; the pork belly shoyu ramen, short rib lo mein, and lobster fried rice are a must.

Lil’ Pop Shop It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 3245 Chestnut Street

No need to be late to class in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building. Located at the heart of Drexel University’s campus, visit the second-floor laboratories and lecture halls where It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia filmed their infamous “Flowers for Charlie” episode. Also, peek at the country’s largest and only living, purifying bio wall.


265 S. 44th Street

This gourmet popsicle shop in West Philly offers artisan, non-dairy pops like the Raspberry Lime or Mango Passionfruit, and creamy pops like their Green tea with Mochi and the Chocolate with Salted Caramel Brownies. They even sell specialty, seasonal pops like their Watermelon Lemonade and Coconut Hibiscus pops in the summer. What makes them so unique is that all their ingredients are locally sourced, and they don’t use artificial dyes or syrups. Check out their Instagram to stay updated with their flavors, partnerships with other local companies, and limited time items like their pies and cookies.

Franklin’s Table 3401 Walnut Street

World Café Live 3025 Walnut Street

This Multilevel music hall in a former art deco factory is much more than a place to watch shows and listen to live music. They hosted one of Adele’s first U.S. performances and showcased many other artists such as Alabama Shakes and Graham Nash. You can also enjoy a meal or happy hour in The Lounge before, during, or after a performance. Try WCL’s Duck Cheesesteak or the Red Curry Coconut Crab from Executive Chef Rob Cottman. The owner, Hal Real, wanted “every detail to be designed to optimize the live performance experience, from sight-lines, lighting, and acoustics to green rooms, equipment access, and concierge service.”

This one-of-a-kind food hall offers a diverse menu of food options for all to enjoy under one roof. If you’re in the mood for sushi, DK Sushi will fill your cravings but if you’re in the mood for something a little bit different, try Paper Mill Fresh Asian kitchen and order one of their Spurritos. If someone in your group doesn’t like any of those options, no need to worry! They can choose other types of food like burgers, pizza, and falafel from KQ Burger, Pitruco Pizza, and Goldie. Whether you are a picky or spontaneous eater, you can always find something at Franklin’s Table.

Coco’sCookies and Creamery

Cira Green 80 S. 30th Street

Spend a day in the sun gazing over the city via Cira Green’s rooftop park and refresh your view of Philadelphia forty-nine stories in the sky. Grab a picnic basket and your favorite book or take your laptop to switch up your normal homework routine by relaxing in Cira Green’s luscious grassy garden. After watching the sun set atop one of the highest points in the city, dine on homestyle fried chicken sandwiches and shoe-string fries at Cira Green’s elevated, old-fashioned diner joint. Enjoy sensual ambiance as the night goes on with signature cocktails or cozy up for Cira Green’s movie nights under the best view of starry night sky the city has to offer.

3632 Powelton Avenue

United By Blue 3421 Walnut Street

A one stop shop for your morning cup of joe, a hearty breakfast, and sustainable apparel. United By Blue is a local fan favorite for its warm study environment and hub for sustainability. This all-in-one coffee shop never disappoints when it comes to fresh pastries, healthy breakfast options, and Philadelphian traditional breakfasts. Bacon egg and cheese on a Philly muffin. A classic breakfast sandwich with a twist. Everything bagel seasoning on a non-traditional bagel, crispy bacon, and the perfect cheese to egg ratio will leave your tastebuds wanting more.

Rainbow M&M, classic sugar and mint chocolate chip are all specialty cookies that are made to order and hot out of the oven. Make your own classic CocoCrush milkshake mixed with toppings like Nutella, fruity pebbles, or even your choice of a homemade cookie. Top off your sweet tooth by indulging carnival favorites with a Coco-spin like Nutella corndogs and a fried Oreo sundae.

House of Our Own Books 3920 Spruce Street

A hidden gem in the middle of West Philadelphia residences, this bookstore, set in a classic two-story Victorian house, is one worth spending hours exploring. Books of every genre you can think of line the walls and shelves. The narrow, maze-like hallways and cozy nooks and crannies make it seem like a mystery with every turn.


Center City

Plant Store 126 N. 10th Street

Revamp your plant collection at this underappreciated plant paradise. Invest in some $4 leafy bamboo, or splurge on a delicate Bonsai. Head to the back, where you can adorn your newly planted greenery with the largest selection of floral and herbal incense that Chinatown has to offer.

Reading Terminal Market 1136 Arch Street

Reading Terminal Market offers a selection of locally grown and sourced exotic produce, meats and poultry, the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and confections. Some well-known merchants include Bassets Ice Cream, Beiler’s Donuts, DiNic’s, Hershel’s East Side Deli, Old City Coffee, Giunta’s Prime Shop, and Termini Brothers Bakery. You can find a wide variety of restaurants and ingredients to make your next meal from places like Downtown Cheese and Iovine Brothers Produce, as well as houseware items such as plants and kitchenware from Market Blooms and Amy’s Place.

Mustard Greens 622 S 2nd Street

This gem has been serving the freshest recipes since 1992 and is the perfect spot to bring your friends or for a first date. Their most popular dish is the Soft-Shell Crab, but two more dishes you cannot leave without ordering are the Steamed Pork Dumplings and Cantonese Wonton Soup. Be sure to make a reservation and secure a table, especially on weekends, because the restaurant gets packed fast.


Mac Mart 104 S. 18th Street

This woman-owned business started as a food truck on Drexel’s campus, then turned into a storefront three years later in Rittenhouse. Mac Mart elevates classic Mac N’ Cheese to the next level with their specialty macs. Dream of any topping combination, and they most likely have it like crabmeat, pesto, spinach and artichoke dip, and tater tots, just to name a few! Some of their unique dishes include Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac or their popular Honey Sriracha Crispy Chicken Mac.

Cleavers 108 S. 18th Street

In Cleavers’ eyes, there is so much more to Philly Cheesesteaks than cheese whiz, peppers, and onions. At Cleavers, you can choose from different kinds of meats, breads, cheeses, sauces, and toppings for your sandwich. If you’re in the mood for chicken, try their BBQ Cutlet. In the mood for a ribeye? Consider the Effin’ Hot Steak. Don’t forget to pair your sandwich with a side of waffle fries and a milkshake!

KinkShoppe 126 Market Street

Whether traveling solo or with a significant other, indulge in one of Philadelphia’s only inclusive, upscale sex shops! Delve into a welcoming sex-positive environment where employees provide a wealth of knowledge to help you find your pleasure.

North & Northwest Philly Brewerytown Beats 1517 N. Bailey Street

Continental Midtown 1801 Chestnut Street

You can hear the endless laughs and drinks clanking when walking into Continental Midtown. This unique three-story restaurant has not only mouth-watering food like their Szechuan Shoestring Fries and French Onion Soup Dumplings but also an outstanding atmosphere. You can choose to swing in a basket chair on the jet-set mezzanine or relax on the airy rooftop patio while enjoying drinks or entrees. Customer favorites include the Cheesesteak Egg Rolls as an appetizer and Deep-Dish Cookie for dessert!

Elektra Vintage 933 Spring Garden Street

This killer vintage shop offers retro and reworked clothing ranging from the ’70s to the ’00s. Its purple and teal façade calls out to the fun and groovy, and their merchandise does not disappoint. With brands like BabyPhat, Nike, and Bebe, Elektra Vintage has something for everyone’s signature aesthetic. Your perfect statement piece is right through their purple archway!

In need of some fresh vinyl? Look no further! Brewerytown Beats has music lovers of every genre covered. Although specializing in hip hop and funk, this small record shop is packed with 45’s, LPs, and cassettes of all kinds. On occasion, passersby can even enjoy a quick set by a guest DJ right at the shop’s front window.

Lucky Goat 888 N. 26th Street

Right on the corner of 26th and Poplar, you can find the family-owned coffee shop Lucky Goat. The most charming thing about the coffee house is the names of their drinks. Want something spicy? Try “El Diablo,” a fruity mocha beverage infused with cayenne for that extra kick. Feeling sweet? Experience “The Woolly Mammoth,” a blend of dark chocolate, blackberries, and spices that are sure to keep you cozy. The hardest part is choosing which drink to try first.

Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books 5445 Germantown Avenue

Heng Fa Food Market 130 N. 10th Street

Trash your typical grocery store list and renovate your pantry with an exhilarating trip to Chinatown’s traditional market. Experience a wide array of unique, live seafood and kaleidoscopically colorful fruits and veggies spanning from lychee, durian, and pitaya. The bustling environment of this lively market will have you out of breath and your adrenaline pumping, but by the time you check out, your pantry will be refreshed with a new set of cultural delicacies.

Silk City Diner 435 Spring Garden Street

This heart-of-the-neighborhood hangout includes a living room, cozy restaurant, and La Colombe coffee bar. It is a bookstore filled with children’s works and ancient philosophers.

Opened in 1952, Silk City Diner has been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives with Guy Fierri. Indulge in their red wine braised short rib, an herbal, honey-vanilla “Beez in the Trap” cocktail, and top it all off with a traditional diner classic: Silk City homemade apple pie. After dancing the night away on their disco dance floor, recoup and recover the following day by enjoying classic diner brunch fare and butternut squash donuts.


C&C Creamery 5461 Ridge Avenue

Earth-Bread &Brewery 7136 Germantown Avenue

Spot Gourmet Burger 2821 West Girard Avenue

A Drexel native, this gourmet burger shop started as a food cart on our very own campus. Although they swapped their wheels for a storefront, they still serve up some insanely delicious flavor combinations. Their classic Spot Burger is jampacked with bacon, cheddar, pickles, coleslaw, and their very own spot sauce. With the option of sirloin, chicken, or a veggie patty for each burger, everyone will be able to get a taste of their enticing combos.

This eco-friendly, family-owned pub serves one-of-a-kind flatbreads and rotating, house-brewed beers. With a serious commitment to the environment, almost everything is made in-house or sourced locally. From the food to the décor, this is a homey spot that you are sure to enjoy.

This Ice cream stand has been around since 1951. With over 20 assorted flavors of soft serve and hand-dipped ice cream, yogurt, and water ice, plus other novelties, it is no wonder why this wrap-around drive-through has an endless line of customers.

Weavers Way Mercantile 542 Carpenter Lane

Bold Coffee Bar

An eclectic general store that sells vintage furniture and locally made goods, including Mount Airy Candle Co—a blackowned business, makes hand-poured and uniquely scented candles.

1623 Ridge Avenue

Everything from the modern building to the simple packaging and delicious drinks, this newly opened coffee shop knows how to be aesthetically pleasing for all their customers. Their chic space is the perfect place to unwind and relax with a delicious cup of coffee like the Iced Americano or a cup of tea, like the Chai Latte. Bold Coffee Bar is a black and family-owned, LGBTQ-friendly shop that offers seasonal drinks, pastries, bagels, and danishes!


McNally’s Tavern 8634 Germantown Avenue

Home of the iconic, salami-topped cheesesteak sandwich known as the Schmitter®, this family-owned pub, which dates to 1921, is the go-to local spot for both sandwiches and homemade soups. You also cannot go wrong with one of their delicious desserts.

South Philly Philadelphia Magic Gardens

Quick Fixx 1511 South Street

The name speaks for itself. Whether you’re on the go or need a quick meal after a long day, this is the place for you—a menu filled with chef-inspired Italian cuisine. The possibilities are endless, from pasta to salads, flatbreads, wraps, and the build-your-own option. You can also never go wrong with free online delivery.

1020 South Street

Make sure your camera is charged, grab a few friends, and head on over to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. This indoor/ outdoor non-profit museum has multicolored mosaics on every wall and ceiling by local artist Isaiah Zagar. Chairs, doorways, steps, and tires are covered in mosaics. Embrace the possibility of self-expression in this whimsical location.

Termini Bros 1523 S. 8th & 1538 Packer Avenue

Termini Bros, a gold medal pasty winner, has been serving Philadelphia with authentic Italian pastries since 1921 and best known for its fresh, creamy handfilled cannolis. This pastry may be the size of your hand, but the crispy, flavorful shell will leave you wanting “just one more.” It won’t be easy choosing which pastries to bring home as the menu options are endless. From moist, fluffy cupcakes to crispy, buttery cookies that melt in your mouth, Termini Bros has something to satisfy all sweet cravings.

Wax + Wine 1034 Pine Street

This BYOB candle-making experience will bring out your creativity with the ideal group activity. Customers can bring and enjoy their choice of beer or wine and favorite meats, cheeses, and snacks. The price of $50 includes the experience of hand-making two candles. Not 21 years old? You can still bring some snacks, make candles, and create memories.

The Electric Street Mural 1300 S. Percy Street

Famous 4th St Delicatessen 700 S 4th Street

This traditional Jewish deli serves items from homemade pastries and soups to salads and overstuffed sandwiches. The gigantic portions of their Hot Reuben Sandwich and Matzo Ball Soup have been a hit since 1923 at this family-owned deli. Come hungry because their sandwich portions are humongous.

Angelo’s Pizzeria

Jazz up your feed with a few snapshots of the The Electric Street located on South Percy Street. This electrifying mural by David Guinn is one of a kind in the city and makes for the perfect photo-op to either end or begin your night out. Once you fulfill your selfie obligations, follow the trails of tourists two blocks over for some late-night grease at either Pat’s or Geno’s Cheesesteaks.

736 S. 9th Street

Best known for their exceptional square pizza and hoagies, Angelo’s Pizzeria in South Philly has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and David “El Pres” Portnoy’s Best Pizza Reviews. Call ahead and place orders because they sell out fast. Cash only!


Take a Bite of Tel Aviv With Me

Yo u r P h i l l y F o o d G u i d e t o A u t h e n t i c I s r a e l i C u i s i n e Can falafel edge out the cheesesteak as Philly’s number one food? A run-down of Michael Solomonov’s Israeli cuisine empire BY Sally Phillips  ILLUSTRATIONS Kathy Chung


| 1526 Sansom St.

First stop—Goldie, for the freshest and most flavorful falafel your taste buds could want. The menu is so simple yet so exciting. The falafel is perfectly fried and fresh, with no grease to spill, all wrapped within a warm, soft pita. Pair it with a Tahini milkshake. That’s all. These HIT different. I highly recommend trying the mint chocolate tahini milkshake, as it’s intensely flavorful and has a great consistency. Make it a proper meal with shwarma spiced fries. The delicately spiced shwarma pairs so well with the tehina shake, combining both the sweet, refreshing taste of mint, the warming kick of spice with the perfect amount of crunch in every fry.


| 1623 Sansom St.

K’Far 110 S 19th St.

Abe Fisher

I would wait in line for a century for the Jerusalem bagel with salmon and a delightful pistachio sticky bun, the ultimate sweet treat. The bagel will have you begging for more, between the savory and salty smoked salmon and the warm, crispy elongated bagel. Do yourself a favor and grab a Chocolate Rugelach. Each layer of dough hides the moist, rich, and delicate flavor of chocolate inside. If there’s anything that I love more than carbs, it’s everything bagel seasoning. The potato boureka, a dough-based flaky pastry stuffed with various fillings, has the ideal amount of warmth and softness on the inside and a perfect crispy crunch on the outside, coated with everything bagel seasoning for the ultimate sensation of flavors.

The cozy environment at Abe Fisher’s reminds me of the feeling of my grandmother’s homemade cooking on a cold wintry night; snug and cozy and the freshest Jewish comfort food. The combination of old-world dishes and new world spices brings the nostalgic and the current together. I am not much of a meat-lover; however, the Montreal Short Ribs are a game-changer. With one bite, you taste the juicy, fatty meat that carelessly melts away in your mouth, only to leave you wanting more. But before you dig into the ribs, I suggest you order the Breads and Spreads dish, which comes with the densest and buttery challah bread, marble rye, and crisps. Abe Fisher is excellent for when the family is in town or a perfect date night spot.



| 1625 Sansom St.

Probably the best to-go hummus in all of Philly. The amount of hummus you get is perfect if you’re trying to save it for a few days or share it with a friend. Nevertheless, I won’t judge you if you eat the entire thing in one sitting because, yeah, IT’S THAT GOOD. The hummus is creamy and light, and the pita is so warm and fluffy that you’ll want to wrap yourself in it (at least I know I do). If you’re not in the mood for hummus, I recommend the Shakshuka, a classic Mediterranean dish consisting of a hearty fried egg on top of a base of perfectly spiced and creamy tomato sauce, served with za’atar sprinkled pita.



237 St James Pl.

Having been awarded a handful of James Beard Awards, the experience between the atmosphere and the food at Zahav is exceptional. With Zahav meaning “gold” in Hebrew, I can assure you that you will feel like King Midas. I recommend ordering the “Tayim” tasting menu. Your first dish includes the salatim (salads) and hummus with laffa, featuring a handful of small, eclectic vegetables and a warm, moist middle eastern flatbread. Next is the two mezze plates, which you get to choose yourself; however, I suggest ordering the utterly crispy fried cauliflower. Now for the Al Ha’esh, which is the main dish grilled over coals. If you’re into fish, get the branzino, with a harissa dressing and cucumber, giving your tastebuds a sense of spice and refreshment. To top off the meal, get the chocolate konafi, a thin, shredded treat superbly sweet and succulent.


| 1218 Sansom St.

Merkaz is similar to both Dizengoff and Goldie, as it also serves up traditional Israeli street food. However, instead of strictly hummus and falafel, they focus on more expansive middle eastern cuisine street foods such as shakshuka and za’atar toast (UGH YUM), and more pita sandwiches with spices that make you sweat in the best way possible. In just a few minutes, you could be holding a warm eggplant sabich in your hands, which will undoubtedly help you take on the day! I also recommend getting the cauliflower pita sandwich—cooked to a perfect crisp and doused in shawarma spice, consisting of cinnamon, chili, garlic, turmeric, and black pepper.


Federal Donuts 3428 Sansom St. Grab your wallet because we’re about to treat ourselves brilliantly. One bite of these dense, flavorful fluffy, and mouthwatering doughnuts will have you catapulted into heaven. The banana doughnut drizzled with PB + J is nostalgia drenched and sweet. If you’re not in the mood for frosting, I am telling you that you need to try the hot strawberry lavender donut. No, it’s not sizzling hot, nor is it spicy, but warmed up perfectly. A sensation of sugary flavors hit the spot. Unbelievably fresh, these flawlessly flaky doughnuts will satisfy your sweet tooth for sure. Despite being known for their doughnuts, it’s probably best if you go all in and order the fried chicken sandwich too. Packed with one boneless chicken breast, savory buttermilk ranch seasoning, gooey American cheese, sweet dill pickles, and spicy rooster sauce with a bit of a kick, all combined onto a Martins potato roll.

Laser Wolf

| 1301 N Howard St.

Welcome to the newest of the Solomonov pack. Located near Fishtown, Laser Wolf’s space gives off a chic middle eastern vibe. You can’t eat there without having the classic deliciously creamy hummus served with fluffy, warm pita. I suggest starting with the Tuna Tartare, as it is so light and refreshing, and to contrast that is the heat from the fiery Yemini Schug sauce that creeps right in. The chicken skewers with harissa are something else— prepared to perfection and impeccably succulent. If that doesn’t interest you, I can guarantee that the branzino will, although I recommend grabbing a friend to share this dish with you because it’s meant for two people. Served as an entire white fish—head to tail—the branzino is grilled over charcoal and packed with a delicious zesty puree. The crispy fish skin is perfectly succulent and flaky, pairing well with the rest of the salatim dishes and warm, creamy hummus.

Between the hummusiya, the sweats, and the dining experience, there is truly something wonderful about having these exotic food spaces right here in our city. B’tayavon!


Learning How to Read Turn a chore into a hobby; these three easy steps will provide you with the means to become a stronger reader.

BY Adam Netburn PHOTOGRAPHY Nakhyia Abrams


Every time I try and read, I fall fast asleep. At this point, I use it to my advantage. If you can’t sleep in the middle of the night, do what I do, 1–2 pages of Virginia Woolf, and you don’t have to count sheep ever again. It is not just at night—the middle of a day, on a long car ride, anywhere! I cannot keep myself awake while turning a page. While I blamed myself for a while, wondering why I cannot stay awake to even the best page-turners, to my surprise, I learned that most Gen Zer’s (as well as most generations these days) are afflicted with the same plight. No one can read. I want to be a reader. I want to enjoy the works of Jack Kerouac without the fear of missing my train stop on my morning commute. I’ve committed to some investigation and found that there is hope after all! Reading is a skill, and like all others, it is one to be honed through practice. Developing patience and strengthening concentration is how we all can become better readers. There is a big buzzing distraction in most people’s pockets that makes us terrible readers. What makes this worse for Generation Z is that the sections of the brain used in reading are not exercised to their fullest as fewer and fewer young people only read posts and memes. The lack of long-form comprehension and analytical skills results in what some experts refer to as a “short-circuit” of the brain.

The solution is more straightforward than it seems. Cut out the distractions and train your brain like a pro. It’s going to take a bit of effort at the beginning to stay focused, but it will ultimately get easier. There are three significant adjustments, with several ways to do them, that anyone can do to improve reading skills.

1 2 3

Lean into your shortcomings. Take advantage of short attention spans and over-stimulated habits to read more. Read as a distraction or as a break. Read 1–2 pages, and eventually, you’ll find yourself hooked. Read shorter form writing such as essays, poems, short stories, or just shorter books in general. Not having such a daunting and heavy task in front of you can make reading much more approachable. Listen to books. While this isn’t reading, you can use it to train yourself into becoming a better reader by improving your attention span and forming positive habits. Read multiple books at once. If you’re in the middle of one book and you can’t find the motivation to read it that day, choose another one. Variety can prevent getting burnt out and tired of reading.

Make it a habit. Build a routine and structure to hold yourself accountable for your new reading goals. Make a set time to read every day; whether it’s the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing at night, a routine helps. Committing to a set amount of time spent reading a day builds the habit of reading. Just like getting your steps in, you will find yourself checking to make sure you made your daily page count goals. Find ways to build it into your life. If you commute and can read during travel time, or even if you have a time of day where you constantly find yourself starring down into your phone, try replacing it with a book. Lastly, if all else fails, you can count on others to hold you accountable. Get a book buddy or even participate in a book club. If you cannot do it for yourself, do it for somebody else.

Become a book person. Incorporate reading and book culture into your life to aid in your reading. Changing your lifestyle into one of a reader, or even faking it till you make it, will turn you into a reader. Buying used and cheap books is a great way to start your collection while also forcing yourself to commit to the books. Don’t be afraid to give up on a book; if a book is not for you, move on to one that is. Forcing yourself to finish a book you don’t enjoy will draw out the process and leave less time for the books that count. Always carry your book with you. You can always find those little minutes in the day that you could be reading instead of scrolling mindlessly.

After all those steps, you will become a marathon reader and, ultimately, a person with more robust understanding and analytical skills. Congratulations! If you made it this far in the article, you’re one step closer to fighting short-circuiting brain and becoming a lifelong reader.





Transcend beyond the numbers and take what resonates. A collection of perspectives that run the line between earth and the cosmos. Scan the QR codes to hear the voice of microcosm. CURATED BY Nakhyia Abrams & Adam Netburn







SK ATE SHAW TY Skaters Stephanie, Samiha, and friends on finding a home in the skate park, their toughest tricks and roughest tumbles all with a flash of style.

BY Indee Phillpotts and Caitlin Shi PHOTOGRAPHY Alex Aronson SKATERS Vidya Golla, Carly Whiten, Samiha Hadeed, Hannah Pang, Julia Santos, Rana Joukhai, Kelly Kriesgshauser


I remember the first day I went to a skatepark and met my people


90% of skating is falling.

Starting on a borrowed board and in an empty school parking lot, Samiha has been skating for almost two years. “I remember the first day I went to a skatepark and met my people,” she says about her transition from the neighborhood elementary to the real deal. The stigma around female skaters at a skate park can be off-putting, but a welcoming group greeted Samiha. “I didn’t expect such a community.” A new skater’s dream! For a sport with a high potential of falling, a sound support system is vital. Whether you’re a vert or street skater, falling doesn’t ever get less scary. “You just get used to being scared,” says Samiha. If you ask any skater, they’ll have a story to tell about their biggest fall. Samiha’s happens to end with her board falling in the Delaware River. “You have to learn how to fall; 90% of skateboarding is falling.” Although that may sound scary, that 10% of landing it makes it all worth it. The New York girls skate group, Skate Kitchen, has helped make skate fashion the trend du jour. With their mad skills and eclectic styles, it’s no wonder HBO approached them to be the stars of both a movie and a television show. This attention has resulted in a spotlight on female skaters. As far as fits go, comfort is critical. T-shirts, baggy pants, and beanies seem to be a popular choice for skaters all around including brands like Dickies, Carhartt, and Adidas, to name a few. But having fun with your look, especially for women, is still essential. With skateboarding becoming a much more inclusive sport, it’s empowering to see women claiming space in the once male-dominated activity. “Commit, commit, commit” is Samiha’s advice. No matter what you’re doing, landing a trick, finding your style, or even making a move to go to the parks, putting your all into skating is what gets you rolling.


If you would’ve asked me a year ago, I would’ve never imagined myself skating


Getting comfortable with failing and having that push you to try harder

You have to learn how to fall

Commit, Commit, Commit.

In a year of lockdowns one shop stayed open— Mom and Dad’s closet. BY Caitlin Shi


A Generation’s


Past Elizabeth’s grandma’s mod orange dress from the ’60s


Maura is channeling her inner Cher at Studio 54


Elizabeth is wearing her mom’s three piece suit from the ’80s


Indee is wearing Caitlin’s mom’s vintage Miss Sixty shirt from the ’90s.


United Utility 52  D&M MAGAZINE

Utilitarian, natural-toned staples define the uncertainty of the future. Soft, dependable, and trustworthy denim leads a minimalistic, timeless approach in an ever-changing world.

BY Zara Barrett PHOTOGRAPHY Gabriella Rizzo  MODELS Maryrose and Mikey Babyak *All looks were thrifted to explore sustainability, and embrace circularity.



Overalls and vest Carhartt Jean vest Levi’s Strauss & Co. Shorts Union Bay Shirt Eddie Bauer Sneakers Nike


Jacket Max Jeans, Carmar Jeans H&M, Old Navy Jewelry Vintage Blouse Free Press



F a s h i o n R e v o l u t i o n BY Zara Barrett and Khalita Jarmon   PHOTOGRAPHY Natalie Pavluk

Fashion is culture made material by reflecting the world in our clothing. The #metoo black dress or pantsuits show how fashion challenges social norms and cultural attitudes. The 1960s was one of the most tumultuous eras, from global wars to social movements. This pivotal decade saw the merging of youthful minds, liberated social attitudes, and unparalleled fashion trends. The 2020s is in many ways just as tumultuous. Today’s youth confront entrenched social norms and lead the charge through accountability, listening, and speaking out. And again, their original style reflects the signs of the times. At the forefront of today’s revolution, these expressive individuals appreciate the past, rebel against the present, and fight for a better future.


Pro-Feminism Today, most people would not think twice about a woman wearing a suit or a bowtie or even the latest men’s sneaker. However, there is still a stigma surrounding feminism and what it truly means. To be a feminist means that you believe in the equality of everyone, regardless of sex. For such a simple concept, it is often dramatically misunderstood. It is time to change the status quo and continue to push the boundaries of what is and should be acceptable in a culture rooted in patriarchy and sexism. Fashion has had a significant influence on social movements by opening the door and allowing everyone to dress however they want. Gender norms in the fashion industry are constantly being deconstructed and redefined. For Yaz, fashion has allowed her to express herself without having to say a word. She loves a feminine top and accessories paired with baggy pants and sneakers. Mixing womenswear and menswear is her favorite thing to do, and it is how she feels most comfortable. She says, “I am very into streetwear and its culture, so being in and working in a male-dominated area of the fashion industry, I feel more like myself and more powerful dressing the way that I do. It should not be a crime if I see a Jordan 4 and want to wear it (but that goes into another discussion about the lack of women’s sizes in sneaker culture)! Women are continuously pushing the boundaries in street style culture; I mean, look at Vashtie & Aleali May!” When it comes to the pro-feminist movement, Yaz appreciates and respects brands that don’t specifically have a “women’s” or “men’s” section. To her, it is just clothes. “It is always nice to see designers use their platform to promote social injustices like BLM, women’s rights, support for the LGBTQIA+ community, sustainability, etc.,” she says, “Fashion also allows you to understand and learn about other’s identities and cultures and that’s a beautiful thing.”


Fashion For All

When people are comfortable in what they are wearing, they can be their authentic selves. Fashion has always been an outlet to reject cultural and societal norms. It has been pivotal in broadening and changing viewpoints and continues to be a catalyst for change. A more inclusive narrative has become paramount and more designers have to be okay with disrupting the status quo and amplifying the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community. Brandon, a person who identifies as non-binary, finds ways to express themself through fashion. For Brandon, style is all about eliciting confidence, even if it’s just dressing up for a Zoom call. For Phil, eliciting that “Why is he wearing THAT?” moment is the goal for his fashion choices. Knowing that his self-expression simultaneously confuses and excites people gives him a feeling of self-fulfillment. Fashion has allowed him to differentiate himself, destroy others’ preconceived assumptions, and signal to others that it is more than okay to transgress against what is considered normal.


“As I grew up, I learned to never silence my voice.” Raised in a biracial family in an all-white town was not easy for Olivia Foster. “What was I” was a recurring question in approaching the racially fueled microaggressions during her childhood. Olivia believes that BLM is more than a movement; it’s a human rights issue. Black Lives Matter is about being pro-black. It’s also advocating for fair access to housing, food, and education, in addition to solving the inadequacies the black community faces. In support of the cause, Olivia has made an impactful change by voting with her dollar to purchase from small, Philly fashion designers providing proceeds to BLM, Philly Bail Fund, and others. A favorite brand, The Phenomenal Woman, is an action campaign founded by Kamala Harris’ niece, supporting campaigns from TGI Justice to The Breonna Taylor Foundation. Olivia dresses based on her mood, but her classic style is streetwear chic, with “boots, boots, and more boots.” As she expresses herself through modeling, she has found herself doing her own makeup, styling, and dressing for photoshoots.

Black Lives Matter


Inclusivity & Body Confidence

No matter the shape or size, all bodies are accepted and loved. Breaking the “normal” body type barrier is the first step in inclusivity, believes Emily Baik. Ryan Mouraview trusts that embracing your body and loving all of your flaws is what’s important. Both individuals celebrate their bodies in many ways, including hot yoga, fashion choices, self-care nights, or nutritious foods. “Accepting my own body, supporting others, and promoting self-love is how I advocate for body positivity,” says Emily. They are also fortunate to be members of sororities that support body positivity as well. They engage in activities such as a dedicated ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) week, scale-smashing, and throwing away their insecurities. Self-love advocacy doesn’t stop there. They look up to Sienna Mae on TikTok, who promotes positive body images as she demonstrates the faults in photo angles that challenge public perception. “It is so important to advocate for body positivity not only for yourself, but for your sisters, girlfriends, classmates, moms, and grandma’s.” PICTURED ABOVE Emily Baik, Kelly Franz, Hanley Higgins, Ryan Mouraview, Mollie Stone, Bianca Vogel & Gillian Worosilla


We’ve come a long way without having to wear skirts and heels.


SOCIAL MEDIA SOCIAL CHANGE How digital platforms ignite gen Z’s passion for change. BY Avery Klondar & Lindsay Uber  PHOTOGRAPHY Natalie Pavluk Every generation has its political focus, and Generation Z is no different. However, this generation becomes informed, engaged, organized, and amplified through digital platforms. Student-led digital activism has become an empowering catalyst for social change. Millennials and Generation Z make up the largest share of eligible voters, with a majority living in an urban setting such as Philadelphia. On Drexel’s campus, digital activists are making their voices heard. In the summer of 2020, the Black at Drexel Instagram page was created anonymously in response to the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and also in response to Drexel’s lack of action following these events. After George Floyd’s death, Drexel waited four days to make a statement, sparking outrage among students as many felt a comment took too long to be delivered. Following Drexel’s initial email, the Black at Drexel official statement read, “there was a community discussion regarding racism which turned out to be more administrative-centered rather than student-centered…we would have preferred for it to be a time for the university to listen to our experiences with racism at the institution.” Black at Drexel emerged as a place where students, specifically Black, People of Color, and Indigenous students, could voice their stories in a safe space. This account quickly took off with students to share their stories anonymously using the google form in the account’s bio. Black at Drexel’s following quickly surpassed 1,000 followers as students felt like there was finally a platform to broadcast their voices. Soon after Black at Drexel’s creation, students began messaging the account asking for another platform – Me Too Drexel. When asked to create the Me Too account, its founder felt that “being a victim of rape myself and a black woman the intersectionality [of that page] really called out to me because I can’t be here and publish stories about Black people and not have a place for women


like myself who have been victims of rape, assault, and harassment… it shows the need that Drexel clearly wasn’t providing for women and men because there have been men featured on that page.” The Me Too movement was started as a platform to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault, give survivors a voice and provide a community. Me Too Drexel launched as a way for students to talk about their own experiences with sexual assault. This account’s founder feels that this page is liberating for students. They can safely share their stories without worrying about being shamed or stigmatized, adding that “it’s a tool that people have been very excited to use.” Me Too Drexel lets students know that they are not alone and that there are people who support and believe their stories, which is critical for those who feel ignored and failed by the system. For many people, therapy and counseling are not enough; having a larger support group is how people heal because there is power in community. The creators of these two accounts feel like students are gravitating towards political Instagram accounts because traditional media is perceived as divisive. They think that the younger generation wants unbiased, factual news, which accounts like @soyouwanttotalkabout can deliver. A singular person or small team typically runs these accounts, and the information they present comes across as genuine. Between the election and pandemic, as well as civil rights, social justice, and women’s rights movements, these accounts aim to educate followers and offer news in easy-to-read bites that users can skim. The owner of the accounts—@metoodrexel and @blackatdrexel—feel that their number one priority is

“having a place for people to go and tell their stories on Drexel’s campus.” They go on to state, “yes they have a hotline, yes they have people in the Office of Equity and Diversity, and yes there’s a counseling center, but as these resources have failed students over and over again in the stories that we’ve seen, so students are left to figure it out… people feel liberated through the account by sharing their story, but it shouldn’t end there. Once you share your story, there should be a forum where you can talk to other people and feel supported—there should be a university—sponsored one. It’s not as simple as saying, ‘yes, this happened, yes I talked to someone, and then move on.’” The responsibility of sharing these stories should not solely be on students. Drexel has an obligation to the well-being of its students to facilitate the process. The Drexel administrator leading the charge is Patience Foster-Ajoff, the Executive Director for Inclusive Culture at the university. Her background at the university includes seven years of being an academic advisor, working closely with students. Foster-Ajoff touched on her role as an administrator, noting that as faculty members, you never have the option to do nothing when stories like those shared on @metoodrexel or @blackatdrexel arise. She explains that “We look at those posts, and in some cases, if we can identify some of the groups named, we have pursued action at the university level. Regardless of how we find out that harm was caused on a student, we talk about if there is something that we can do to prevent this from happening.” When asked about the future of the university’s plans as it relates to bridging the gap between university policies, Foster-Ajoff noted that “students have been speaking



up and faculty have been listening. I have been engaging with departments to see how they can be more inclusive. The university is embarking on a 10-year strategic plan. It is completely different than what it has been in the past. It indicates anti-racism and equity. They are not add-ons; they are central to the plan. We will relate this to how we hold people accountable and how we strategize life in and out of the classroom.” One of the university’s key players assisting with sustaining these goals and policies is Maurice Cottman, the director of Drexel’s Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion office (SCDI). The office’s goal is to create a safe space for students, specifically minority students, and educate the campus on diversity and inclusion. Cottman, a Philly native, started at the SCDI in 2017 when it was only a department of one. Since his start, the SCDI moved from the Creese Student Center basement to the second floor of the Rush Building to accommodate the growing department and make its home in a more prominent, visible part of campus. Cottman’s role is to oversee the 40–50 programs the Office of Diversity and Inclusion put on a year. Programs center around a specific theme or identity, such as LGBTea, the annual Drag Show, mental health panels, and Chai Chats. In addition to programming, this office also oversees 68 student organizations and offers students things like free menstrual products, hand sanitizer, condoms, lubricants, hand warmers, and identity buttons. Cottman has seen a shift in Drexel student activism from his tenure in the department, adding, “Drexel students don’t lack opinions.” When asked about the increase in political Instagram accounts, Cottman agreed that he’d seen a “100% rise” in these types of accounts. He feels they are an essential tool in giving power back to the student body while also offering them a safe space to voice their stories. He adds, “being able to express yourself freely without worrying about repercussions is part one free speech but part two being able to articulate the things you see and experience because too often in higher education people want to tell each and every one of you what you need and deserve as opposed to listening to what you want and deserve.” Cottman stays educated with the matters that the student body discusses by increasing outreach to the accounts run by students, organizations, and individual students. One of the student activists that Cottman has often worked with is Tianna Williams, a junior at Drexel University studying mechanical engineering technology. Tianna is currently the President of Drexel University’s Black Action Committee, the co-chair for the Undergraduate Student Life Committee on Drexel’s Anti-Racism Task Force, and the Vice President of the Society for Black Engineers. The Drexel Black Action Committee is an organization that aims to educate students on black activism, culture, and challenges. “With the knowledge that we gain,” Williams explains, “we hope to develop young leaders and activists that can influence change where possible within the black community, focusing on the surrounding Philadelphia area.” Williams has used her involvement in these student

organizations to propel her voice as a citizen and Drexel student. She has attended protests and vigils in Philadelphia and described the protests as being overtly powerful in effect, often empowering those who partake in the effort. Like many students, Williams struggles with the idea that protests are even necessary avenues in the first place because, as she describes it, “we have to advocate for our right to live equitably amongst others.” The Drexel student body has been supportive of the goals for the Drexel Black Action Committee and Anti-Racism Task Force, which includes elevating the voices of marginalized student populations, making an impact through actionable change on campus, and inspiring the administration to take the recommendations that they make for diversity and inclusion. They also hope to encourage students to learn how to speak up for themselves in public settings, whether in the virtual space, in-person at protests, or other community events. Williams says that the Drexel Black Action Committee has focused on reviewing the Drexel police. The Committee has asked the Drexel administration to abolish the Drexel Police and advocate for its marginalized student groups. The Instagram account has also been an avid supporter of sharing social awareness posts reminding followers to vote, reviewing community policies, honoring those lost to police brutality, and attending accountability Zoom calls with other students and community members. This generation’s quest for social change often feeds into the idea of cancel culture, which can do more harm than good if used rashly. Cottman explains, “A great deal of people who talk of canceling other people also are trying to impose some type of change. If you cancel something, you actually don’t change it; you just eradicate it. A lot of people think that if you cancel something, a phoenix will rise out of the embers, but that is not typically what will happen.” Cancel culture can be dangerous if not strategically used. In fact, without having a plan in place, it can do more harm than good. Cottman explains, “Typically if you take something away, you must replace it with something almost immediately in order for it to be successful…people read headlines and think that they know what the article says, so things end up being canceled on such a surface level.” Without some sort strategy in place, Cottman warns us, “hate will continue to form because we eradicate people, but we fail to educate them.” When it comes to using social media to create social change, students lead the charge—determined to have their voices heard. The younger, tech-savvy generations have proven that social media is an effective tool for disseminating information and mobilizing people. The rise of social justice-driven Instagram accounts has given students an outlet to voice their opinions and grievances and create a community of like-minded peers in the process. Rather than cancel people or things, student activists must continue to focus their efforts on creating lasting change, pushing for new policies and procedures, and having plans in place that will persist.



Fashioning a Better Future As future leaders in the fashion industry, we must address overconsumption and its effect on our natural resources. BY Julie Donohue  ILLUSTRATION Zara Barrett

In the age of Amazon two-day shipping and YouTube hauls, our obsession with “the next big thing” has gone into overdrive. Overconsumption has only gotten worse over the years, with Americans producing more than 30% of the planet’s waste. Our disposable, single-use society contributes to severe environmental issues such as water contamination, air pollution, habitat destruction, and global warming. More than 65% of what we throw away winds up in landfills where hazardous chemicals leak into our water supply! A significant culprit of this waste is fast fashion. The fashion industry is a $3 trillion industry where every aspect of production, from sourcing materials to end-of-life, yields a large amount of waste and creates devastating environmental issues. 15% of scraps from a garments’ production end up on the cutting room floor and later into landfills. This waste is a significant percentage as manufacturers produce 150 billion garments each year, enough for 20 new garments for every person on the planet. Wastewater gets dumped into nearby rivers where toxic chemicals contaminate the rivers and oceans and hurt underwater environments. Factory fumes pollute the air, making it hazardous to breathe without proper protection. Americans throw away on average 70 lbs. of textiles per person every year; we keep fast fashion garments an average of 35 days and only wear them five times. Outsourcing production from other countries yields increases in carbon emissions from shipping overseas. One container ship can produce as many cancer and asthma-causing pollutants as 50 cars in one year. In Indonesia, clothing manufacturers dump lead, mercury, arsenic, and other toxic chemicals into the Citarum River. These chemicals can burn human flesh and are deadly to aquatic life. Furthermore, when we wash our clothing, microfibers are shed from synthetic clothes; this ends up in the water and gets into our water and food supply. We are future leaders of the industry. Our responsibility to our community does not end with being model consumers. We also recognize that sharing our industry knowledge is just the beginning. Embracing change and supporting the advancement of best practices for sustainability is the necessary action to be taken. Whether that is cutting out single-use plastic, exclusively shopping second-hand, keeping in check our consumer habits, or being examples to our peers. The climate will not wait for us to change our habits before it gets worse.


SUST 101:

Fundamentals of a Sustainable Institution Student and alumni leaders at Drexel push for a more earth-centric mission. BY Avery Klondar

An institution like Drexel University must have a positive impact on the future. Issues such as sustainability, combating climate change, the overall well-being of our neighboring communities, and food insecurity are at the forefront. Recognizing this need, student leaders are stepping up. Whether through student activism, joining organizations that focus on protecting the environment, or following social media accounts that promote positive actions for slowing climate change, the student body is now more engaged than ever in taking vital action. Tim Hanlon, a biology major with a minor in neuroscience and a writing and publishing certificate, is one of the many students leading the university’s charge for sustainable initiatives. Hanlon is no stranger to the world of student involvement. He is currently the student body president, an active member of the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), and chair of the sustainability committee at Drexel University. As a new student at Drexel, Hanlon


noticed that there weren’t any recycling bins in the dining halls or around campus. In his hometown in Pittsburgh’s suburbs, there was always a recycling bin next to every trash can in the neighborhood, while Drexel had none. This absence prompted him to reach out to President Fry, requesting a change. After meeting with Fry and other administrators, Hanlon established regular meetings with dining services to discuss the implementation of sustainable initiatives to limit food waste and increase opportunities to compost or recycle. Word got around within USGA, and two students messaged him about creating an office for sustainability. Hanlon was elected to become the sustainability committee chair his junior year, oversaw the removal of Styrofoam cups and waste-promoting food trays, and implemented reusable takeout containers. For Hanlon, “Sustainability is ensuring longevity of not only resources but the environment and future of our communities in an effort to create a positive change.” With this goal in mind, he set out to create an office

of sustainability for the university. He collected over 2000 signatures from students, faculty, alumni, student organizations, and sustainability offices from neighboring universities. With the petition finalized, the sustainability committee led a presentation for numerous Drexel University administration members regarding development plans for an office. The Drexel administration was highly supportive and encouraged the office to be the principal oversight committee for an overarching strategy to make all aspects of the Drexel community as sustainable as possible. “An Office of Sustainability,” their mission reads, “is a university’s commitment to advance green campus culture, execute a progressive, sustainable agenda, better the surrounding community, and engage students with environmental literacy to live a smarter, cleaner life after college.” Their mission provides a stronger united front in the fight to create more sustainable initiatives on campus because it will connect policy to the community. The office offers a more centralized tracker to activities across campus, identifying synergies in offerings, holding the community accountable to previous goals for sustainable efforts, encouraging the community to build on these efforts, and checking on new campus activities to make sure that they are sustainable. The work does not stop there. The committee has a series of short-term and long-term goals to ensure successful implementation of the steps needed to become a truly sustainable campus. Hanlon explains, “The short term is to figure out how to really best structure the office. The Academy of Natural Sciences is also forming a sustainably-minded group, that will eventually be more of an umbrella for campus collaboration in terms of students, faculty, and alumni working together.” The Office of Sustainability will focus more on Drexel University’s infrastructure and determine actionable steps that the university can implement. The long-term goal is for the Office of Sustainability to one day have the means to lead the larger umbrella group. Within the Drexel University community, a non-profit called Sharing Excess has helped further sustainability goals. Evan Ehlers founded Sharing Excess during his third year on Drexel’s campus while studying entrepreneurship and innovation. “It was really just a random opportunity of making an impact with just my own personal excess that started everything,” Ehlers says about his back story,” I

Sustainability is ensuring longevity of not only resources, but the environment and future of our communities had fifty meal swipes left in my dining plan at the end of the quarter, and I made a spur of the moment decision to swipe them out, essentially making use of a resource that was going to go to waste. There were only two days left in the quarter, so by the end of those two days, those 50 meal swipes would have eventually disappeared and become wasted. I swiped them all out, put the food in the back of my car, drove into Center City, and gave the food out to those in need.” Spawning from that initial act of kindness, Sharing Excess became an official non-profit. Ehlers explains that “I really want to make it useful for others and scale that human compassion to a level that is able to eradicate basic human issues in the community.” Sharing Excess relies on college students and the university to make their model more scalable. Institutions educate their community that quality food should not go to waste, that it is possible to have zero waste, and composting is an option. Sharing Excess has also provided volunteering opportunities and collaborations for students outside of Drexel, including Temple University, St. Joseph’s University, and the University of Pittsburgh. On Drexel’s campus alone, Sharing Excess has partnered with over ninety students in the Civic 101 course to arrange food pickups from small businesses and dining halls. Excess food gets distributed throughout the community to areas most in need and where Sharing Excess partners with grassroots organizations, other non-profits, local churches, universities, and community centers. Looking towards the future of sustainability, Ehlers shares the non-profits long-term goals, “We definitely want to go national and create a template that can be used in other areas. We’re trying to make this something that is easier for people to do everywhere and really trying to cast a wide net. We believe that there is power in numbers. The reason that this problem is not solved yet is because the people who are doing really great work are really in the minority. This is something that we should all feel personally responsible for—helping our own communities and reducing our own food waste”. Generation Z prides itself on is making a positive future impact, especially when it comes to sustainability. The Drexel community has begun to take vital steps, but there is still a ways to go. It is the responsibility of the individual and the community to work together towards these shared goals. For Tim Hanlon and Evan Ehlers, the fight for a more equitable and inclusive world is not possible in a world that is not sustainable.


Sustainably Clean BY Elizabeth Myers  PHOTOGRAPHY James Lewis

We naturally assume that cleaning products help us stay safe, and after living through a pandemic, who can blame us? However, many cleaning products are harmful to the environment and our health, creating massive amounts of waste and releasing toxins into the air. Keeping your home clean and staying safe does not mean you should have to sacrifice personal safety or sustainability.

Top 5 Essentials

5 Chemicals to Avoid

Method Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner


This non-toxic all-purpose formula packs a punch against grime and is perfect for home, kitchen or bathroom. All Method brand products are made from biodegradable ingredients, have sustainable packaging, and are cruelty-free. Available at Target and CVS, $3.49 for a 28 oz bottle.

Better Life General Purpose Microfiber Cloth Microfiber cloths are a lifesaver alternative to using paper towels and wipes. The combination of using these with a spritz of the Method Antibacterial All-Purpose Cleaner will leave your house sparkling. These reusable cloths are biodegradable and come in recycled packaging. Available at Amazon and cleanhappens.com, $7.99 for a pack of 5.

Honest Hand Sanitizer Gel Honest Hand Sanitizer Gel is the perfect size to quickly pop in your purse when you are on the go. The fresh scents mask the clinical smell that most sanitizers offer. The sanitizer is made with aloe­—and without any parabens or synthetic fragrances—keeping your hands clean and soft. Available at Walgreens and honest.com, $3.45 for 2 oz.

Meyer’s Hand Soap The best-smelling seasonal scents will leave you feeling festive during the holiday season and refreshed in the spring and summer. This hand soap leaves you confident when constant hand washing is necessary. All Meyer’s products are cruelty-free, use recycled packaging, and have no parabens or phthalates. Available at Target, $3.99 for 12.5 oz.

Tory Burch Reusable Face Masks Face masks are essential to stop the spread of any illnesses. Thousands of disposable masks have already made their way into the ocean, so why not opt for a reusable one instead? Tory Burch masks are moisture-wicking and perfect for long-hour days. All proceeds of these masks are donated to the International Medical Corps to help end the spread of COVID-19 and the Tory Burch Foundation, which helps advance women entrepreneurs. Available at toryburch.com, $35 for a pack of 5.


Found in bathroom cleaners and laundry whiteners. It is a respiratory irritant and serious thyroid disruptor.


Found in kitchen and multi-purpose cleaner. It causes sore throats and, in extreme cases, severe kidney and liver damage.


Common in bathroom and glass cleaners. Repeated exposure can lead to asthma and chronic bronchitis.


Found in Antibacterial cleaners. Triclosan is carcinogenic, disrupts hormonal function, and is toxic to plant life when dumped in rivers.


A common chemical in fabric and spot cleaner. Perchloroethylene is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen. It often causes dizziness and loss of coordination.

PAY UP Can a movement started on social media hold brands accountable for refusing to pay garment workers? It can and it did. BY Elizabeth Myers and Lindsay Uber

Back in March 2020, at the start of COVID-19, when stores started to close and online sales slowed down, leading fashion brands refused to pay for an estimated $40 billion worth of finished clothing. The refusal led to millions of laid-off garment workers without pay at a time of economic crisis. After the Center for Global Workers’ Rights at Penn State published research on this issue, #PayUP emerged and went viral, receiving over 270,000 signatures on their first petition. #PayUP helped pay $22 billion owed to garment factories from twenty-one fashion companies. With popular fashion giants like H&M and Gap getting called out, how can consumers place trust in a brand’s ethical behavior? Conversely, is it a brand’s job to speak out about issues that are happening in the industry? Aishwarya Bahl, a brand ambassador at ReMake, an organization committed to putting an end to fast fashion focusing on respect for women and the planet, believes that millennials or Gen Zers will purchase a brand’s products if they believe in the brand’s ethics. Tessa Beltrano, a Community Organizer at ReMake, stated that a brand should speak out in an informative way, not just by posting on Instagram. What

matters is the measures a brand is taking internally. Bahl notes that it is usually the smaller brands focusing on sustainability that voice their beliefs. More prominent brands are often afraid of losing any customers of a different demographic if they speak out. In the view of Bahl, a large brand’s silence means they are complicit. Bahl believes that these issues are “the very foundation of human rights and no brand should shy away from that conversation” that it is “essential for brands to serve a bigger purpose in the community.”

it is essential for brands to serve a bigger purpose in the community Brands can also benefit from speaking out on these issues and using this conversation to bond with their consumer. “Investing in a brand that they feel connected to, consumers feel successful and happy,” Bahl states; this connection typically leads to a potential purchase. Beltrano believes that speaking out on issues and practicing fair guidelines by caring for and respecting their employees helps ensure a brand’s longevity. It helps maintains a brand’s relevancy within the movement for full sustainability in the fashion industry. It makes an impact on the community and individual level, explains Beltrano, “amplifying these movements with these brands that have a large following have a chance to reach a huge audience, much bigger than the average individual.” With Millennials and Gen Z unafraid to call out and cancel brands that have been mistreating their employees or embracing unsustainable practices, is it possible for a brand to recover or come back from a scandal? It can, according to Beltrano, if the brand puts in the work and continually shows that it has changed its ways entirely. But the longer a company waits to PayUp or admit to its mistakes; the less likely its image will recover or gain back the public trust. The brand must be committed to changing and not use a band-aid to fix the problem. The #PayUp movement outlines actionable steps brands can take to create real change, such as fulfilling financial obligations, keeping factory workers safe, and signing enforceable contracts. Bahl explains that brand efforts that fall short often leave a bad taste in consumers’ mouths and further damage a brand’s image. The best bet for a brand or company is to be proactive and to commit to internal change. Callouts and boycotts of companies will continue to happen so that everyone is held accountable for their actions. Full transparency will gain the trust of today’s consumers as actions speak louder than words.


Free People Mineral Shimmer $20. This subtle yet buildable shimmer provides a little sparkle to your basic makeup routine. Formulated with naturally derived ingredients such as witch hazel, birch juice, and honeysuckle, Free People’s Mineral Shimmer will give you a natural glow and the reassurance that you aren’t putting plastic glitter all over your face. You can use this on your eye or swipe on your cheeks for some highlights. Any way you use this product will leave you looking like a glowing goddess! Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Liquid Line & Define, $24 This liquid eyeliner applies like a dream. The application brush has an inventive tip that makes a little go a long way. No synthetic dyes or petroleum by-products are used in this rich black eyeliner made with plant-derived pigments. It also stays on all day without smudging.

Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant, $33 The natural deodorant that actually works! Formulated with safe and effective ingredients such as baking soda, shea butter, and coconut oil, this deodorant does not clog pores and maintains odor protection all day.

This magical potion contains Vitamin C and natural ingredients like Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, and Hyaluronic Acid that tightens and brightens your skin. This serum eliminates skin problems such as wrinkles, scars, discoloration, and dullness even after the first few uses. Apply this serum after cleansing your face and before applying moisturizer for an extra boost of brightness.

Clean Up Your (beauty) Act Parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances are just a few toxic chemicals in many beauty products. If our body is our temple, why apply these chemicals to our skin? BY Julie Donohue & Maura Kelly PHOTOGRAPHY Natalie Pavluk

ILIA’s True Skin Serum Concealer, $30 The rich and creamy texture feels like a second skin when applied. Albizia julibrissin bark extract works to support skin against environmental stressors while helping to soothe and nourish. It blends seamlessly under the eyes and helps color correct trouble spots, working best when applying a setting powder over top.


Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum, $33

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, $34 This sunscreen is lightweight, invisible, and doesn’t smell like regular sunscreen, making it the perfect addition to your skincare routine. On top of the fantastic benefits wearing sunscreen has for your skin, the Unseen Sunscreen also protects your skin from blue light emitted from phones and computers.

ILIA’s Limitless Lash Mascara $28. This buildable mascara is fabulous for curling, lengthening, and volumizing your lashes. The unique dual-sided brush catches every lash providing the most volume possible. This mascara won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award in 2019. This organic product is derived from beeswax and shea butter, making it easy to remove at the end of the day.

Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser, $36 This superfood gel cleanser is refreshing and smells great while leaving the skin feeling even cleaner. The nourishing blend of Kale, Spinach, Green Tea, and Vitamins C, E, and K in this cleanser helps brighten any dark spots. Perfect for anyone with dry to combination skin as it helps keep the oiliness at bay without drying out your skin.

Olio E Osso Lip and Cheek Tinted Balm $28. The holy grail for a natural look. The moisturizing balm contains shea, grapefruit, olive oil, and beeswax to deliver a beautiful flush of color that is safe for all skin types; it also smells fantastic! The Olio E Osso Lip and Cheek Tinted Balm is a two-for-one balm that you can easily apply to both the cheeks and lips when you feel like you need a little something extra. Use this product on its own to boost your cheek’s natural rosy color or with a full face of makeup.

Kosas Tinted Face Oil $42 An Allure Best of Beauty winner for 2019, this tinted face oil gives your skin the glow it needs while covering any imperfections and discoloration. This lightweight formula is best applied with a beauty sponge for a smooth application.

IndieLee Clarity Kit $29 This 3-piece travel-sized kit is perfect for throwing in your carry-on before you head off on your next adventure. The moisturizer is the ideal consistency, keeping your skin hydrated without suffocating your pores, and is excellent for all skin types, including dry, sensitive, acne-prone, and combination.

PYT Beauty Defining Brow Pencil $16 Achieve the full, natural brow you’ve always wanted with a simple flick of the PYT Beauty Defining Brow Pencil. Unlike other brow products, this pencil is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and free of harmful parabens, sulfates, and silicones. The dual-ended mechanical brow pencil allows you to brush through your brows then fill in the sparse areas making the ten other products you use for your brows obsolete. This pencil isn’t too pigmented, which allows you to fill in your eyebrows without the worry of overfilling.


A Week Of Meals for $60 Being a broke college student doesn’t mean you need to be starving as well. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are covered with leftovers to boot and change to spare. All these recipes are super easy to make and won’t take too much of your time. You can substitute out proteins or carbs and add whatever you happen to have in the pantry. Although Trader Joe’s is our preferred market, you can get most of these ingredients at your local supermarket. Scan the QR codes to the right to see the recipes and get a full shopping list.

BY Martina Silletti PHOTOGRAPHY Martina Silletti


Monday Breakfast Avocado Toast Lunch Fried Rice Dinner Miso Shrimp & Veggie Stir Fry

Tuesday Breakfast Acai Bowl Lunch Chicken Grilled Cheese Dinner Honey Aleppo Shrimp

Wednesday Breakfast Overnight Oats Lunch Pasta Salad Dinner Riced Cauliflower Tacos

Thursday Breakfast Yogurt Crucnch Waffle Lunch Chicken Taco Bowl Dinner Chicken & Broccoli with Rice

Friday Breakfast Egg White Breakfast Burrito Lunch Southwestern Salad Dinner Linguine Alfredo with Shrimp


Apartment Hunting Finding the right place for you and your roommates can be hard on a college budget. From having a ceiling collapse due to a flooded toilet to waking up with mushrooms sprouting in my living room and threatening to call the health department, I have seen it all. I have learned a thing or two when it comes to apartment hunting, and hopefully, this guide will save you some stress when it comes to finding the perfect place to live. BY Maura Kelly  ILLUSTRATION Lauren Bulka


when to look

what to ask

The best time to start looking is around the end of January. Winter may seem a bit early, but March will be here in the blink of an eye, and good luck finding anything nice after spring break. Start by perusing online and “favoriting” your best options. Make a list and contact realtors. Shockingly enough, the only way to schedule a house tour with them is to contact them directly.

• Are utilities included with rent? If so, which utilities are, and

Some recommended websites to expand your search: rent.com apartmentlist.com collegerentals.com zillow.com padmapper.com hotpads.com apartments.com trulia.com philadelphia.craigslist.org

where to look • If you know a particular street or area, you know you

want to live, walk around, and collect numbers from the signage (typically found near the front door.) • If you know someone who is moving out, ask for their landlord’s information. Sometimes you can be fortunate and can find an apartment through word-of-mouth. • Check out the Facebook group called Drexel Sublets 2020 and Beyond, a great resource to keep in mind if you are looking for a sublet or in need of subletting your apartment. • Consider the area and location you feel most comfortable living. Drexel’s Public Safety only patrols streets 30th to 36th and Chestnut to Spring Garden Streets. If you or your parents do not feel comfortable beyond that perimeter, it is even more important to start looking early. • Create a Google Sheet and share with your roommates the address, price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, landlord contact information, the date you contacted the landlord, the link to the apartment, the scheduled tour date, and post-tour notes.

which are not, and how are they calculated? • Is laundry in the unit, or is it shared with the entire building? Do you have to pay to use it? • Are you familiar with Drexel’s co-op program? • Do you allow sublets? • Is there Wi-Fi throughout the entire building, or do you have to have your own? • Is there central A/C? What is the heat situation? • Inquire about the vermin/pest situation—look out for duct tape in corners or along the woodwork, cockroaches, and mouse droppings—it is best to check kitchen cabinets and near the refrigerator. • Will the apartment be professionally cleaned before moving in? • What is the noise like? Although it is hard sometimes to tell, see if you can hear the people above you—if you can hear every step, they take you will either want to invest in a good pair of earplugs or keep looking. • Do you provide parking to any of your residents? • How soon are you looking to fill the unit? When does your lease typically start? • Maintenance procedure—submitting requests, emergency/ on-call staff? • Which furnishings or appliances are included? • How is the crime in the neighborhood? Has this property ever experienced any break-ins, theft, or assaults? • Do you require tenants to have renter’s insurance? • Make a checklist of Must Haves: Dishwasher, Food Disposal, Central Air, In-unit laundry, or Gym in the Building. • What is security like? Is there a Doorman? A buzzer system? Peephole? Security cameras? Outdoor lighting? Keycode? Remote unlocking? Door jammer? Easy to use and sturdy window locks? Are there carbon monoxide and fire detectors deployed throughout the building? How often is each building checked for mold? • What are the correct protocols in emergencies, if you can pour Drain-O down your ancient pipes or if you are allowed to adopt the friendly street cat that hangs out on your front porch, etc.?

make your move Before you sign, make sure you and your parent or guardian look over the lease. It’s a gamble. There is always another apartment out there that you have not seen, but the grass is not always greener. If you have not signed within the first ten days after spring break, well, good luck, Charlie, because you will probably be forced to sign a lease in a crusty old apartment with mushrooms that grow out of the ceiling.


the Virtual Studio Classroom

As Westphal studios shut down in favor of zoom classrooms, professors and students creatively adapted to virtual making.

BY Tina Teng


2020 was a year of many tumultuous changes. With universities moving online, many students and faculty faced the dilemma of never having the experience of attending or hosting a virtual class. Adapting to this agitating transition—especially in a school with lots of hands-on studio courses—required trial and error before achieving success. One teacher who took on this task is Cynthia Golembuski, a teaching professor in Westphal’s fashion design department. Professor Golembuski teaches various levels of fashion drawing classes. To accommodate the new virtual setting, she completely redesigned her Fashion Drawing for Industry course at the beginning of the lockdown. This class was heavily reliant on using Adobe software to digitally draw. Instead of lecturing in PowerPoint format, she spent most of her time walking students through tutorials. Professor Golembuski had to get used to teaching at her students’

Learning how to do pauses and letting students work on their projects at the same time...it took time to get a rhythm going pace, “it took some time to get used to doing it online. Learning how to do pauses and letting students work on their projects at the same time, it took time to get a rhythm going. The students had to tell me to slow down. We had to communicate back and forth to get a good timing.” Combining Adobe Illustrator with Zoom’s annotation and screen sharing and remote control feature was another breakthrough. For the current term, Professor Golembuski is teaching Fashion Drawing I. She focuses on observing the body and learning how to distort the form in a way that works for fashion illustration and advertising. Her classes typically use a live model in the studio, but since everything is online, they draw the models via the remote classroom. “Objects are seen differently through the lens of a computer,” notes Golembuski “we’ll sometimes use activewear, and then we’ll look at what fabrics are typically used for activewear and how it fits the body. On the same day, we’ll have the model wear different outfits like a swimsuit, hoodie, sneakers, so students are exposed to how different garments are draped and drawn differently.” She emphasized the importance of seeing every crevice and fold of the model’s garments to draw them accurately. Clamp arm lamps and diva lights were sent to the models to spotlight themselves better for the students to see. Her students now compile their various drawings into a PowerPoint for homework and share their screens for class critiques. Lara DeBoy, one of Professor Golembuski’s students, gave some insight into the class, saying, “Even though the class was online and the curriculum had to be adapted, I still feel like I have learned a lot. I loved that we were exposed to and were able to experiment with different art styles.” Caroline Brown, another student, stated, “drawing is a class that comes with a lot of supplies. Colored pencils, markers, paints, pencils, sharpeners, multiple kinds of paper, and your sketchbook are all used in any given day. Being at home, I can have these out and ready to use without having to pack them up and carry them to campus. I can be in class while eating lunch, doing laundry, and watching my toddler all at the same time. For the same reasons, distractions are more prevalent, and procrastination is daunting and almost inevitable.” When it is safe to return to campus, Professor Golembuski will continue to utilize some methods that worked for digital learning. She explains, “I’ve been pre-recording demonstrations, and I might do that for some projects that

are a little bit longer, like a demonstration that takes a longer time. I would show the class a video version when we’re on campus rather than demonstrate it live.” Teaching drawing online is undoubtedly challenging, but teaching sculpture is a whole other story. Lewis Colburn is an artist and faculty member who teaches sculpture classes at Drexel. Given that this class typically is taught in the studio with a large lab area and sculpture tools, it was a bit of a struggle to figure out how to teach something as hands-on as sculpture digitally. Colburn lamented, “The hard thing for me in preparing was that the decision to go remote was that it happened stage by stage where okay, we’re going to be remote for a couple weeks, okay, we’re going to be remote for half a term, no, we’re going to be remote for the entire term. That made it difficult to plan ahead. To me, the good things that came out of it were having all these artworks and the full scope of the internet at my fingertips to present to the students and give them context. I think it pushed me to strengthen and enrich the discussion portions of the class.”



As soon as Drexel announced that classes would be held online during the 2020 Spring term, Colburn started scrambling around the sculpture workshops on campus to collect materials to put together care packages to mail to students. These packages included blocks of wax, pieces of wood and wire, and one of the mechanical components of a spray paint gun that Colburn had cut up in his studio so students could refer to a complex, unfamiliar object to create a sculptural form. On top of this, Colburn also had to create a teaching plan for the students to learn successfully. Colburn further explains, “I actually have a tripod that I set my laptop on so students can see my hands and then I’ll be carving, modeling

Professor Colburn’s sculpture class “care package” or doing something there, demonstrating to them, how to go about the next step of the project that they are working on.” Students were able to see what Lewis was doing and follow along easily. In this class, Colburn also introduced his students to the Meshmixer software, a free 3D modeling software that allows students to create, edit, and mold 3D models with an existing image that can later be modified using the program’s editing tools. One of their projects was to mold a design of their hand in a specific position using the blocks of wax. To experiment, the students used Meshmixer first to observe what their hand would look like in various poses before actually sculpting it. Extremely passionate about teaching, Colburn didn’t let the reality of classes being online stop him from doing what he loved doing the most: educating students. Even with the limitations of Zoom, Colburn felt like he showed the same amount of exuberance and excitement that he would’ve shown in class, adding, “At several points during the lecture, I would be explaining something, and I would forget where I was. I would reach out toward the camera in an effort to

At several points during the lecture, I would be explaining something and I would forget where I was. I would reach out toward the camera in an effort to demonstrate to the class what I meant. demonstrate to the class what I meant.” In his view, virtual learning has worked better than he had first thought. It was still exhausting, albeit a different kind of exhausting than in-person classes would’ve been, as virtual classes had required hours of preparation as compared to the in-person classes where he could teach on autopilot. Colburn’s students praised his enthusiasm. Izzy Volpe, a second-year fashion design student, said of Colburn, “I personally think that his approach to online school was successful for a class that originally would have needed more space and tactile interaction. I interacted with my peers much more in sculpture than I did in other courses at the time, and I find that it was very valuable in the end.” Colburn had gone the extra mile to make sure the transition to Zoom went smoothly and that his passion and dedication could be felt through the computer screen. Volpe further said that “He’s actually passionate about teaching us these fundamentals of sculpture because he wants to see us succeed as artists, which is in itself kind of inspirational to make you want to do better for yourself.” Camile Holzbauer, a third-year product design major, had taken the class because she wanted to do large-scale projects like her friends did when they took the course in previous terms. She feels that Colburn did a great job of mixing physical projects into the virtual class, even if they were smaller-scale. “My experience in taking the class is one I would say is pretty great. Lewis was an amazing teacher (if you can’t tell already, I have nothing but positive things to say about him), and I’ve suggested taking sculpture to every single one of my friends who look for electives.” Throughout all the complications they faced, professors like Cynthia Golembuski and Lewis Colburn managed to find a way to successfully and adapt to teaching online. As Professor Golembuski noted, teachers in the future may continue to use parts of the online classes that they thought were useful and incorporate them into in-person courses. While classes may not exclusively remain virtual, the future of the classroom will be altered forever.

Illustration by Lara DeBoy, one of Professor Golembuski’s Fashion Drawing Students. D&M MAGAZINE  83

Meet The Dean:

Jason Schupbach There’s a new Dean in town for the College of Westphal, and he is here to instill significant change in the practices of the college. BY Avery Klondar

Coming to Drexel University with considerable industry experience under his belt, Dean Jason Schupbach joins the Westphal family with a background in urban design and urban planning. Starting with an undergraduate degree in environmental water chemistry, Dean Schupbach quickly learned that chemistry was not the degree for him. Switching gears, he ended up going to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and focusing on urban design. Dean Schupbach found himself “interested in the role that creative people play in making their communities better” and addressing how coalitions of government and non-profit can collaborate with creatives to make our communities more equitable. Eventually, he served as the director of Design and Creative Placemaking Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, overseeing all design and creative placemaking, grantmaking, as well as partnerships. Dean Schupbach made a transition into higher education and first began at Arizona State. However, he soon realized that he had to transition back to the East and thus found his way to Drexel University. When asked about how he ended up at Drexel University, Dean Schupbach explains, “I always really admired its relationship with the community. John Fry is doing a lot to make sure that Drexel is doing a lot to make sure that it’s impactful within the community it is a part of.” When considering Westphal’s unique role, he notes that the school “courts so much of the business side” of media art and design. Enthralled by the extraordinary, distinctive notes that make Westphal stand out from its competitor schools, Dean Schupbach wants to focus on these things as part of his role. He explains that he has an extensive plan for the school, realizing, “We need to go through a planning process. I think there’s an enormous challenge facing higher education, and I think Westphal should lead in that. We aren’t just going to let that happen to us. We are going to build a future, so I think we should be this experimental, collaborative, and just laboratory for creative careers for the 21st century.” The future of creative careers is at stake, and Dean Schupbach is fully aware of the realities of the intense reckonings that we must deal with being in creative fields. Planning a strategic process to combat these fundamental


changes, he is steadfast in including students in the planning. Dean Schupbach notes, “We are going to plan in three areas to deal with that; We are going to look at how the pandemic has changed our fields, including new technology uses. What are we going to do about all the social justice issues? Are we going to take those head-on, have the hard conversations? And third, Drexel has a strategic plan that it is working on, so how do we align with that plan?” Strategic planning is taking place to ensure future Westphal generations’ success; he wants the school to develop media arts and design skills for 21st-century creative careers. He intends for students to acquire the skills needed to aid the world in fixing its problems. Dean Schupbach dove deeper into how he plans to assist Westphal in combating the systemic racism that has long endured. He tells us, “We’re going to try to take it all. It won’t happen fast because we’re dealing with structures that have been around 400 years. It will take a while for us to unpack it all to work on it.” Westphal intends to include students in this process, being as transparent as possible. A committee has been assembled to run the review of curriculum, composition of the student body, compliance, among other areas, to ensure that Westphal is as thoroughly anti-racist as possible. Among all his goals, Dean Schupbach hopes to ensure the students of Westphal that he and the faculty will be supportive during this time, especially as students venture out into a world in which the industry has completely changed. Speaking from his own experience—switching his concentration in schooling, and switching career paths—he explains, “I was so sure I wanted to be an urban designer, and then I got in there. And I was like, I’m very good at this, but I’m really good at the policy side of this. I just sort of thought, I’m just going to see if I can do this policy thing, and I ended up going into government and absolutely loving it. It was a perfect fit for me.” Dean Schupbach leaves students with the advice, “If you follow your passion like if there’s something you’re really interested in, just kind of chase it for a little bit. If it ends up not being the greatest thing, you can go to something else for grad school or switch careers. You don’t have to have everything figured out with your undergraduate degree.” Above all, follow your passion.

We are going to build a future, so I think we should be this experimental, collaborative, and just laboratory for creative careers for the 21st century

From blouses to button ups, to purpose and style, Smart Adaptive Clothing offers dignity and independence for all.

A Better Way

BY Zara Barrett PHOTOGRAPHY Zara Barrett

“Oh my god, I get the chills again from the top of my head to my toes,” Nancy says as she reminisces watching Kathleen Humberstone, a model with down syndrome, “rocking the runway like no one” at 2019 London Fashion Week. Wearing the Blue Crush with Royal Hawaiian Trim blouse, Kathleen embodied Nancy Connor’s adaptive clothing brand in front of diverse individuals, presenting inclusivity in a universal way. By omitting the challenges of button closures, Smart Adaptive Clothing designs functional shirts and blouses with a solution: Velcro. Seamlessly hidden, the adhesive fastenings give the illusion of a classic button-down shirt. The Velcro design speaks to people experiencing bi-motor skills, neuropathy after cancer treatment, or other temporary or non-temporary conditions. Smart Adaptive Clothing has helped people regain confidence by implementing all-inclusive designs for different body types. “Chances are we all know someone who struggles with dressing,” says Nancy. Today, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 26% (1 in 4) of adults in the United States have some form of disability. Connor’s inspiration came from her father, a well-dressed professional for most of his life; his signature style was a button-down and slacks. After being admitted to assisted living, where the fear of injuries and lack of mobility limited his power to dress as he pleased, her father’s style faded. Caregivers did not pay much attention to personal style and opted


for easy, pullover fleeces. Connor noticed the easy-functioning wardrobe did not give him the level of confidence that he found in his classic button-down shirt. She knew that there must be a better way. After her father’s passing in 2016, his challenges of dressing himself were still bothering her: “Stop talking about it. Stop thinking about it.” A year after ignoring the signs, she left corporate America in medical device sales, leaving behind 21 years’ worth of contacts to pursue her solution for people like her father and beyond. As Connor noticed there were no other brands in the adaptive fashion sector, research followed suit. She searched for “easy on” clothing, but she couldn’t find anything. The need was not new, but the category was. Stylish, uncomplicated, fastened clothing did not appear through even the simplest of searches. Ignoring the fear of not knowing anyone in the apparel industry, she tapped into business school savviness to start an innovative brand from scratch. Connor started sketching and drawing shirt and blouse styles herself. Reaching for a typical button-down, she deconstructed it and played around with the idea of adding Velcro. What type of Velcro? What shape? Is it long-lasting? After asking many questions, absorbing information, and receiving feedback, she created a design where fashion meets function. Prototyping was an early obsession for Connor. As she recommends in any business, you have to become obsessed

I really believe in my heart this is a movement to help people dress easier.

with it. “Before you put your flag in the ground, you have to have prototypes and get them tested with focus groups.” For all of those with strokes, dexterity issues, and caregivers, she continually asked herself, will this design work? This method was sought as a proof of concept and validation to continue with her idea. Finding the appropriate manufacturer was also a challenge. The first manufacturer did not meet Connor’s standards of ensuring quality. Selecting the ideal fabric for its appearance wasn’t the only consideration; she also needed to know if it was soft and pliable for fibromyalgia? Is it easy to care for? Can you wash the garments? Considering all aspects of the customer’s profile, Connor integrated UV protection and moisture-wicking properties in her women’s blouses for those who are sensitive to sunlight. After prototyping, Connor contacted target customers, reviewing how long it took for them to put on and remove a standard shirt. She instantly noticed the power of self-dressing with more ease, control, and mastery. With early prototypes, Connor observed how quickly it took to self-dress and, more importantly, the customer’s confidence. Sending out prototypes gave 1-on-1 feedback for Connor, providing the information most viable for product improvement. To further prove her design worked, Nancy networked and gained guidance from notable industry professionals. “I’m a huge believer in mentorship. Whatever you do, if you don’t have one, get one, get two,” she said. In 2019, Nancy Connor became part of the Philly Fashion Incubator, a collective that nurtures Philly fashion designers. Within the world of fashion, the adaptive clothing market will increase its market share by $349 billion by 2025. As of 2021, Connor opened new wholesale accounts in London and personal styling in Milan—broadening an international community with different topics over quarterly interval Zoom sessions. “I really believe in my heart this is a movement to help people dress easier,” Connor expresses. Her simple capsule collection of patterned and solid color tops provides easy, fast, and effortless style by changing disabled lives daily. “I want someone, when they enter a room, walk, roll, use crutches, maybe they have a prosthetic leg, but when they enter the room wearing Smart Adaptive Clothing, their confidence is booming and radiating. Everyone has eyes on that person because they are so confident”. Connor believes in the prospect of inclusive fashion for the future. “That’s what we’re about, being inclusive with different body types and differences whatever they may be,” Connor explains. As a child, Connor underwent spinal curvature surgery, enduring a lengthy recovery in her childhood peak. Self-perseverance added to Smart Adaptive Clothing’s creation process: “When you live with it, you create,” whether it be visible or invisible differences, Smart Adaptive is for everyone. “It’s about your spirit and what’s inside, and then that’s when the confidence comes. Because beauty is everywhere in every shape and form”. Photo Location Philadelphia Fashion Incubator philadelphiafashionincubator.com D&M MAGAZINE  87

Are Department Stores Dead? As consumers shop more and more online, can department stores save themselves from oblivion?

BY Lindsay Uber PHOTOGRAPH Natalie Pavluk


Once a booming part of the fashion industry, department stores have declined in the last few years. Historically, department stores were retail’s shining star attracting customers and entire families to come in and shop. Department stores used to be physical replications of magazines exciting consumers with beautifully curated displays, enticing store windows, and stylishly dressed mannequins. Starting in the late 1800s, department stores began popping up worldwide, with Macy’s, Harrods, Isetan, Takashimaya, and Galeries Lafayette leading the way. During their golden age between the 1880s and 1930s, department stores were prestigious palaces of retail where consumers could shop the latest styles from their favorite designers. Over one hundred years later, consumers are now leading the charge and directing businesses to cater to their convenience and efficiency needs. Rather than shopping at department stores, consumers are now shopping directly from their favorite brands and stores online. Many consumers turn to giants like Amazon to get their goods quickly. With the retail landscape changing so dramatically, the inevitable question is—are department stores dead? Department stores occupy large, multi-level retail spaces; however, the massive square footage has become a detriment for these stores. Consumers now want smaller, more carefully curated assortments that they can quickly shop. Macy’s flagship Harold Square location in New York City boasts ten floors, an extremely overwhelming and time-consuming endeavor for guests to navigate. While large assortments were once appealing to consumers, it is now seen as over-stimulating. According to Design and Merchandising professor Alphonso McClendon, “Consumers want to be heard and not seen. They want quality, convenience, and variety on call,” which speaks to the success of stores like Amazon Go and the smaller format Targets. These stores cater to consumers’ desire to get in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible since product is limited and technology is prioritized. While department stores’ appeal has diminished among some consumers, their decline has a lot to do with competition. The off-price model has disrupted the fashion industry, as it has deeply resonated with consumers. The off-price model includes stores like Burlington, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls, where consumers can embark on a treasure hunt looking for highly coveted, discounted items such as Joes Jeans, a Marc Jacobs bag, or Ray Ban sunglasses. Department stores no longer engage consumers as their shopping habits have changed. Dr. Joseph Hancock, a Design and Merchandising professor at Drexel University, believes that it’s not that department stores have become less appealing, it’s that newer models are replacing them. The way he puts it, stores like JC Penny “fell asleep and during that time more modern stores like Kohls came into play and increased the competition.” Kohl’s success is because it is a much smaller format compared to multi-level department stores, so consumers can easily shop the entire store. Like department

stores, Kohls sells clothing, home goods, and accessories, but the store is more modern and organized. Unlike department stores, Kohls uses the same fixtures throughout, giving it a seamless look that appeals to consumers. The stores are one floor, and departments such as men’s, women’s, kid’s, home are clearly defined. Additionally, Kohls has different reward options for its customers, such as Kohls cash which offers consumers $10 for every $50 spent. There are three tiers of department stores: luxury, mid, and value. The luxury tier includes department stores such as Saks and Neiman Marcus, while stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales fall into the category of mid-tier stores. Finally, a store like JC Penny is considered a value store. Mid-tier stores such as Nordstrom typically carry designers such as Kate Spade and Michael Kors, but they also carry many of

Consumers will always be willing to purchase new things, department stores just need to figure out what items are resonating with consumers at this moment. their private label brands. On the other hand, at Saks, consumers can find high-end brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and these brands have their own sections with their own employees. However, brands such as Coach, who once had their own specialty line within luxury department stores, are pulling their product as it’s cheaper and more convenient for them to sell their products via their brick-and-mortar shops. The changing shopping habits of consumers have played a critical role in the decline of department stores. Generation Z and millennials prefer in-store shopping in smaller retailers like Free People, South Moon Under, and Anthropologie. These smaller retailers offer the curated small assortment that consumers crave and provide a more effortless, less stressful experience as options are limited. Julie Donohue, a senior Design and Merchandising student at Drexel University, gets overwhelmed easily. Hence, she only shops department stores online to filter and focus her search on what she expressly wants. Martina Silletti, another senior Design and Merchandising student at Drexel, says that when she shops at department stores, “I usually go in with a plan or purpose and to see if they’re having a sale. I’m always looking for the best deal, so as long as it’s the same product or brand I’m looking for, I don’t mind shopping in department stores.” These remarks share the same sentiment: department stores’ current setup does not work for younger consumers.


Over one hundred years later, consumers are now leading the charge and directing businesses to cater to their convenience and efficiency needs.

Back in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the US and sent retail into a tailspin. As of publication, the full impact of Covid-19 on retail is still unknown; however, department stores have taken a massive hit with Lord and Taylor closing their doors for good and others such as JC Penny and Neiman Marcus filing for bankruptcy. The pandemic has shifted much of retail online, with consumers wary of in-store shopping. However, even before the pandemic, department stores were reluctant to invest in their websites, so when everything moved online, they were severely underprepared. Like their physical locations, department store websites tend to be outdated, cluttered, and difficult to navigate. The leading consumer groups who regularly shop department stores are Baby Boomers and Gen X, both of which are more reluctant to shop in-store given Covid-19. Department stores are losing these two key consumer groups due to their out-of-date websites, resulting in a loss of business. The pandemic also brings up another issue with department stores—the sheer volume of stores across the country. With fewer people shopping in-store, more and more department stores have closed locations, which begs the question: What do department stores do with their overly spacious stores? While the apparent answer is to close them, there are more appealing solutions. According to Professor McClendon, one viable option for department stores is “turning some locations into distribution centers, warehouses, and pick up centers for online orders, similar to Amazon Lockers. These smaller format stores have been successful as they cater to consumers’ need for convenience.” Repurposing stores is an excellent option as department stores can keep their existing locations and make them more profitable. Downsizing stores is another option as department stores can focus on offering consumers smaller curated assortments that fit their needs. However, downsizing stores is easier said than done as it can get tricky with leases and selling properties. Another obstacle department stores are going to have to overcome due to the pandemic is their assortment offering. With many people working from home for the foreseeable future and staying in more, there is not much demand for the clothing typically carried in stores like blouses, dresses, or jeans. Many remote workers have adopted the uniform of


sweats, leggings, and loungewear. This forces department stores to re-evaluate their wide range of offerings, including clothing, shoes, and accessories. If consumers are now only wearing a small segment of these large assortments, an extensive array of a department store’s merchandise is considered stale. Consumers will always be willing to purchase new things; department stores need to figure out what items are resonating with consumers at this moment. With all this talk of department stores on the decline, one store has managed to do relatively well—Nordstrom. Nordstrom has never shied away from jumping into new trends and making sure that their stores are modern and up to date, and this extends into the digital realm with an easy-to-navigate and user-friendly website. They have mastered the art of offering smaller, curated displays where consumers can easily shop and browse with ease. Additionally, they understand their markets and know how to reach the younger demographic who typically does not shop at department stores. For example, in 2012, Nordstrom partnered with Topshop and began selling their youth-oriented clothing line. Nordstrom’s brand new NYC flagship store is beautifully designed and acts as a retail amusement park in the eyes of consumers. Their flagship is two stores—a seven-floor women’s store and a separate three-floor men’s store. Each store is spacious, with Professor McClendon describing it as “an airport” with plenty of room to move around and browse. Both stores offer an experience for consumers; the men’s location, in partnership with the Whitney museum, has art from their collection throughout the store. The women’s location has several restaurants and bars, with one bar located in the shoe section so that women can sip on cocktails while trying on shoes. These in-store experiences create an environment where consumers prefer to hang out and shop rather than run in and run out. While retail is certainly not dead, department stores need to begin evolving and adapting to remain afloat. The decision to invest is difficult for many department stores as many of them are barely scraping by, so the decision to liquidate may be the best course of action. The options for department stores that choose to stay afloat are plentiful, between repurposing stores, downsizing, creating experiences, and offering smaller assortments it’s just a matter of deciding where to invest time, money, and resources to bring back consumers.

conne c t





Everyone their h as



Mom Brand

What are the minimum requirements to be a fashion brand?

BY Adam Netburn  PHOTOGRAPHY Adam Netburn


Self-branding has become a popular trend in recent years. Using Instagram, blogs, or websites, individuals can differentiate who they are among a sea of other social media identities. While everyone should have the opportunity to pursue their path and create a public identity, a brand should be more than simply a name and a logo. This trend extends into what is known as “T-Shirt Brands” or brands that are merely a logo on a shirt claiming to be hard-hitting fashion. Graphic T-Shirts certainly have their place within the fashion industry, brands like Stussy, Bape, and Ass Pizza, to name a few. I love graphic t-shirts and have made dozens over the years, but still, there is a difference between sending a graphic out to be constructed off-site and a brand that puts more of their own identity into their products through sewing, printing, embroidering, or a dyeing process. Intention is a big part of the identity of a clothing brand. The authenticity of the maker’s hand must be evident. One of the more exciting brands with a strong identity and a dedication to authenticity in its clothing is Ardzir. Ardzir is an avant-garde clothing brand based on the do-it-yourself attitude of designer Jonathan Pinchera. Looking to create something more meaningful, Pinchera explains his brand is “a response to my personal Armenian heritage and an attempt to explore that. It’s also to discuss displacement of heritage and not knowing or identifying with one’s own heritage.” He sees his clothing as a medium, noting that it “can be art. I think it’s stupid not to try and explore something and treat it like art.” Pinchera launches into a project to make the best graphic t-shirt or construct a must-have pair of pants and create with a sense of being and use this creation to explore his identity. What sets Ardzir apart from other “T-shirt brands” is committing to staying true to the creator and treating the garment as art. Pinchera’s brand has a personal touch, and it shows. Tattered and ripped, dyed and discolored, Ardzir has a set image. Not always pretty, but that’s part of the charm. His is a smaller brand, where the maker’s hand is evident. But, what happens with more prominent, more established brands? I wanted to find out how they still maintain this meaningful connection. Phil Yi is the owner of nationally and internationally recognized Totem Brand Co. of South Philadelphia, a boutique specializing in well-crafted no gimmick brands. Yi says that what a designer puts into any piece of clothing should be more than just the bare minimum. When considering product for the shop, Yi considers quality, craftsmanship, detail, and country of origin “Where it’s made is not a deciding factor, but I still take note if it’s made sustainably and not in sweatshops and whether it’s fair trade,” he clarifies. Exclusivity is also a concern, meaning the garment is not sold in chain stores like Urban Outfitters or that it is not readily available to retailers that do not have their own e-commerce. Exclusivity is “a double-edged sword,” he goes on to explain, “[it] might create less awareness if customers can’t buy directly from the brand.” Yi looks for brands that will sell well for him, but his priority is its quality and integrity.

While some of these brands are exclusive by being produced in small batches, this should not be confused with the hype that comes from false scarcity. False scarcity is when a brand intentionally holds back product from the consumer. Designer brands, like the ones sold in Totem, are scarce because of a focus on quality rather than quantity. The intention is not to deprive the consumer but to maintain the integrity of the product. Understanding a designer’s mindset behind a strong brand is essential when weeding through brands that lack substance. Pinchera sees branding as a way “to appeal to as many people as possible, but that’s stupid!” He goes on to say, “you should appeal to yourself and what you actually like and what you want your clothes to look like. And when printing a graphic on a t-shirt, you should treat it as a medium. You’re not trying to shape this image as a brand, but you’re making stuff doing your own art.” Pinchera’s goal is to create pieces with integrity that reflect his identity. Phil Yi appreciates the quality and craft, as well as the individuality of brands like Ardzir. One of his favorites is Engineered Garments. “I love the design, craftsmanship, quality, and attention to detail. I love how single-needle tailoring turns out, and the designs are beautiful! Workwear with heritage as inspiration for aesthetic,” Yi emphatically states. “Daiki [Engineered Garments designer] machine washes every garment before it goes out, so you know how it fits, as its preshrunk, it’s a cool brand. Some brands don’t want to wash some garments because it causes yarn twist. Daiki sees this as a plus, and it’s an interesting aesthetic; it adds to it, more into American style more desirable, irregular, and not so pristine.” Another brand Yi has respect for is Patagonia, with their commitment to recycled material, vegetable dyes, and their use of hemp. Yi recognizes authenticity and conviction as paramount to a successful brand. Both Pinchera and Yi appreciate clothes made in America. Totem Brand Co. has an entire section dedicated to ‘Made in America’ heritage. Yi associates a sense of quality and confidence with that label but admits that it is less relevant now as younger generations focus much more on trends than craft. Pinchera even states, “I wish this country made more of its own clothes. I think the idea of making it in America is cool.” While they both have a strong love for many international designers, they see the integrity and appreciate the authenticity in something made in the U.S.A. There is a sense of integrity behind that. Although any graphic t-shirt can undoubtedly be recognized as a legitimate brand, what elevates excellent brands is a commitment to honesty, integrity, and craftsmanship. It’s not enough to simply slap a logo onto the trendiest garment and hold product back from consumers. A brand’s mission should be to make a quality product they love and a desire to share it with the world.

Ardzir.”Broken Peace Bandana Patch tee” Bandana scraps and tea dyed.

Ardzir.”Patchwork Rug Jacket” Made from Scraps, Moth-eaten rejects, and cuttings from an Armenian rug.

Ardzir.”Bandana Locust Crewneck” Made from Bandana Scraps and Indigo dyed.


Gaining While Losing:

Th e ra py i n t h e Tim e o f COV I D - 19 In a zoom weary world, is it possible to find positive mental health resources, even if they’re online as well? BY Avery Klondar & Tina Teng  ILLUSTRATIONS Lauren Bulka

It may take a client about two to three hours depending on how far they are traveling to accommodate for that session. With telehealth, they log on and they log off.

It is no secret that 2020 was an unprecedented year. A significant lifeline was taken away for those dependent on weekly visits to the therapist’s office. Small social interactions that were once found in the workplace or classroom became virtual interactions that didn’t quite have the same charm. Plus, the pressure of everything tied to the computer has caused a lot of added fatigue, stress, and overall mental health battles for many. The pandemic will forever impact mental healthcare. Telehealth, or therapy conducted over phone or video calling systems, has always existed in some form, but healthcare offices have never broadly utilized it. It is an opportunity for patients to continue to get the care necessary for their mental health while maintaining a strict level of confidentiality and privacy. No one at Drexel University has more experience in adapting quickly to teletherapy than Dr. Jennifer Schwartz. With a clinical psychology background, Dr.Schwartz is a faculty member within the Department of Psychology at Drexel Uni-


versity and is the Psychology Services Director. Within this realm, she runs a clinic through the Psychology Department where students can train in the field. Foreseeing a potential crisis looming, the clinic had already begun transferring to a virtual platform. Looking towards the future, the clinic has plans to retain some of its virtual offerings when the pandemic is behind us. Teletherapy has allowed for patient-care access even while being virtual. Virtual platforms have become a bridge of sorts for those who temporarily lost access to in-person healthcare. With zero commute time, all patients, even those with busy schedules, can make time with their favorite therapist between work or school. In many ways, the convenience of popping onto a desktop and opening an appointment via a link has benefited individuals who otherwise would have struggled to maintain a constant balance of work and positive mental health. Dr. Schwartz notes that “There is research that therapists actually underestimate the time that it takes

for clients to come to therapy because, in the therapist’s mind, you meet for an hour session. The reality is, it takes the client time to get there, time to get back to their life, and the truth is that for a one-hour session, it may take a client about two to three hours depending on how far they are traveling to accommodate for that session. With telehealth, they log on, and they log off.” When it comes to training future psychologists, teletherapy has provided a unique advantage. Schwartz touches on the fact that “I think for a long time this is not an avenue that I would have pursued because of the unique role in my clinic of training, but I do not think that this is going to go away. I am now focusing on and thinking about how we build the most robust training for our students that will include training in telehealth knowing that there is a strong likelihood that they will engage in this in some form in the future.” Preparing her students to work with patients effectively is a significant focus of her training seconded only to ethics. In the digital realm, there are ethical considerations beyond those typical of traditional face-to-face therapy. Some of these ethical issues include what to do if you are unwell yourself and can no longer act as a therapist, what to do if a patient prefers to be virtual, but their environment is not conducive to virtual patient care. Other challenges include patient privacy, navigating HIPAA within a virtual setting, and figuring out how to help a patient who does not have internet or computer access. Apart from ethics, there is also a level of morality to be considered when it comes to telehealth. It is vital to keep in mind that telehealth is most accessible to those with their own devices and reliable Wi-Fi. Accessible healthcare, specifically for mental health, is something that this country already lacks in terms of equitability for all communities. Telehealth adds another, more complex, and expensive layer to this. If the only device available to an individual is a smartphone, the expectation is that patients complete waivers, forms, and sessions using their mobile phones. From the healthcare provider side, Dr. Schwartz can speak to these struggles as her clinic has only been able to continue to provide its services thanks to generous grants and the cross-departmental work of members of the Drexel University community. Unfortunately, they have not been able to carry out all the same virtual services successfully. This challenge is a struggle that many clinics across the country share. Another significant challenge with telehealth is patients’ education regarding utilizing technology. Patients from older generations or areas that have not grown up being surrounded by technology in school systems are at a severe disadvantage. “We have actually created a position in the clinic called the Patient Navigator,” explains Dr. Schwartz, “where the Navigator is helping clients who are struggling with the technology and helping them one-on-one to understand it.” It is essential to keep in mind that teletherapy may not always be the best option for all patients. Finding the right fit is dependent on the patient’s access to technology, under-

WELLNESS APPS Out of the many wellness apps, we found a few that seem most beneficial to users to help with anxiety. No app is perfect, though; they all have their advantages and drawbacks. 7 CUPS • A therapy and chatting app for mental health where you can talk to peers, licensed therapists or join a group support chat about a wide variety of topics. • Users can use 95% of the app without paying a fee. • Group support chat is in a forum format. There are communities for many mental health issues, including addictions, anxiety, disorders, etc., where users can create posts and comment on existing posts in response to other members. • Users can pick a growth path topic such as sleeping well, grief, bullying, etc. and do miniature exercises per day that relate to the issue. • Provides mental health articles written by professional psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists with a blurb on their job histories. • Users are required to pay $150/month to talk to a professional therapist. • The user interface can be a little tricky to navigate. CALM

• A mental health app that helps users reduce stress and

anxiety through the app’s features. • Users can choose a scenic background with calming sounds. • Their website includes articles on various topics, including meditating, healthy relationships, and managing stress. • A subscription is required to access a full suite of features. HEADSPACE

• A mental health app that teaches users how to meditate

using simple exercises that only takes a few minutes each day. • Their colorfully animated website features meditation tips, videos, blog and personal stories from users on why they enjoy using Headspace. • Their YouTube channel offers videos regarding meditation, self-care, relationships, and more. • A subscription is required to access a full suite of features.

Scan the QR code below for links to all apps.


WELLNESS TIPS FROM EDITORS When it comes to wellness, everyone has their personalized way of including positive mental or physical health practices into their lives. These tips sourced from our staff have helped us cope with anxiety, stress, fatigue, amongst the other struggles that 2020 has thrown at us.

I enjoy taking hour-long walks a couple of times a week. It helps me clear my mind. —Nick Cassway Anyone who knows me knows that if I am eating a meal alone, I internalize my thoughts for the day and focus on nothing other than what I am eating. It provides me with a sense of zen, even if it is only for a few minutes. —Avery Klondar I love to put on face masks and facetime with my family when I am overwhelmed or sad. They always help me to talk through what is bothering me the most. —Martina Stiletti When I took a world religions class in high school, my teacher would always tell us to use Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, also known as the “subtle energy clearing breathing technique,” where she would direct us to put one finger to our nostril & breathe in then out three times. This reduced my anxiety and helped me to focus. —Zara Barrett I love to take long drives and blast music when I am worked up or stressed. I will also scream or yell in my car. This allows me to relieve everything that I allowed to build up inside of me. —Julie Donohue I enjoy reading fiction and mystery novels where I can imagine myself somewhere else that pulls me away from the real world’s stress for a while. —Caitlin Shi My mom is a yoga teacher, and she taught me that it only takes 2 minutes to feel calmer from meditation. I often take two-minute breaks throughout the day to meditate. —Adam Netburn I put on a full face of makeup and put on a completely different outfit to force myself to think of a different perspective. —Indee Phillpotts When I am super anxious, I work out a lot. I take barre, which has majorly helped my mental state, primarily when I practice it in the morning. —Lindsay Uber I often will leave my phone in one room then go to a different room to decompress. —Giavanna Boyd I use this app called the Insight Timer, a free meditation app that I will use from time to time to relax. —Maura Kelly


standing of technology, the environment in which they can participate in telehealth calls, and their need for connection to their psychologist. Determining this option’s feasibility on a patient-by-patient basis will become a part of another daily challenge for psychologists. It will be vital to choose an appropriate modality of treatment for the client in question, note the privacy in their home, access to technology, understanding of technology, and their comfort with a lack of in-person engagement. Drexel students have also had the opportunity to engage in teletherapy through the Drexel Counseling Center. The Drexel Counseling Center offers a full range of counseling services from group and individual therapy, psychoeducational workshops, crisis management to consultations. Like the clinic, the center became entirely virtual in 2020. There have been similar noticeable benefits for students with the center going virtual, including easily accessible therapy sessions between classes and co-op and resources posted more frequently online with the dissolution of in-person programming. Associate Director of Counseling, Scott Sokoloski, notes that for Drexel students, a large group of the student body operates mainly online. With the center making its virtual transition, this area of the student body could gain access more easily to counseling services. There are noticeable downsides, however, that Sokoloski points out, “There is a significant aspect of therapy that comes from connecting with someone in person, and while online that connection can be more challenging to establish. There is also a potential loss of privacy. Students operating remotely may be in an apartment with roommates, at home with their families, or at a workplace and do not have the same guarantees as they would if they came to our office. There is also the issue of Zoom fatigue, as most of us are spending most of our days online due to the pandemic.” It is no foreign concept that having to turn to our devices for all aspects of work, school, and social interaction has taken a severe toll on mental health for most everyone experiencing 2020. According to Sokoloski, a unique disadvantage is “Being able to work with a student who is in another state. During the pandemic, many states have worked together to provide reciprocity to support individuals who may temporarily be living in another state, but in the future, that cooperation is likely to end as states return to normal operations.” This will become another barrier for counseling services if teletherapy is the only primary option for patients. Sokoloski also touches on the one resource that is constantly available to us all no matter where we are: wellness apps. “I think that there are numerous wellness apps which are beneficial and have become more utilized as students are operating remotely...” he explains, “There are many apps out there that can help with mental health such as Calm, Headspace, and 7 Cups.” All these apps are free on the app store, making them accessible financially. Of course, a subscription can unlock more accessories within the apps, but this is not necessary to benefit from utilizing them.

I think that there are numerous wellness apps which are beneficial and have become more utilized as students are operating remotely... There are many apps out there that can help with mental health such as Calm, Headspace and 7 Cups.

7 Cups is a therapy and chatting app for mental health. You can talk to peers, licensed therapists, join a group support chat about a wide variety of topics, and foster self-realization and trust in your community. You connect with trained “Listeners” who provide feedback for what is worrying you and talk you through your thoughts. Drexel University has a partnership with 7 Cups which offers a complete, anonymous, and confidential peer-to-peer support system through the website or app. The apps’ users can connect to Drexel students for free who have experience in active listening or for international listeners. Sokoloski highly recommends 7 Cups, as he explains that the app “can be extremely helpful for a student who may want to speak with someone who is fluent in a particular language or someone who has experience in a specific area of mental health such as management of anxiety. Along with the opportunity to connect with a Peer Listener, 7 Cups has self-guided modules on dozens of subjects related to mental health that students can access at their own pace to develop and learn skills.” The website also includes further information, such as articles on why therapy is beneficial and how it can help emotional and mental health. Calm is an award-winning meditation and relaxation app that commits to helping users reduce stress, build self-esteem, sleep better, and focus more through the usage of meditations, music, and stories. The app has free features such as a bedtime story and a meditation exercise. You can even pick the scenic background of your choice, complete with soothing sounds. Calm has a website that is a more

immersive version of the app, including a blog with articles about meditation, healthy relationships, managing stress, and more. Another helpful app, Headspace, teaches its users how to meditate through simple exercises that you can do in just a few minutes each day. The app has proved to help people stress less, sleep soundly, and increase focus. Headspace also has a website where they provide instructed meditation exercises and videos talking about meditation, self-care, relationships, and more. Teletherapy, whether through apps or in-person, is on the rise, offering more accessible access to therapy, wellness, and positive mental space. However, moving forward, it would be best for the care of patients to provide both teletherapy and in-person options because, as Dr. Schwartz mentioned, “we have to be aware of if we are choosing the appropriate modality for treatment.” This way, their care is not compromised if their at-home environment is not feasible for teletherapy, requires an understanding of technology, or lacks technology access. Sokoloski leaves us with the idea that “Teletherapy has been available in some form for many years but was not widely utilized as many practitioners were unfamiliar with the process. I think that it is likely to stay available as an option once we return to campus and the pandemic ends, though it may be in a slightly different format.” Teletherapy has been mainly successful during the virtual period, but this is not the end all be all solution to increasing patient access to healthcare.


Working From Home The act of attempting to evade all distractions while getting the bare minimum done

1. Some things should stay private Remember, just because you’re on a business call doesn’t mean everyone needs to know your business. And, if you need to do your business, please do yourself and your co-workers a favor and leave your computer behind. 2. The mute button is your friend There’s no shame in zoning out during a meeting and scrolling through social media, but make sure you mute yourself. No one wants to be known as the person attempting to learn the WAP dance via Tik Tok. 3. Your dog is your new coworker Your dog is probably most excited about you working from home. *Who’s a good boy? Yes, you’re a good boy* As annoying as it might be, your pup is your new co-worker. *Who wants a treat?* 4. Make your own lunch Working from home means you no longer have to wait for your lunch break to eat. You can finally make that fluffer-nutter sandwich your inner five-year-old has been craving. 5. Find a hiding spot Arguably, one of the biggest issues when working from home is your unwanted co-workers—because nothing is more embarrassing than your mom interrupting a meeting to ask if you want your underwear folded. The workaround? Find a hiding place where you can peacefully attempt to get work done. Options include a walk-in closet, a shed, or even the pantry. Just make sure to lock the door! 6. Pick up new hobbies Working from home means you have more time to pick up hobbies. Consider knitting, knot tying, or something slightly distressing like ghost hunting. Now, the next time you’re forced to do an awkward ice breaker over Zoom, you’ll be sure to have some fun facts about yourself!

BY Lindsay Uber  ILLUSTRATION Lauren Bulka


7. Try to look presentable (you never know when you’ll need to be camera ready) Yes, no one will know whether or not you showered or brushed your teeth through their Zoom screen. However, they can tell if you just rolled out of bed without even brushing your hair, so please do everyone a favor by doing the bare minimum before your next call by putting on a shirt without stains. Remember—they can only see you from the waist up, so pants *are* optional (just don’t stand up.) 8. Don’t pull a disappearing act Every company has the one person who goes AWOL for weeks, only to reappear when you find out your work from home period is extended. Maybe you’ve been busy binging all of Netflix, trying every pizza place in town, or baking enough banana bread to feed a small army. If you’re going to be this person, fully commit to going off the grid—no reappearing necessary. 9. Set your alarm accordingly Yes, your shortened commute does mean more time for you to hit snooze. However, make sure you have enough time to roll out of bed and change into fresh sweats before your morning Zoom meeting because saying there was traffic on your commute from the bedroom to the bathroom probably won’t fly. 10. Enjoy it while it lasts Working from home won’t last forever (even if it feels that way.) Enjoy it because there might not be another opportunity for you to get paid for wearing dirty sweatpants while lying in your unmade bed watching Friends for the 100th time.













GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERACTIVE DIGITAL MEDIA INTERIOR DESIGN MUSIC INDUSTRY PHOTOGRAPHY @drexelwestphal @drexelwestphal @drexelwestphalcollege @drexelwestphal