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CREATIVE DIRECTOR

LETTERS Kacey Musgraves, “Old Town Road,” and the Fall/Winter 2018 runways make it clear that cowboys are having a renaissance. “Laying Low at the Bedford Motel” is a Bonnie-and-Clydeinspired photo story with a Western flair. The eight-page spread depicts two companions on the run from the law. The editorial begins with the pair’s arrival at the Bedford Motel and invites the reader to join the two for a night at the motel. From cowboy boots to belt buckles, the styling gives a nod to the Western trend. For this photo shoot, we traveled to the Bedford Motel in Bedford, Massachusetts. The motel offered the duo a safe haven from their worries; its retro aesthetic became the perfect backdrop for our Fall/Winter editorial. The use of colored lights and flash adds a dark and moody feel to the story, while the sequin tops and glittery makeup add sparkle and glamour. Throughout the issue, you will see hints of retro and Western elements through vintage fonts and ‘50s doodads. Our graphic designers achieved a stellar balance, both embracing their article subjects and supporting the editorial theme.

CONTRIBUTORS Publisher Lasell University Founder Richard Bath Creative Director Cassandra Moisan Managing Editor Noor Lobad Art Director Emma Helstrom Associate Art Director Anna King Art Editor Margaret Brochu Editors Madison Raffone Morgan Trumbull Lead Stylist Mattias Voltmer Stylists Madison Paloski Sydney Nekoroski Emma Ingenohl Ava Aguilar Editorial Photographer Margaret Brochu Editorial Makeup Marissa Spagnoli Models Vincent Henry - Maggie Inc Anna Patten - Maggie Inc

MANAGING EDITOR

Media Directors Rachel Stankus

Renouncing conformity and pragmatism in favor of self-love, individual expression, and community empowerment? *Paris Hilton voice* that’s hot. This issue of POLISHED highlights some of today’s leaders who are pushing culture forward by digging deeper and challenging convention. The story “The Face of Our Time” calls on beauty and fashion companies to move beyond the embrace of the aesthetic of diversity and instead recognize the pivotal role true diversity plays in creating meaningful change across industries.

Alyssa Butkiewicz Brianna Doody Social Media Team Jacqueline Cordeiro Brianna Doody Abby Detrick Madison Cormier Sophia Mazzone

The dichotomy between innovation and tradition has begun to lessen as the two work in synchronicity to revolutionize our habits and values. “Simply Silk” demonstrates this concept through Evolved By Nature’s pursuit of new ways to introduce sustainability to the longstanding practice of silk production. “Treasure in Trash” emphasizes the democratization of art through the use of avant-garde materials, while “Rob ‘Problak’ Gibbs” illuminates graffiti as a means of social and political resistance in an encapsulation of the zeitgeist.

Jacqueline Minasian

As I prepare to embark on my semester abroad at the London College of Fashion, it is my great pleasure to pass the role of managing editor back to Aine Hawthorne. I wish her the best of luck, and I am confident she will do a brilliant job.

Hannah Chawla

Alexandra Stevas Abi Brown Simone Landry Briana Muller Madison Whiteley Alexandria Bettencourt Blog Editor Avery Stankus Blog Team Samantha Vega-Torres Alexa Madeiros Faith Costa Francesca Carr YouTube Team Rachel Lucas Samantha Jenkins Samantha Vega-Torres

1844 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA 02466 | lasell.edu polishedfashion.com | polishedblogger.wordpress.com Polished Magazine | @bostonpolished @bostonpolished

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Faculty Advisors Lynn Blake Stephen Fischer Becky Kennedy


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CONTENTS

8 12 CALENDAR 4

Designer: Daisy Bocanegra Writer: Jessica Spillane

FASHION THE FACE OF OUR TIME 6

Designer: Emma Helstrom Writer: Marissa Spagnoli

YORK ATHLETICS 8

Designer: Jack Margolis Writer: Catherine King

THE Z LIST 10

Designer: Anna King Writer: Meghan O’Loughlin

ON THE COVER

TREND REPORT 12 Designer: Margaret Brochu Writer: Noor Lobad

MEGHAN HUGHES 14

Designers: Ciarra Chasse & Dylan Wilson Writer: Alanis Perez

LAYING LOW AT THE BEDFORD MOTEL 16 Retailers: Madison Ave, Nathalia Jmag, Meghan Hughes, Global Thrift, DeWolfe Leather Goods Makeup: Marissa Spagnoli Photography: Margaret Brochu Location: The Bedford Motel

28 LIFESTYLE ROB “PROBLAK” GIBBS 24 Designer: Taylor Smith Writer: Noor Lobad

SIMPLY SILK 26 Designer: Brianna Ricker Writer: Emily Ohlson

TAIYAKI NYC 28

Designer: Hunter Spencer Writer: Samantha Vega-Torres

THE TREASURE IN TRASH 30

Designer: Nicole Solano Writer: Kiersten Brown

MISSION STATEMENT

Vincent (Left) The mission of POLISHED Magazine is to promote and Blazer: Global Thrift highlight the diverse and vibrant culture and fashion scene of Turtleneck: Madison Ave Boston and the surrounding area. Necklace: Uno de 50 Denim: Our own POLISHED Magazine is produced by the Lasell University Anna (Right) School of Fashion with graphic design support from the White Blouse: Madison Ave Graphic Design League at Lasell University. Visit us at graphicdesignleague.com Sequin Top: Madison Ave Denim: Nathalia Jmag POLISHED Magazine is printed by Hair and Makeup by Marissa Spagnoli Wing Press - beau@wingpress.com Photography by Margaret Brochu

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Fall / Winter 2019

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Fruits in Decay is a new special exhibit by artist Rudolf Blaschka in the Glass Flowers gallery, showcasing summer fruits such as strawberries, peaches, and plums blighted with rotting and disease in a fantastical display of realism.

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Calling all chocolate lovers! Join over 20 local restaurants and chocolate shops as they hand out free samples of each shop’s top-selling chocolate goodies in Harvard Square.

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Enjoy skating but not the hefty price tag that often comes along with the classic winter pastime? Every Tuesday in January, the Frog Pond will offer half-price admission to all college students with a valid student ID.


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This event packs bundles of fun and good food together for an all-in-one experience. For $85, attendees can enjoy a four-course meal while being placed in the middle of a make-believe murder scene; they are tasked with finding out who the killer is.

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Love the Jurassic franchise and want to experience what it is like to roam with the dinosaurs? Life-size replicas of these ancient creatures will roam freely alongside attendees around the jungle island in this real-world, 3D experience. The real question is, however, are they friend or foe? Grab a ticket and find out!

Jessica Spillane

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ho defines beauty? While beauty industry giants once dictated beauty standards, recent shifts in consumer expectations of beauty and makeup companies have, for the first time, transferred this power to the consumer. While consumers used to strive to replicate the depictions of beauty portrayed in magazines and advertisements, it is now brands that must strive to reflect the interests and characteristics of their target consumer in order to thrive. Consumers are demanding that brands recognize and act upon the ideas that diversity drives progress, and nonconformity should be celebrated. This pressure from consumers has disrupted the fundamental premises the beauty industry’s brands were built on, many of which tell the industry’s primarily female consumers that they should all strive to look like unblemished, unrealistic versions of the “perfect” woman. One turning point in altering typical beauty standards and brand advertising tactics occurred when social media platforms Instagram and Twitter took off, bringing along with them the ever-growing phenomenon of the “influencer.” To be a social media influencer means having the capacity to affect the habits and buying decisions of one’s media following. Brands now turn to influencers with large followings to promote their products because influencers offer an element of authenticity that celebrity endorsements tend to lack. To their devoted followers, influencers feel like friends in many respects; they interact with their followers by showing them their everyday lives and interests, making their product endorsements seem more reliable. YouTube is another media-sharing platform that has changed the makeup game for good, giving rise to beauty gurus Jeffree Star, James Charles, and thousands of others. These makeup gurus’ claim to fame has been their makeup tutorials demonstrating their signature dramatic and unrealistic looks. Overdrawn lips, contoured cheekbones, and blinding highlight are just a few of the over-the-top makeup trends that have flooded the internet in recent years. These influencers pile makeup onto their faces, layer after layer, unintentionally reinforcing to their (often young and impressionable) fan bases the harmful idea that excessive makeup is a necessary element in looking beautiful.

Photos by Margaret Brochu

However, as the demand for increased diversity and representation in mass media becomes pressing, more and more consumers are demanding diversity and inclusion from makeup and beauty brands as well. This has set off a new wave of beauty approaches that celebrate self-love, acceptance, and self-expression. These trends are about being comfortable in the skin a person is in, rather than trying to change or disguise it. Now, rather than concealing their flaws, people are embracing them through minimal makeup looks intended to enhance, rather than alter, one’s appearance. Brushed-up brows, a light coat of mascara, and a subtle rosy glow on one’s cheekbones are all that is needed to achieve this natural look. Efficiency and timeliness are key elements in this effortless and simple style of makeup.

Many brands speak about being inclusive yet fail to deliver on their promises by not bothering to make shade ranges that are compatible with all skin tones and by lacking diversity in the models they cast for their advertising campaigns. One boundary-breaking company that actually makes inclusivity an integral part of its brand rather than merely saying it does is Fenty Beauty. Fenty Beauty, which was launched in 2017 by pop-culture icon and business mogul Rihanna, made waves by releasing a foundation line with a whopping 40 shades when many popular makeup brands were under fire for their lack of shade diversity. Fenty’s approach has had a dominolike effect on competing makeup brands, forcing them to expand their shade ranges rather than ignoring the needs of nonwhite and black customers, which the makeup industry has long neglected. In contrast to the newly popularized “no makeup” makeup look, another industry-changing trend that has emerged involves unconventional, full face makeup— but rather than representing an act of conformity, adoption of this style is an act of defiance of stereotypical beauty standards. Bedazzled diamonds and faux pearls line eyes, while bold eyeliner drawn in unconventional shapes frames them. However, there are no set-in-stone parameters; the use of varied, outlandish colors and a lack of rules are precisely what define this trend. In comparison to the excessive YouTube influencer makeup that is intended to make everyone look the same, this form of extravagant makeup is used as a means to stand out. One medium through which this nonconformist look appears is television. Recently released TV shows, such as the coming-of-age HBO series, “Euphoria,” offer a raw look at the challenges facing modern-day high school students: substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and suffocating societal pressures. The show’s makeup artist Doniella Davy customized each character’s makeup looks to represent the unique internal struggles. In the world of fashion, too, trailblazing models Ashley Graham and Winnie Harlow, along with other industry misfits, have made a splash through their refusal to question their own worth because they do not fit into tired standards of beauty. Instead, they have worked to topple these standards. Makeup should not be intended to cover what is underneath but should instead enhance the beautiful inner and outer features a person is born with. Whether it is used to subtly enhance one’s features or to create grandiose looks, makeup is a way of expressing one’s identity and projecting it to the world as boldly as one desires. Beauty is not just aesthetically pleasing; it is a means of power and expression. Whether they flaunt their bare faces and all of their “imperfections” or wear an artful full face of makeup that represents who they are, consumers are using their voices to demand change, and this newfound power is not one they are likely to give up anytime soon.

Marissa Spagnoli

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S

ince 1948, the footwear industry has been dominated by sneaker giants such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Reebok. These major athletic shoe companies offer a variety of colors, sizes, and fits that have dictated sneaker norms for decades. Having successfully developed cult-like followings in an increasingly competitive market, these brands have established themselves as billion-dollar companies— but one thing they will not attain is the authentic fighting spirit that online sneaker company YORK Athletics mfg. embodies. Founded in 1946 in Manchester, New Hampshire, as Indian Head Shoe Manufacturing Company, YORK Athletics has been designing and selling quality sportswear throughout three generations of the York family. In 1980, the company evolved into a sporting goods store, offering athletic apparel in addition to shoes. Fast forward to 2016, when brothers Travis and Kyle York teamed up with footwear professional Mark McGarry to continue family tradition and start their own third-generation athletic shoe company, YORK Athletics. The company began with the purpose of manufacturing shoes for everyday consumers and has gone on to design shoes for major sport champions like NFL Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas and United States Olympic Gold Medalist in Figure Skating Peggy Fleming. McGarry became a cofounder and CEO of YORK Athletics after accumulating vast experience in the shoe industry, working for companies like Nike and Puma. On a day-to-day basis, McGarry can be found configuring new product design, wear testing, determining new strategies, and planning upcoming events for the company. When fundraising for the company to support its launch, he made sure to maintain control over the business by finding investors who supported the cause and understood the kind of honest company YORK wanted to become. YORK Athletics has no desire to become a sneaker giant. In fact, it is dedicated to reimagining the very standards set by big brands. The company prides itself on its transparency, independent spirit, and favorable underdog quality. With a target market of 18- to 35-year-olds, YORK focuses on making versatile athletic shoes that will accommodate various lifestyles. “[The sneakers] are for young, active males and females who are ambitious, motivated, active in the gym, investing in their mental and physical health, and are active indoors and outdoors. We attract all walks of life—from trainers at the gym, to teachers, to students, to senior executives, to creators. It gives us a more authentic feel when you compare us to Under Armour ads or Adidas ads,” said McGarry.


In a landmark accomplishment for the company, YORK Athletics received the Best New Performance Gear award from Men’s Health Fitness Magazine for its first shoe, The Henry, launched in 2016. YORK Athletics is dedicated to offering shoes that fit seamlessly into everyday life; a shoe that YORK Athletics produces bears no prominent logo, branding, or design; it is simply a quality shoe designed to tackle any task. YORK Athletics was also one of the first sneaker companies to make every shoe unisex. “We thought it was cool to offer this dual-gender stance, to offer the same kind of sneaker to both men and women…. Looking forward, I am really excited about creating YORK experiences in our top cities. We would bring more experiential activations to the real world. I hope to manifest our purpose as a company and talk about the power of a sneaker and the benefit of running and training 30 to 40 minutes a day. All you need is a sneaker for that; you don’t need a 300-dollar gym membership,” said McGarry. In May 2019, YORK Athletics launched its #worththefight campaign in partnership with Olympic Gold Medalist and gymnast Aly Raisman, who is originally from Needham, Massachusetts. This campaign has drawn significant attention to the small shoe company and the uplifting message its campaign is promoting. Through this campaign, YORK Athletics has started a movement that encourages people to better themselves physically and mentally. “It’s my belief that everyone has this fighting spirit inside of them; we are all connected through our own individual challenges, pain, and suffering. Everyday people are carrying the weight of these challenges, and when you are ambitious and trying to accomplish goals in your life, you have to overcome a lot, so we believe that everyone has this fighting spirit inside of them. Aly Raisman has really been the megaphone for the #worththefight campaign, to show you need to carve out time to take care of yourself, mentally and physically, and build up your resiliency and go out and be successful. That is why we have the term ‘everyday fighter,’ because there is a mindset we want to promote in the world for you every day,” said McGarry.

YORK Athletics has always admired Aly Raisman, so partnering with her was a big step for the company. YORK Athletics is inspired by her dedication to and passion for being a role model for people of all ages. Raisman’s tenacity and zeal embody the spirit of a fighter, making her the perfect mentor for the campaign. Raisman began by redesigning The Frank, creating three different versions of the shoe. “The Frank is an all-purpose cross trainer, with a leather cage on the outside that promotes heel lockdown to keep your heel secure…. We went for a dual approach and landed with a bone-white trainer that represented neutrality, a dual-gender aspect, was culturally on trend, and big on peace and tranquility. [The patchwork design] really represented Raisman’s optimism and positivity,” said McGarry. YORK Athletics has redefined the rules around being a sneaker company and continues to inspire and motivate consumers to adopt a healthier and happier lifestyle. By drawing attention towards physical, mental, and emotional health, YORK Athletics is making more than just shoes; it is creating a platform for open and honest talk about people’s everyday battles, and the movement has only just begun. @yorkathleticsmfg; www.yorkathleticsmfg.com

Catherine King

Photos courtesy of YORK Athletics mfg.


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fter having to defend their often-questioned roles in the beauty and fashion industries since the emergence of blogging as a paid profession in the mid-2000s, fashion and beauty bloggers have established themselves as industry pacemakers and a crucial component of the future of fashion. One of these bloggers is Zahara Khan, who some may know as the blogger behind the fashion and lifestyle blog The Z List. Khan provided POLISHED with insight into her daily routine, her current fashion and beauty favorites, and the magnitude of the work bloggers put into their careers, which goes largely unrecognized. “My day to day is just like everyone else’s; I wake up; I go to work— but throughout the day, it does consist of a lot of multitasking. There’s a good chunk of it that I spend on Instagram, as well as my day job, so I have to be very organized. Nothing in this world is free; I spent work and time and hours in the back end that nobody saw, that helped me get this thing,” said Khan. Whether Khan is sharing pictures of her striking and sophisticated outfits, or snaps from her envy-worthy world travels, she is constantly discovering unique ways to keep her 54k Instagram followers engaged and inspired. Since

Instagram is her favorite social media platform, Khan feels a responsibility to stay active on the platform and loves posting and interacting with her supportive fan base. Instagram was the social media platform Khan first founded her personal brand on, and the app has since provided her with countless opportunities to meet people with similar personal and professional interests. These meetups and networking opportunities have

“I love a gold choker— I wear that with pretty much every outfit. I think jewelry is so appealing and can make the outfit.” become the most rewarding aspects of social media blogging for Khan. Once, she even traveled to Italy with an Instagram friend for the pair’s first face-to-face meeting. “I think Instagram is such an emotional rollercoaster; it goes up and down. Some pictures do great, some pictures don’t. You kind of lose this aspect of humanity to it sometimes, but the best way to keep it in mind is the fact that you make these amazing connections and friends. [The trip] was essentially a blind vacation. She was a blogger; I was a blogger; I felt like we could vibe and have a good time, and she ended up coming and we freaking had so much fun in Italy!” said Khan. Khan enjoys keeping up to date on current trends and using her passion for styling to figure out creative ways to incorporate them into her wardrobe. Her favorite trend right now is biker shorts; she gushes over their versatility and the fact that one can wear them in all types of settings, dressing them up or down, depending on what they are paired with. In addition to this quirky new trend, Khan loves blazers as a wardrobe staple piece and considers high-rise blue jeans and gold chokers to be must-haves in any closet.


“People identify with [the fashion industry]. No matter what— whether they think they do or don’t — they own this one piece of clothing that makes them feel so good, so confident, so themselves, and I love that clothes can truly make you feel like that, whether you think you’re a fashionista or not,” said Khan. Khan admitted that prior to attending the most recent New York Fashion Week, she was not partial to largescale fashion shows because they tend to place a heavy emphasis on the social status of attendees, inviting snobbery. However, after attending NYFW, Khan was immensely impressed by the shows and realized that negative portrayals of fashion industry professionals as pretentious or elitists are unfair to the majority. “You meet the coolest people; you see the coolest fashion. You get to see this hard work and so much creation and creativity go into this one show, so I think that’s super cool,” said Khan. “I love a gold choker; I wear one with pretty much every outfit. I think jewelry is so appealing and can make the outfit,” said Khan.

Photos courtesy of Zahara Khan and Steph

In regard to her favorite brands, Khan is a huge Revolve fan and admits that most of her wardrobe is curated from the online modern clothing empire. Other brands she shops from regularly include high-street store Zara, which offers effortlessly cool and dressy pieces, and Urban Outfitters, where Khan goes to curate casual looks. Her favorite designer, however, is the fashion industry newcomer Amina Muaddi, whose eponymous footwear line consists of sultry, unconventional shoes designed with tastemakers like Khan in mind.

Khan has successfully found her niche as a blogger who provides style tips, fashion inspiration, and life advice to her followers. Khan has always wanted a creative career and, through her platform as a blogger, she has been able to do what she loves. This passion for her subject matter is what makes Khan’s social media presence so successful; her genuine love for blogging radiates through her work, making her followers feel connected to her life and the personal brand she has created for herself. @the_zlist; www.the-zlist.com

Meghan O’Loughlin

“The most gorgeous, creative, talented person — Amina Muaddi. I just love her shoes to death. Rihanna is wearing them, Kylie — I mean anyone who’s anybody is wearing them,” said Khan.

anie Desrosiers

Like most fashion lovers, Khan adores in-store shopping but struggles to find the time to make physical shopping trips. Instead, she finds herself frequently turning towards online shopping as a means of getting in her necessary dose of retail therapy, a need many modern-day consumers can relate to. “I shop online because of convenience. Online is much easier, but I am pretty traditional. I love going in, hanging out, trying clothes on, chilling; it’s relaxing to me,” said Khan. Khan’s time in the fashion industry has fostered in her a deep connection to and appreciation for the field of fashion. Her favorite part of the industry is its relatability; fashion impacts everybody. Regardless of whether people particularly care about being fashionable, they have most likely felt the rush of confidence that comes with putting on an outfit that truly resonates with them and makes them feel good.

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Polychromatic prints buoyantly mix and match, boasting an unbridled energy for F/W ’19. Billowing, oversized sweaters tucked into highwaisted trousers whisper hints of femininity into masculine silhouettes. Violet hues ascend into their role as the hero detail of the season. This incorporation of spontaneity in perennial styles is one way in which the duality of today’s classic yet ever-evolving ideals regarding identity is present in fashion. This season’s trend report combines nostalgic flair and contemporary forms in a nod to the past, a celebration of the present, and an embrace of the future.

Noor Lobad


Stylists: Ava Aguilar, Emma Ingenohl, Sydney Nekoroski, Madison Paloski, and Mattias Voltmer Clothes: Global Thrift and Madison Ave Photography: Becca LeBlanc and Matthew Searth Models: Joshua Michna, Daphne Murphy, Jossie Santiago, and Terrence Theus

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n an era as saturated with creative people as this one (or with “creatives,” a newly coined term used to describe people who make a living through the use of their creativity, individuality, and art), original ideas seem to come a dime a dozen. However, one inventive fashion designer named Meghan Hughes has successfully created a name for herself with her cutting-edge creations. Hughes is an independent, Boston-based fashion designer who has recently gained mainstream recognition after designing custom stage wear for singers Kacey Musgraves and Betty Who, for their 2019 nationwide tours. The Boston native, who grew up and still resides in Jamaica Plain, has always possessed a creative spark but never fully accessed her creativity until she attended college. Upon graduating high school, Hughes decided to attend Boston University as an undecided major rather than embarking on the risky path of a career in fashion design. It did not take long for Hughes to realize she would rather take that risk and pursue her passion than allow her fear of failure to convince her to stick with the more practical option. Hughes soon transferred to Lasell College (now Lasell University) in Auburndale, Massachusetts, where she learned the art of fashion design and was equipped with the skills that have allowed her career to thrive. “I went to Boston University for one semester and hated it. I knew I wanted to do a creative art thing. The minute I got to Lasell, I loved school— and I had never loved school before. I loved having creative classes, and there was no pressure; there were [other] beginners,” said Hughes. Hughes’ capsule collections are currently available for purchase through Nineteenth Amendment, an online production platform that helps brands and independent designers produce apparel sustainably and on demand. In working with this company, Hughes has developed her ability to create wearable pieces intended for day-to-day use, in addition to the extravagant designs of her college days. Hughes’ senior collection incorporated both rock-and-roll and Western themes, and she has maintained this rocker-chic aesthetic throughout her designs ever since. This unique style has become an integral part of Hughes’ brand and has set her up for the successes she has amassed, such as scoring an offer from Nineteenth Amendment at the end of her senior year of college. “Nineteenth Amendment was just starting when I was a senior. They came to the senior review and left the designers notes, and I realized that it could be interesting. I’ve been with them ever since. They hooked us up with manufacturers and they only make what’s bought, so I don’t have to create a whole size run since they’re more like made to order. Also, they make everything in the U.S.,” said Hughes.

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Hughes has put out five collections with Nineteenth Amendment and each one incorporates bright colors and bold prints with funky silhouettes, such as flared pants and pagoda sleeves. While each collection is true to Hughes’ signature punk, glam vibe, each upholds its unique character. “Everything I do is definitely pop culture based. I think I’m kind of like a big kid, so a lot of my things are nostalgia based, based on shows and things I grew up with,” said Hughes. Hughes describes her most recent collection, “All That Glitters,” as a “disco Polly Pocket,” due to its fun colors, velvet pants, and funky jumpsuits. This funky, fresh, and original aesthetic has long inspired Hughes’ work and now, it is resonating with others as well. Hughes’ designs have recently garnered the attention of some big-name celebrities such as country singer Kacey Musgraves and Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who. “Kacey Musgraves came out with her first album when I was graduating, and that was when I did this country ice-skater thing, so I was like, ‘Wow, this is her!’ I got a ticket to her show and bought meet-and-greet tickets, so when I got to meet her, I gave her some pieces. I’ve been going to her shows ever since,” said Hughes. After Hughes gave Musgraves a matching-skirt-and-crop-top set she created, Musgraves asked Hughes to make her another one. Musgraves specified that she wanted skinny flare pants and Hughes came up with a flashy silver set for the pop-country singer. Musgraves wore both looks on her recent Oh, What a World Tour. This recognition quickly opened doors for Hughes; shortly after seeing Musgraves’ looks, Betty Who’s stylist reached out to Hughes to request a custom outfit as well, and Who rocked a royal-blue custom Hughes at her Dallas tour stop. Hughes hopes to do more custom work for artists soon and expand her brand. She explained that while she enjoys making wearable stuff too, she “really wants to Swarovski everything at the moment.” While all of the recent celebrity recognition she has accrued may make it seem as though Hughes’ design career is sailing without a glitch, this has not always been the case. Working in a creative field is difficult, and the pressure designers are under to constantly deliver top-notch work can be overwhelming. Hughes advises aspiring designers to keep their heads up during difficult times and invest everything in their trade. “Invest in the best materials, photographers, and models that you can. Not necessarily spending a lot of money but use things of good quality. Do everything the right way the first time; it will save you so much time and money in the long run to not have to go back and redo things. Find a tribe of great people to work with who are supportive and understand your aesthetic, but also push you creatively. And design things you like! If you spend too long creating someone else’s vision, or listening to too many opinions, you’ll burn out fast. If you love what you make, other people will too,” said Hughes.

Photos courtesy of Austin Huck

Hughes is a model for creatives of all ages who long to take a chance on a dream that seems out of reach. Although her journey as a fashion designer has required Hughes to navigate several professional hurdles, her passion for her craft has remained unwavering. This has allowed Hughes to attain her current success, which is surely a mere taste of what is to come for the young designer. @hughes_meghan; https://shop.nineteenthamendment.com/pages/ meghan-hughes

Alanis Perez

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Vincent (Left) Blazer: Global Thrift Turtleneck: Madison Ave Necklace: Uno de 50 Denim: Our own Cowboy Boots: Global Thrift Anna (Right) White Blouse: Madison Ave Sequin Top: Madison Ave Denim: Nathalia Jmag Shoes: Madison Ave Bag: Madison Ave


Vincent Jacket: Model’s own Shirt: Madison Ave Belt: Global Thrift Necklace: Our own


Vincent Jacket: Model’s own Shirt: Madison Ave Belt: Global Thrift Necklace: Our own Pants: Global Thrift Shoes: Madison Ave


Anna Jacket: Our own Dress: Madison Ave Turtleneck: Our own Belt: DeWolfe Leather Goods Shoes: Our own


Anna Jacket: Our own Top: Meghan Hughes Denim: Nathalia Jmag Earrings: Our own Cowboy Boots: Global Thrift


Anna Blouse: Our own Belt: Global Thrift Denim Skirt: Madison Ave Black Skirt: Madison Ave Shoes: Our Own Bag: DeWolfe Leather Goods


Vincent Cardigan: Madison Ave Top: Our own Pants: Our own Shoes: Our own Bag: DeWolfe Leather Goods Jewelry: Madison Ave


“I’m conscious, I’m aware, I’m pro-black, but I’m not anti-anything else”

“I

love you, Problak!” These words echo down Tremont Street as graffiti artist Rob “Problak” Gibbs works on the second mural in his Breathe Life series in his hometown of Roxbury, Massachusetts. Spray paint can in hand, Gibbs steps off the lift he is standing atop to greet the source of this unabashed proclamation. The speaker, who Gibbs presumes is a supporter stopping by to show some love as Gibbs wraps up his latest project, explains to Gibbs that his younger brother had gone missing a few years ago. The man then points at the boy in Gibbs’ mural, who has a younger girl perched on his shoulders, both of them grinning from ear to ear in a display of the pure, uninhibited joy of childhood. “I just found him,” he says.

Having grown up in the ‘90s, during the Golden Age of hip hop (think A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane), Gibbs was heavily influenced by the music of his adolescence and established a lifelong goal of using his art to display the same message of social consciousness that his favorite musicians conveyed through their songs. A self-taught graffiti artist and cofounder of the Boston-based organization Artists For Humanity (AFH), Gibbs uses his art to shine a light on the injustices faced by racial and economic minorities in America. Gibbs strives to represent these inequities in a way that embodies hope for change while acknowledging the pain they cause among marginalized communities.

At a staggering 1,700 square feet in area, Breathe Life 3 is one of Gibbs’ largest projects to date—and certainly one of his most socially and emotionally impactful. The boy in Breathe Life 3 is an updated depiction of the boy in Breathe Life 1, now a few years older and shown holding his younger sister up in praise as the two sign the phrase “Breathe Life” in American Sign Language. The uplifting mural is a quintessential embodiment of the positivity Gibbs aims to promote through his work.

“Being a black man, I feel as though I can’t be as expressive as I would like to be, because it gets categorized differently… I try to convey a message that I would love to be seen and heard and have people be able to look at, digest, and feel smart at the end of the day when they look at it,” said Gibbs.

“I never approach a piece with anger because I think that’s the easiest thing to do, is to get mad. The hard thing to do is to try to find the resolution… I don’t want to disservice anybody looking at my work by being like, ‘I’m mad, and you have to feel it, too,’” said Gibbs.

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AFH, an organization Gibbs cofounded as a teenager in 1991 with five of his friends, provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. It is said that the most powerful thing one can do when one has a platform is to pass the mic, and by fostering creativity in young people who otherwise do not have the means to express their artistry readily available to them, this is exactly what AFH is doing.


“When I first started at AFH, I was really nervous and didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have that much art experience, but the mentors were always helping me, especially when I was struggling.… I used to be really shy and I would be scared to meet new people and have a conversation with them, but now I am more of an outgoing person since I’ve been able to meet people and make new friends at AFH,” said 15-year-old AFH employee Jenny.

Photos courtesy of Rob “Problack” Gibbs

Although recent efforts have been made to increase representation of people of color in mainstream media, depictions of blackness through the lens of Eurocentric stereotypes are still harmfully prevalent. Gibbs defies these standards by creating art that falls on the opposite end of the spectrum, with portrayals of unapologetic, natural, and carefree black youth and adults not commonly found elsewhere. “We don’t have to be just a kid in the hood, walking down a dark block.… There’s more to us than that. We’re scholars. We’re educators. We’re cultured contributors; we have accolades that run deeper than just what we’re celebrated for, which is mainly sports and entertainment,” said Gibbs. By diversifying existing representations of black people and youth, Gibbs is imparting to young black people the crucial message that they are under no obligation to look, act, or dress a certain way just to conform to a narrative assigned to them by the rest of the world.

Despite the positive imagery street art often uses, there is still a seemingly insurmountable stigma surrounding the medium. Even in 2019, graffiti is still perceived as a form of vandalism, and in the eyes of many, graffiti is synonymous with defacement. “It’s speaking to a skill set with a medium that’s not celebrated, and that’s only because of its adolescence. People are going to say what they want to say; you have no control over that. But you can lay down something that’s so honest and true that it kind of reveals the truth in that way. When you do something that’s undeniable, the people will speak to it,” said Gibbs. Gibbs’ introduction to street art and painting began with a calling he felt as a child to beautify the ghetto with graffiti. Over 30 years into his career as a street artist, not only has Gibbs remained true to that purpose, but he has also serviced his community by providing young artists with a space to nurture their creative abilities through his organization, Artists For Humanity. @problak; www.pro-blak.squarespace.com/

Noor Lobad 25


F

uture projections of the state of planet Earth have become increasingly grim due to the environmentally unsustainable practices in many of today’s industries. In fact, the need for technological interventions that will reduce environmental concerns is at an all-time high. The Bostonbased company Evolved By Nature has established itself as a leader in the pursuit of sustainability by introducing muchneeded new practices to the beauty and textile industries, which are among the most wasteful of today’s industries. Founders Gregory Altman and Rebecca Lacouture began their journey towards a sustainable future a mere six years ago, when they cofounded Evolved By Nature in 2013. The secret behind their operation is simple: activated silk technology. Less simple, however, has been the process of perfecting activated silk technology to prepare it for its revolutionary use in the textile and skincare industries and beyond. Activated silk technology reinvents the standards of product manufacturing while providing an alternative to harsh chemicals, thus creating a sustainable foundation for silk products. “Activated silk technology is the natural silk protein free of its fiber form and dissolved in water,” said Altman. With distinctive traits and benefits, activated silk obviates the need for chemicals, toxins, and GMOs in clothes and products. With strict requirements for an acceptable silkworm cocoon, Evolved By Nature does not settle for anything less than the best. “First and foremost, the supplier has to agree to organic farming practices; we don’t want pesticides sneaking in anywhere in the process. We make sure that [the silkworms] are organically raised, that they are cruelty free, and that no additional chemicals are added to that,” said Altman. Although the company is well established, each day presents a new challenge. Newly discovered technology invites alternative information, which often creates a constant state of uncertainty for innovative companies such as Evolved By Nature. However, despite the numerous challenges associated with starting a new business, Altman and Lacouture have faced continual dilemmas head on.

“The first year was a complete failure; we could never make the same thing twice. But what we realized was that we were making one hundred unique things. We welcome failure; you just have to fail fast all of the time,” said Altman. It was a milestone achievement for the company when fashion industry giant Chanel invested in Evolved By Nature in June of 2019. For a company with as much influence as Chanel over consumers and other businesses alike to integrate sustainability into its mission was a huge win, not only for Evolved By Nature but for the sustainability movement as a whole. “For us to really have the impact we want, we need to find a way to go global —and to make the product that we produce affordable and acceptable to all,” said Altman. Altman believes that millennials and generation Z are the future of the textile industry. Altman and Lacouture aspire to have their company ultimately be known as the “Green DuPont.” To them, this means educating the population on sustainability and bringing their company’s impact on a global level. As consumers’ awareness regarding the necessity of sustainability increases, so will their demand for industry reform. “For us, it’s a very interesting time where I think brands want to make the change. Culture is starting to reward these brands. Even though they might not have all of the answers, I think that people are starting to get credit for just trying,” said Altman. One of the biggest obstacles facing Evolved By Nature is the widespread use of polyleucine, a highly toxic polyamino acid commonly used in the production of polyester due to its biodegradability. Evolved By Nature has found that decreasing the demand for polyester is not as realistic a goal as decreasing the demand for textile components that come from crude oil and gas. “For me, you cannot fully achieve upcycling of synthetic garments until we actually get all of these other chemicals that are on the surface of them out of the supply chain.


If you really want to make a change, you have to bring awareness to the fact that recycled polyester is not always going to be safe and nontoxic,” said Altman. Though environmental concerns are on the rise, not all companies are focused on implementing environmentally friendly practices in the spaces they occupy. More commonly, companies opt to adapt their business and production models to meet consumers’ ever-growing demands for more clothes, more quickly than ever, because that is the cheaper and more failproof option. “Right now, all we can try to say is decrease the demand for garments, but the whole fashion industry is designed to make sure you want the next season....I think brands are so consumed with trying to tackle the resource constraint that they are actually missing many of the health constraints,” said Altman. While companies like Evolved By Nature are currently pushing boundaries by introducing environmentally ethical practices to industries that are slowly, albeit sometimes reluctantly, taking their cue, it is Evolved By Nature’s ultimate goal that these practices will eventually become commonplace. For individuals who also have an interest in using science and innovation to reform the wasteful industries of today, Altman shared some of his personal tips for success. “You have to take the barrel of chemistry back to the refining fields or the fracking farm and really understand the geopolitical world we live in,” said Altman.

Photos courtesy of Evolved by Nature

The future of the planet is in the hands of today’s younger generations, who will be faced with the challenge of implementing sustainability in everyday life. When individuals demand change on a large scale, companies have no choice but to deliver. Even in the face of industry pushback and pressure to do things the easy way, Evolved By Nature is not afraid to create a path for itself where one did not exist. The persistence Evolved By Nature has exhibited in pursuing its mission to create sustainable silk is inspirational for other companies and individuals seeking to follow in its footsteps. @evolvedbynature; www.evolvedbynature.com

Emily Ohlson 27


TAIYAKI NYC Japanese Ice Cream

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hat is the hottest new culinary trend that has taken the East Coast by storm? With locations in New York, Miami, Toronto, and, as of April 2019, Boston, Taiyaki NYC is a trendy and Instagram-worthy softserve ice cream parlor that has risen to fame due to its aesthetically pleasing fish-shaped waffle cones. The word “taiyaki” translates to “fried fish” and is reflected in the waffle cones’ unique shape. Taiyaki NYC was founded in New York City in 2016 in order to embrace the founders’ heritage through the art of food. Tai was a prized seafood in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868) and is incorporated in Japanese food and culture today through tai-shaped pastries that are given to guests at wedding receptions as a symbol of celebration and luck. The chain draws on Japanese history and emphasizes environmental sustainability, promoting a sense of community while incorporating vegan and lactose-free options on the menu. “At Taiyaki NYC, we work hard as a family to focus on the quality and consistency in the products we serve to our community....We strive to keep our customers happy and satisfied while leaving a minimal footprint on our planet,” said Taiyaki NYC. Today, Taiyaki NYC has become a viral brand that many associate with unique and creative desserts. Since its opening, Taiyaki NYC has taken the social media world by storm and has even been ranked number one out of 12,000+ places in NYC to eat by TripAdvisor. The founders’ triumph in creating a business that has attained so much success in a Western-dominated society, while remaining true to and rooted in Japanese history and culture, has been no small feat. Taiyaki NYC’S artful methods of connecting the past to the present explain why the company receives visits from high-profile public figures such as pop singer-songwriter Halsey, basketball player Dwyane Wade, and actor and comedian Ken Jeong. “We are able to connect to our fan base through pop culture and current events,” said Taiyaki NYC. Collaborations are another important aspect of Taiyaki NYC’s success; to promote the 2018 film “Venom,” Taiyaki NYC created a limited-edition, “Venom”-themed special. The company also did a promotional collaboration for the film “Crazy Rich Asians” prior to its release and even collaborated with a professional basketball team, the New York Knicks, on a menu item. These collaborations allow Taiyaki NYC to create new, inventive desserts in a show of support for brands and organizations it admires while pushing the boundaries surrounding creativity in dessert making.

Photos courtesy of Taiyaki NYC

The success Taiyaki NYC has attained is a testament to the power of social media marketing. By creating a product that is both visually appealing and tasty, Taiyaki NYC has successfully fulfilled modern-day consumers’ demand for instagrammable everything. It is safe to say that no visit to the Boston Seaport is complete without a visit to Taiyaki NYC to indulge in a crunchy waffle-fish ice cream cone. @taiyakinyc; www.taiyakinyc.com

Samantha Vega-Torres

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ND!V!DUA T

he Age of Technology has changed the way art is made in strange, previously unimaginable ways. Many of today’s artists are rejecting the classic pencil-and-paper combination as their preferred artistic medium in favor of newfangled digital design media. This shift from hand-drawn art to digitized graphics has been a topic of widespread debate and speculation for decades, and during this chaos, a cornerstone of the artistic community has been overlooked: three-dimensional sculptors.      Colin Driesch, Winston Macdonald, Luke O’Sullivan, Dom Casserly, and Andrew Meers are a team of creative masterminds keeping the art of 3D sculpting alive in Boston. Together, they make up !ND!IV!DUALS, an artistic collective that specializes in creating interactive sculptures and installations around the United States. The collective was established in 2003 and has completed found-object sculptures for companies such as the National Hockey League, Converse, and Jack Daniels, as well as creating original gallery works.   Found objects are materials that possess unique qualities, which are referred to as their “personalities.” These objects can range from scrap metal, to old and unused pieces of wood, to the caps of empty toothpaste tubes. The advantages of found objects as an art medium are that they are accessible to all, and there are no constraints when selecting objects. Given the rising cost of traditional art supplies, the beauty in found objects is that the artist can manipulate everyday objects to create masterpieces without breaking the bank. !ND!V!DUALS Collective takes objects that others classify as junk and turns them into beautiful sculptures, full of narrative and depth. Although the team members prefer to work with scrap wood, they use their extensive and diverse artistic backgrounds to push their limits beyond wood sculptures. The large grizzly bear commissioned by the Bruins was created entirely out of hockey gloves and old team gear. The completion of this piece signified a turning point for the team; it was the members’ first big success with materials that even they considered unconventional. All five members of the team are as original as the sculptures they create. Thanks to the wide range of artistic skills and knowledge each brings to the table, every member has a unique approach to projects. Meers is a highly trained blacksmith, Casserly is a widely skilled illustrator and photographer, Sullivan works in the printmaking industry, and Macdonald has a bachelor’s degree in biology and works in the marketing and advertising world. Combined, these unique skills greatly enhance the group’s ability to leave a unique footprint with every sculpture it creates. “I actually graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a degree in film, and I never saw myself entering the world of sculpting. As a kid, of course, I was into building with Legos, building treehouses, and that kind of stuff, yet it never connected in my

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mind that years later, I would be following the path of found-object sculptures,” said Driesch.    The team goes through intensive planning processes for each sculpture, as every new project brings forth new hurdles to surmount. With five brains under one roof, the flow of ideas is neverending, and the success of each project is contingent upon efficient and effective teamwork. In order to complete a project, all members of the team must be focused, precise, and dedicated. Each sculpture is carefully constructed and developed, but underlying every installation is the spirit of friendship.     “One of the things that’s really useful about sculpture for us is the camaraderie of it— the teamwork aspect. One person can be holding something up or twisting something a certain way, but we all share a sensibility, and a similar way of doing things. We work together in a very intuitive, semi-successful fashion,” said O’Sullivan. It is abundantly clear that members’ shared values are an important component of the collective’s success, but there is something else they feel is a key factor in making any sculpture worthwhile. In order to create a strong narrative and concept, all sculptures must be approached with heart.        The friendship among the members of !ND!V!DUALS is palpable in their voices, spirit, and work. Every year holds refreshing new bonding experiences for the team. When asked about their favorite project, the group almost unanimously cited the installation of the lovesick café gallery. It was not because of the amount of work invested or the project’s scale, but because of the amount of time the team spent together while the project was completed. “It reminds me of being in a band or on a sports team. Hanging out together is really the most rewarding part of the journey. Lovesick café was a point in history where we were taking on a big challenge. It was the Golden Age of !ND!V!DUALS Collective, the first show we ever did in Boston. Part of the longevity of it is that we would take on projects as built-in time to hang out,” said Sullivan. One man’s trash is another man’s sculpted treasure. Behind every piece of art is an emotional meaning, but behind every !ND!V!DUALS sculpture is a group of passionate, driven, and resilient friends, keeping the spirit of teamwork, family, and creativity alive for generations of sculptors to come. @individualscollective; https://www.individualscollective.com/

Kiersten Brown


Photos courtesy of !ND!V!DUALS Collective

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AS A TEAM, WE HAVE HONESTLY USED OUR SENSE OF HUMOR AND OUR APPROACH TO LIFE AS A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND EVERY SCULPTURE. WE ARE ALL ADVENTUROUS, AND WE LIKE TO TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO POKE FUN AT THE ART WORLD, AND TIME TO POKE FUN AT OURSELVES.

O’SULLIVAN

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Vincent (Left) Blazer: Global Thrift Top: Global Thrift Necklace: Madison Ave Denim: Madison Ave Anna (Right) Jacket: Our own Dress: Madison Ave Turtleneck: Our own Belt: DeWolfe Leather Goods

Profile for Stephen Fischer

POLISHED Magazine FA19  

POLISHED Magazine covers the fashion and culture of Boston

POLISHED Magazine FA19  

POLISHED Magazine covers the fashion and culture of Boston

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