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Brave New World by Claire DeSantis

When will the aliens arrive? The black is turning to white The hard is softening Like melting ice the surface breaks Quickly we plunge into exhilarating freefall The new is old The freedom fighters call So I sit on my porch and wait for the UFO.

Cover Garments by Cortney Sims + Ilia Siegwald

STAFF Creative Director Kalynn Coy COPY + RESEARCH Managing Editor Jenni Miller Writers Gerica Curry Mary Kate Hafner ART DIRECTION Art Director Oletha Hope Crutcher Lead Photographer Sarah Ellen Vitel Features Director Kyla Cherry Fashion Editors Alisha Lopez Lluvia Garcia Assistant Photographer Darby Jones Assistant Style Editors Brianna Knopf Madelyne Allen Photoshoot Assistant Alex Rinehart Assistant Graphic Designer Madisson Alexander Sub-Editor + Producer Claire DeSantis COMMUNITY OUTREACH Managing Editor Reagan Collins

Relations Specialist Allison I. Moorman Community Relations Coordinator Caitlyn Gardner

Contributors S.T.Y.L.E. Student Organization Taylor Barber

ADMINISTRATION Staff Adviser Amy Parris Stephens Life is the student magazine of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. Opinions expressed in Stephens Life are not necessarily the views of the college, students, administration, faculty or staff. Stephens Life strives for accuracy. To report a correction or clarification, please send an email to Stephens Life welcomes your comments and letters to the editor. If you would like to be published, please send your work to



EDITOR We live in a time of constant evolution. The overwhelming dominance of technology has united the world like never before, allowing ideas to flow, invention to flourish and revolution to take place at breakneck speeds. Perpetual transition has become the new norm as original manners of creating, innovating and thinking emerge, almost daily. The rapid progress of society’s current reality is echoed throughout Stephens’ culture. Across campus, our students, programs, activities and faculty are committed to mirroring the innovation abundant in the real world. Whether we’re studying theater, biology, fashion, creative writing, film or any other program, Stephens inspires students to look forward, as we strive to create our most relevant, ingenious and groundbreaking work. This aim continues to be the goal of Stephens Life Magazine, as we seek to provide students with the most significant, original and forward thinking writing, art and ideas. Since December, the Stephens Life staff has been inspired by the rapidly shifting landscape both at Stephens and the outside world. Throughout this issue we hope to address and evoke the revolutionary thinking that thrives within our campus, and readies us for adulthood. Stephens builds pioneers who eagerly pursue the future, ceaselessly seeking to improve this brave new world we live in. And we’re delighted to be here.

Kalynn Coy

Table of






Denim Daze

Textiles Trending in Biology

Unbalancing Act

The Disruption

Stephens Life / Spring 2016 / Issue N0. 08





New Americana


I Like Fashion and Naps

Making a Difference on Campus and Beyond




DAZE Story by Mary Kate Hafner Photography by Sarah Ellen Vitel + Darby Jones


lue jeans and a white shirt, an everlasting combination as American as apple pie. Andy Warhol once said, “I want to die with my blue jeans on.” He probably never fathomed how fatal those jeans could be. Denim is a staple in America’s wardrobe. Ninetyeight percent of Americans own at least one pair of jeans. Fashion magazines and business publications alike, including InStyle and Business Insider, have named dark denim a modern staple appropriate for home and the office. Denim has made the transition from work and casual wear to be appropriate for virtually any occasion. In the words of legendary artist Billy Joel, “The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz and rock and roll.” Jeans not only dominate America’s sartorial landscape, but the rest of the world’s as well. Anthropologist and author of the book, “Blue Jeans: The Art of the Ordinary,” Danny Miller, traveled around the world collecting research on the historical and social context of denim, discovering half of the populations wore denim daily. In the United States, cotton is a $25 billion industry employing over 200,000 people. Cotton receives the most chemical treatments out of all crops in America. Defoliation is a common chemical process used by farmers to increase cotton fruit by removing excess leaves from the plant and preventing insect invasions. The end goal of defoliation is to increase production; therefore, profit. While defoliation is legal in the United States, many European countries have banned the chemical treatment due to its environmental pollution and toxicity to surrounding communities and wildlife. It’s hard to imagine forgotten bellbottoms in the back closet can cause all of that. Every pair of denim uses between 1,500 and 2,000 gallons of water in production alone, and the disposal of denim wastewater is a major problem worldwide. Wastewater full of synthetic indigo dyes is often dumped into the closest body of water. The effect of poisoning surrounding communities’ lifeline rivers and lakes are ignored. Most commonly used indigo dyes are mordant chemical based. Mordant chemicals are acidic, made from metals like chromium and aluminum. These chemicals are what give $35 denim its ‘perfectly lived in’ look. Both chemicals kill ecosystems while poisoning drinking water. The contaminated and harmful water poses a threat not only to communities, but also to the surrounding environment relying on fresh water. Long-term exposure to these chemicals will cause serious health

consequences such as lung infections and even infertility. The season’s most fashionable colors can be seen streaming down rivers, while the effect of poisoning surrounding communities’ rivers and lakes are disregarded. In 2014, Levi Strauss created a process which uses solely recycled water in parts of garment production, in an effort to reduce the impact of waste on fresh water resources. While Levi’s made a step in the right direction, it will take many more companies and factories switching to recycled water to make a lasting impact. Sustainability reaches past the environment. It involves the human person. Deustche Welle, Germany’s lead broadcasting news outlet, reported that entry-level salaries for workers in Ethiopia’s textile industry range from $35 to $40 per month lower than Bangladesh’s minimum wage of $68 per month and far below the average wage of $500 in the Chinese textile sector. In addition to their abysmal pay, workers are exposed to the noxious chemicals used in blue jean production. The same chemicals that poison rivers and lakes will poison the health of the factory worker. No person should be working for such a low wage nor be exposed to life threatening chemicals. “The reality is that, in general, the average consumer is not concerned with sustainability. If it does not directly affect us, it is completely off our radar. Once we learn about the realities and the human cost of, for example, textile waste pollution, abuse and unfair wages for textile workers, it becomes more real for us,” business owner Tina Marks said. “The human element is the key; putting a face to the high cost of these practices gives us a reason to care.” American apparel companies such as Nudie Jeans and Cone Denim are excellent sources for ethically made and sustainable clothing. Cone Denim has been a leading supplier of denim fabrics to top denim apparel brands since 1891. The winner of The Guardian’s 2015 Observer Ethical Award, Nudie Jeans is committed to sustainable practices. Since its 2003 inception the manufacturer has striven to improve working conditions in the textile industry while cutting down on waste, by using a select group of ethical suppliers. Nudie takes great caution to ensure that their jeans do not end up in landfills, offering free repairs and encouraging customers to recycle old jeans, giving a 20 percent discount on new products in exchange for styles the consumer is tired of. Although their ethical business practices can serve as a major plus, the hefty price of Nudie Jeans and Cone




upcycled denim dress by nicolle drawyer


Denim may deter shoppers, as their jeans cost $120-$375 per pair, a far cry from the $7 jeans available at Forever 21. It is a challenge to pass up tantalizing deals and steals available at fast fashion retailers. As consumers, we spend money on goods we think should last. Why not expect the same of denim? “No. 1 is quality, whether I am purchasing an article of clothing or creating one. It starts with the fabric and for me that usually means natural fibers,” said Marks. “Having a good knowledge of fibers and fabrics helps me to choose fabrics that will feel good to wear and will hold up well.” She also advises people to cut back machine washing and instead spot treating clothing to extend clothing’s life cycles and reduce the garment’s environmental impact. According to the Atlantic, in the U.S. alone, 10.5 million tons of clothes end up in landfills every year. There is no denying fast fashion’s disconnect with sustainability. By nature, fast fashion is a volume business; however, some retailers are recognizing the need to make changes. H&M is one of few fast fashion retailers making a move towards more sustainable production, recognized as the world’s No. 1 user of organic cotton which has a lighter environmental impact. A realized consumer power has the potential to evoke change. Consumers can help ensure safer working environments and job security for factory workers. If consumers speak up and act out for better production and working environment, companies will have no choice but to adhere to these demands. Companies’ main goal is to make profit. It would be difficult to make profit if consumers stop buying the product. Marks remarked, “There is power in money. How and where we decide to spend our money is how we can wield our own bit of power.”


jar on the counter filled with an amber liquid resembles apple cider with a thick foam on top . a closer look and you are instantly disgusted .

D espite

T ake

the substance ’ s repulsive appearance , what

you see is an early step in the process of growing fabric .

story by reagan collins photography by darby jones design by brianna knopf


iofabric is an alternative textile grown from cells and bacteria. Biology and fashion have found a way to intertwine, working together to make an impact on the environment and society as a whole. Biocouture, the world’s first biocreative design consultancy, developed a way to make fashion more innovative – growing fabric from life. Through its work, Biocouture help brands to imagine their biodesigned future. Suzanne Lee, the founder, recently teamed up with Modern Meadow, a company

dedicated to using cruelty-free animal products, while using less land, water, energy and chemicals. Together, they have been growing fabric from cells to create biofabric. This new way of growing fabric has found its way to the classroom. Students in the biology and fashion departments at Stephens College were able to experience the process of growing fabric first-hand. Maureen Lowary, an Assistant Professor in the School of Design at Stephens College, initiated the project in her Crafting

Sustainable Communities class. Lowary said she heard about biofabric years ago and came across the recipe while doing research for her class. Anna Slusarz, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Stephens College, defined the process on a technical level as, “a co-culture of bacteria converted to bio film.” Or simply transforming bacteria into fabric. Lowary said that mixing the solution was quick and easy but the growth period and drying process lasted for several weeks. Biofabric is generating enough buzz to pique interest in the classroom, but is it

scale. She said she finds the whole process reasonably efficient in comparison to the growing, harvesting, spinning and weaving of cotton. “There’s still a long way to go but I believe it is a very positive step in the right direction toward more sustainable fashion,” Lowary said. Science and fashion are working together to find innovative ways to advance apparel into the future, while reducing environmental impact. Biofabric can be considered an experiment that fashion will conduct and the result just might be that biology and fashion belong together.

left and below: biofabric mirrors the intricate textures of leather. samples provided by

anna slusarz, assistant

professor of biology at stephens college.

enough to be adopted on a global scale? The process culminates in a sheet of fabric that resembles leather but isn’t waterproof, a potential issue when it comes to the success of biofabric. Lowary said, “As it is, if it gets wet, it will return to a gelatinous state which is, as you can imagine, a large problem to be solved before it can practically be used to produce clothing.” Whether the fabric will be adopted on a global basis is yet to be seen, however, there is insight on how it can affect the environment. According to Slusarz, biofabric has zero impact because it’s biodegradable. Unfortunately, growing something with zero environmental impact can’t be done overnight. It took two months for Slusarz and her students to grow several small sheets of the textile. Though biofabric has these issues now, there is potential to improve the process. According to Lowary, there is work being done to speed up the growth cycle and also to develop methods where biofabric could potentially be produced on a larger


UNBALANCING ACT Story by Kalynn Coy Photography by Kyla Cherry


ach summer, throngs of fresh-faced college students take their first strides into the professional world. Armed with crisp résumés, new blazers and a little naivety, these students dip their toes into the workforce as they sample potential careers in hopes of increasing their future job prospects, post graduation. According to research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 63 percent of students who complete a paid internship graduate with a job offer. Since the 1990s, internships have been a basis for students to differentiate themselves from their fellow applicants. This differentiation is particularly important in competitive fields, such as the media, fashion, journalism and music industries, where jobs can be hard to come by. Internships are becoming a given throughout much of the professional world. Maureen Bernath, the Director of Internships and Career Events at Stephens College explains, “I find it hard to believe that anyone can get a job out of college anymore just blindly sending out résumés to people without having some sort of internship or previous experience. It’s critical and it’s necessary.” In a world where 95 percent of employers use candidates’ experience to determine who is hired, based on NACE reports, internships can be imperative for job placement. At the same time, these positions can provide students with the professional networks, confidence and understanding needed to embark on their careers. “It gives [students] the chance to really see what their future career may entail,” said Courtney Cothren, who teaches PostInternship Seminar in the fashion department. “Then the student can decide if that is what she wants to do. Some of the best learning I’ve seen is from students that do multiple internships… they can really glimpse what different companies are like and make decisions about what they may want in their future career.” Still, the many benefits that accompany an internship come with a cost. As internships have become increasingly prevalent, the demand for these

positions has increased. As a result, interns are often left unpaid for their efforts. Federal mandates require positions to meet a total of six criteria in order for an internship to be unpaid. These criteria require all unpaid internships to be of benefit to the intern, resemble the training that would be given in an educational environment and that the interns cannot replace regular employees, but instead work under close supervision of existing staff. Despite these specifications, the overall legality of unpaid internships continues to be questioned. In 2013, Condé Nast suspended their internship program after being sued for $5.8 million by their previous interns, none of whom had been paid for their labors. “There’s a lot of issues right now with unpaid internships, especially in the film and media industry magazines, where there are some lawsuits out there about unpaid internships, so the world of internships as we know it is probably going to be changing,” said Bernath. While the future may hold a number of changes, today’s students struggle to make ends meet with unpaid internships. When many of the best internships are only afforded to students with the capital to live in cities like New York or Los Angeles, it limits the potential applicants to those with the financial resources to live in a major city without pay. “If a student has to pay for housing and travel those are big costs... Some people are willing to incur those and others aren’t. It really depends on the student and the family decision,” Cothren said. Although some students may have the support of their families, to help with high rent costs, the option does not exist for all students. Even if students opt to save money by living in less expensive areas, additional costs can still burden interns. “If you want to intern in New York City but you can’t afford to live there, but you have to live outside the city you need to have a transportation pass to the subway ,” said Bernath. Still, she implores students to keep working to

Can we Really afford The High Cost of Interning?

achieve the internship of their dreams. “We’ve seen students that have lived in a one-bedroom studio apartment in New York City and eaten ramen noodles for three months because that’s what they had to do to survive. We’ve seen students that will take internships and maybe they’ll counter the intern offer by saying ‘okay, I can only work part time for you’ so they’ll maybe only do their internship for 20 to 25 hours a week and they’ll work another 20 hours a week doing retail or waiting tables.” Students from less privileged backgrounds find themselves facing more obstacles than their peers, when it comes to securing the best possible internship. Although this gap may vanish as more paid internships emerge, a more extreme barrier divides students according to affluence, a student’s ability to pay for an internship. As internships have become increasingly popular, positions with major companies become more and more coveted. In the wake of this competition a number of companies have emerged guaranteeing job placement for interns for a mere nine-grand. Although the prices for internships may vary from program to program, their concept remains constant: students are required to pay for the right to work for free. Dream Careers has become the front runner of these programs, advertising positions with luminaries including Lionsgate, W Hotels, Christian Louboutin, NBC and Lancôme. The organization charges a flat $8,499 for their New York internship, which runs from June 5 to July 30, and includes



basic necessities for living including housing and transportation in addition to professional development services such as networking events and résumés reviews, on top of the position itself. In comparison, interns in New York find housing in the NYU dorms for the same amount of time, anywhere from $1,560 to $3,376. Likewise, students would be able to reap the benefits of Stephens College Center for Career and Professional Development, where students can go through mock interviews and résumé checks for free. When students are required to pay for their internship, it can lead to additional financial stressors, especially when accompanied by the extraneous course fee required through a number of departments in order to receive credit for their internships. Of all of the students who have passed through Stephens and obtained internships, few have paid to acquire their internships. “We’ve never had a student pay a company to do an internship, to my knowledge, unless she was studying abroad and the internship was part of the study abroad costs and experiences,” said Cothren. “From the little I know, I could see the upside of not stressing to find an internship and housing but I think that it’s entirely possible for a student to have a wonderful internship experience without paying a third party.” Bernath had a similar perspective. “A lot of times it’s easy to be swayed by some of the company names that they advertise,” she said. “Students should know that it’s possible to find good internships without paying.”

tips for landing your dream internship

Meet with the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) to get help with everything from going over your résumé to finding professional apparel for interviews.


Brainstorm companies and industries you see yourself working in. Think about the things that you like to do and which products and companies that you love. Creating that list will refine your search and allow you to focus on companies in the industry that best suits you.


When researching internships, validate that you’re on legitimate websites. Stay away from Indeed and Monster postings. Instead, use CSO, LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

4. 5.

Go directly to a company’s website when applying for internships. If you’re interested in Nordstrom go directly to Nordstrom’s website, or Disney go to the Disney website. Avoid using companies that require payment for internship placement. Companies such as Dream Careers will place you for a fee, but in general an internship site should never ask you for money.


Perfect your résumé. It’s usually the first impression with any company. Have multiple people review it before you send it off, to make sure there are no misspelled words or typos.

RAisE Your Hand if... 21

You sometimes feel like a dad in the checkout line at Claire’s You’ve done the “sniff test” on at least one clothing item this week

You don’t really care when someone shows you a picture of their baby cousin on their phone

You only get guacamole when the direct deposit goes live

You taste test three pieces of bacon before serving the rest for breakfast

You have a regular coffee routine, an accelerated coffee routine and an I’m-spending-50-flex-points-on-coffee today coffee routine

You can appreciate but still don’t completely understand “warm” salad and “cold” soup

You swear up and down you are the epitome of your zodiac sign...“I’m a Sagittarius through and through.” OR

By: Allie Moorman

You have no idea why zodiac signs have become so popular, and you think “Taurus” is just the name of a car

THE Disruption A Year of Fractured Fashion

Story by Sarah Ellen Vitel Photography by Darby Jones

The fashion insurgence has begun. Revolutionary forces in the world of retail have emerged to topple the system that has ruled the industry for nearly a century.


ASHION WEEK — A coveted entity that most aspire to attend and contribute to today, tomorrow and forever. Advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behavior have ignited a spark with the potential to transform fashion as we know it. Historically, fashion week was meant for buyers to see the top designers’ latest creations, in order to purchase and sell them in department stores around the world. However, fashion week has recently been affected by a disruption. An over saturation of products in an industry driven by consumer demand has triggered this disruption, bringing the traditional show system to a standstill. The current period of time it takes a garment to make it from the catwalk to a rack in a department store frustrates consumers. Fashion show attendees are now able to update social media with photographs and videos of the new collections in an instant. The transparency that social media provides makes this waiting period out-of-date, rendering shows an ineffective way for brands to make profits and satisfy consumers. By the time clothing is available to customers, the garments don’t seem new anymore. It has become troublesome for designers who follow historical industry standards that they have long known to respond to this change. The emergence of social media works well for informative and educational purposes, but the effect it has on these brands is detrimental. Fast fashion brands have the capability to see what high-profile designers are producing and rapidly imitate the styles and prints within a matter of weeks. Millennials don’t want to wait an entire season to feel the satisfaction of buying the newest Prada bag or Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress. Many will instead purchase the fast fashion versions to attain the instant gratification these retailers offer, for a fraction of what they’d pay at department stores. This disruption of fashion is forcing designers


Garments by Cortney Sims + Ilia Siegwald

to invent updated ways of presenting their brands to rebuild the business of fashion for all of their stakeholders. Today, there are more than enough options for presentation, from social media and e-magazines to classic fashion shows—yet brands are left wondering which option is most effective for reaching consumers. Creative instinct and fluency in new technology are the keys to success in this updated business. According to Associate Fashion Professor Kirsty Buchanan, from the Stephens College School of Design, “Fashion shows have become these monsters that have been taking over brands.” In an effort to change the system and the madness that it has become, designers are pulling back and producing significantly fewer garments. Imran Amed, founder and CEO of Business of Fashion (BoF), spoke about this at the 2016 CFDA Fashion Education Summit in New York City in February. Since students are the future of the fashion, media and marketing industry, Amed announced that, “Student designers must think really carefully as to how their role as a designer fits into the company and how their decisions impact the business.” Every decision they make impacts consumers in some way, whether it affects the cost of products due to the fabric they choose, or the amount employees get paid. It’s not just the fashion industry either; this is affecting all companies that sell products. Buchanan would encourage students who are about to graduate to, “Mentally prepare themselves to think there may not be a fashion week like they’re used to. Brands may have some type of event for consumers in the season when the clothes go into stores, but they may go back to having private fashion shows, when they’re trying to sell their clothes to buyers.” As students embark on the professional world, it is critical that they respond to this shift accordingly. Graduating students should carefully observe what brands are doing throughout fashion week and what is guiding presentation trends. What is the most effective way to reach a specific audience? As students who are the future of business, that’s a question we have a responsibility to influence and answer from this point forward.




A N A C I R Story by Alisha Lopez Photography by Oletha Hope Crutcher

1533 WASHINGTON AVENUE—The Saint Louis Fashion Incubator occupies a historic 7,500-square-foot corner space in the former garment district of St. Louis. The incubator is filled with design offices, shared work area, retail, and education and entertainment space. Though the outside reflects what once was, a bustling textile industry of the 1920s, the inside looks to funding Midwest fashion forward. The Saint Louis Fashion Fund is a newly formed non-profit organization geared towards supporting local designers and fashion focused events, such as Saint Louis Fashion Week. A board of 40 members oversee this organization, among them is Executive Director Eric Johnson. Through projects, fundraising and education to the community, Johnson hopes to bring manufacturing back to the Midwest.


Eric Johnson, Executive Director of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund, is committed to bringing fashion back to the Midwest, one garment at a time.



: Eric, what are the common misconceptions you hear about the Midwest (St. Louis) relating to fashion?

: St. Louis was once the center for fashion manufacturing. How do you think the fashion incubator will help regain this role?

A: The biggest misconception I hear about

A: To help increase fashion manufacturing in

St. Louis or Midwest fashion is that there’s not a lot happening here. Over the past month, I’ve had the chance to meet with dozens of St. Louis-based designers, factory owners, students, etc., and the talent level has been very robust. And fashion is just the tip of the iceberg. With Arch Grants and incubators – such as T-Rex and Cortex – already in place, there is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship movement taking place in St. Louis which is exciting to be a part of.


: What are the differences between New York and St. Louis? Both the negative and the positive.

A: They are different cities with different profiles altogether, but one major difference that could be seen as a positive or negative is the sheer size of New York versus St. Louis. In New York, home to 8.5 million people, there are countless things happening at any hour of the day, which is both exhilarating and exhausting. St. Louis is, of course, smaller than New York, but feels more manageable at the same time. While certainly not at a loss for things to do here, there’s certainly less “noise” here – literally and figuratively – which will be a tremendous asset to fashion companies looking to really concentrate on building their businesses.

St. Louis, the most significant thing we can do is to provide them with healthy, growing fashion companies looking to place orders with them.


: How do you plan to compete with the major fashion hubs of New York and Los Angeles in regards to fashion?

A: Our plan is not about competition. LA and

New York will always be LA and New York. Our goal is to be St. Louis and represent what’s happening in the Midwest. We need to cultivate our own fashion identity; and, if anything, look for linkages with these great fashion capitals rather than compete with them.


: What are the ultimate end goals for the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator?

A: The ultimate goal of the Saint Louis Fashion

Incubator is to be the catalyst that helps a thriving fashion industry grow in St. Louis.


SUPER ? FOODS Photography + Design by Sarah Ellen Vitel




“There is a current marketing focus

on super foods. These super foods can be consumed as part of our diets, but we have to be careful to consume a wide variety of nutritious foods and not rely solely on a handful of foods that are labeled ‘super.’ It is important to remember that a balanced nutrient intake is essential for good health. The average American should include more fruits, vegetables and non-processed grains in his or her diet.” Susan Muller, Ph.D.

Dean of  The School of Health Sciences — Stephens College

I like fashion and naps. Story by Gerica Curry Photography by Lluvia Garcia + Madisson Alexander Design by Madisson Alexander Clothing by La Di Da Children’s Boutique, Columbia, Mo.



mages of children dressing as mini-adults sweep the Internet. Children are no longer covered in frill from head to toe, but decked in jersey pants and joggers. Children’s fashion is in the midst of an evolution towards elevated style and sophistication. While dressing children to match adults has been around since the Victorian era, in recent years there has been more direct attention to children’s fashion. There is thirteen-year-old Moziah Bridges who makes and sells his own bow ties called Mo’s Bows. And there is Fourteen-year-old Isabella Rose Taylor, who began designing at the age of nine, showing her designs at Austin Fashion Week and selling to Nordstrom. The fashion program at Stephens College has recognized this shift in children’s fashion and recently featured an exhibit dedicated to the trend. By inviting boys and girls from The Children’s School at Stephens College to create their own illustrations based off displayed garments, instructors encouraged

children to interpret fashion independently. The school already has a few child models and even one aspiring fashion designer. Kaylee, 10, wants to be a fashion designer who creates all kinds of clothes when she grows up, but mainly dresses. When asked what fashion meant to her, Kaylee said, “I’m not afraid to show who I am.” She said she feels happy when wearing the clothes she feels most comfortable in. One misconception is that children do not care about what they are wearing. Other children interviewed from The Children’s School at Stephens College had strong opinions about what they wore; and they said when they actually liked the clothes they were in, it gave them a tremendous amount of confidence. Children’s fashion choices are sometimes underestimated. When asked the question of whether or not they like fashion, Leo, 10, said he “really liked the 70s fashion,” and thought it was cool when “people would wear their hair all puffy.” Leo also expressed that he is unsure of what his style says about him, and most of the time, his clothes are laid out for him.


“I really like the 70’s fashion.” Leo, 10


Are little Louboutins the next runway trend?

When asked how he feels when he’s wearing his favorite outfit, Leo shared, “when I’m in clothes I like I feel a lot better… I hate blue jeans, just because they are so uncomfortable. I’m only wearing them now because they were my only clean ones.” Lauren Buettner, a senior fashion design student, designed a “mommy and me” fashion line for her senior collection. “I’ve been sewing my whole life, my mom taught me how to sew when I was really young, and I always wanted to learn more about garment construction.” Buettner said. When asked why she chose a children’s line, she says, laughing, “the garments I design for adults are too colorful! There’s just a little more leniency with children’s clothes.” Buettner also expressed that one of her favorite parts of designing children’s clothes was working directly with the kids. This sense of awareness may come as a shock, not everyone realizes that children do have clothing preferences and are not oblivious to fashion. Are little Louboutins the next runway trend? Maybe. As long as these mini trendmakers and style setters have time for a nap.


Making a Difference on Campus and Beyond Story + Photography by Taylor Barber


rianna Jackson is no stranger to prestige. As the president of the Stephens Student Government Association, a Senior Account Executive and Brand Manager in Creative Ink and a Peer Mentor, she knows how to work hard and get what she wants. On March 5th, Jackson achieved what she considers to be her “biggest achievement,” receiving the Making A Difference Award (M.A.D.) at The University of Missouri’s sixth annual Black Women Rock! Award ceremony. “I was so honored, so enamored, elated and just humbled,” Jackson said. “The fact that someone saw something in me so substantial that they were willing to write about me and submit my name for viewing was astounding to me.” The recipient of the M.A.D. Award is determined by nomination and reviewed by the Black Women Rock! committee to determine the most eligible nominee. The M.A.D. woman is a woman that shows no fear in being a leader. She herself inspires others to step up and make a difference. This prestigious award is given to a woman that has made a difference in the black community. In the past five years, Black Women Rock! has recognized over 70 women in the Columbia area. The goal is to uplift the community of Columbia, Mo. Being nominated is a distinction, but to win is truly an honor. “This award means that people see that I am doing good for those around me,” Jackson said. “It symbolizes all the hours of sleep I’ve lost,

all the hours I’ve poured into planning and executing events, all the times where I felt like I had to keep going, use my voice, question the system and not stand for just anything. It shows me that although I am broken and not perfect that I can make things better. I do not do what I do for recognition, I do what I do because I feel it is my duty.” Jackson’s distinctions are the result of her passion for helping others, activist spirit and business mindset. Her passion for helping others and raising up marginalized individuals has made her a superhero to many peers and community members. “Not everyone is willing to speak up,” she said. “Not everyone is willing to lose sleep. Not everyone is willing to be ridiculed and the topic of conversation or controversy. But I am. And I will continue to do so until everyone I know can live as themselves peacefully.” When accepting her award, Jackson admitted that she hadn’t rehearsed a speech beforehand but instead let herself get caught in the moment using her wit to win over the audience. “I didn’t rehearse anything,” Jackson said. “I just spoke from my heart because that is where everything starts and comes from.” As her time on campus draws to a close, Jackson prepares to pass down her legacy onto a new generation of Stephens women. But Jackson will not stop there, she realizes her true calling and will work toward making a difference every day of her life.


Illustration by Molly Wallace

STEPHENS WOMEN: GOING PLACES SINCE 1833 Stephens Life Magazine is always looking for creative individuals to share their talents. Contact Kalynn Coy at for more information on how to join our staff.

Dilettante [ dil-i-tahn-tee] (n.) A dilettante is defined as a person who cultivates their interests in the arts or any field for the sake of their love and wild passion for said area. Although they do not wish to pursue a professional or expert understanding, their candid, yet temporary commitment to knowledge and art is founded in pure joy.

Profile for Stephens Life Magazine

Stephens Life // Spring 2016  

Stephens Life is the student magazine of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. Opinions expressed in Stephens Life are not necessarily the views...

Stephens Life // Spring 2016  

Stephens Life is the student magazine of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. Opinions expressed in Stephens Life are not necessarily the views...


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