FASHION + SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
CHIC SHOES SPICE UP YOUR BEAUTY BASICS
& CUISINE ROUTINE
WINTER-WORTHY MENSWEAR interview with
alice + olivia's STACEY BENDET
the future of fashion!
Emily K. Sherbany Editor-in-Chief Marsha Low Creative Director Leah Pellegrini Editorial Director
Max Wang Photography Director
Natalia Juncadella Art Director
Caitlin Lyons Marketing Director
Jacqueline Lem Operations Coordinator
Tiffany Lu Internal Affairs Coordinator
Page Traxler Finance & Sponsorship Director
Style Director Ali Immergut Beauty Director Carolina Beltran Stylists Sanibel Chai, Celeste Courtenay, Diane Destribats, Nuria Frances, bree Jackson, Anisha Kamat, Ashley Leung, Elonia McHenry, Alex Moritz, Robyn Rapaport, Alexis Richards, Daniella Sakhai, Alee Schwartz, Olivia Stearn Men’s Stylist Arjan Singh Beauty Stylists Anusha Chemicala, Jazmyne Garvin-Archer, Tina Hsu, Laura Sachse Concept Editors Elizabeth Elder, Katrina Tomas On-Set Coordinator Luisa Sucre
Fashion Editor Elizabeth Elder Features Editor Nicole Ripka Copy Editors Lauri Bonacorsi, Jessica Lawson, Sabrina Shyn Research Editors Stephanie Nam, Andrea Shen Contributing Writers Tina Hsu, Natalia Juncadella, ALLI KAYE, Erica Ligenza, Tiffany Lu, Nicole Malick, WHITNEY MASH, Bridget McGeehan, Laura Petro, Divya Prabhakar, Robyn Rapaport, Vinita Saggurti, Linda Yao
Photographers Bonnie Arbittier, Thi Ho, Katrina Tomas, Marlie Winslow Assistant Photographers Maegan Cadet, Melissa Fang, Ayla Fudala, Tara Gonzalez, Divya Prabhakar, Clare Sandlund, Chidera Ufondu
ART AND DESIGN
Senior Layout Editor Tiffany Lu Layout Editors Joshua Aiwerioghene, Sanlie Auyeung, Emma Baiada, Davis Butner, Diane Destribats, Grace Guan, Monika Haebich, Becca James, Christina Liu, Paula Mello Ferber, Alison Nadel, Roopa Shankar
Social Media Representatives Emilie Bishop, Antonia Green, Allison Ruben, Briana Thompson Events Coordinators Andie Davidson, Sarah Hassan, Constanza Sperakis Market Research Coordinator Alexandra Benya Design Chairs Sabrina Bral, Grace Guan Alumni Relations Chair Anna Stochmalski
Professional Apparel Coordinator Alexis Richards Bookings and Model Coordinator Danielle Harris Local Sponsorship Coordinators Melissa Urfirer, Olivia Zderic Assistant Bookings and Model Coordinator Celeste Courtenay Archivist Anna Stochmalski Dzine2Show Executive Board Members Huong Bui-Vi, Lynn Nguyen, Rashana Trim
Editor-in-Chief Emily K. Sherbany Editorial Director Elonia McHenry Website Director Jason S. Mow Managing Editor MK Kleva Blog Director Emma Baiada Senior Health & Beauty Editor Cindy Yuan Senior Culture Editor Rama Hamarneh Junior Fashion Editors Jane Bender, Augusta Greenbaum, Sarah Kehoe, Erich Kessel, Ege Ozyegin, Daniella Sakhai Junior Culture Editors Kelly Ha, Alli Kaye, Bridget McGeehan, Laura Petro Junior Men’s Fashion Editor Adam Warner Junior Shopping Editors Rachel Besvinick, Maegan Cadet, Erica Ligenza, Ciara Stein Junior Health & Beauty Editors Lara Berns, Alicia Chon, Jordan Hillier, Katherine Holland, Madeleine Wilson Website Stylists Rolanda Evelyn, Sophie Fritz, Deborah Kotkin, Madeline McCallum, Heather Miller, Anais Ortiz Guest Bloggers Cordelia Meserow, Julia Molo, Nanette Nunu, Amanda Shulman, Marissa Solomon, Tania Vasilikioti Website Photographer Jeremy Benson International Content Manager Lauri Bonacorsi Blog Photography Editor Joshua Aiwerioghene Blog Photographers Paige Heller, Angela Jang, Katherine Jania, Stephanie Jones, Madhavi Muralidharan, Stephanie Salem, Ariana Schanzer, Alexandra Tritsch, Wing So Assistant Website Director Jennifer Cahalane UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA’S PREMIER FASHION MAGAZINE • Volume VI • Issue II • January 2013 The WALK was founded in 2006 as a student initiative and continues to be a student-fueled organization.. TheWALKMagazine.com was launched in 2010 as a sister to the print edition. The WALK aims to satisfy our community’s widely-demanded fashion fix year-round. Stories edited by the editorial staff will carry bylines of the original author, while stories written by the editorial staff will not receive a byline. Please report corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post corrections on our website. This publication was typeset using GeosansLight and Bebas for headlines, Justus Italic for subtitles and captions, and Adobe Garamond Pro for body text. Page layout was created using Adobe InDesign. Original images were taken with DSLR cameras and adjusted using Adobe Photoshop. The WALK was printed on Sappi Flo 70-pound gloss text paper (FSC and 10% recycled) using sheet-fed offset presses. The binding is saddle-stiched. Printed by Garrison Printing Company, Inc., Pennsauken, NJ. To get involved or learn about advertising and partnership opportunities, please contact us at email@example.com.
ARTS & STYLE
We asked, you answered, we listened. Here’s what Penn has to say about fashion this winter.
HOME SWEET PHILADELPHIA
Whether you're an artist, a foodie, or a premed student, we've found your go-to spots.
spice it up with philly's best ethnic eateries Treat your tastebuds to some diverse global cuisine at these topnotch international restaurants.
the common press: an uncommon treasure
Take a private tour of Penn’s very own letterpress studio.
Freedom Through Fashion Maiti Nepal rescues and rehabilitates trafficked women by teaching them the craft of clothes making.
Penn's Pan-Asian Dance Troupe tells us how dress relates to dance.
MELTING Guns into good
From the far east to west philadelphia
Part business and part nonprofit, Fonderie 47 extracts AK47s from Africa and recasts them into high-end jewelry.
Q&A with stacey bendet We chat with Alice + Olivia's talented founder and designer, who just so happens to be a Penn alumna.
52 WALK ON
Trend watch The coolest winter trends to snuggle up in.
Mano a mano Take some advice from these competitive men: don’t let the cold keep you from wearing your best.
Just for kicks Sky-high wedges, warm booties, and stylish sneakers are all made for walking this winter.
Beauty secrets from around the globe Freshen up your daily beauty routine with these international tips and tricks.
Nailed it Get inspired by this season’s hottest manicure styles.
Around the world Our study abroad students report back on the street trends they spotted in London and Rome.
...And on the walk Here are a few of last semester’s favorite looks from our blog, “SEEN on the Walk.”
weaving style with social enterprise Shokay knits clothing from yak hair and supports Tibetan communities in the process.
The best cure for cabin fever: a dose of travel and adventure. Be sure to pack the perfect clothes and accessories.
THE WALK IS IN YOUR PLACE
Take a look at the rooms of two different pairs of Penn students to see how they styled their spaces.
SPRING EVENTS GUIDE
Here’s our list of spring festivals and events worth marking down on your calendar.
THE FUTURE OF FASHION IS IN OUR HANDS
Cutting-edge fashion companies now let customers dream up and design their own apparel.
BEHIND THE SCENES
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Diversity: a word so frequently uttered that its meaning is prone to elude us. Having joined the ranks of buzz words that float around college admissions offices and corporate human resources departments, “diversity” has grown into a nebulous term in America. It has transformed into a superficial measure of organizational status. It has become a matter of statistics. In its rise to prominence, diversity shed its semantic weight. But its lost meaning can be recovered by engaging with the concept intellectually and, perhaps, artistically. In our Winter 2013 issue, we do just that. Exploring diversity within our college community and across the globe, we seek the wealth of meaning that lies behind the all-too-familiar nine-letter word. On the cover, we scratch the surface. Two Penn juniors, one with light locks and the other dark, wear their hair braided together. The image illustrates the beauty that arises from solidarity in the face of difference. But the unity portrayed is not just for show. Outside of their modeling stint with The WALK, Tonya and Meghna are best friends. On the pages that ensue, we delve deeper. “Penn Speaks” spotlights the Penn community’s divergent opinions on the hottest winter fashion trends, while “The WALK Is in Your Place” reveals the unique interior design savvy
of two pairs of roommates. For a window into the multicultural depth that defines the Penn community, we bring you “From the Far East to West Philadelphia,” a feature on Penn’s PanAsian Dance Troupe, which transports a range of classical Asian dance styles to our campus. The richness that stems from variety does not stop at Penn’s borders. For proof that Philadelphia is an urban playground suited for any taste, we tell you how to make the most of the city in “Home Sweet Philadelphia” and “Spice It Up with Philly’s Best Ethnic Eateries.” Beyond Philly, “Around the World” offers a glimpse of two worldly fashion capitals, London and Rome. We venture even farther from home in “Melting Guns into Good,” “Weaving Style with Social Enterprise,” and “Freedom Through Fashion” to interview and investigate three up-and-coming global enterprises that create fashion with social impact in mind—in Africa, China, and Nepal, respectively. Finally, in “Wanderlust,” we celebrate travel, the machinery that facilitates diversity. Without travel, our University would lack one of its greatest assets: a cohesive community of people who hail from various walks of life. Join us in this issue, as the staff of The WALK—140 of us strong, armed with our unique interests, talents, and senses of fashion—embark on a collective journey to reimagine diversity in its fullest splendor.
Emily K. Sherbany, Editor-in-Chief
FASHION + SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
CHIC SHOES SPICE UP YOUR BEAUTY BASICS
& CUISINE RO UTINE
WINTER-WORTHY MENSWEAR interview with
alice + olivia's STACEY BENDET
the future of fashion!
The clothing styles in “From the Far East to West Philadelphia” are characterized by rich colors and textures. Photographed by Chidera Ufondu ’15.
INTERMIXONLINE.COM FA C E B O O K . C O M / I N T E R M I X O N L I N E TWITTER.COM/INTERMIX
1 7 1 8 WA L N U T S T R E E T
This issue, we wanted to hear what you have to say about fashion. We asked you to answer our style polls on thewalkmagazine.com and send us your most fashionable fall and winter photos. You spoke—we listened. These are the results!
FAVORITE WINTER TREND
Head-to-toe patterns 7%
GREATEST FASHION ON HBO
32% 26% Girls
08 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
Game of Thrones
FAUX FUR VS. REAL FUR
56% humane way to go
Faux fur is the only There’s nothing like real fur
Over-the-top and Stylish and warm
Just beyond Philadelphia’s beautiful skyline lies a little something for everyone. Photographed by Melissa Fang ’15.
HOME SWEET PHILADELPHIA BY NICOLE RIPKA
Getting familiar with University City is easy. But tackling the rest of Philadelphia—with all of its museums, stores, restaurants, historic sites, and other attractions just begging to be explored—can be a trickier task, especially on a college student’s schedule. If you’re craving a brief excursion outside of the Penn neighborhood, it’s hard to know where to begin. So, we’ve made it simple for you. Check out these different Philly go-to guides, and pick the one that best suits your style.
For The Beer Aficionado Historical writings describe Philadelphian malt houses and popular breweries in the early years just after the city’s foundation. Fast forward a few centuries, and beer remains an important facet of our city’s culture. The Philadelphia Brewing Company (2439 Amber St.) offers free tours—complete with beer samples—on Saturdays. Earth - Bread + Brewery (7136 Germantown Ave.), a homey restaurant with an extensive beer menu, is popular for its small-batch drafts like The Bradley Effect, brewed in a medieval style with medicinal herbs. Triumph Brewing Company (117 Chestnut St.) may be the town’s sleekest beer lover’s spot. Last but certainly not least, biergarten Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave.) offers a relaxed, open-air atmosphere, complete with hot pretzels and s’mores shakes to accompany your sips. Open-air biergarten Frankford Hall offers a wide selection of beers and a calm, cozy vibe. Photo courtesy of uwishunu.com.
For The foodie The menu at Vedge (1221 Locust St.) is so full of unique and unexpected flavors that you’ll almost forget everything is vegan. A few delicious favorites: smoked tofu accompanied by roasted golden beets, avocado, capers, and cucumber dill sauce, and spiced carrots paired with a sauerkraut white-bean hummus. And then come the desserts: the blueberry fritter may be one of the best doughnuts in the city, and the “cheese” cake may be more decadent than any true cheesecake you’ve ever tried. Sit at the bar and try one plate, or sample everything that grabs your interest. Either way, Vedge is an undeniable must-visit for food-lovers—vegans and carnivores alike. Vedge’s appetizers are healthy, vegan, and delicious all at once. Photo courtesy of livingonthevedge.net.
10 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
For The artist Want to take a look at some extraordinary art but avoid the city’s typical, tourist-thronged museums? Try the Curtis Center (601 Walnut St.), a historic publishing building where the Ladies’ Home Journal was founded. In the beautiful, spacious lobby, you’ll find “Dream Garden,” Maxfield Parrish’s 1916 vision of utopia. The 49-foot-long mosaic is composed of about 100,000 bits of gorgeous Tiffany glass. This collaboration between Tiffany and Parrish has been called one of the foremost artistic partnerships in early 20th century America—and you’ll believe it when you see it. Another place to stop by is Spirit of the Artist (1022 Pine St.), a gift shop featuring eclectic items (from jewelry to wall art to home goods) made by 400 artists from around the world.
At the Curtis Center, Maxfield Parrish’s gorgeous “Dream Garden” mosaic wows visitors. Photo courtesy of johnnygoodtimes.com.
FOR THE HUMANITIES major Bartram’s Gardens (54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd.) might just be Philly’s best-kept historic secret. Established in 1728, these are the oldest surviving botanic gardens in all of North America. Once visited by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson alike, the 46-acre urban oasis is the perfect place for a study break. Another slightly unusual historic spot is the Edgar Allan Poe House (532 N. 7th St.), where Poe lived during his six years in Philadelphia. Supposedly, these six years were one of the happiest and most productive periods of his life, and in his home, you’ll stand where he authored some of his most renowned works. Wander the entire house alone or take a guided tour—it’s your choice. At both the Poe House and the Gardens, admission is free.
Bartram’s Gardens are a beautiful outdoor oasis in the midst of urban Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of baltimoresun.com.
For The biology buff Arguably America’s best (and most curiously fascinating) museum of medical history, the Mütter Museum (19 S. 22nd St.) displays wide assortments of preserved anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments. From the fused liver of Siamese twins Eng and Chang to Grover Cleveland’s tumor, the collection is both impressive and bizarre. The queasy among us might regret the trip, but for the medically inclined, the museum is not to be missed. A brief word to the wise: it has recently gained greater public recognition thanks to a documentary on the Discovery Channel, so visit during off-peak hours to avoid a crowd. Entry costs $10 with a valid student ID and $15 for adults.
The Mütter Museum is home to a collection of curious medical oddities. Photographed by Melissa Fang ’15.
SPICE IT UP WITH
PHILLY’S BEST ETHNIC EATERIES
BY ERICA LIGENZA
While no true Penn student can deny the delicious convenience of Wawa, there’s no harm in expanding our horizons every once in a while when it comes to what (and where) we eat. This semester, treat your taste buds to some diverse cuisine at these topnotch international restaurants.
Continental 138 Market St.
This diner-style joint has perfected global tapas, offering both small personal sizes and big dishes for sharing. Though it’s hard to pick just a few from its large, diverse menu, some of Continental’s best dishes include jumbo lump crab Pad Thai, Szechuan shoestring fries with Chinese mustard sauce, Korean pork tacos, and Mexican pizza with shrimp and Chihuahua cheese. The restaurant is also known for its fun retro cocktails, so be sure to splurge on a drink if you’re of age.
Photographed by Tara Gonzalez ’14.
108 Chestnut St. and 3711 Market St.
Photographed by Tara Gonzalez ’14.
With numerous “Best Chinese Food in Philly” awards to its name, all of this restaurant’s Philadelphia locations have received at least four stars on Yelp. The dish not to miss: Dan Dan noodles with crispy cucumbers and house-made chili oil in a beef dry pot. Rumor has it that owner Han Chiang is hilarious and great at offering recommendations, just as an added bonus. Bring a big group and enjoy everything but your stereotypical Americanized Chinese food.
alma de cuba 1623 Walnut St.
This Cuban joint brings Nuevo Latin cuisine to Rittenhouse Square with a fun, feisty atmosphere to mimic a hot Havana night. Aside from its full ceviche dinner menu and gluten-free offerings, Alma de Cuba’s most drool-worthy dishes might just be its desserts. Vanilla cheesecake empanadas come topped with apple cider sorbet and candied apple-raisin compote, and the chocolate cigar is an award-winning almond cake in chocolate mousse served with dulce de leche ice cream.
Photographed by Tara Gonzalez ’14.
ThE Restaurant SchooL at Walnut Hill College 4207 Walnut St.
Photographed by Tara Gonzalez ’14.
The Restaurant School’s International Bistro is perfect for a date or a night out with friends. Reminiscent of an outdoor Parisian café, the restaurant offers creative and diverse international dishes ranging from sweet potato and red lentil samosa-spiced apple chutney to chicken posole with braised green chili. For $21, enjoy an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Be spontaneous and try anything that grabs your attention.
PATTAYA 4006 Chestnut St.
With a menu described as “authentic Thai food with a hint of French influence,” Pattaya is conveniently located right by Penn’s campus. It boasts adventurous dishes such as alligator, rack of lamb, and spicy basil venison. For the more subdued palate, Thai barbecue chicken is a perfect cultural blend, putting a sweeter twist of garlic, basil, and coconut on the typical smoky classic. Pair with pineapple fried rice on the side.
THE WALK / WINTER 2013
Photographed by Tara Gonzalez ’14.
THE COMMON PRESS: AN UNCOMMON TREASURE We take a tour of Penn’s letterpress printing studio and get our hands a little dirty in the process.
n the midst of a busy college student’s routine, it’s difficult to find activities that lend themselves to pure creativity. Enter The Common Press, Penn’s own letterpress printing studio. Tucked away in the lesser-known Morgan Building, located just across from Meyerson Hall on 34th Street, The Common Press serves as both an art classroom and a museum exhibit. It houses printing presses dating as far back as the mid-1800s; there’s even a press similar to one Benjamin Franklin would have used. But nothing is off limits or just for show—in fact, working with the seemingly outdated machinery is encouraged. The studio’s mission is to promote graphic design with analog materials, not solely digital processes. But don’t assume that The Common Press is stuck in the past. The studio uses the presses in innovative, modern ways. For example, one 21st century twist involves silk screening with ink capable of conducting electricity. Try dis-
BY NICOLE MALICK missing that as an old-fashioned art project. The School of Design, Kelly Writers House, and the Rare Books Library joined forces in 2006 specifically to found a space where this merging of old and new could be possible. Now, thanks to their teamwork, The Common Press does commercial printing both on and off campus, and students have access to a wide range of printing techniques: monotype printing, lithography, screen-printing, etching, engraving, and relief printing. After learning about the numerous printing methods, I had to give them a try myself. Director Matt Neff walked me through the screen-printing process. I started with my graphics—different versions of The WALK’s logo—printed on transparency paper and a framed mesh screen coated with photo emulsion. Then, I combined the two, using a machine that shines UV light to “burn” the images into the mesh. Next came the fun part:
choosing my colors and starting to print. The process simply involved lining up the paper underneath the frame, pouring out a healthysized dollop of paint, and using a squeegee to push the paint through the mesh onto the page. The burned emulsion image determines where paint can and cannot pass through, so each print provided a perfect rendering of the logo. At the end, I took home some very unique posters. You, too, can explore The Common Press through a free-for-all printing event at the ICA every semester, monthly printing sessions put on by the Kelly Writers House’s letterpress organization, or one of several course offerings (check out FNAR 251 or 252). Challenge the creative side of your brain and get your hands a little dirty, but be warned: the inks and paints may no longer be toxic, but they haven’t quite evolved to be stain-proof. Dress accordingly! W
(Right) Nicole pulls the squeegee across the mesh screen, pushing the paint through to imprint onto the paper. (Below) Nicole gets creative with different variations of The WALK’s logo. Design in red by Shakeil Greely ’15. Photographed by Chidera Ufondu ’15.
(Top) The Common Press has a variety of paints and inks to choose from. (Above) Nicole holds up a completed print. (Below) The Common Press has a large stamp collection as well; this is just a small portion. Photographed by Chidera Ufondu ’15.
THROUGH FASHION Maiti Nepal rescues and rehabilitates trafficked women by teaching them the craft of clothes making.
ccording to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is the second-largest criminal industry in the world—just behind drug dealing—and also the fastest growing. Every year, thousands of women and young girls around the globe are trafficked. Some victims are even sold by their own extended family members or tricked by traffickers into thinking they will receive “good-paying jobs.” Instead, they are sold into brothels and forced to serve men who offer very little to no pay. Traffickers strip women and young girls of their innocence, dignity, and hope for better lives. Anuradha Koirala, a petite and gentle woman, was named CNN Hero of the Year in 2010 for her adamant efforts to stop sex trafficking in Nepal. Her nonprofit organization, Maiti Nepal, has rescued and rehabilitated more than 18,000 sexually trafficked women and girls since 1993. Do the math: that’s almost 1,000 trafficked women and girls saved each year since the organization’s beginning. Yet, heartbreakingly, many victimized women and girls are never found. This is why Koirala asks each of us to draw awareness to her cause so that eventually, we can eliminate sex trafficking altogether. In the Nepali language, “maiti” means “home” or “family”—a perfect way to describe Maiti Nepal’s role in the lives of the women it rescues. After extracting them from trafficking, the organization nourishes them physically, psychologically, and economically. Rehabilitation homes in the Nepali cities of Kathmandu
BY NATALIA JUNCADELLA and Itahari provide medical and psychological assistance, while reintegration centers provide formal education and vocational training. Maiti Nepal holds workshops to teach the women and girls how to knit and tailor clothing, string various bead designs, weave Dhaka (a traditional Nepali cloth), make Kurta Suruwal (a particular kind of dress), embroider boutique items, and manage microloans. After months of training, they are able to make handbags, jewelry, and clothes to sell through the organization’s website. They are paid per product sold, and part of the revenue is also funneled back into Maiti Nepal so it can continue its mission. Thanks to the organization, these women and girls have the tools to become economically independent and to support their children through safe, enjoyable work. Most importantly, they can proudly reclaim the dignity and power that traffickers once stripped from them. These life changes are a major force in preventing these Nepalese women from being lured back into brothels. Maiti Nepal proves that fashion is more than a luxury. It is a true craft and vocation that empowers women to support themselves and their families with dignity. In an interview with CNN, Koirala explained fervently, “We try to give them whatever work they want to do, whatever training they want to do, because when you’re economically empowered, people forget everything.” What these women won’t forget is the love and skills Maiti Nepal gave them, allowing them to move on with their lives. W
(Above) Anuradha Koirala is the founder of Maiti Nepal. (Below) Rescued women craft beaded purses using skills learned in Maiti Nepal’s training classes. The purses are sold through Maiti Nepal.
All photos courtesy of friendsofmaitinepal.org and the Friends of Maiti Nepal Facebook page.
Learn more about Maiti Nepal at maitinepal.org, and help fund Maiti Nepal’s vocational education at friendsofmaitinepal. org/vocational-education.php.
14 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
Two women rescued by Maiti Nepal learn to sew clothing, which will then be sold on the organization’s website.
The WALK: What is the age group of women trafficked? Maiti Nepal: The age group ranges from 7 to 24 years. The average age is 16. The WALK: What makes these girls vulnerable to trafficking? MN: There are multiple factors that push them into trafficking situations. Illiteracy, gender discrimination, abject poverty, lack of job opportunities, domestic violence, open borders, political instability, and impunity are some of the factors that maximize the vulnerabilities of these girls. The WALK: What are the major steps to rescue these women both physically and psychologically? MN: Maiti Nepal carries out extensive rescue operations and search operations in major areas. We mobilize volunteers in India, who enter the brothels as fake customers. The volunteers confirm the presence of the girls to be rescued. Finally, a raid operation is carried out in joint collaboration with Indian police, NGOs in India, and representatives of Maiti Nepal. After rescue, the girls are repatriated back to Nepal. The WALK: Once you rescue the girls, what does your organization do to rehabilitate them? MN: After rescue, each survivor is provided with psychosocial counseling. If her condition is [especially bad], she is provided with psychiatric medication. Legal counseling is offered. Training on how to generate income is provided. At the end of the day, she is provided with job opportunities and micro credit loans and ultimately reintegrated into the society. The WALK: Do you believe that learning these skills really protects them from being deceived into trafficking again?
A completed product, available for sale on Maiti Nepal’s website.
We spoke with Maiti Nepal to learn why so many women and young girls are targeted, how Maiti Nepal rescues them and reintegrates them into society, and how we can support the cause.
MN: Of course. The girls were trafficked because they were economically backward and couldn’t make right decision. Providing [them with] skills means empowering them both economically and socially, which contributes [to] reducing their vulnerabilities of being re-trafficked. The WALK: Do the girls find the training empowering? MN: The girls view it positively. They show immense vigor in their classes. It is an important tool of empowerment. The WALK: What are some of the goals they plan to accomplish once they have been educated and come to feel valuable in society? MN: The girls want to be independent, to lead their lives with a new vision. They also want to contribute to Maiti Nepal’s mission as much as they can, often by creating awareness or acting as volunteers. The WALK: Does the rising of women’s rights and power in Nepal draw a negative response from the patriarchal culture?
The WALK: How many girls who have passed through Maiti Nepal are now economically independent? MN: Maiti Nepal has so far rescued more than 18,000 girls. Most of them are reintegrated successfully into the society without any chances of re-victimization. The WALK: How are the Maiti Nepal programs funded? MN: Maiti Nepal’s programs are funded by donations from international organizations and private foundations. Each rescued girl stays with Maiti Nepal for an average period of 6-8 months. During that time, she attends training sessions and other events. The total cost per girl is about 100,000 rupees. The WALK: What can we, as Penn students, do to help Maiti Nepal’s efforts? MN: You can help in fundraising activities and offer technical and professional services W to Maiti Nepal.
MN: There is no such response at all. In fact, it has been welcomed and has been made possible by the support of male fraternity. There may be a few people who still oppose the rise of women’s rights and power. But, to most people, it is a positive indication of development. The WALK: Last summer, women trained by Maiti Nepal opened a boutique in Itahari. Do you think this boutique will continue to help more women become self-sustained? MN: The boutique signifies female empowerment. It has definitely sent the right message to women seeking to be independent.
(Above) Koirala is wreathed in marigold malas, a traditional Nepali symbol of admiration and respect, for her hard work to abolish sex trafficking. (Below) A rescued woman works on a beaded purse.
FROM THE FAR EAST TO WEST PHILADELPHIA
MODELED BY FIONA LIM ’13 AND CRYSTAL YAN ’16 PHOTOGRAPHED BY THI HO ’13 ASSISTED BY CHIDERA UFONDU ’15 STYLED BY Nuria Frances ’15, Ashley Leung ’16, AND Daniella Sakhai ’15 Hair & Makeup bY Carolina Beltran ’15 AND Anusha Chemicala ’16 DIRECTED BY ALI IMMERGUT ’15 AND MARSHA LOW ’13 COORDINATED BY LUISA SUCRE ’15 AND DANIELLE HARRIS ’14
16 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
Penn’s Pan-Asian Dance Troupe brings traditional Asian dance and costume to campus.
(This page) On Fiona Lim: Turquoise and black printed shirt, Opening Ceremony, $320; burgundy pants, Opening Ceremony, $375; at Barneys. Gold necklace, vintage, stylist’s own. (Opposite page) On Crystal Yan: Black metallic peplum top, Diane von Furstenberg, $345, at INTERMIX. Black pants, AG Jeans, $198, at Barneys. Gold earrings, vintage, stylist’s own.
BY DIVYA PRABHAKAR
hen I first opened the door to Penn’s Pan-Asian Dance Troupe rehearsal, I found some members doing splits, others dancing with partners, and yet others high kicking to music by P!nk. A number of different adjectives came to mind at once: athletic, delicate, serious, fun, and talented, to name a few. But perhaps the best word to unite this diverse collection of dancers is “passion.” The Pan-Asian Dance Troupe was founded back in 2001 as a merger of two smaller dance groups: one Chinese, one Filipino. Since then, it has expanded to integrate the dance styles of a number of different Asian ethnicities—Japanese, Thai, Korean, Tibetan, you name it. The group serves as a “home away from home” for many of its members, said President Jessica Liu ’13. The group’s members, who are selected during fall auditions, come from diverse backgrounds. Some are martial arts experts, while others have been trained in jazz, classical, or ballet dance. Even dancers without any formal training are welcome. VP of Internal Affairs Steven Huang ’15 clarified that the group is not limited to those of Asian descent, either; the only requirement is a passion for dance. The group showcases various classical Asian dance styles in its annual performance. In general, shows are comprised of 12 dances, each representing a part of a larger narrative or theme. The group also performs throughout the year at cultural celebrations in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Costume design plays a large part in the Troupe’s authentic portrayal of the traditional cultural dance styles. Choreographer and VP of External Affairs Renyao Wei ’15
explained, “What we wear and how the stage lights make us look have to play into the mood we are trying to give off. In our upcoming show, for one dance which is war-themed, we want to use dark clothes—rather than the glossy materials you see used in tai chi—to bring the audience back to older dynastic clothing choices.” The group’s website offers pictures of its growing collection of costumes, which are even available for rental. The costumes are typically ordered directly from China, and a group member picks them up over winter break and brings them back to Penn. Costume changes take place between different sequences throughout the shows to ensure that outfits are matched appropriately to specific dances. For example, in a twominute sequence glorifying war heroes, female dancers wear bright colors with long, airy sleeves. “The costumes [are] dependent on where the tension is in their bodies during the dance,” explained Huang. In terms of make-up, Liu says the group leans toward traditional Asian looks: foundation, fine eyeliner, and bright colors instead of heavy blacks and smoky eyes. The male costume styles are dictated mainly by the props used in each series, such as swords or flags, but Wei said the group is working to diversify the men’s costumes much more this year. Penn’s Pan-Asian Dance Troupe is a remarkable reminder of the diversity of our campus. We all come from a broad range of backgrounds, bringing with us a variety of traditions, skills, and experiences. Sharing our unique cultures with our peers—through dance, language, art, or fashion—is a privileged opportunity to add some international W spice to everyone’s college experience.
Learn more about the Pan-Asian Dance Troupe at dolphin.upenn.edu/panasian.
18 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
(This page, top) On Fiona: Aqua printed blouse, Helmut Lang, $295, at Barneys. Gold skirt, vintage, stylist’s own. On Crystal: Burgundy pointed cuff blazer, Helmut Lang, $335, at Barneys. Black tank, Alexander Wang; striped pants, JRO; stylist’s own. (This page, bottom) On Fiona: Leopard print tee, Maje, stylist’s own. Polka-dot skirt, Diane von Furstenberg, at INTERMIX. Purple heels, Theyskens’ Theory, stylist’s own. On Crystal: Flower-printed cape, vintage; black tank, Alexander Wang; red sandals, Catamer; stylist’s own. (Opposite page) On Fiona: Faux fur black vest, Tess Gibberson, stylist’s own. Pink and blue dress, Backstage, $185, at Barneys. Necklace, vintage, stylist’s own.
thewalk/ARTS&STYLE (This page) On Crystal: Patterned blazer, vintage, stylist’s own. Stella dress, Torn, $248, at INTERMIX. (Opposite page) On Crystal: Black metallic peplum top, Diane von Furstenberg, $345, at INTERMIX. Black pants, AG Jeans, $198, at Barneys. Gold earrings, vintage; zebra wedges, Topshop; stylist’s own.
20 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
On Crystal: Burgundy velvet dress, vintage, stylistâ€™s own. On Fiona: Silver brocade tuxedo jacket, Rag & Bone, $595, at Barneys. Black tank, Alexander Wang, stylist's own. Midnightfloral wrap skirt, Helmut Lang, $335, at Barneys. Ballerina flats, stylist's own.
22 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
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(Above and below) Gun use runs rampant throughout much of the African continent as warfare tears countries apart.
MELTING GUNS ashion is all about bold self-expression. Whether we choose to wear a signature shirt or an eyecatching accessory, our style choices showcase our individuality. But every so often, fashion makes more than just a personal statement. In the case of Fonderie 47, it is also used to share a deeper global message. Peter Thum and John Zapolski are the co-founders of Fonderie 47, a social enterprise focused on the disarmament of warring African countries. They describe their startup as a luxury brand, but the design process involves an innovative twist: their high-end jewelry is fashioned out of the AK47 assault rifles that are tearing Africa apart. Together, the team aims to transform the world, one AK47-turned-luxury-accessory at a time. Fonderie 47 was conceived during one of Thum and Zapolski’s frequent trips to Africa. In 2001, these visits had inspired Thum to co-found Ethos Water, a bottled water company whose endeavors support clean water and sanitation programs for children around the globe. Ethos was purchased by Starbucks for $8 million in 2005, but Thum’s passion for service in Africa had only just begun. Thum first discovered the alarming pervasion of guns in Africa while visiting sites of Ethos projects. Though he had long recognized the tensions and arms trading along the Somali border and the continued spread of Libyan weapons throughout the region, he was unpleasantly shocked to encounter armed Fonderie 47 steel jewel with white and rose gold cufflinks, Roland Iten, $35,000. Purchase destroys 100 assault rifles. Photographed by Anita Schaefli.
Fonderie 47 steel earrings fused with 18k yellow gold, Philip Crangi, $150,000. Purchase destroys 500 assault rifles. Photographed by Michael Kraus.
24 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
tribes himself. Realizing that this arms issue would preclude any further attempts for African development, he searched for a fresh, creative way to strike at the heart of the region’s instability. The social entrepreneur gravitated towards the idea of allowing donors to physically connect with and even embody the disarmament process. To achieve that, Thum noted, “It was clear that we would have to take something very negative and make it into something positive, in a way that was undeniably beautiful. We wanted to inspire people to think totally differently about this problem.” Enter Fonderie 47’s hybrid business model: part for-profit business, part not-for-profit foundation. The for-profit company partners with famous designers to create and sell high-end jewelry, watches, and accessories, while the foundation redirects profits to continued AK47 destruction. To date, Fonderie 47 has worked with big names including men’s mechanical luxury designer Roland Iten, jewelry designer Philip Crangi of Giles & Brother, and James de Givenchy of the New York-based jewelry company Taffin. Each timeless piece, stamped with the serial number of the smelted and incorporated AK47, directly funds the destruction of a certain number of assault rifles. So far, Thum and Zapolski have funded the destruction of over 25,000 guns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “I think one of the questions that people often have Fonderie 47 steel jewel in carved 18k gold ring with polished gold bezel, Philip Crangi, $25,600. Purchase destroys 75 assault rifles. Photographed by Michael Kraus.
ARTS&STYLE\thewalk (Middle) Through Fonderie 47, co-founder Peter Thum hopes to improve the lives of African civilians like this young boy, who has been hospitalized for gun wounds. (Right) Thum holds an AK47, the selective-fire rifle that rose to infamy post-WWII and remains the most widely-used assault rifle in the world to date.
Fonderie 47 steel, diamond, 18k rose gold, and platinum ring, James de Givenchy, $48,000. Purchase destroys 160 assault rifles in Africa.
Part business and part nonprofit, Fonderie 47 extracts AK47s from Africa and recasts them into high-end jewelry.
INTO GOOD is, well, 25,000 weapons—how many is that relative to the overall picture?” Thum brings up the question conversationally, but there is an admirable intensity in the seriousness of his answer. “I can say that it’s unequivocally 25,000 more than where we started, when people told us that it would be impossible to do.” Of course, the disarmament of Africa won’t solve the continent’s full litany of issues, but Fonderie 47 does make a definite difference. In a way, Fonderie 47’s ultimate goal is to put itself out of business. Despite Forbes calling it a model for “sustainability of the social innovation space,” both co-founders recognize that their goals will become harder to achieve over time. The company is based on a novel concept and operates under an even more unusual business model; the more successful it is in reducing the supply of weapons in Africa, the harder it will become to purchase AK47s for destruction, and the more money the company will need to invest per weapon. Thum and Zapolski also aim to funnel more resources over time into creating programs that will allow African tribes to remain productive, peaceful, and economically viable after the weapons are gone. Regardless of whatever difficulties they face along the way, the co-founders of Fonderie 47 hope to form a meaningful relationship with their customers. “I think probably the most important thing is that there is a clear connection for us—the brand that
BY TIFFANY LU
we’re building has a purpose,” shared Thum. The humanitarianism driving Fonderie 47 forms a clear and growing connection with its buyers: by purchasing any of the brand’s luxury pieces, customers make a conscious choice to care about its cause. And, as Thum emphasizes, “That choice then translates directly into the amount of impact that we can have on this issue in Africa.” Fonderie 47’s classification as a luxury brand has also placed Thum and Zapolski in a position to change their customers’ understanding of beauty, inspiration, and legacy. While Thum acknowledges that art, luxury, and fashion are three points of a triangle, he contrasts the temporality of fashion with the longstanding statements of luxury. “Fashion is all about now, and luxury is all about enduring, lasting legacy,” he offered. “One of them is sort of like trying to catch a butterfly, and one of them is kind of like trying to build a pyramid.” What he is trying to say is that fashion trends may be ephemeral, but Fonderie 47’s pieces are enduring. Together, Thum and Zapolski have encouraged shoppers to fully reconsider the role of fashion in current international affairs—not to mention the lasting difference they have made on Africa in the process. Perhaps one day, thanks to the novel business model of this luxury brand, the fashion industry will routinely work for greater global good. W
Fonderie 47 steel and 18k gold ring with rose gold bezel, Philip Crangi, starts at $25,600. Purchase destroys 75 assault rifles. Photographed by Michael Kraus.
18k yellow gold encrusté earrings fused with Fonderie 47 steel, Philip Crangi, $23,000. Purchase destroys 70 assault rifles. Photographed by Joanna Kelly.
(Left) Co-founder John Zapolski examines the ruins of a bombed vehicle in Africa. (Right) Thum and Zapolski observe a weapons container containing AK47 barrels and magazines, which provide the base for Fonderie 47 steel.
thewalk/FASHION (Left) Bendet’s personal style epitomizes her fun, girly brand. (Right) Alice + Olivia’s F/W 2012 collection mixes sequins and fur for cozy-chic winter looks.
Q&A WITH STACEY BENDET As Penn students, we have a number of inspiring celebrity graduates to look up to. But here at The WALK, we’re a little biased toward one alumnus icon in particular: Stacey Bendet. This Chappaqua, New York native, a class of 1999 International Relations major and French minor, founded Alice + Olivia in 2002. The line began as a collection of pants sold at Barneys and has since become an iconic, international fashion brand, boasting nine U.S. stores and over 800 retailers worldwide. We chatted with Bendet to find out her secrets to style and success—and to ask how her Penn experience has helped her along the way.
(Above) An ad from Alice + Olivia’s Winter 2012 campaign shows off Bendet’s fun pant designs. (Below) Alice + Olivia’s S/S 2013 collection is rich with shades of turquoise and orange. Photographed by Leah Pellegrini ’13.
26 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
The WALK: We heard that Alice + Olivia all started with a pair of pants. What’s the story?
SB: Inspiration comes every day from everywhere. It’s very much about absorbing all that is around you.
Stacey Bendet: I wanted pants that were in the cut of a jean but in fun, colorful fabrics. That is how I started, just making greatfitting bell bottom pants.
The WALK: You named Alice + Olivia after your mother, Alice. What other roles, if any, have family played in shaping the brand?
The WALK: Speaking of pants, could you ever be caught wearing sweats to class in college?
SB: I still look at old photos of my mom for design inspiration. She had amazing style. Your mother is your first style influence!
SB: No. I really think sweat pants should be reserved for occasional trips to the gym. The WALK: How did your pants line blossom into a full-fledged fashion brand and successful business?
The WALK: How did your experiences at Penn, whether in the classroom or out, prepare you for the real world and for your career? What is the most useful thing you learned in college?
SB: The collection and company grew very organically. Every season (still) I add a new category with the idea in mind that clothes should be fun and colorful and make a woman feel great when she puts them on. Our growth is due to creating beautiful clothing and our amazing team, my partner Andrew Rosen, and my president Deanna Berkeley.
SB: I met amazing people at school who were influential in starting my company. Most importantly, Penn gave me the confidence to try new things and the desire to constantly learn new things.
The WALK: Was a career in fashion part of your plan from the beginning?
SB: I am lucky to have some amazing coats from our fall collection to keep me warm.
SB: I knew early on that I wanted to do something in fashion and something creative. I just always loved making things. I actually built flash websites for two years before starting Alice + Olivia. I lived in Paris my junior year and interned for Fashion TV Paris. I was pretty sure from that point on that I wanted to do something in fashion.
The WALK: What’s your go-to winter fashion ensemble?
The WALK: Where do you look for inspiration for your designs?
SB: Fashion is relevant in every world. It W makes us feel good!
The WALK: Do you have any tricks for staying warm while staying fashionable this winter?
SB: I don’t really have a go-to. I like to dress in theme everyday…I don’t really like to ever wear the same thing twice! The WALK: And finally, in today’s world, why is fashion relevant and important?
John Varvatos F/W 2012
Brown wool knit scarf, Marni, $202, visit ssense.com.
Ravensden scarf, Jack Wills, $49.50, visit jackwills. com.
Sweater, Rag & Bone, $220, visit rag-bone.com.
Raglan sweatshirt, Topman, $40, visit topman.com.
Oat textured cardigan, Topman, $92, visit topman.com.
Jeans, Leviâ€™s, $48, visit levi.com.
Coat, Wolsey, $548, visit my-wardrobe.com.
Sneakers, Gola, $48, visit gola.co.uk. Boots, Paul Smith, $287, visit stylebop.com. Jeans, Hudson Jeans, $176, visit hudsonjeans. com.
28 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
Pringle of Scotland F/W 2012
Knit hat, Topshop, $28, visit topshop.com.
Before the snow gives way to spring, revel in the coziness of winter wear. Wrap up in scarves and sweaters, pile on the layers, button up a chic winter coat, and enjoy that peppermint mocha you waited all fall for.
SPLURGE Fur-trimmed scarf, Miu Miu, $1050, visit mytheresa.com.
Bobbles cream jumper, Romwe, $52.99, visit romwe.com.
Cashmere and silk blend sweater, The Row, $1250, visit NET-A-PORTER.com. Knitted wolf sweater, Topshop, $100, visit topshop. com.
Coat, Topshop, $250, visit topshop.com.
Alpaca hand-knit sweater, La Garรงonne, $450, visit lagarconne.com.
Dip dye angora gloves, Topshop, $28, visit topshop.com.
Shearling boots, Lanvin, $1490, visit NET-A-PORTER.com.
Headband, Dolce & Gabbana, $890, visit polyvore.com.
Earrings, Forever New, $20, visit forevernew.com.
Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2012
Embellished silk jacket, Roberto Cavalli, $6,630, visit NET-APORTER. com.
Sweater, Topshop, $76, visit topshop. com.
Jeans, Zadig and Voltaire, $365, visit zadiget-voltaire.com.
Clutch, DSW, $50, visit polyvore.com
Leggings, DKNY, $144, visit mywardrobe.com
Metallic leather ankle boots, $1095, Christian Louboutin, visit NET-APORTER.com.
Clutch, Tonya Hawkes, $1008, visit lindelepalais.com.
Studded booties, ASOS, $87.95, visit asos.com.
30 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
This winter, outshine the frost in geometric jewelry and glossy gold. Sparkle in sequins and get decked out in brocade. When an occasion arrives for dressing up, opulence is key.
SPLURGE Square cufflinks, Thomas Pink, $210, visit nordstrom.com.
Saint Laurent F/W 2012
Charcoal blazer, United Tailors, $195, visit unitedtailers.com.
Jacket, Topman, $300, visit topman.com.
Classic point collar shirt, J.Crew, $88, visit jcrew.com.
Trousers, Dolce & Gabbana, $633, visit matchesfashion.com.
Gold grooved cufflinks, Donald J. Trump, $40, visit macys.com.
Silk twill tie, Dolce & Gababana, $175, visit MRPORTER.com.
Steel wristwatch, Uniform Wares, $630, visit MRPORTER.com.
Trousers, Baldessarini, $157, visit stylebop.com.
Loafers, Ferragamo, $540, visit barneys.com.
Modeled by Jesse Franklin ’14 and Keith Wallace ’14 Photographed by Max Wang ’15 ASSISTED BY Divya Prabhakar ’15 Styled by Bree Jackson ’15, Elonia McHenry ’14, Lynn Nguyen ’14, and arjan singh ’16 Hair & Makeup by carolina beltran ’15 Directed by Marsha Low ’13 Coordinated by Danielle Harris ’14, Lynn Nguyen ’14, and Luisa Sucre ’15
MANO A MANO Tensions run high as the temperature drops. Take a cue from these competitors: don’t let the cold keep you from wearing your best. This winter is going to be fierce.
(This page) On Jesse Franklin: Brown corduroy jacket, stylist’s own. Mustard yellow cardigan, $89.90, at Zara. Navy printed shirt, Sandro, $270; gray bowtie; visit MRPORTER.com. (Opposite page) On Keith Wallace: Tweed blazer, Barneys COOP, $525, at Barneys. Black V-neck, model’s own. Purple corduroy trousers, Etro, $350, visit MRPORTER.com. Hat, Rag & Bone, $175, at Barneys. Printed scarf, at Zara.
(This page) On Keith: Blue cardigan, S.N.S. Herning, $345; star print cotton shirt, Our Legacy, $140; purple corduroy trousers, Etro, $350; visit MRPORTER.com. Shoes, stylist’s own. (Opposite page) On Jesse: Navy coat, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, $840, at Barneys. Fur vest, stylist’s own. Red corduroy shirt, YMC, $210; camouflage print cotton trousers, Beams Plus, $240; visit MRPORTER.com. Shoes, model’s own.
(This page) On Jesse: Burgundy velvet blazer, $99.90; camel turtleneck, $59.90; at Zara. Navy printed trousers, Gucci, $740, visit MRPORTER.com. (Opposite page) On Keith: Fur coat, stylistâ€™s own. Printed shirt, Alexander McQueen, $860, visit MRPORTER.com.
00 THE WALK / WINTER 2012
Navy coat, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, 840, at Barneys. Fur vest, stylist’s own. Red corduroy shirt, YMC, $210, at MR PORTER. Camoflage-print cotton trousers, Beams Plus, $240, at MR PORTER. Shoes, model’s own.
(This page) On Keith: Sherpa-lined hooded parka, A.P.C., $735, at Barneys. Ombre cotton-blend sweater, Raf Simons, $290, visit MRPORTER.com. Sweatpants, T by Alexander Wang, $235, at Barneys. (Opposite page) On Jesse: Tweed blazer, Barneys CO-OP, $525; sweater, Jack Spade, $350; red corduroy trousers, Rag & Bone, $185; at Barneys.
(This page) On Dasha Donado: Bar ring, $90, at Aoki. Black wedges, Jeffery Campbell, stylist’s own. (Opposite page) On Bree Jackson: Black tourmaline bib necklace worn as bracelet, Sultana Aschim, $68, at Arcadia. Purple velvet wedges, Theyskens’ Theory, stylist’s own.
R FO , ties de o o a b rm all m a w are es, dg kers ter. e w n ea igh sh sn is wi h h i y t l Sk sty ing d an walk for 40 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
Modeled by Dasha Donado ’13 and Bree Jackson ’15 Photographed by Katrina Tomas ’16 Assisted by Maegan Cadet ’15 Styled by Nuria Frances ’16, marsha low ’13 and Olivia Stearn ’16 directed by Ali Immergut ’15 and max wang ’15
(This page, top) On Bree: Sneakers, Lanvin, stylist’s own. (This page, bottom) On Bree: Feather necklace, $70, at Aoki. Metallic wedge sneakers, Ash, $275, at INTERMIX. On Dasha: Blue sequin bag, Urban Expressions, $52, at Aoki. Black suede pumps, Brian Atwood, $630, at INTERMIX. (Opposite page) On Bree: Gold spike necklace, $70, at Aoki. Zebra wedges, Topshop, stylist’s own. White and tan bag, Big Buddha, $56, at Aoki.
(This page, top) On Bree: Black tourmaline bib necklace worn as bracelet, Sultana Aschim, $68, at Arcadia. Purple velvet wedges, Theyskens’ Theory, stylist’s own. On Dasha: Black wedges, Jeffery Campbell, stylist’s own. (This page, bottom) On Bree: Black and white clutch, Hunting Season, $895; black studded booties, Sergio Rossi, $870; at INTERMIX. (Opposite page) On Dasha: Iron bell necklace, Sultana Aschim, $88, at Arcadia. Tan buckle wedges, Nasty Gal, stylist’s own.
FROM AROUND THE GLOBE Tired of your typical beauty routine? Change it up with these tips and tricks from cultures around the world. Your hair and skin will thank you.
BY LINDA YAO
Coconut Oil Treatment
Brazilians credit coconut oil for their smooth, glowing skin. It’s not only an amazing deep cleanser with natural antibacterial elements to clear acne, but it also has moisturizing properties. Unlike most common toners and astringents, coconut oil won’t dry out your skin. To use it, dab a cotton ball into the product and apply directly to your face.
In India, women often use ginger as a daily supplement to typical facial products. Like coconut oil, ginger has anti-bacterial properties that make it an effective agent for cleansing pores and reducing breakouts. Simply take a small piece of ginger and remove the brown skin with a knife until the yellow flesh is exposed; then shred it, mix with a spoonful of honey, and add water. The finished product can be used as a face wash.
skin-clearing barley drink
Take a sip from this Irish skin-clearing drink that will both aid your metabolism and keep your skin clear. Boil 2 ½ quarts of water in a large saucepan and add ½ cup of pearl barley. Cover and simmer for one hour; then strain, and add 2 lemons and 6 oranges to the barley water. Add brown sugar to taste. Save it in the fridge, and have a cup every morning.
Dead Sea mud scrubs
A simple home remedy for smooth skin has been circulating through Russia for ages: honey and sugar. Mix equal parts of both ingredients to make a perfect body scrub. The sugar exfoliates while the honey moisturizes, a skin-nourishing combination that sounds almost good enough to eat.
Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is a popular Australian product that is made from fermented papaya. It’s an all-around body remedy to address basic skin-care needs. Bug bites, dry skin, chapped lips, sunburn—the soothing ointment will purportedly heal all. You can order yourself a tube of the ointment at Amazon.com (Lucas Papaw Ointment, $14.99) and keep it in your purse in case of any crises.
The mineral-rich mud of the Dead Sea provides a wide range of special skincare benefits. Used as a body mask or scrub, it has been known to improve ailments from acne to eczema, cleanse pores of toxins, prevent wrinkles, exfoliate, and improve the metabolism of skin cells. Israeli cosmetics company Ahava offers a whole line of products based on this natural ingredient. Try the Dead Sea Body Mud ($16, available at AhavaUS. com) for an at-home, full-body spa treatment.
avocado hair mask
coconut hair mask
aloe vera hair moisturizer
This recipe for smooth, soft hair comes from Colombia. Combine two egg whites with half of a mashed avocado. Leave the mixture in your hair for 15 minutes, then wash and condition as usual. The egg whites pack in protein, while the avocado hydrates your hair and scalp. The final result is a silky-smooth shine. Try this mask once a week, and you’ll notice a big difference in your hair texture.
The secret to shiny Brazilian hair is a combination of surprisingly simple products. Apply a cocoa butter mask (try L’Oréal Série Nature Masque Cacao, $30, available at Amazon. com), and leave it in for 30 minutes. Then rinse with coconut water. Just like the Colombian avocado hair mask, this Brazilian mask will add long-term smoothness and shine to your hair texture if you use it every week.
Keeping long hair healthy and free of split ends sometimes seems to require lots of work. Women in Argentina have a simple trick to maintain their long, lustrous locks: they supplement their typical hair products with aloe vera, which can be added to your shampoo or applied directly to your scalp. The product both conditions hair and encourages growth.
46 THE WALK / WINTER 2013
In the 1950’s, only the classiest had their nails done, and those ladies wore one color: red. In the 1970’s, punk rockers got their fifteen minutes of fame when black nail polish became all the rage. Fast forward to 2013: there are so many polish brands, colors, and textures that it’s impossible to pinpoint one outstanding manicure trend. If you’re looking to update your nails but don’t know where to begin, look no further: we’ve compiled a list of this season’s hottest polish styles.
If you want to go bold with a funkier texture, a caviar manicure might be perfect for you. Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj are both huge fans of this modern manicure trend, which features pearly, three-dimensional beads that reflect the light and provide a graphic pop. Though the look may seem tricky to replicate at home, the Ciaté Caviar Manicure Kit ($25, at Sephora) makes it easy.
BY TINA HSU
Rubber-finish polish is a must-try this season. With its smooth, matte surface and jelly-like texture, it’s formulated to be extremely flexible and chip-resistant, perfect for manicures that last. Try Illamasqua Rubber Finish Nail Varnish ($14, at Sephora) for a splash of rich, rubbery color that’s made without any harmful parabens or carcinogenic chemicals.
MAGNETIC NAIL POLISH VELVET NAIL POLISH For a different kind of unique finish, try velvet polish, seen on celebrities like Mariah Carey. This polish is infused with real crushed velvet that creates a glam, vampy look with only two fast-drying coats. With the Ciaté Velvet Manicure Kit ($25, at Sephora), you can test out this trend at home.
Nails, Inc. Wave Magnetic Polish ($16, at Sephora) is specially formulated with small metallic particles of iron powder. Use the magnet hidden in the cap of the bottle to create a shiny, silver wave pattern on the surface of each nail. Best of all, this manicure is extremely easy. Only one generous coat is needed for full coverage, and since the magnetism only works when the polish is wet, there’s no waiting time between painting and, well, magnetizing! Images courtesy of ommorphiabeautybar.com (above, right) and iamsizej.wordpress.com (right).
Designs by Page Masonson '14
NAIL POLISH STRIPS Ever wonder how a celebrity like Beyoncé achieves her fierce leopard print nails, or how Lauren Conrad gets a perfect floral pattern each and every time? The secret is nail polish strips. These stickers are pre-cut and pre-designed, so there’s no actual painting to be done: simply peel the backing off each strip, press it firmly onto your nail, and file off the excess. Try Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips ($8, at CVS).
(From top to bottom) Images courtesy of dereklovesshopping.com, elleandblair.com, and thebudgetbabe.com.
Of course, with patience and precision, it’s possible to hand-paint graphic nail designs as well. Page is the artist behind these awesome nail art patterns. Talk about statement nails that pack a punch! See more of her amazing manicure work at pagemasonson.tumblr.com.
(From left to right) Purple Hearts All Roads Point to Emerald Seeing Spots Photographed by Divya Prabhakar ’15.
AROUND THE WORLD These juniors spent their fall semesters abroad in two different cities and reported back to The WALK on the street trends they spotted. Both international hotspots are undeniable fashion hubs, albeit with different approaches to style: one experimental and trendsetting, and one classic and cool.
LONDON BY ALLI KAYE
ondon is known for being at the forefront of revolutionary fashion. Brits are independent, spunky, and daring enough to experiment with wild patterns, unique materials, and innovative silhouettes—and they don’t let the frigid temperatures or constant rain detract from their style. While I can hardly picture myself pulling off many of the eclectic ensembles I’ve seen on the street, it goes without saying that within a few seasons, these British trends will make their way to the U.S. Metallic clothing abounds in London, especially in aquaticthemed blues and silvers. One of my coolest abroad experiences was an underground Azealia Banks concert, where it struck me that her “Mermaid Ball” style has left a much bigger impression on London than in the 212. Detachable Peter Pan collars seem to be an omnipresent addition to this season’s sweaters and tops. These accessories make any outfit look girlier, and they’re often paired with Creepers to produce a look that is simultaneously prissy and punky. While I’m not a huge fan of these boyish platform sneakers and loafers, I’ll be shocked if they don’t penetrate the U.S. market soon; Topshop and Opening Ceremony both carry several varieties. Tights and shorts make for another reliably cool day-to-night combination. Denim cut-offs and tights paired with sneakers or flats and a bulky sweater work well for a comfortable casual look; cut-offs dressed-up with a nice top, jacket, and heels can pass at any posh nighttime venue. And when it comes to outerwear, a popular trend is leather paneling on coats (as well as pants). Londoners are great at mixing materials. In fact, they’re pretty much great at everything when it W comes to fashion—except, perhaps, keeping things simple. Metallic trousers, Ted Baker, $200, visit tedbaker-london.com.
BY WHITNEY MASH
omans live by the concept known as the Bella Figura, Italian for “beautiful image,” meaning that a person’s outward portrayal is the most important factor in his or her social interactions and personal dignity. The cultural principle is present in every aspect of Italian life, and fashion is no exception. You will never find an Italian underdressed for any occasion; flip-flops, shorts, and sweats are a definite no-no. After a semester of studying in Rome and traveling through Italy, I’ve grown familiar with Italian fashion staples. Impeccably-suited businessmen chatting on street corners and zipping by on mopeds are a near-constant presence—the Italian man lives in his tailor-made suit. The older women wear muted colors (lots of black and grays!) with either basic flats or more daring heels. In general, they always appear put-together and perfectly accessorized. Aside from the occasional avant-garde fashionista, mature Italian style is elegant and timeless. The younger generation, however, takes a more contemporary approach to style. Gym shoes abound, as teenagers and young adults pair them with every outfit. Stores are filled with decorated high tops and platform sneakers. Aside from this footwear craze, the desire to dress like an American is extremely apparent. The country seems to have an obsession with Abercrombie and has huge packages of the moose-labeled garments shipped to them overseas. It is impossible to travel anywhere in Italy without spotting t-shirts emblazoned with the names of American sports teams and locales like California and New York City. Thanks to this star-spangled trend, young Italians blend in with tourists and abroad students like me, bridging the cultural gap through fashion. If only all cultural differences could be W mended this way! Yankees tank, Forever 21, $14.80, visit forever21.com.
Los Angeles tee, Forever 21, $10.80, visit forever21.com.
Chism sneakers, ALDO, $80, visit aldoshoes.com.
Red Creepers, Underground, $167, visit asos.com. Black acrylic bow collar, Gemma Lister, $81, visit boticca.com.
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Leather-sleeve blazer, Kill City, $146, visit amrag.com.
Heeled Ballerinas, VIVALDI, $36, visit topshop.com.
...AND ON THE WALK We’re always scouting Locust Walk for covetable outfits and campus trendsetters. We photograph our favorite looks and publish them on our blog, “SEEN on the Walk.” Here are some of our top picks from the fall semester! Check out more pictures at thewalkblog.tumblr.com.
SEEN: Chic Backpacks These students found a fashionable way to tote their books to class.
SEEN: Pumped-Up Kicks Trendy but still practical, these shoes are made for the trek to DRL.
SEEN: Jessie Choi ’16 With her shiny jeans and fur vest, Jessie is on top of this season’s trends.
SEEN: Andre Ficerai ’16 Andre’s muted palette and relaxed gray scarf whisper sophistication.
SEEN: Alessia Pizzorni ’15 and Carla Pacini ’14 This duo rocks dark neutrals with casual but polished style.
SEEN: Galit Krifcher ’16 Galit’s denim jacket completes her effortless chic fall look.
SEEN: Gerald Parloiu ’15 Gerald’s sleek coat matches his hairstyle and gives him a mature, polished look.
SEEN: Rebecca Chen ’16 Rebecca’s ornate coat is a lovely take on this season’s gilded trend.
SEEN: Jessi Yackey ’16 Jessi combines cozy and cool with a knit sweater and cargo jacket.
BY MADHAVI MURALIDHARAN, STEPHANIE SALEM, ARIANA SCHANZER, AND WING SO
SEEN: Ernest Tavares ’16 Ernest makes classic stylish with a fresh, demure pop of color.
WEAVING STYLE BY BRIDGET MCGEEHAN
Yak fiber is more versatile than you might epect. Shokay’s products range from sweaters to scarves to jewelry and more.
(Above) Media, friends, and brand partners enjoy a warm, fun evening at the fall opening of Shokay’s new Shanghai store. The event, which was hosted at the new Sheraton Hongqiao location, also marked Shokay’s one year anniversary since the first flagship store opened on Taikang Road.
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WITH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE Shokay knits clothing from yak hair and supports Tibetan communities in the process.
enn alumnus Carol Chyau ’04 is turning heads in Shanghai, China with her innovative fashion brand. Dubbed Shokay, which means “yak down” in Tibetan, the company works directly with Tibetan farms and communities to create clothing and accessories from—you guessed it—yak hair. It is the first international luxury retail company to use this fiber as its primary material. By economically stimulating the region’s isolated communities in the process, Shokay is not just a sartorial enterprise, but also a social one. Only a decade ago, Chyau was an undergraduate in the Huntsman program, concentrating in Finance and Management and minoring in Spanish and Fine Arts. Inspired by her experience studying abroad in Chile and interning in Peru, Chyau was intrigued by international business, especially social enterprise. Having grown up in Taipei, Taiwan, Chyau was particularly interested in Asia. “My years at Penn were the most influential in starting me on the international development and social enterprise track,” Chyau recalls. “I was less interested in the traditional banking or consulting route and wanted to discover alternatives. Social enterprise piqued my curiosity because it involved using business models to create social impact.” But Chyau had never planned to pursue fashion or retail; that came incidentally. In 2006, Chyau and her business partner, Marie So, visited western China in search of potential opportunities for social enterprise. The region, where Tibet is located, has the lowest GDP in the country. It also happens to host 80 percent of the world’s yak population, an “underutilized asset” that grabbed Chyau’s attention. Realizing the potential to aid Tibetan communities by purchasing yak hair, Chyau conceived of Shokay: a fashion label that would use yak fibers to create a profitable business model with a positive social impact on Tibet and the surrounding areas. Just as Chyau anticipated, Shokay has increased the income of Tibetan yak herders while creating new, much-needed jobs
for spinners and knitters. All of Shokay’s pieces, including those that use some non-yak fibers, are hand-spun and hand-knitted in surrounding communities or produced in collaboration with outside designers. Shokay’s operations run in perfect accordance with its lifestyle brand philosophy: “Style with a touch of humanity, considered every thread of the way.” Chyau holds that all businesses—both inside and outside of the fashion industry—exist as social enterprises. “No businesses are run in isolation. They are part of an ecosystem where, for every action, you will get a reaction,” she stated. “Good businesses think thoroughly about their intended and unintended impacts on their immediate ecosystem, but also on the broader society. It is part of building a more long-term view rather than always chasing after short-term profits.” On a daily basis, Chyau’s main responsibilities run the gamut from managing the company’s overarching image to supervising the small operational details that keep it running. Before Shokay had a design team, she even designed the products as well. The company’s biggest challenge, she revealed, was introducing the unknown fiber and then building a brand around it—although the material’s softness actually rivals that of cashmere. “We aim to do what entire industry associations do,” Chyau points out, citing the American Cotton Association and Woolmark as examples. “We want to be the ‘Woolmark’ of yak hair one day!” Chyau’s goals are not far out of reach. In October, Shokay presented its Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Shanghai Fashion Week. Its pieces have also been featured in a range of magazines, particularly in Germany. Chyau said that her time spent at Penn provided her with a solid business education and helped her build her strategic and comprehensive business plan, but she also encourages students to take advantage of opportunities apart from coursework. She suggests attending conferences and lectures outside of the classroom, and, of course, internships. Shokay, she hinted, has hired Penn student interns in the past. W For more information, visit Shokay.com.
On Spring Braccia-Beck: White fur overcoat, vintage; white skirt, Topshop; stylistâ€™s own.
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Wanderlust The best cure for cabin fever: a dose of travel and adventure. Be sure to pack the perfect clothes and accessories.
Modeled by Spring Braccia-Beck ’13 and Victoria Martin ’15 Photographed by Bonnie Arbittier ’14 ASSISTED BY Tara gonzalez ’14 Styled by Celeste Courtenay ’15, Diane Destribats ’14, Bree Jackson ’15, Alex Moritz ’15, Anisha Kamat ’15, Robyn Rapaport ’15, and Daniella Sakhai ’15 hair & makeup by Anusha Chemicala ’16 and Laura Sachse ’16 Directed By marsha low ’13 coordinated by danielle harris ’14 and Luisa Sucre ’15
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(This page) On Victoria Martin: Black faux fur vest, $52, at Aoki. Yellow top, Topshop, stylist’s own. Black shorts, Ya Los Angeles, $42, at Smak Parlour. Black booties, Alexander Wang, stylist’s own. (Opposite page, top) On Victoria: Nude sequin top, THML, $68; gold cocktail dress, Ark & Co, $70; at Smak Parlour. Black bootie, Alexander Wang; nude bootie, Michael Antonio Studio; stylist’s own. (Opposite page, bottom) On Spring: Gray fur vest, Topshop; blue long-sleeved cotton shirt, Zara; stylist’s own. Black and white printed skirt, Yumi Kim, $132; print tote, Betsey Johnson, $73; burgundy leather bag, $89; at Aoki.
On Spring: Striped cardigan, Lauren Moffat, $268, at Arcadia. Green high-waisted skirt, Nanette Lepore, stylistâ€™s own.
(This page) On Victoria: Vanderbilt red coat, BB Dakota, $118, at Arcadia. Black cotton dress, $149, at Aoki. Gold earrings, vintage, stylist’s own. On Spring: Black and white printed coat, Funktional, $162, at Aoki. Faux feather vest; burgundy skirt, Topshop; stylist’s own. (Opposite page) On Spring: Striped cardigan, Topshop, stylist’s own. Blue dress with lace detail, Decapolls, $66, at Smak Parlour. Black booties, Alexander Wang, stylist’s own.
THE WALK IS IN We take a look at the rooms of two different pairs of Penn students to see how they chose to style their spaces: a Riepe double shared by two freshman girls and an off-campus double belonging to two upperclassman guys.
Emily Lipka '16 & Sara- PaigE Silvestro '16 The WALK: Where are your homes away from Penn? Sara-Paige Silvestro: Barrington, New Jersey. Emily Lipka: Towson, Maryland—a hip city near Baltimore. The WALK: What are you studying? SS: I’m looking at Cognitive Science and a double minor in Classical Studies and Philosophy. EL: Hopefully Economics and Urban Studies, but we’ll see how that goes. The WALK: What was your room design inspiration? SS: I was inspired a lot by photos. On a stressful day, it’s really good to look at happy pictures. It brings good vibes to my room. I was also pretty inspired by music—I have lots of band posters and even brought my record player. EL: I wanted to create a comfortable and homey environment, and I’m pretty sure that’s how it worked out. I used tips and ideas from Anthropologie’s home decorating magazine and recreated things I saw in catalogues. It’s pretty easy to be crafty when there’s a visual aid to mimic. Photographed by Laura Petro ’16.
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The WALK: How did your personal style influence your room? SS: I like looking at things that make me happy, just like I like to dress in a way that makes me happy. I like to promote good vibes. EL: I peg my personal style as eclectic, and that is definitely reflected in my room. Especially in my bed: none of my pillows match each other, and all of the colors simultaneously clash and complement each other. The WALK: What is your advice to freshmen trying to create a room that reflects their style and personality? SS: Spend time making your room your own. Make it livable and enjoyable and not just white walls and a bed. Follow your own style because this is your home for an entire year. EL: Wall decals can cure any white wall. Also, don’t worry about having everything match. Sometimes the best way to decorate is to throw things together that would never typically seem to fit together. And last, but probably most importantly, don’t feel stifled by not being allowed to use hooks or screws; command strips are a godsend. W
YOUR PLACE by laura petro
Eric Kauderer-Abrams '14 & Josh Tycko '14 Josh Tycko and Eric KaudererAbrams: We’re both from Bergen County, NJ.
a cool collected dive at death and destruction.” We wanted a quote in our room that was both deep enough to not get boring and also collegiate enough to encourage a partying atmosphere.
The WALK: What are you studying?
The WALK: How does this room compare to your last one?
JT: Performance Art with a minor in Philanthropy.
EK: I never even decorated my room until I started living with Josh, so…
The WALK: Where are your homes away from Penn?
EK: Theoretical Philosophy with a minor in Bolshevism. Editor’s note: Actually, they’re both Math majors. Shh, don’t tell. The WALK: Tell us about your hobbies. JT & EK: We’re violin luthiers, and we’re into alternative energy research, urban farming, and Sesame Street. And, of course, we are patrons of the arts. The WALK: What was your room design inspiration? JT: Every note is precisely positioned to strike a different chord in your aesthetic sensibilities. For example, we chose the passionate red hues for the walls to pluck the heartstrings, and the urban couch gives a street glow. EK: We have a Moby Dick mural, done by our friend Nicholai Khan, with a quote from the novel that states, “Here goes for
The WALK: You have so many unique pieces in your room. Where did you get your décor? JT: Well, I made those record pieces on the wall. I bought a ton of records and a ton of crappy 80s albums and then melted them in my oven. You take them out when they’re warm, and form them while they’re still soft. EK: One of our favorite things in the room is the Huayana Capack. I got it in a small village near Machu Picchu from an Incan Shaman. It’s really contributed to the vibes... No, I’m not kidding. That’s actually true. The WALK: Do you have any advice for people trying to create a room that reflects their personal style and stands out? JT & EK: In order to create a perfect outer space you must first find your inner space. W Photographed by Laura Petro ’16.
SPRING EVENTS GUIDE As we shiver our way through the rest of winter, it’s nice to have a few sunny spring events to look forward to. Mark your calendars—it’s going to be a fun, festival-filled semester.
MACY'S FLOWER SHOW
Wednesday, March 27 – Wednesday, April 10, at Macy’s Center City, 1300 Market St.
Each spring, Macy’s makes retail therapy even more relaxing with an impressive flower show. With the help of extremely talented floral designers, the Center City store is transformed into an indoor garden, an exotic escape from the bustling city just outside its walls. If you want to have all of the flowering beauty explained to you, you can even take a 15-minute guided tour. Visit macys.com/campaign/flowershow/philadelphia/index.jsp for more information.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS
DINING OUT FOR LIFE
Image courtesy of uwishunu.com.
March through April, exact dates TBA, in Fairmount Park
The Cherry Blossom Festival, called Sakura Matsuri in Japanese, is an annual multi-week celebration of Japanese culture. One major highlight is the Cherry Blossom 5K Walk/Run. The 5K will benefit the JASGP Community Tree Planting Project, which aims to beautify the Philadelphia landscape by continued planting and maintenance of cherry blossom trees. Another key event is Sakura Sunday, a day of Karate demonstrations, Origami workshops, a Harajuku fashion show, and other Japanesethemed events underneath the blossoms. Visit sakura.japanphilly.org for more information.
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Image courtesy of actionaids.org.
Sunday, April 28, 12-4pm, at East Passyunk Ave. between Dickinson and Morris
This fun, one-day event features a free street festival including vendors, a craft market, and an outdoor concert. Pay $30 general admission to get into the tasting tent, where you can sample around twenty of East Passyunk’s most popular restaurants and bars (including Green Eggs Café, Paradiso, Salt and Pepper, and Tre Scalini). Visit visiteastpassyunk.com for more information.
CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
Image courtesy of articles.philly.com.
Thursday, April 25, at various Philadelphia eateries
On the night of this annual event, participating restaurants (ranging from Audrey Claire and Alma de Cuba to El Vez and Zahav) will donate 33 percent of each diner’s bill to local HIV/AIDS organizations. Why not sample some of Center City’s best food and support a great cause in the process? Visit diningoutforlife.com/philadelphia for more information.
FLAVORS OF THE AVENUE
Image courtesy of visit-philly.com.
Thursday, March 28 – Saturday, April 27, city-wide
Produced by the Kimmel Center, this festival brings together a range of Philadelphia arts and culture organizations for over 50 performing arts events. The performances will vary widely but all focus on this year’s theme, “If You Had a Time Machine…” A few examples are: a rare Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, a gender-bending cabaret show by The Bearded Ladies, an interactive construction of a large-scale model of Center City led by artist and educator Jebney Lewis, and trapeze classes and performances by Fly School Circus Arts. Visit pifa.org for more information.
BY VINITA SAGGURTI
Image courtesy of uwishunu.com.
THE FUTURE OF
FASHION IS IN OUR HANDS A few cutting-edge fashion companies let customers dream up their own apparel.
by Robyn Rapaport
ustomizing and altering clothing for the perfect fit is a longstanding fashion tradition. Modern DIY designing, however, takes customization to a new level. A growing number of companies now allow consumers to take almost complete creative control over their clothing: fit, pattern, color, and all. Whether you’re looking for a pair of personalized pumps or a dress that is designed just for you, these cuttingedge corporations are ready to let you take over the driver’s seat. One such company is SketchStreet. This online retailer produces and sells designs dreamed up by fashion students, professionals, and even everyday fashion fanatics, so long as their sketches pass a particular test. Here’s how it works: designer hopefuls submit their sketches to one of SketchStreet’s running design campaigns, and winning styles are chosen based on reflection of the campaign theme, popularity (measured by an open vote), and commercial viability. Experienced patternmakers then construct samples, after which customers can preorder pieces for discounts of up to 60 percent off the actual upcoming price. However, SketchStreet only produces items that meet a certain pre-order quota, so the customer is billed if and when the item passes the quota and is put into production. Once pieces have passed the quota, they can be purchased as full-price, made-to-order pieces. It’s a complicated business plan, but it works. With this screening process, SketchStreet is sure to produce only the best of the best designs submitted. And so far, the results have been successful: the site’s “Shop” section is full of cute, on-trend women’s pieces available for purchase. As an added bonus, the customized clothing is also of higher quality than average apparel because the items are not mass-produced.
ModCloth, a popular retro online retailer, has also stepped into the realm of DIY designs. Similar to SketchStreet, ModCloth holds a contest for submitted customer designs via its Facebook page and turns the winning sketches into ready-to-wear realities. This aptly named “Make the Cut” line also ensures that only the finest designs are transformed into pieces for purchase. Thanks to both ModCloth and SketchStreet, a lucky handful of everyday consumers get to play the part of real-world fashion designers and actually purchase the clothes they dream up. Some companies even take it one step further, eliminating the restrictive competition aspect. Online footwear retailer Shoes of Prey, for example, allows women to design their own stylish shoes without having to win the right to wear their creations. Each customer gets to choose her own style, heel height and shape, colors, materials, and even overlays like lace and studs, creating a look that is entirely her own. In this case, however, consumers design the shoes just for themselves; they aren’t presented to other site users for purchase. Comparing these two types of business models begs the question, which is superior? A company that relies on competition to find the most profitable (and perhaps most fashionable) products, or one that gives the individual customer complete style autonomy? Only time will tell which one is more sustainable. Either way, they both allow for aesthetic freedom—one simply requires validation, while the other aims to please only the consumer at hand. No matter how it manifests, this growing DIY mentality represents a major modern shift in the sartorial stratosphere. If consumers can’t find the look they’re after, they’re increasingly able to take matters into their own hands and create the W exact ensembles they covet.
Visit sketchstreet.com, modcloth.com, and shoesofprey.com for more information.
(Top) ModCloth allows customers to submit their own hand-sketched designs to its "Make the Cut" contest. (Middle) SketchStreet's online boutique sells customer-designed, made-to-order garments. (Bottom) Shoppers design their own shoe styles using Shoes of Prey's design lab, choosing details ranging from material to heel shape.
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