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Spring 2013 Issue 11 |Zipped Magazine

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BEACHY kEEN Don't head to the beach without these msut-have items in your tote bag.


HAUTE HIPPIE Try this new twist on the fishtail braid.

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DESIGNING WITH THE STARS Many celebrities try to make a name for themselves in the fashion industry, but only a few succeed.


What a GEM Opt for opulence with elegant jewel-toned accessories.


18 Contrast RATio Black or white? This spring, you don't have to choose.

endings 28 The blay report New adjunct professor Zandile Blay travels between Manhattan and Syracuse spreading her fashion journalism expertise to students.

30 Decades of DEnim Shorts Denim cut-offs have come a long way since Woodstock. 2

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Editorial Kelly Bucci Editor-In-Chief Tina Ferraro Managing Editor Dani Haygood Creative Director Dana Rose Falcone Features Editor Abby Maddigan Associate Features Editor Christina Riggio Fashion Director Morgan Evans Associate Fashion Editor Erica Hewins Associate Fashion Editor Holly Parker Research Editor Jessica Dysart Copy Editor

Photo & Design Vania Myers Art Director Mary Wagner Associate Art Director Meg O’Malley Photo Director Ilana Goldmeier Associate Photo Director

BusIness & Communications

{Letter } editor from the

Spring is here, despite how the weather feels at the time I’m writing this. (Snow has no business falling from the sky in April.) It’s tremendously bittersweet for me. Bitter because I’m graduating, but sweet because every spring this campus suddenly seems to come to life. Students venture outside to relax in the sun (even if the temperature is only 55 degrees), leggings are stored away and out come denim cut-off shorts (see our history of the classic summer piece on page 30), and everyone is focusing on finishing finals and having fun before they leave SU for three months of summer vacation. If you plan to lie on the beach and recover from the bleak winter by soaking up some much-needed Vitamin D this summer, check out our picks for your beach bag essentials (“Beachy Keen,” page 4) and pack accordingly. After your relaxing day at the beach, head out for the evening wearing classic black and white, a huge trend for the upcoming months (“Contrast Ratio,” page 18) that is super easy to pull off. Maybe you’re lucky enough to be attending a music festival like Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy Carnival, or Lollapalooza this summer, where your look needs to be conducive to dancing for hours and hours, but fashionable as well. Try out a new hairstyle that will perfectly compliment your

Jenna Bordy Publisher Lindsey Chapman Advertising Director Carly Yeung Public Relations Director

Sincerely, Kelly

Check out our blog at

Kylie Haymaker Public Relations Director

Arianna Wright-Diaz Associate Public Relations Director

for daily fashion and beauty news updates.

Claire Jones Associate Public Relations Director Kimberly Coleman Social Media Assistant Paige Carlotti Social Media Assistant Special Thanks: Some Girls Boutique, 145 Marshall St. Boom Babies, 489 Westcott St.

festival fashion choices (“Haute Hippie,” page 6) and keep your hair from obstructing your vision while you bounce around from stage to stage. On the bitter side of things, if you’re a graduating senior like me, there’s only one thing on your mind as summer approaches: getting a job. If there is one thing I learned from reading our profile on adjunct professor and fashion journalist Zandile Blay (“The Blay Report,” page 28), it’s that if you have a serious enthusiasm for fashion (or anything, for that matter), you can make a career out of it if you work hard, stay positive, and don’t give up. It isn’t easy in this economic state, but it isn’t impossible either. Whether you spend your summer job searching or sun bathing, I wish you all the best. Enjoy the issue!


Better with the boys For women, there are many advantages to working at a men's fashion magazine.


Sketch: By Christina Riggio, Fashion Design '13

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Beachy Keen


Whether your destination is Cape Cod, South Beach, or the Jersey Shore, keep these seaside essentials in your beach bag at all times.

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STELLAR SPF Now that the weather is warming up it’s time to start slathering on that sunscreen. Choose one that is oil-free and has broadspectrum sun protection, which will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays (the harmful rays that cause the most damage to skin). Also look for sunscreen that contains Vitamin E, which has anti-aging properties to keep your skin looking young and fresh. –Amanda Etkind Sunscreen: L’Oreal Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen SPF 30,


This season, stand out in a brightly colored bathing suit. Choose an eye-popping orange or a flashy lime green hue that flatters your specific skin tone. Whether you purchase a fashion-forward monokini or stick to the traditional bikini style, make sure the suit compliments curves and covers enough skin. That way, you’ll never feel the need to hide under a towel. –Kate Johnson Bathing suit: Victoria’s Secret,

STUNNER SHADES Sunglasses are a beach accessory necessity. Choose classic styles, like wayfarers or aviators, which are universally flattering and always on-trend. You can’t go wrong with black or brown frames that will match every bikini you own. But use your best judgment when wearing them into the ocean—no one wants to watch the surf swallow a new pair of shades. –Melina Martino Wayfarer sunglasses: Ray-Ban,


Dry, flaky lips aren’t sexy in any season. Keep your pout soft and smooth by applying a hydrating lip balm with SPF. Look for a balm that’s rich in shea butter or cocoa butter—ingredients that infuse lips with moisture, while shielding them from the drying rays of the sun. –Tina Ferraro Lip Balm: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick,

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Floppy, large-brimmed sun hats are perfect for protecting your hair from the salty sea breeze, and shielding your face from the harsh rays of the sun. Choose a straw sun hat for a summery fresh look, or stand out in an all-black one. You may have trouble making it out the door, but you'll be the chic center-of-attention once you get to the beach. –Kayla Isaacs Hat: H&M,

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A BEACH READ (OR TWO) Soaking up sunrays is impossible to do without a good beach read. Pack a few of the latest issues of your favorite fashion magazines in your beach tote, so you can flip through them for some summer style inspiration and catch up on celebrity gossip between dips in the ocean and impromptu beach volleyball matches. –Erin Reimel Magazines: InStyle, Allure, and Glamour,


VOLUMIZING SEA SALT SPRAY Spritz you hair with salt-water styling spray before you sunbathe to get beachy, sundried waves without having to wade into the surf. Look for formulas with ascophyllum nudosum extract, which locks in moisture and gives hair soft body with less flyaways and frizz. After leaving the beach, use a bit of extra-hold hairspray to keep hair looking tousled and sexy all night long. –Kelly Bucci Sea Salt Styling Spray: Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray,

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A COMFY COVER-UP No one wants to deal with a heavy, highmaintenance cover-up while heading to the beach. Opt for a sheer, lightweight tunic or dress that is easy to slip on and off as you go from sunbathing in the sand to sipping on a piña colada at the beachside bar. –Nicole Harris Cover up: French Connection, stylist’s own


HAUTE HIPPIE Beauty How-To: Boho Braids

By Tina Ferraro

For a fresh take on the fishtail braid, follow these instructions:

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Part your hair down the center. Use a clip to hold back one section of the parted hair. Then part the unclipped section of hair in half. Separate a ¼-inch piece of hair from the right section and add it to the left section. Repeat with a piece from the left section, adding it to the right section. Continue adding ¼-inch pieces down the hair, to the ends. Secure with an elastic, then separate fishtail braid into three distinct sections with clear elastics. Repeat the process on the other side.

Photographer: Megan O’Malley HAIR STYLIST: TINA FERRARO Model: AlLIE REEVES


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Many celebrities attempt to trade the red carpet for the runway, but only a select few become respected and revered fashion designers. What does it take to make it work? By Alexa Voss


irst Mary-Kate and Ashley did it, then Kanye West attempted to, and now supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio is doing it. These and many more Hollywood stars, pop icons, and red carpet veterans are adding “fashion designer” to the top of their résumés. The trifecta of fame that once only included talents like singing, dancing, and acting has expanded to the world of fashion. Within this group of design-interested celebs, there are two extremely distinct categories: those who succeed on the runway and in sales, and those who don’t. Success does not always come so easily; what makes a celebrity line successful in the market depends on a number of things: the location at which the star decides to sell his or her products, the cost of the clothes, the target consumer population, and even the reputation of the celebrity. When starting a fashion line, a star must consider the cost of the products and where they will be sold.

Affordability and availability can make or break a line. Take Kanye West’s Dw line, for example. Thinking his products were immediately going to sell big, West set the base prices for his clothing ridiculously high and sold his products solely to retailers that don’t cater to the average shopper, but rather to the small percentage of wealthy, upper-class shoppers. This strategy resulted in low buying rates and generated less revenue than was predicted, which caused the line to fail. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row, on the other hand, started off being a line designed for average, middle-class Americans that was sold in department stores like Kohl’s and Macy’s. The clothing line was both affordable and accessible to the public. Once the Olsen twins established themselves in the fashion world and ensured that their label was one of quality and creativity, their customer base grew. “The clothing design of The Row is great because I feel like the angles, seams, and overall fit is designed to extenuate the lines of the body, flattering everyone’s body and making them look good,” says Elizabeth Kelleher, fashion and English and textual studies dual major. Once The Row established a strong, loyal

Contributing to the success of the brand are some of the most important people in the process of creating a fashion line: the customers.


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customer base and made sufficient profits from sales, the production of more expensive, high-quality merchandise became a possibility. This approach allowed The Row to begin selling higher-end material and gave the line enough credibility in the fashion world to become a successful celebrity label. Contributing to the success of the brand are some of the most important people in the process of creating a

Celebs who try starting fashion lines and expect them to succeed solely based on a name, a reputation, or an image, will be sorely disappointed when they fail. fashion line: the customers. The consumers of celebrity fashion lines are typically fans of the celebrity, fans of the star’s fashion and style, or people who simply like the clothing the celeb has designed. New designers must contemplate the specific customer base they are designing their products for when starting a line. If a star is creating a collection of clothing for the opposite gender, like West for Dw, he or she will probably need a generous amount of assistance from other designers while creating and editing the line. However, celebrities who are the same gender as their target audience tend to use fewer designers and are more involved in the final editing process of the design, like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Some celebrity lines benefit immensely from the star’s involvement in the design of the label, like Victoria Beckham and her DVB line. Beckham’s line uses her image in the media and her fashion expertise to create a line that expounds upon her own style. Her line is hailed by critics and is one of the few celebrity fashion lines that has actually profited from using star image, for Beckham has been recognized as a fashion icon since the Spice Girls. However, celebs who try starting fashion lines and expect them to succeed solely based on a name, a reputation, or an image, will be sorely

disappointed when they fail. Lines like Heidiwood, by Heidi Montag, and Kanye West’s Dw put too much emphasis on the name on the label rather than on the clothes themselves. “When I hear celeb labels, I just think it’s not serious,” says Amina Isa, fashion blogger and public relations major. “They’re not really fashion designers; they’re just trying to get into it because it’s another ‘fun’ way of making money and their publicist probably told them they’d be good at it.” Even if a celebrity’s image happens to be enough for their line to achieve monetary success, it is something else entirely to be respected and considered successful by your peers. Celebrities who choose to start their own lines must also consciously make the decision to dive headfirst into a new world of competition. Fashion designers who started out as nobodies, never having been a movie star or music icon, haven’t taken too kindly to stars coming into their territory. Paul Costelloe, an Irish designer, told ABS-CBN News “celebrities should be content with what they have and stop competing with us struggling fashion designers on the runway.” Since the process of starting a new fashion line is so different for a celebrity than for the average designer, many designers feel resentment toward some stars that have invade their territory. In the fashion world, big name designers usually don’t have to try very hard to market their products because their target consumer base is already well established. In an interview with CNN, UK-based menswear designer William Green admitted that it can be very frustrating for designers that put all their energy and hard work into building a reputable brand to watch as celebrities start fashion lines with ease. Newer, traditional designers need to work much harder to market their line because they, unlike celebrity or big name designers, cannot use their fame to generate instant notoriety. The fact that some celebrities can skip this step in starting a fashion line does nothing to curb the growing resentment from designers who have worked themselves to the bone to succeed in fashion. Some celebrity designers may have reached the pinnacle of success in fashion, like the Olsen twins or Victoria Beckham, but when it comes down to it, very few celebrities are as respected as major designers like Marc Jacobs or Chanel. Stars who start their own labels must gain the notoriety and respect necessary from consumers, peers, and other designers in order to truly be able to call themselves fashion designers.

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what a gem Emanate elegance with opulent jewel-toned accessories Photographer: Megan O’Malley Models: Liz Lillie & Mason Leasure Hair & Makeup By: Tina Ferraro Stylist: Kelly Bucci

emerald Emerald & gold pendant necklace, Forever 21; black & gold jeweled chain necklace, stylist’s own; emerald ring, Boom Babies; gold bangles, Boom Babies; black & gold bracelet, stylist’s own.

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amethyst Amethyst necklace; Francesca’s Collections; Silver chain necklace, stylist’s own.

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opal Opal necklace, H&M; opal earrings, Boom Babies.

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sapphire & aquamarine Sapphire & silver dangle earrings, Francesca’s Collections; aquamarine & sapphire silver necklace worn as bracelet, stylist’s own; sapphire ring, Boom Babies.

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ruby Ruby & gold earrings, Francesca’s Collections; white jewel necklace, stylist’s own; solid gold necklace, stylist’s own.

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BOYS Talking menswear may seem like speaking a foreign language for a woman that is primarily interested in little black dresses and platform pumps. However, women looking for a career in fashion and journalism should consider working at a men’s fashion magazine, where the office dynamic is laid-back, pressure to dress to impress is nonexistent, and there are a lot of valuable skills to learn. By Kelly Bucci “I love that top.” “Your shoes are fabulous! Where did you get them?” “Is that dress new?” When working in an office full of fashion-obsessed women, you tend to hear these comments daily. Whether you work in fashion journalism, design, or public relations, there is a degree of pressure to always look polished and put-together. It’s natural for a woman, when surrounded by other stylish females, to dress up solely to impress the other women in the office. On the contrary, when working in an office full of fashion-obsessed men, what a woman is wearing is of less concern. Lauren Tousignant felt the pressure to wear only on-trend attire to the office while interning at ELLE and Harper’s Bazaar. At these reputable luxury fashion publications, her co-workers would comment on her outfits more—and if she wore the same pair of pants

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twice in the same week, they would absolutely take notice. Tousignant doesn’t need to worry so much about what she wears to work these days because she’s one of few women in an office that consists primarily of fashion-forward men. She works at Details, the popular men’s fashion magazine published by Condé Nast. In this office, a trendy shift dress from Marc Jacobs doesn’t turn her co-workers’ heads—sharp, tailored suits from Ralph Lauren’s latest menswear collection do. Tousignant’s interest in the fashion editorial spreads found in women’s lifestyle magazines led her to apply and accept summer internships at ELLE and Harper’s Bazaar following her freshman and sophomore year at Syracuse University, where she studied communications and rhetorical studies and writing. She began reading men’s fashion magazines like Esquire, GQ, and Details after her freshman year

and became much more attracted to the content in those publications. “Men’s fashion is different in that it places a much stronger focus on looking put-together, rather than looking trendy or unique,” says Tousignant. “Women’s fashion definitely has much more room to experiment with, but I don’t always think that’s a good thing.” Tousignant’s love for men’s fashion and her sharp styling abilities helped her land an internship in the style department at Details, which eventually led to her current job as a freelance assistant at the magazine. “I love the approach men’s publications take to fashion,” Tousignant says. “It’s much more fun, laid-back. There’s humor in the spreads.” While she acknowledges that every now and then there is a conceptual spread, most men’s fashion editorial spreads highlight garments and trends that are realistic for the reader to wear. The reader should be able to visualize himself wearing that seersucker suit on the model or those black leather loafers. Practical clothing isn’t always highlighted in women’s fashion magazines – more emphasis is placed on aspirational, dramatic, and over-the top garments. “The focus [of men’s fashion] is more on making it relatable and approachable rather than something to aspire to,” Tousignant says. “Being able to put together a smart, effortless look says a lot more about your style and taste.” She favors the sensible, wearable clothing that men’s fashion magazines showcase over the aspirational (sometimes even unattainable) fashions shown in women’s fashion magazines—which is why, even as a woman, she prefers working with men’s fashion. Mercedes Bass, a fashion assistant and one of two women on staff at Women’s Wear Daily MEN’S and M MAGAZINE, feels similarly. Being a woman interested in fashion, knowing how to properly dress a woman comes naturally to Bass. She likes the challenge that working in men’s fashion presents. “Women's fashion comes easier to me because I'm a woman and I love beautiful clothing, but menswear is close to my heart. To be able to reinvent the same silhouette season after season is genius,” says Bass. The atmosphere at a luxury fashion publication is assumed by most to be intimidating and competitive. But the office environment at a men’s fashion magazine is laid-back and less judgmental. Lauren Bans, an associate editor at GQ, prefers this type of office camaraderie, sans competition. “It’s really fun,

everyone’s really smart,” she says about the office dynamic between the men and women that work together at GQ. “It’s not like Mad Men.” GQ’s office is located in the same building as some of the most popular women’s fashion magazines on newsstands, and it isn’t hard to point out who is an editor at Vogue or a stylist at Glamour. “The building itself can be very fashion-y,” Bans says. “When you look around there are women in backless dresses and short skirts, but [in the GQ office] I never feel pressure to dress up unless I’m doing an interview or have some sort of event to attend.” “My style is way more relaxed at Details,” says Tousignant. “I wear jeans a lot, and dress them up with a blazer or button down. I certainly don’t put as much conscious thought [into what I’m wearing] as when I was at women’s magazines.” But that doesn’t mean she’s stopped thinking about her style altogether. Working at Details helped Tousignant develop an astute comprehension about men’s fashion. She notices if a man’s trousers are ill fitting or if his button down shirt is too loose, and this perceptibility has made her more cognizant about the clothes she buys for herself as well—which works in her favor. “I pay so much more attention to how things fit me,” she says. No woman should rule out an opportunity to work in men’s fashion just because she can’t swoon over Manolo Blahnik stilettos or Céline handbags while she works. “Obviously, I’m a girl, so I get more excited about a pair of Swarvoski crystal Louboutins then I do about a pair of Church’s black leather wingtips,” says Tousignant. “It’s always fun when we get women’s clothes in for a shoot at Details, but not so much fun that I would make a switch back to women’s fashion.” Working in a women’s fashion closet at a magazine like Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar would be more than a dream come true for any fashionista. (Who wouldn’t want to stare at beautiful womenswear and accessories all day?) But the atmosphere and aestheticism that comes with working at a men’s fashion publication makes an office full of trousers and ties equally as appealing. If given the opportunity, don’t be afraid to seize it.

No woman should rule out an opportunity to work in men’s fashion just because she can’t swoon over Manolo Blahnik stilettos or Céline handbags while she works.

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Add a little black and white to your wardrobe to make a bold, sophisticated statement this spring. Photographer: Ilana Goldmeier Models: madison davis and laura adams Hair & Makeup By: Tina Ferraro Stylists: Christina Riggio and Dani Haygood

Sheer black pants, vintage; black and white tube top, Forever 21; necklace, stylist’s own.

THIS PAGE: Black and white leopard pants and black tube top, stylist’s own; black vest, BCBG. RIGHT: Black and white geometric crop top, Forever 21; black shorts and white cropped blazer, stylist’s own.

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Black and white romper, Topshop; sunglasses, Some Girls Boutique.

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Black and white striped blouse, Forever 21; black tube top, stylist’s own; black leather shorts, H&M.

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Black and white pants, Some Girls Boutique; black and white blouse, stylist’s own.

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THIS PAGE: White and black dress, Macy's RIGHT: Black leather skirt, Nordstroms; black and white strip tank, Some Girls Boutique.

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The Blay Report

Adjunct professor Zandile Blay proves that you can turn a niche passion into a multi-faceted career.


By Tina Ferraro Photo credit: Paper Magazine ©

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he heels of my black booties click on the granite floor as I scurry through the lobby of Newhouse. A blister has begun to form on my big toe, but I hardly notice because I’m late to class thanks to these stupid shoes, which barely allow me to take half the amount of steps

I normally would for fear of falling on my face. Last week I made the mistake of wearing sweatpants to a fashion journalism class, so I thought it best to dress up for class this week, deciding at the last minute to throw on my wedge booties. Zandile Blay, a fashion journalist, magazine editor, style correspondent, brand consultant, and now

Newhouse professor, takes notice. “I see you, girl,” she says with a wink. “Please take your seat in the front row.” Blay has transformed the computer lab into a mock runway show, complete with a throbbing classical music soundtrack, seats dotted with complimentary Hershey’s kisses for guests, and the public relations assistant in all black garb who doubles as a body guard— enacted by the leather-clad, raven-haired Blay, herself. “Esteemed editors,” she says to students, who sit perched on the edge of their seats, pens poised to jot down notes. “Welcome to New York Fashion Week.” Every Thursday morning at around 5 a.m., Blay boards a plane at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and flies to Syracuse, equipped only with a small overnight bag and her lesson plans. Office hours begin upon her arrival at 10 a.m.—students are invited to meet with her to talk about assignments, internships, or the latest celebrity scandal over a morning coffee at Café Kubal. (She avoids her office because it isn’t very aesthetic, she says.) Class starts at 5 p.m. sharp, and operates like a typical magazine’s staff meeting. Students participate in discussions led by Blay, and collaborate on assignments. They also have the opportunity to speak to fashion and beauty editors via Skype. A 2004 Newhouse grad, Blay became reacquainted with the college in November 2011, when the National Association of Black Journalists invited her back to campus to speak about attitudes towards different races and cultures in the media. The event had an overwhelming turnout, and initiated buzz about Blay’s potential future role as an adjunct professor. A year later, in January 2013, she began teaching a fashion and beauty journalism course as part of the Fashion and Beauty Communications Milestone curriculum, after spending almost a decade as a journalist in the field. “It wasn’t about embarking on a career as a professor for me,” Blay says. “It’s about giving back to the school that’s given so much to me.” Her professorship tops the scroll that has become her résumé over the years. Besides teaching, Blay currently acts as the Africa style correspondent for The Huffington Post, editor-at-large for SCENE magazine, and head of her own media company, Blay Digital Media. Blay has a handful of titles under her belt—she served as the readers editor at Seventeen, then was the women’s fashion editor at Paper, before she moved to Essence to work as the digital fashion editor. She has also contributed pieces to Complex, InStyle, Teen People, The Daily News, and Fashionista. com. It’s these freelance writing assignments that she enjoys tackling most. “It’s when I’m between books, when I’m working for myself that I get super cool assignments, like writing about the history of Versace and hip-hop which I did for Complex,” Blay says. “It’s these types of juicy writing assignments that speak to who I am as a journalist,

and they don’t necessarily come into play when you’re the editor of a book.” Writing has always come naturally to Blay, who descends from a long line of Ghanaian political reporters, but unlike her family’s beat of choice, Blay’s beat has and always will be fashion. “My father still wants me to become a real journalist,” Blay says. “My mother wants me to be a nurse.” At 30 years old, Blay has covered everything fashion, from Beyoncé’s 2013 Super Bowl outfit to the writing nuances of the New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, perfecting her writing skills by working at print magazines. Then came the dawn of the digital age, which introduced more inexperienced bloggers to the fashion world. “Fashion is now a big mosh pit that welcomes amateurs and experts alike,” Blay says. “Anyone can come in and position themselves as someone who has something to say about fashion, but I’m not interested in that because I’ve invested so much time and dedication to be able to expertly speak on fashion.” Though Blay knows fashion best, it doesn’t take her forever to get dressed. She sticks to classic pieces, leather, and shades of gray. “There’s an assumption that because I’m a fashion journalist, I am super invested in my personal style, but my style is just a function of my life,” Blay says. “My fashion has become a slave to the realities of my schedule, and not so much my creative outlet.” The focus of her career has always been magazines, but Blay didn’t graduate from Newhouse as a magazine journalism major, nor did she go to grad school for journalism. “I knew my natural strength as a writer but I figured that at some point in the future, journalists would need to have skill sets that translate across all media platforms,” Blay says. She has an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism, and a master’s degree in fashion from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. In 2007, Blay began the British Vogue-acclaimed fashion news blog, The Blay Report, which originally started as an exercise in writing for herself, but quickly developed an audience. She later launched Africa Style Daily, a website that puts African fashion at the forefront. Africa has since been her beat, but not just because she was born there. “It’s such a huge story,” Blay says. “Even if I were a young, Irish-American girl, I would be moving to Africa because it’s that brilliant. I’m a Newhouse journalist, and we understand what’s hot and what’s next.” The final model of Alexander Wang’s Fall 2013 show struts down the runway and the mock Fashion Week comes to an end. We applaud loudly and wait with our pens to our notepads, seeing if Blay has any final thoughts. She stands at the front of the classroom smiling that blinding white smile of hers. “Class dismissed.”

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Decades of deNIM SHORTS

During the Summer of Love, hippies take scissors to Levi’s jeans as a rejection of the popular trend and a symbol of the counter culture movement.


The Dukes of Hazzard premieres on CBS and Catherine Bach’s character Daisy Duke becomes known for wearing high-cut denim shorts, henceforth earning the nickname “Daisy Dukes” for denim cut-offs of similar styles.

With websites like Pinterest contributing to the DIY trend, fashion lovers begin to personalize their cut-offs with studs, bleaching, ombré dying, and more.


Cut-offs make their return to the music festival scene with celebs like Kristen Stewart spotted wearing a burgundy pair with a T-shirt and baseball cap at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.

From hippies and skaters to rappers and A-list celebrities, everyone has embraced denim cut-off shorts. Here’s a look at how popular culture has shaped this summer wardrobe staple.


Keanu Reeves’ character Ted Logan rocks a pair of rolled cut-offs in the cult classic Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure as he and his buddy Ted travel through time to put together a high school history presentation.


Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” references wearing Daisy Dukes and bikini tops as part of the laidback California attitude. The song hits No. 1 for six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and becomes a summer anthem.


Waistlines get higher as denim “mom jeans” become increasingly popular thanks in part to the ladies of Beverly Hills, 90210.

2005 1991 The releases of Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten set off the grunge movement that lasts for the first half of the 90s and has men wearing longer versions of the denim cut-off.


Rapper Duice releases his debut album Dazzey Duks, featuring a single by the same name about Daisy Dukes cut-off shorts. The song reaches gold and platinum statuses and hits No. 12 in the U.S. Billboard 200.

2003 Arrested Development’s Tobias Funke wears denim cut-offs underneath all his clothes because he suffers from “never nude” syndrome, meaning that he has a fear of being naked.

A movie remake of The Dukes of Hazzard starring Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke puts cut-offs back at the forefront of summertime fashion for women.

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Zipped magazine, Spring 2013  
Zipped magazine, Spring 2013