Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive and Collegetown, USA. Designer bags hit campus. Student icons run the gamut fromthe silver screen to dear old Mom.
"A casual look with a really cool bag makes a statement," says Eleanor Ennis, a junior at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "It’s an easy way to look classy and elegant."
She’s not alone. For many young women across the country, status bags provide an accessible extravagance. And while some students go stealth, most sport a designer logo. Excessive for the college crowd? These girls think not. "Bags are approachable," says Trinity College senior Katy Kail. "I would be intimidated to go up to the [clothes] rack at Gucci, but not to the handbags. They’re easier." Others embrace
status in the name of quality. "[Designer bags] are really well made," says Stanford senior Greta Braddock. "I tend to trash purses, but somehow these just rebound so well."
Hervé Chapelier is one of the most commonly seen handbags on campus, probably due to its relatively reasonable price and Crayola color range. But campuses also abound with sightings of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Gucci, Fendi, Longchamp, Marc Jacobs, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent.
On The Other Hand...
Not all eye-catching accessories come with logos and a tony pricetag. Oberlin College student Katie Repp ties her hair up every day with a vibrant ribbon, a touch that has earned her the moniker "Bow Girl." And her penchant for girly accessories doesn’t stop there. Who could suppress a smile when faced with a pair of Kitty Cat shoes? Bravo, Bow Girl!
Shopping On The Quad
Sure they stock psyche books, spiral notebooks and those traditional school sweatshirts. But campus stores across the country carry a whole lot more, from rah-rah Barbies to artsy student- and graduate-designed gift items. And these days, a girl can look trendy while showing school spirit in micro minis that sport her school’s logo.
Does voting Gwyneth the number-one fashion icon mean that well dressed is in among America’s coeds? It’s hard to argue otherwise. With her carefully engineered classic look, the former UC Santa Barbara student (she left in 1991 to pursue acting) was made for the red carpet. "What I love about her is how versatile she is," says Boston College sophomore Jessie Rosen, who writes a fashion column for her school paper, The Heights. "She can go from Goth to Bohemian. She’s cliché only in that everyone would say she’s their fashion icon. It’s like saying ‘Jackie O’ for my generation."While student entries for their fashion icon ranged from the artsy (German Expressionist cinema) to the philosophical (Jean Baudrillard), the top five closed in on the oft-photographed, omnipresent movie and television celebrities who make the runway their home away from home. But the interesting ranking here was Audrey Hepburn, who serves as a timeless standard. Honorable mentions: Reese Witherspoon, Gwen Stefani and Halle Berry. Just off the radar: "Mom."
*Students were asked: Who are your fashion or style icons?
Kids Say The Darndest Things
"Fashion is fun, not convention. Fashion is not about matching. Fashion is not without risktaking."
—Benguerine Lilia, American University
"Labels are irrelevant."
—Rebecca Bellville, American University
"For graduation I'll make my own dress—out of ostrich feathers."
"Yes. Watch what I wear—then watch what designers come up with a few years later."
—a Bennington student in an answer to the question, "Do you consider yourself fashionable?"
"Personal expression and individuality are more important than merely following trends."
—a student at Carnegie Mellon
"Really fashionable people are leaders, not followers of leaders."
—a student at Carnegie Mellon
"It's all about conformity here. I used to put a lot more effort into dressing."
—a student at University of Virginia
"They are really comfortable with their bodies. It's a little more sexy than conservative preppy."
—Amy Gardner, owner of Scarpa, a shoe and accessory store serving University of Virginia.
"I'm not much of fashion whore. I wear what I like and I like what I wear."
—Chris Medaglia, SUNY Purchase
"Personal style is not really important with clothing. If it's important to the person, then I'll respect that."
—Erika Decker, SUNY Purchase
"I do not buy by the brand. I buy by the price. I really don't have the money to keep up with fashion.Clothes are too expensive nowadays."—Kathryn Noulis, SUNY Purchase
"I am a hot man."—Holland Rockgarden, SUNY Purchase
Wrecking The Curve
It’s unscientific, unrepresentative of actual intelligence and impossibly culturally biased.
No, we’re not referring to the SAT but the FAQ, WWD’s Fashion Awareness Quiz. Rather than asking respondents to make analogies or count bushels of oranges, the FAQ probes knowledge of burning issues like who designs Louis Vuitton or where Stephen Sprouse sells his wares. We asked more than 2,000 students across the country to match designers to their fashion houses or trendy architects to their buildings and identify Page 6 gossip staples or Philippe Starck designs.
And the results? If you think that a quiz on fashion trivia would be easy as pie, think again. Only a handful returned with perfect scores. Even more surprising was the fact that, of these, none represented those schools dedicated to fashion and design. Perfect scorers included students from the likes of Duke, Northwestern, Yeshiva College and NYU to a number of Ivy Leagues schools, such as Yale, University of Pennsylvania and Princeton. When interviewed, many perfect scorers said they considered themselves highly fashion conscious as a result of both media exposure and personal interest. Their level of engagement with fashion, however, was as varied as their majors. Judy Tomkins of Johns Hopkins University, an economics major, simply "loves to shop," while Faran Krentcil, a student of theater and art history at Duke University, dedicated her senior thesis to fashion.
So what was it about these young fashionistas that threw the curve for the rest of their peers? Aside from a shared addiction to fashion magazines, these students proved to be more than just fashion-savvy; they were culture-savvy. Katherine Peek of Princeton University thought our question on modern architects spoke volumes on consumer culture by placing Rem Koolhas’ Prada store on par with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum. Commenting on the broad range of style and pop trivia covered in our quiz, Krentcil notes: "Fashion cannot exist without culture; [it] is in constant dialog with it. At what point does fashion end and culture begin?"
And so a fashion intellectual is born.—Venessa Lau
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)