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NuView Blog

Filtering by Category: Fashion

FASHION: JULIET'S JEWELS

Maia Wilson

The front of Juliet's Jewels, located off Sycamore St, is vibrantly displayed with sacred images from Tibetan Buddhist art. These images, painted by Juliet's Jewels employee Zarina Karapetyan, promote a positive and calming environment, which is what many customers seek.

The front of Juliet's Jewels, located off Sycamore St, is vibrantly displayed with sacred images from Tibetan Buddhist art. These images, painted by Juliet's Jewels employee Zarina Karapetyan, promote a positive and calming environment, which is what many customers seek.

Less than a mile away from campus, Juliet's Jewels is a quaint, eccentric creation of a local world market with merchandise brought directly from countries like Nepal, Thailand, and India.

An assortment of brightly colored bags, bangles, and toe rings from Thailand. The Buddha statue is hand carved jade from Myanmar. 

An assortment of brightly colored bags, bangles, and toe rings from Thailand. The Buddha statue is hand carved jade from Myanmar. 

Dawa Juliet Sangmu is a selfless, down-to-earth converted Buddhist who is nothing but kind and generous. She has put in years of hard work and dedication to build what today is one of Denton’s most hidden treasures, the bright blue house known as Juliet’s Jewels. Entering the store and being offered a cup of tea creates a peaceful, positive aura that radiates throughout the converted two-story house. Inside, the downstairs is filled with merchandise ranging from jewelry to gifts including wallets, key chains, incense and more.

Owner, Dawa Juliet Sangmu, relaxing in the Dawa Dolma Meditation Center located behind the store wearing 100% cotton sure product from Thailand.

Owner, Dawa Juliet Sangmu, relaxing in the Dawa Dolma Meditation Center located behind the store wearing 100% cotton sure product from Thailand.

The upstairs section of the store is filled with hanging dream catchers, scarves, bedspreads, woolen goods, and tapestries. Below the tapestries are bins full of unique merchandise and clothing that is currently on sale. Upstairs, customers also find foldable backpacks, hats, and home decor items. 

Juliet's Jewels has many markdown items available including dresses, tops, pants, and purses.

Juliet's Jewels has many markdown items available including dresses, tops, pants, and purses.

The majority of Juliet's Jewels' merchandise is unique. A differentiating factor that Juliet’s Jewels possesses, in comparison to similar shops, is the sourcing process. Every piece of one-of-a-kind merchandise is sourced by Dawa herself at the various markets she travels to. These markets are located in numerous countries including Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia, and India, and many of the pieces have inspired mainstream trends today. Unbeknownst to many, the making of these traditional items began hundreds of years ago and carry heavy cultural and spiritual symbolism. The prices offered throughout the store are reasonable, while the interior layout is inviting and vibrant. Overall, the Juliet's Jewels experience is both personable and unique. 

Various door threshold covers from Nepal, belly dancing scarves from India, and batik-dyed flags from Bali, Indonesia decorate the second story of Juliet's Jewels.

Various door threshold covers from Nepal, belly dancing scarves from India, and batik-dyed flags from Bali, Indonesia decorate the second story of Juliet's Jewels.


What are your best selling items here at Juliet’s Jewels?

Rings. Also clothes. The tie dye shorts and leggings that we have (and the rayon fabric that they’re made from in Thailand) are very popular. We sell a lot of tapestries as well. In India, we used them as bedspreads, but people here prefer to place them on their walls.

The upper floor of Juliet's Jewels houses a wide selection of clothes, scarves, tapestries, wall hangings, and even harder to find items such as authentic meditation singing bowls from Nepal.

The upper floor of Juliet's Jewels houses a wide selection of clothes, scarves, tapestries, wall hangings, and even harder to find items such as authentic meditation singing bowls from Nepal.

A majority of the merchandise is bought directly from markets in these countries and sent directly to Juliet’s Jewels. But, I also make custom hand-made jewelry. Usually closer to Christmas time I hand-make a lot more jewelry because people want to come in and get gifts for their friends or family. Just recently, I went to a market show here in Dallas called The International Gem and Jewelry Show so that I can support locally too. I purchased a large variety of beads and other items that I can use to make new jewelry and pieces that I plan on having available for sale at the upcoming Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, April 29th-May 1st. Also, if someone comes in with an order, I am always fixing or repairing jewelry. We have an order book in case maybe there’s something a customer likes and it doesn't fit right or he or she might like it in a different color. I will write down the customer's contact information, as well as the piece they would like, and I try my best to find those certain items when shopping out of the country.

Juliet's Jewels carries real .925 sterling silver rings outfitted with a vast assortment of gems and stones, all at very affordable prices. 

Juliet's Jewels carries real .925 sterling silver rings outfitted with a vast assortment of gems and stones, all at very affordable prices. 

What countries do you source most from? Are there any particular markets you visit more often than others? 

The main countries I travel to for merchandise are India, Nepal, and Thailand.  India is my favorite place to visit and source from because my family is there and I have so many friends there. In terms of jewelry, there is a wonderful store in Calcutta, India that I love that has been there for at least fifty years that is owned by Tibetans and they’re always so good to me. They don’t have to be so generous. There’s many markets in Nepal that won’t offer anything no matter how much merchandise I buy from them. But, there are two shops in Nepal that I go to every time because they are good to me and we’ve formed relationships. In India, I usually stop shopping earlier in the day because stores don’t stay open late and in Nepal there is also a scarcity of electricity. When shipping merchandise back from India and Nepal, I do not have to pay extra money usually because they’re third world countries. But, from Thailand, for some reason, I do have to pay a lot of extra taxes to ship back merchandise to the United States.

Anklets hand crafted especially for Juliet's Jewels in Nepal. The beads are made of real turquoise, coral, onyx, etc. 

Anklets hand crafted especially for Juliet's Jewels in Nepal. The beads are made of real turquoise, coral, onyx, etc. 

Are there any motives behind what you purchase? Any particular merchandise you look for while traveling?

Sometimes I look for something specific, but otherwise I’ll just walk and see what catches my eye. Then, I have to try it on because I have to see how the fit is. If I don’t like it, then I won’t buy it. I personally like every kind of merchandise in my store. Of course, I make the wrong decisions sometimes and an item won’t sell. But, then the next month we’ll sell multiple items that didn’t sell before! It all depends. But yes, I usually shop for items that catch my eyes. Though it does get especially hard when shopping in Nepal because the electricity there is off almost sixteen hours of the days. So, in Nepal I have to work around the electricity to make sure I can view the jewelry in good lighting (laughs).

Detailed sterling silver earrings inlaid with real gems and stones line the glass shelves in the store. In addition to jewelry, Juliet's Jewels also carries incense, CD's, books, statues, smudges, and much more.

Detailed sterling silver earrings inlaid with real gems and stones line the glass shelves in the store. In addition to jewelry, Juliet's Jewels also carries incense, CD's, books, statues, smudges, and much more.

What does your typical Juliet's Jewels customer look like?

You! (laughs) I have a wide and diverse variety of customers. I have many loyal customers that have moved far now and still reply to my email list saying they have fond memories of our store. We also have a lot of young people coming from the two universities, so when I am selecting merchandise I have to consider both young and older people. I have relationships with many of my loyal customers. For instance, a teacher used to come in with her mother and she would always send her upstairs to grab clothing since the mother could not make it upstairs. Years later, her mother passed but the lady still comes in often and we laugh and talk about her mother and how she loved shopping here.

A small selection of bracelets the store offers. The front metal bracelets are crafted in a Nepali style from real turquoise, coral, and lapis lazuli. 

A small selection of bracelets the store offers. The front metal bracelets are crafted in a Nepali style from real turquoise, coral, and lapis lazuli. 

You have been involved with giving back and sponsoring children in India for decades. What made you want to venture out and start involving your business in charity work?

We made an initiative to start sending out money every couple of months to countries that have poor kids and need help. It’s not sent out under the name of “Juliet’s Jewels” or anything; we just send out a small percentage of what we make and people I know in India and also a cousin of a friend from here that I had been introduced to in Africa when I had visited there. We send the money directly to these individuals and with that they’ll buy shoes and necessities such as food, mosquito nets, mattresses, etc. It’s great because I am not sending money to an organization where I may not know exactly where all the money is going to or for what. This way, I can send the money directly to the source of need and my friends will purchase items there to donate. So, it’s also helping those economies by purchasing stuff there instead of sending items over from here. Also, the merchandise is cheaper there which makes the donations go a long way. My friends that do this for me will send me pictures of the children with all of the stuff. To see the pictures of all these unprivileged children smiling and wearing the clothes and items that were given to them with the help of our store’s donations is just amazing. 

Since the store's stock is dependent on Juliet's travels, many items are often put on sale to make room for newer styles. 

Since the store's stock is dependent on Juliet's travels, many items are often put on sale to make room for newer styles. 

If people want to donate they can come in and say that they want to make a donation. We don’t have any special box or anything to drop stuff off in. I don’t want to open any non-profit organization. So, if someone would like to make a donation I would say the best way to do that is to just come in and buy stuff or make a cash donation. We take a percentage of what we make a month and set that aside until after a couple of months we’ll have a few hundred dollars saved for donations that month and that goes along way with helping these individuals in these countries.

Most of your merchandise has significant cultural, spiritual/religious, and historical meanings associated with them and their countries of origin. In recent years, Western society has adopted these items (i.e. the Ohm, the Hamsa, & Buddha) as fashion trends. For which items have you seen an increase in demand because of this?

Yes, it’s because of the yoga that people are doing. They have learned how to meditate or see a banner with chakras that they think look nice and recognize. Those who do yoga become more open-minded. So they’re free and don’t mind expanding their wardrobe and trying new merchandise that they may not have tried on before... like free flowing pants. They may not even know the fashions or that these clothes are being replicated now at some places. They are just more open-minded and love the new stuff that they learn about and try on. It’s not like you can go to Dillard’s and find these free-flowing pants. So [their rarity is] what makes them come in to find these items. Same goes with college students. [Their buying habits have] to do with the same concept. They’re also getting into yoga and meditation, making them more open-minded.

A festive array of stone and metal anklets from India and Thailand. 

A festive array of stone and metal anklets from India and Thailand. 

In regards to Western adoption of cultural trends, what is your opinion on the manufacturing of these ancient cultural items versus purchasing the original, handmade versions from the native countries? 

It’s not only “trendy” due to the look and aesthetics of these styles and symbols. More people are spiritually searching and are lost. When [kids] are pushed to learn something and follow without reasoning, without questioning, that doesn’t go too well with [them]. Kid are too smart these days. The trend is coming from within. So it is a psychological thing, just like all other fashions and why people wear what they wear. It’s dictated by what they’re thinking and I think the [fact that the] population becoming more open-minded is the reason for the “hippy,” “bohemian,” “spiritual” trends. It’s so wonderful to be just a colorful store. [Our store] cheers people up and it’s just so different.

What would you say are the main reasons your products differ from others on the market?

We are going to Tibet and China this year, but I am going to mainly try and buy mostly from Tibetans. There is no middle-man shipping [the goods] to different countries or going through a whole supply chain, naturally taking the rich meaning from [them as they go] from one place to the next. So I know who I am buying from and where the goods are coming from. It’s not like these things are coming from China. We are helping the people that are [living in the countries we're buying from]. In China, there’s Walmart and other big companies helping the economy. It’s just a mass production. And the people there suffer, but we don’t know what those people are going through. Here I can see the families I buy from and the product I order from them. [For instance, when I visit] the family in Thailand that I buy tie dye from, I see kids come running into the shop and over the years I’ve seen them grow. It’s just so nice to be helping the families there. There is a big difference in the products that come from people who have been making them for many years as a way of life. [They have so much more] experience and knowledge of how to make the products versus the companies that are trying to replicate and mass-produce some of the same products.

Intricate traditional carved wooden wall plaques indigenous to India, Africa, and Nepal.

Intricate traditional carved wooden wall plaques indigenous to India, Africa, and Nepal.

What is most special about the merchandise you sell at Juliet's Jewels?

If a woman has a store, then I try to buy from women. We also specialize in products for followers of Buddhism and Hinduism, so it really helps the people. They need certain things for their spiritual or higher practice that they may not be able to get anywhere else close by or that I don't even carry, so I make sure to get those items for those individuals when shopping. I [also] keep their budget in mind because some of the things they may need are very expensive. For example, Thangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting that is done on canvas with crushed minerals and 24kt gold that can be easily over $100, but it serves as an important learning tool for Buddhists. So, as people advance in their practices and need certain things I go and bring [those items] back for them. So, [those products offer a] different kind of importance, and things that are written in the order book [are special] as well.

An ornament from Thailand embellished with fabric, beads, and pom pom balls.

An ornament from Thailand embellished with fabric, beads, and pom pom balls.

Lastly, how would you describe the customer experience to someone who has never been to Juliet's Jewels before? 

[I'll share] one story. There was a lady that came by and she said her friend was feeling suicidal.  [She] asked if I had anything that could make her friend feel better, like a stone or rock. I said “I don’t have anything that you can buy to make her feel better. A stone, a rock, that won’t make her feel better.” I said, "But I’ll give you something if she’s open-minded." I gave her a red protection cord from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and said to give it to her friend to wear or to keep it with her. And she did. Three days, [the lady] came back and purchased over $300 worth of stuff and said that her friend wasn’t suicidal anymore. Her friend came in two weeks later herself to thank me. She said, "you never tried to sell me anything," and I said, "yeah I don’t have anything you can buy for that. Just completely honest!"

An eye-full of the downstairs room full of beautiful jewelry that Juliet handpicks from India, Nepal, & Thailand. Along with handmade bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, the displays showcase a few hundred sterling silver rings made with real gems and stones.

An eye-full of the downstairs room full of beautiful jewelry that Juliet handpicks from India, Nepal, & Thailand. Along with handmade bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, the displays showcase a few hundred sterling silver rings made with real gems and stones.

[Secondly], we are the only store that offers something to drink. No other stores do that. You know, how much does it cost for a store to offer lemonade? That’s why I’m glad I didn't open a restaurant because I’d be broke from giving away free stuff to people! (Laughs) So that’s a big thing; having the tea, lemonade, and water for people when they come in and just want to relax. The idea came because that is what we do in India. It’s just a form of saying “Welcome” and “take your time,"... here’s something to drink while you look around. They do that in Nepal all the time as well, and by then end of the day I’m all tea’d out!


To see more types of merchandise being sold at Juliet’s Jewels, or if you're seeking further information regarding the travels, projects, or even the Dawa Dolma Meditation Center located in the building behind the store, please visit www.julietsjewels.com.

If you're interested in purchasing any of the merchandise, please stop in explore this gem of a store yourself at:

315 W. Sycamore St. Denton, TX 76201

Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 10AM to 6PM

Phone Number: (940) 566-5005

Dawa would also like to mention that she believes “people will come to her store if they feel the need to just come in or are meant to come stop by”, meaning that the store’s ambiance is consistently inviting and wonderful. The rule of her store - seen on the signage to the right of the front door - reads “Shoplifters will be prosecuted under the laws of KARMA!”


CREDITS

Copy: Jacqui Simses, Fashion Writer

Taylar Gomez, Fashion Editor

Photography: Ashley Nudge, Careers Editor & Editor-In-Chief

FASHION: 3 PREVAILING TRENDS FOR SPRING 2016

Maia Wilson

 

Soft suede, details of fringe, & a delicate silhouette

 

Spring is the time of year we update our closets to add in fresh silhouettes and lively pieces. However, don’t rid every fall piece from your closet just yet! This spring brings bold trends, as well as practical re-invention to styles we witnessed in fall! In this month’s article I will show you wear you can buy this seasons ‘must-have’ at retailers that won’t exceed your budget. To start off the season with your new debut, here is a glimpse into what spring, 2016 fashion will hold...

1. Suede

Displayed in neutral tones, suede is here to stay for spring. During fashion week, Olivier Rousteing showcased the Balmain show with outstanding suede pieces that have quickly become inspiration for illustrious trendsetters. 

Where you can find this trend…

H&M

2. Fringe

Photo Credit:  elle.com

Photo Credit: elle.com

Fringe has been trending for a few seasons now, and can be seen in almost every style of garment. This season, fringe detail is added to garments to highlight the softness – think hemlines, jackets, shoes, and subtle touches to bags.

Where you can find this trend…

ZARA

3. OFF-THE-SHOULDER

Photo credit: Stylecaster.com

Photo credit: Stylecaster.com

From last summer to this spring, delicate off- the- shoulder tops and dresses have empowered the runway. This silhouette gives any look a romantic finish, while fostering a relaxed fit. This will be valued as the temperature rises, leading to summer!

Where you can find this trend…

URBAN OUTFITTERS

Whether you choose soft suede, details of fringe, or a delicate silhouette this spring, step boldly into the season and embrace your unique style.


CREDITS:

Copy: Taylar Gomez, Fashion Editor

Ashley Nudge, Editor-in-Chief

 

FASHION: NEW ORLEANS' CULTURES & FASHIONS COLLIDE AT BUKU MUSIC + ART PROJECT

Maia Wilson

One of Buku’s four taboo inspired characters that may be seen on the festival grounds. While their apparel varies, the characters will often wear the same hat or mask.

One of Buku’s four taboo inspired characters that may be seen on the festival grounds. While their apparel varies, the characters will often wear the same hat or mask.

New Orleans is infamous for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and festive spirit. The food, fashions, and people of New Orleans are all extremely diverse and intriguing, reflecting the cities’ history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. The well-known carnival, Mardi Gras, famous for raucous costumed parades and public partying comes to this city annually during the month of February. A few weeks afterwards comes Buku Music + Art Project- one of the city’s most thriving music festivals with a culture of its own. “BUKulture” is what the creators of this event refer to as the new New Orleans. BUKulture is all about creating genuine experiences with 100’s of installations, interactive elements, and non-traditional performances. The event encourages attendees to discover and express however they feel. Buku Music + Art Project features live music, local art installments, and famous creole food vendors. Most importantly, the festival is filled with culturally influenced, and unique fashion that can only be found at a New Orleans festival! Many individuals and groups of friends that come to Buku all have their own take on this fashion and culture collision.

A male festival go-er dons a unique hairstyle and rhinestone stickers that were distributed for free by event volunteers. 

A male festival go-er dons a unique hairstyle and rhinestone stickers that were distributed for free by event volunteers. 

This wall was black when attendees arrived at the festival. When they left, every wall had been graffitied.

This wall was black when attendees arrived at the festival. When they left, every wall had been graffitied.

NuViews fashion writer, Jacqui Simes, personally attended the Buku festival and was able to conduct style related interviews with a few festival goers!


An interviewee stepping onto a graffitied cargo truck, dressed in comfortable, bohemian festival clothing. 

An interviewee stepping onto a graffitied cargo truck, dressed in comfortable, bohemian festival clothing. 

What brings you to Buku festival?

I love the vibes and diversity this city and festival has; you can feel it before even walking inside that everyone is here to celebrate life, music, art, and just being yourself. This is my third year in a row to come to Buku and I plan on coming back every year because it just keeps getting bigger and better.

A group of men play impromptu jazz music. Men with the masks have the time of their lives sharing cultures and unique styles.

A group of men play impromptu jazz music. Men with the masks have the time of their lives sharing cultures and unique styles.

What motivated you to wear these animal masks in the French Quarter before heading to Buku?

Just because they’re different. My friends and I wanted to stand out and we’ve seen these being sold all around New Orleans and just went with them. Our goal is to not lose them before we walk over to Mardi Gras World for day two. We love it here.

How did Buku Festival influence what you chose to wear today?

I wanted to wear something comfortable and “free-feeling”. These graffiti cargo trucks that Buku provides as a place to rest or hang out in-between music performances is definitely my favorite spot I go to every year[.] [This is where I go] to eat some good food and meet new people. So, I chose this kimono I found at a boutique in New Orleans because it reflected this spot to me[,] with the vibrant and free-style pattern. The lace top I chose just because it’s light and fun.

How would you describe the style you ladies created and your main motivation behind it?

The "go-go glam girls" stand out in amazing, coinciding outfits.

The "go-go glam girls" stand out in amazing, coinciding outfits.

We call ourselves “the go-go glam girls” and all met in college years ago. Since then, we’ve traveled to many cities and festivals together. [We] like to create new outfits to wear each time, because creating new looks is fun and we love to stand out. This time we were inspired by the festive culture of New Orleans and the vibrant glittery environment Buku creates every year, but we wanted something more comfortable than what we usually wear, so we chose spandex pants and made our embellished tank tops last week.

Do you find fashion/style inspirations from other festival goers, or is originality important to you when creating your outfit?

We love seeing other groups of people and [the] styles they bring to the festival, but originality is most important for us. When we create our outfits we always stick to the main idea of wearing something that is “festive”, but we definitely don’t want to look like any other people here. Buku is different though. More colors, paints, and embellishments seem to be more prevalent in New Orleans so we kept the culture that’s inside and outside of Buku as our main focus for these outfits.

College guys show off their tropical shirts and matching fanny packs while at the festival. 

College guys show off their tropical shirts and matching fanny packs while at the festival. 

What brought you to Buku?

We all go to college together in Florida and wanted to make a trip out to New Orleans for spring break. We’ve heard about Buku many times from friends at school and finally got the money to come out here and see what it’s all about.

Would you consider the look you are wearing today defines your everyday personal style?

Yes, and no. Our shoes obviously were worn because we knew they’d get trashed since it rained a few days ago, and there’s thousands of people here all trying to see the same performances. [My friend and I] chose to wear tropical shirts because it’s spring break, and the vibes we feel here are free and welcoming. Most of the other stuff we’re all wearing is just normal clothes we brought to feel comfortable in. We did all coordinate our fanny packs though. We knew we wanted to use fashion, and something we [wouldn’t normally wear] to bring our group together and separate us from all the other festival goers.

Two fun ladies pose by an apparel vendor at sunset. 

Two fun ladies pose by an apparel vendor at sunset. 

How would you describe your style, in one word?

Flashy!

What subculture do you most identify with in regards to fashion styles here in New Orleans?

The Mardi Gras subculture, for sure. The wide assortment of costumes worn here during that time, and quite frankly worn year-round by many people here, is so inspiring and fantastic! There’s nothing like it. Just the combination of friendly people, colorful sights, beads, flowers, glitter... it’s all incredible. We’ve both attended Mardi Gras numerous times and the streets just come alive with an energy and culture that is beyond description. Since Buku takes place here at Mardi Gras World [where all the famous huge floats for the parade are made] we get to see the Mardi Gras floats all around us. Buku allows us to be ourselves and bring that subculture into a festival that has a culture of its own.

A positive and energetic girl wears handmade accessories while seated inside Tropical Isle on Bourbon St. during the St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

A positive and energetic girl wears handmade accessories while seated inside Tropical Isle on Bourbon St. during the St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

How did Buku Festival influence what you chose to wear today?

Well I consider myself a “candy-kid” so I make all of these accessories at home with my rave friends, and we decided to make our new candies for this year to be big and bold like Buku is. I’m wearing some Mardi Gras beads I bought at one of the stores off of Bourbon St. last night and incorporated them into my own collection of candies that I’m wearing today, which include many of my own and also a variety of other candies that I’ve traded and received from other candy-kids at previous festivals around the country. I keep adding on to my collection and this year I took a lot of time to make this large candy that says “Buku” because not only is it a one-of-a-kind necklace, but it also coincides with the Mardi Gras culture of beads.

What fashion based store or boutique do you find inspiration from in New Orleans?

Well a lot of the vendors inside Buku have plenty of items that I obsess over, but one store that does not have a vendor table and can be found only on Bourbon Street is called “Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo”. There’s so many cool things [derived] from different cultures. I love the subculture of Voodoo in New Orleans a lot. It’s so unique.


Overall, the fashions seen in New Orleans and at Buku cannot be grouped into one style because here it is less about trends and more about just feeling good and standing out. This celebration of culture and individuality is reflected in many local boutiques. New Orleans's street style is just as eclectic as the city itself: vibrant prints mixed with delicate details, and masculine boots paired with chic accessories. Many stores offer a huge variety of well-known New Orleans accessories such as beads, feather boas, and masquerade masks.

Merchandise at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo off of Bourbon St

Merchandise at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo off of Bourbon St

If you plan on making a trip to New Orleans, Buku festival, or would like more information on any of the fashions and boutiques there, then here’s links to help you get prepared or involved!

Pink House Boutique

Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo

Grassroots

BUKU Music + Art Project


CREDITS

Copy: Jacqui Simses, Fashion Writer

Taylar Gomez, Fashion Editor

Photos: Jacqui Simses

The Buku Project

 

 

FASHION: NRFSA PRESIDENT PARTNERS WITH COTTON INC. IN SUSTAINABILITY MOVEMENT

Maia Wilson

Delaney Murphy plays multiple roles and can be described as a modern ‘renaissance woman’. She is a Merchandising and Digital Retailing student at UNT, and is known to the members of NRFSA (National Retail Federation Student Association) as the President of the organization. She is also known as a philanthropist, sustainability advocate, DIY clothing restorer, art appreciator, and NRF Shop.org attendee.

This fall, Delaney felt it was important to unite NRFSA members and the CMHT (College of Merchandising of Hospitality Management and Tourism) community with a sustainable cause. Therefore, she recently completed a Blue Jeans Go Green denim donation drive at UNT. The donations supply Cotton Inc. with denim that is transformed into insulation for homes. Through this manufacturing process, the lifecycle of the jeans are extended with a new purpose. Sitting down with the President of NRFSA herself at West Oak Coffee Bar, Delaney and I discussed the drive’s impact on sustainability and the learning process involved in running a successful clothing drive.


Tell us about your collaboration. How did you get the idea for NRFSA to be a part of this?

I’m president of NRFSA, so I was kind of looking for a project we could do. We normally just have our meetings and don’t do outside events. We’re more of a national level [organization], so we don’t have as many local [activities]. I heard about the project through my cousin. She was a merchandising student at Texas Tech and the club she was in had done it a couple years ago.  I had been thinking about it for quite a few years actually, since my spring semester of my Freshman year. Back then, I was like, okay, well if I get to be the president of NRFSA I will do this project. I contacted them on their website and they were really excited about what our school does. We started talking about it in May and the project started in October. I had to learn how to plan promotions [and] all the logistics of it. It was a bigger project than I realized!

Is Cotton Inc. the insulation manufacturer?

Cotton Inc. is the one that oversees everything. Blue Jeans Go Green is a part of Cotton Inc. [They] work with another company that makes the Ultratouch denim insulation, and you can buy it in stores like Lowes. You can also apply for a grant to receive the insulation through Habitat for Humanity. [Essentially it’s an environmental alternative that’s] diverting a lot of waste. 600 tons of waste has been diverted since they first started the program in 2006.

Can you describe the process of how the jeans are transformed into insulation?

[The denim goes to Arizona where they make the Ultratouch denim insulation. It’s shedded up. They take out all the metal and any additional embellishments or closures. They combine the [cotton with a] binding agent, which makes the insulation mildew resistant, mold resistant, and capable of meeting all the standards [to be] flame retardant. It’s a safe alternative to the traditional insulation, which is the pink fiberglass that is itchy, hard to work with, and [less healthy] for the lungs.

Are charity homes the only homes that can use the insulation?

The insulation [benefits] houses for Habitat for Humanity, but it can be [used in] any house. It’s also used for other types of insulting. I know it’s a good sound insulator [since it] has a good rating for sound absorption. [The insulation is essentially] denim that would probably end up in a landfill at some point. That’s the end  of the game. At least as insulation, [the denim is helping to] keep a house warm. It has another purpose. It’s a cool way to do things, and that’s why I got on board with the whole project.

You mentioned that Lowes sells the insulation. Is that the only retailer that sells it?

I think Home Depot does as well. You can basically buy it at any [home improvement] retailer that sells insulation. It’s not as common to find it [since] it’s not as traditional and it’s a newer thing. Blue Jeans Go Green has collected a million pieces of denim since they launched, and created 2 million square feet of insulation. [An interesting fact is] it takes 500 pieces of denim to insulate one house.

What exactly did you have to do to prepare for the drive?

Starting off,  we thought, okay, what kind of promotions do we want to use? They gave me a big list of things that they definitely thought we should use, like flyers.  We used some online promotions, t-shirts, insulation samples, and the [Cotton Inc.] branded sunglasses we handed out. I think we were just trying to figure out the best way to reach our audience. I didn’t know a lot about the specifics until probably September. [The company told us] you need to do a few tabling events on campus, you need to a community event... so they had a few different requirements. They give you a layout of the program, because it is an assigned program they do every fall with different universities.

This was the first year the drive was held at UNT and you received quite a few jeans. What was the final total?

We received 288 pieces of denim plus scraps. I found out a Honda CRV can hold at least 288 jeans! We put it all in one box and was shipped off [to] Missouri. At some point it ended up in Arizona where it is actually made into the insulation.

What common trends did you find in the donations?

Some of the trends I saw were colored denim, patterned denim, and some of the Miss Me  [jeans with] eccentric bling... and skinny jeans. We had a lot of skinny jeans. When I got jeans from the consignment stores that [came from a] older group of donors, I saw a lot of dad jeans and thought oh my dad actually has a pair just like these. For the older men it was that 80's acid [really light] wash.

Do you think that has anything to do with the flared leg trend we’re seeing with denim at the moment?

I think every time you have a trend, there’s a pendulum swing.  I think we have flared jeans coming in [because the] 70's are coming back. [But sometimes] you want skinny jeans [as] something a little skinnier [to tuck in to] boots. I think that’s why I saw a lot of skinny jean [donations].

Currently, what’s your favorite denim trend?

I wear jeans, but I have a very classic style. I don’t invest my money in trends right now. It doesn’t make sense for me to do so. I try to go for something I can wear for a long time and make use of. It’s the whole sustainability concept. [I don’t prefer the] fast fashion strategy of just throwing things out. Personally, I like to invest in something that is going to last a while. Quality is important to me, but of course you want it to be fashionable. I don’t want to be wearing mom jeans. I’ve probably had the same pair of jeans, since I was 15, so 4 years now. I like the jeans that have a different flare to them. I go with the classics. I like a good dark wash jean that fits well.

I try to reuse pieces of apparel. I like to tear clothing apart and re-piece it back together, cut a hem, or add trimming to a hem. I try to reuse [the product], so I get a little more use out of whatever the product might be. Yesterday, I found this shirt I had for a while. I liked it, but it was a little out of style. There was lace on the arms, and I took off the lace to make it more simple, because it was too much. Now it’s a cute top I can wear again. I have used [old pieces of garments] for costumes. My mom had an old bridesmaid dress and that turned into the Elsa costume!

Which denim trend do you wish would make a comeback?

I can tell you things that shouldn’t come back. I don’t think 80's jeans should ever come back. I’m going to go back to the classic style. It’s always going to be around. I like the style of jeans from the 50's with the cuffs. I know highwaisted kind-of made a comeback, but it was more like 90's high-waisted. I hope low-rise doesn’t come back, but it looks like low-rise bell bottoms is what we’re going to have. Personally, I can’t do flared jeans because I trip. I’m not coordinated enough. Of course, certain styles are better on certain people. If there’s a denim trend at all I would say wear what fits your body type, and wear what makes you feel good. I would rather see less jeans that [cater to just] the ideal and more jeans that actually fit people. It’s the eternal struggle for women to find jeans that fit. Let’s make some realistically [fitting] jeans here!

As a digital retailing major, can you comment on the new technology that is capable of scanning your body to help you find the perfect fitting jeans?

Right now it’s not there. The technology exists, but it’s not ready [since it's] not as accurate as it needs to be. Another 5 years or so, maybe then we can change that. It’s a cool idea. It might work for a very small number of apparel items, but it’s not developed enough to really make a difference in the market.

Delaney poses on the steps of Chilton Hall with her dog, Paris.

Delaney poses on the steps of Chilton Hall with her dog, Paris.

Do you know of some apparel and accessory companies who are making progress with sustainability?

H&M is trying to recycle. They’re trying to make their clothes sustainable. The key word is ‘trying’. I mean there are some other companies like People Tree. They’re based out of the UK and are featured in the documentary on Netflix, The True Cost. They are very much about sustainable sourcing. You have other companies like REI and Patagonia who try to be sustainable [innovators]. There’s a lot of companies that are doing a good job, but aren’t as well known right now. I always find little small scale companies that are trying to make a difference and I definitely try to support them. I feel better when I buy from those companies, because you can feel good about what you’re getting. When you see pictures of the women who actually made your shoes, that’s so cool. Recently the owner of Symbology came into our pre-internship class. They do  traditional stamping and have really cool patterns. I think in the next 5 years you’ll see more companies moving more towards sustainability. It’s not even a trend, it’s a movement. It’s a consumer movement. It’s generational. Millennials and Gen Z are very conscious about that. When I’m shopping I think about, what do I know about this company? Transparency is a huge thing. Ten years from now you won’t see companies around who aren’t transparent... because people want to know [the origins of their clothing].

What did you learn through the process of planning the donation drive?

I learned a lot about several things. I learned about promotions, about organizing events, there was a lot of red tape. I had to contact like 5 people just to get a bin in Chilton Hall. [The logistics] was probably the biggest challenge. I had to contact UNT... I had to contact student activities and get [tabling] events set up. It was a challenge, but we made it work.

What is your next philanthropic venture?

Honestly, I’m exhausted after the last month. I’m [going to] have a break from large scale events. My next step is to find ways to help in the different areas I care about, and continue recycling and buying more sustainable products. It’s a new thing [companies are] trying to break into, and it’s important to support people who are trying to do the right thing. It’s about gradual changes in the right direction. There’s little things you can change on a personal level, but companies especially [can make a big impact].

How will this drive help prepare you for work in the fashion industry, as well as to lead a more sustainable life in the future?

It’s really hard to (gain) experience in [the] area [of sustainability since] it’s such a new concept for the industry. [Sustainability is] one thing I’m trying to figure out how to get experience in. [This project has] allowed me to get my foot in the door. It gave me a lot of insight into recycling... to be able to use innovative technology [within] the fashion industry. It gave me hope [of potentially pursuing a career in] sustainability and fashion. [The fashion industry] gets the stereotype all the time that it’s a very materialistic industry, but I thought this [project would bring things] full circle. [We’re] selling the denim. We do the merchandising, the buying... so it’s kind of cool to see how the life of this product continues.

For those interested in joining NRFSA, how would one become a member?

We have our monthly meetings on the last Wednesday of every month from 5-6 PM. Dues are $20 for the entire year, so it’s a one time $20. Next spring it will be $10. You don’t have to be a member to show up to the meetings. You have to be a paid member to apply to The Big Show or Shop.org. It’s not a huge commitment. For what you receive, it’s totally worth an hour of your time. We have great speakers come in. We have graduate panels. It’s great networking and that’s what our organization is about. One of the officers last year met Stacy London and Martha Stewart at the previous Big Show. [Last year’s] student challenge team created a product for The Container Store and met the CEO and chief merchandiser of The Container Store. There’s a lot of opportunities getting into the industry. You get a chance to give your card to [recruiters].


I gained a lot of knowledge by speaking with Delaney about the importance of sustainability in the fashion industry, as well as how consumers and retailers can make an impact. Sustainability is a vital cultural trend amongst upcoming generations that must be recognized by industry leaders who aspire to succeed in the future. Soon enough, merchandising and digital retailing students will have a say in how retailers are to ethically respond to consumer demands for sustainable fashion and labor practices. By participating in the Blue Jeans Go Green donation drive, NRFSA president Delaney Murphy allows students to be a part of the movement for a more sustainable world.


CREDITS

Copy & Photography: Charis Orr, Fashion Writer

Taylar Gomez, Fashion Editor

Graphic 1: Ashley Nudge, Editor-In-Chief

FASHION: YOU TOE-TALLY NAILED IT!

Maia Wilson

Everyday, just before 10 a.m., women begin to arrive at the nail salon. Eventually, the front desk is busy with eagerly awaiting clients. This is often the morning scene at Bella Salon and Spa, a nail salon located in Denton, Texas. The manicurists have a busy workday ahead, as they will spend their entire day hunched over fingers and toes. Once an indulgence reserved for special occasions, manicures and pedicures (especially pedis) have now become a routine grooming activity across the economic spectrum.  According to census data, there are now more than 17,000 nail salons in the U.S. Bella Salon and Spa is among the most popular, and is located right here in Denton!  The salon display’s their inner workings within a gleaming glass front and elegant decor, mirroring that of a department store during the holidays.

As  the holidays near, many clients book appointments several weeks or months in advance in order to obtain their favorite technician and mani/pedi. Being that fingernails and toenails are an important part of hygiene, the services to uphold physical looks have gradually been revamped. What was once just a basic manicure, has now become a multifaceted day at the spa! Client appointments often include additional amenities, with either a hydrating glass of aloe vera juice, refreshing coconut juice, or even a relaxing arm massage complete with nourishing moisturizer. Aside from those enticing extras, it can be problematic trying to decide which type, and color of polish to choose! In this post, I will talk about polish technique’s currently on the market, as well as offer design inspiration for the holidays!

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NexGen Nail

With over 100 color options to choose from at Bella Salon and Spa, you are sure to find your favorite! Additionally, the salon performs services with gel, shellac, and dipping powder.  Dipping powder, or NexGen nails, is the next generation in nail enhancement technology. After dipping your fingers into a colored powder for a few minutes you will love the finish. You can proudly showcase nails that are crack and chip resistant, as well as packed full of calcium and  vitamin E.

A manicurist gives a customer a NexGen manicure

A manicurist gives a customer a NexGen manicure

Compared to the currently popular gel nails - a manicure that claims to last longer than standard manicures - the new NexGen manicure provides even more benefits. Based on my personal observations, many women are now opting for NexGen rather than gel. NexGen is an environmentally-friendly option that allows the nails to grow, while at the same time offering a resilient finish. To achieve the best NexGen nails, you should prepare to dedicate an hour-and-a-half of your time to the manicurist. NexGen nails may be a longer process, but I believe it is well worth it to try something new!

Gel Nails

I think we all noticed how quickly gel nails became a trend in the world of beauty. Yet, what really is this gel we put on our nails? Gel is a type of polish that is settled with the use of a drying machine. First, the nail technician applies the gel polish of the customer’s choice. Then, the technician helps to place the customer’s fingers under a machine that produces UV rays. The UV rays allow the polish to harden on the customer’s nails, creating a long-lasting coat with a smooth finish. The gel polish is very pleasing, as the coating is thick and more difficult to chip than a standard manicure. To date, the gel polish has been available longer than the dipping powder of NexGen nails, so there are more styles that can be created. For example, at Bella salon there are new gel polishes every month,including a great majority of gel polishes from the popular brand O.P.I.!

A customer receives a gel manicure at Bella Salon and Spa

A customer receives a gel manicure at Bella Salon and Spa

Holiday Inspiration

Fall colors are in full swing by the end of September, as we begin to see the leaves change and comforting colors emerge! As I talked to the owner of Bella Salon and Spa, I was interested to learn that dark red is currently one of the most popular colors of polish. In fact, the salon owner has to constantly purchase more dark red polishes in both dipping powder, and gel polish! Fall fashion trends typically include dark hues of color, which then integrate into the cosmetics industry and nail polish. Trendy darker-hued nail polishes by O.P.I include, a dark plum color named Lincoln Park After Dark, and a taupe color named My Private Jet.  

I think we could all agree that taking the time to get a manicure or pedicure is a relaxing experience. It is a time to indulge yourself by investing in glamorous nails for both your hands and feet… a time for you to embrace the holiday spirit and alluring fall colors. As a result of fall being one of my favorite seasons, I love seeing themed nails to match the holiday spirit! Mark your calendars, because December is only a few weeks away! This means it is time to set a nail appointment, and complete your trendy winter fashion look!

If you plan to make a visit to the nail salon soon, we're here to help get your ideas prepped!


First, start by viewing Pantone's Fall 2015 color report!

Next, grab inspiration from the provided images below!

Thank you to Bella Salon and Spa for helping NuView with this post!


CREDITS

Copy & Photography: Elizabeth Phan, Fashion Writer

Taylar Gomez, Fashion Editor

Graphic 1: Ashley Nudge, Editor-In-Chief

 

FASHION: HONG KONG/CHINA STUDY TOUR REFLECTION - Part 1

Maia Wilson

Interested in studying abroad? If you have a desire to travel and experience a new country while furthering your education, then studying abroad is for you. Fortunately, the merchandising department at UNT has more than one opportunity for students to travel abroad!

For this months article, I've collaborated with a few of my favorite people, including Mrs. Zorola, Senior Lecturer and faculty leader of the Hong Kong/China Study Tour, and one of my best friends + frequent flyer companion + NuView Careers Editor, Fernando Zamarripa. In this two part blog post, we will be share thoughts, experiences, tips, and personal media from our study abroad trip to China and Hong Kong. I hope you will explore this post with an open mind, and come away with a desire to join the club of student globetrotters!


Travel Expectations

Hong Kong

 Expect the weather to resemble that of Texas…only more humid! Hong Kong is a subtropical city, that experiences frequent thunderstorms in the summer months.

China

The weather is not as humid as in Hong Kong! However, the temperature is warmer.

Packing Tips for Hong Kong/China Study Tour

As Fashion Editor of NuView, I understand the need to incorporate personal style into one's travel wear! expressing your personal style without having your whole closet to choose from can be quite challenging. Therefore, here are several packing tips for maintaining personal style when traveling to Hong Kong/China. 

Taylar's Packing Tip

Plan your outfits ahead of time by putting together potential looks that will be appropriate for your daily activities. It is worth noting that I did occasionally swap certain garments according to unexpected weather changes, so make sure to pack a few easy, mix & match options. This tip saved me time, luggage space, and the stress of not knowing what to wear. 

OUTFIT INSPIRATION: Exploring Beijing

Get the look: Circle skirt, tee, ankle booties, cross body bag, statement necklace

Get the look: Circle skirt, tee, ankle booties, cross body bag, statement necklace

Check out some more of my looks in this video! 

Fernando’s Packing Tips

“My packing tip would be to roll your clothes in your suitcase, opposed to folding them. I found that by doing this, I was able to pack more items than expected.”

“Wear light weight clothing, so you are comfortable at all times. I brought pieces that were easy to mix and match from day to day. This saved me a ton of luggage space!”

“Make sure to bring an umbrella with you, even when you don’t think you will need it. The weather tends to be unpredictable.”

“Always check to make sure you have everything you need before starting your day.”

OUTFIT INSPIRATION: Lantou Island

Interested in the trip yet? If so, you're in luck!

Mrs. Zorola was kind enough to answer a few  frequent questions, along with some not-so-frequent questions that may have skipped your mind!

Packing Pointers

What are your best packing tips for Hong Kong/China study tour?

Mix and match your wardrobe and plan for ONE pair of dressy shoes for professional appointments and then coordinate your outfits around that. I always select my shoes first, “These light tan kitten-heel shoes,” and then I choose outfits that will match those shoes. If I choose my outfits first, I may find myself needing 2-3 different pairs of shoes.

Also, in terms of maximizing your luggage space, I roll all my clothing instead of folding. For one, it saves space, and two, your clothing won’t wrinkle as much.

Choose clothing that is light, packs small, and is easy to wash and quick to dry. Think synthetic. Yes, they are hot but they will wick moisture and wash/dry easily and quickly.

Place liquid items into small plastic baggies in your carry-on. If anything breaks or bursts open, then the damage is contained to the items in the small baggie. No baggies, and the mess goes everywhere. Large baggies, and the mess still gets on a lot of other product. Use SMALL baggies.

What aspects of your everyday routine do you miss the most when traveling abroad?

Having access to my entire facial product routine. The weather can wreak havoc on your skin, so I make the investment to buy travel size of everything I need, or buy small bottles to take as much with me that I can. I cannot find my preferred line of products overseas so I need to try and take it with me.

Also, not really related to packing, but I miss my fitness and nutrition routine the most. I work out 6 days a week and calorie/macro count every day. Practically impossible to do overseas on such long, tiring days, and when I’m eating new foods. But it’s worth it!

What is the most challenging part of packing for the study tour? 

I would say accounting for everything you will need across 16+ days. You can’t imagine what you’ll need when you haven’t traveled overseas before. Start a list now and add to it as you think of things. Choose a day to carefully follow your morning routine. Write down everything you use. I washed my hair so I need shampoo and conditioner. Then I put X-product in my hair. Then I wore a pony tail so I need hair ties. Then I cleaned my face with cleanser so I need cotton balls and facial cleanser. Etc. etc.

What should students be aware of when purchasing items to bring home with them?

Every time you want to buy something, remind yourself that you will need to carry that home. Is it worth it? Do you want to deal with it? Will you be heartbroken if it breaks? If so, can you possibly ship it instead?

Do you have any helpful tips for mixing and matching with items you've packed?

As noted above, start with your shoes, and build your outfits around that. I take 3 pairs of shoes with me: 1 for professional appointment, 1 for factory appointments that can double as my casual shoes, and 1 for working out.

What fiber blends should be avoided when packing, and why? Are there any particular fabrics you recommend for traveling on the study tour?

Stay away from thick cottons. They stay wet in humid conditions, and they take forever to dry when you wash them. I recommend anything synthetic or with a synthetic blend. Cotton/polys, for example. I wear a lot of poly and nylon tops and bottoms that are loose and airy. That allows for more breathability, wicking, and quick drying. Also, they are lightweight. And for the love of God, leave the denim at home! ;)

Destination Suggestions

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Where do you recommend shopping in China/ Hong Kong?

I rarely shop for clothing while in Hong Kong or China because the sizes don’t fit me. In terms of souvenirs, I recommend for students to wait to shop in Beijing so they are not lugging around souvenirs for the next week and a half. In China, they will be more affordable. Also, we usually make a stop at a Chinese art gallery where many pieces are painted by the students and teachers of a local art school. The prices are great for a meaningful, one-of-a-kind piece.

What are your tips for shopping at Pearl Market?

Walk away. You can easily walk away and they [the vendors] will quickly come down in price. I have heard that you should only pay about 10% of the original price they offer. For example, if you want some Beats headphones and they offer $500RNB, you should be paying closer to $50RNB. Also, if you can, buy in quantity. If you buy multiples, you will often get a better price.

What excursions or activities do you suggest checking out when shopping?

Many of the shopping centers will often have free exhibits you can visit. Last May, there was a French shoe exhibit in one of the shopping centers. Also, I recommend getting out into the parks to be around the locals. That will give you a true flavor for the country you are in. Personally, I love to try different food. So visiting different restaurants is fun for me. Again, the local food is a great way to experience the culture.

What is the best gift item you've purchased? Are there any gift items you suggest buying or not buying?

The best gifts I have purchased were at the Chinese art gallery because those were one of a kind pieces. Something that won’t break, and can be hung on the wall to look at and enjoy every day. Also, I like to buy things like Chinese candies and pretty Chinese-style bags. I fill them with candy and pass them out to my nieces and nephews. It’s inexpensive and they love getting a bag full of candy. I recommend not spending too much money on anything counterfeit. Know it won’t last. Handbag straps will bust, jewelry will tarnish, sunglasses will break. If you are OK with the item not lasting long, then that is fine. But don’t be surprised if your handbag doesn’t make it home without ripping first.

Tell us... what are your tips for haggling with vendors? Is it even worth the effort? 

Well, apparently I am the most beautiful lady in the world because everyone was offering me a special discount “just for you because you are a beautiful lady”! ;) 
I don’t like haggling much. I’d rather just buy something and move on. You still want to haggle some, but why spend 5 minutes trying to get them down from $50RNB to $40RNB when that is barely ONE American dollar? I always figure that dollar means more to them than to me. Granted, I am sure they make a killing in those markets, but I don’t have the patience to spend 5 minutes to save an extra dollar.

Advice for Professional Appointments and Factory Visits

What type of attire is appropriate for professional appointments?

Business casual is what I advise to students. Conservative shoes that are either flat or with a low heel. No low-cut blouses, skirt and dress hems all the way to the knee, no sheer fabrics, and you should be able to sit in your clothing and retain your modesty. No overly tight clothing.

And attire for the factories?

Pants or capris. No skirts, no open-toed shoes, no active wear, no bra straps showing. Although we will be in factories and sweating quite a bit, our tours are often lead by the factory owner and we want to make a good impression. Also, imagine if you were working full-time and your employer sent you to China to spend a week in the company factories. You wouldn’t be able to take a day off and show up in workout pants, hair in a top-knot, and no makeup. You still have to look appropriate at all times.

What are some questions that students should ask at the appointments?  

I believe that almost any question is a good question. [The question] should be focused to the process seen in the factory, and it can be related to the people or workers. Just remember that a question should not be asked for the purpose of embarrassing anyone or putting anyone on the spot. We are not there t =o challenge their systems. Remember, they see things from a very different perspective than us. What is important to us, may not be important to them, and vice versa.

What's your top tip for how students can make a positive impression during the appointments?

Show interest! Don’t engage in personal conversations or hang at the back of the group. Show urgency. Stay at the front, ask questions, and take pictures (not selfies). The best thing you can do is ask questions. They want to answer questions, and if there are no questions, then it might be misconstrued as a lack of interest.

Personal Reflections

What do you hope that students will gain from this trip, both personally and professionally? 

Personally – I hope that students will understand the challenges that our American consumerism is causing around the world, not just in China. So many of the manufacturing and logistical challenges are due to the consumers’ strong demands for cheaper and faster product. The choices we make have a real effect across the world. It’s not just a $5 t-shirt or a $12 skirt. It’s very well someone’s life and livelihood. We have to start making better decisions that can help improve the fashion industry. There’s a place for fast fashion but there is so much more than just that.

Professionally – I hope that students come away with a great overview of the supply chain. I want students to see how everything works together and how one area affects another.

What visit are you most looking forward to during this summer's upcoming study tour?

We will be visiting a denim dye house, so I’m looking forward to seeing something I have never seen before. Also, I know there are Nike factories in Dongguan and I am still trying to see if we can find a connection at one. In China, everything is about relationships, so unless I can find a connection into a factory, I likely won’t be able to cold-call and request a visit.

Which city is your favorite to visit on the study tour, and why?

I love Hong Kong! The city comes alive at night, there are great museums to visit, lots of wonderful places to eat, it’s easy to get around, and it’s a great mix of people from all over the world! It mixes the new with the old. You can be in some of the most luxurious shopping centers in the world, and then in an hour be at the top of a mountain visiting the Big Buddha. It’s fascinating! I love that mix of history and future.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned from the study tour trip?

The most valuable thing I have learned while traveling in China is that if you want to know about the local culture, just ask! People want to talk to you and share what they know. You cannot believe everything you read about a country from the local media. You have to experience it for yourself. If you have pre-conceived ideas about China, lose them! Travel with us and experience the country and the people for yourself. You’d be surprised to learn how much you thought you ‘knew’……was actually wrong.

What about the study tour do you cherish the most?

I cherish the friends I have made. It’s a little like a homecoming when I visit again. The people I have met in China are beyond kind! They go out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable. They think of everything, they are the perfect hosts! I’m always excited to see my old friends Billy, Bun, Yin, and Andy. They really are some of the most beautiful people I have ever known.

Interested in traveling to China and Hong Kong? Email Mrs. Zorola at mzorola@unt.edu. There is still room for 18 students,  but keep in mind that once the applications are up, you'll need to move fast in order to secure a spot!

Lastly, stay tuned for Hong Kong/China Study Tour Reflection (Part 2) which we will be sharing later in December with even more tips!


CREDITS

Copy & Videos: Taylar Gomez, Fashion Editor

Photography: John Keller

Graphic 1: Ashley Nudge, Editor-In-Chief

 

FASHION: PERSONAL STYLE Q&A WITH CORDELL GREEN

Maia Wilson

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to interview Cordell Green at Chilton Hall on the University of North Texas campus.  Having changed majors from dance, to fashion design, to merchandising, Cordell is known as a hard-working student with goals of becoming the next best talent in visual merchandising or styling.  According to Cordell, he “loves anything visually appealing,” and enjoys shaking up his style by wearing unique outfits on the streets of Denton. He is outgoing, amiable, stylish, and captures the attention of many onlookers. I witnessed this personally while I snapped pictures of Cordell for this article, as several students stopped to compliment his fashion sense, muscularly toned legs, and outrageous hair color.  Contributing to his distinct style, Cordell likes to dress in moderate colors and garments that are both simple and comfortable. 

Keep reading to reveal the one-on-one I had with Cordell, and learn a little more about the inspirations behind this student’s unique fashion sense.

Where are you from?

I’m from Rowlett, Texas.  It’s far enough, but not too far.  Before UNT, I really wanted to go to FIDM, but… let’s be real now. Tuition was no joke.

What do you want to do with fashion?

I want to [do work] that deals with visuals.  I can work as a stylist for photo shoots… creating looks for specific photos that revolve highly around the clothing.

What retail experience do you have?

I used to work at Macy’s as a sales associate. I was one of the youngest [employees] working there; therefore, I was picked on a lot. I [also] used to work at Express.  I loved that job more than Macy’s because [their merchandise was] geared more towards my demographics and style.

What inspired you to wear today’s outfit?

The weather outside was really nice.  Luckily it [the weather] feels this way today since this is one of my longest days on campus.  I like to be comfortable on long days.  I also woke up happy and excited about the interview!

Can you describe your personal style?

[I’d describe my style as] urban but unique, so urban with a twist.  What that means is [I like] being able to look comfortable and slightly edgy.  Usually, [my edginess] depend[s] on how I feel.  Typically a song would ignite the emotion that influences my dress that day.  If I want to feel like a badass, I would wear a black mesh top, studded shoes and hat.  Anything studded [is ideal].

What makes your style unique?

What makes my outfits unique is [the fact that] I add personality to my fits.  For example, wearing a fashion jersey with super high socks.  Who does that? Me.

Where do you pull inspiration from?

[I pull inspiration from] anywhere and everywhere, from music to my natural surroundings.  I love flowers, so I love floral print.  Rihanna is my number one icon, and the way she dresses is similar to my urban [and] unique style.  I love jamming to her [songs]. Also, [I find inspiration in] being a student in fashion merchandising! If I like the way they [my peers] wear something, I would want to try it too.  Every now and then I would look into trends online or through magazines, but last fall I was really into Alexander Wang and kept up with his designs.  Creeper shoes were my favorite from him.

Do you see hairstyles as a part of fashion?

Hair is definitely a big factor in [completing] my look.  I consider it fashion.  Fashion is change, and my hair colors change all the time.  If I can remember [correctly], I went from blonde to red to gray and now to blue.

Why did you settle with blue hair?

Blue is my favorite color and it is very vibrant. 

How often do you change your hair color?

I usually change my hair color once I’m bored with it.  From the outside looking in, [one may assume] I spend a lot of money dyeing my hair but [I actually don’t] since I do it myself.

Who is your fashion role model?

Like I said earlier, Rihanna is my icon.  I just love her effortless style.  She is so beautiful. 

What is your favorite item in your wardrobe and why?

My favorite is my first pair of Jeremy Scotts.  They are so different and unique.  The shoes are gold and black Adidas with wings coming out.  They are my first pair of designer [shoes] so I cherish them. 

What is your favorite apparel brand and why?

I have several brands that are my favorites, but one that I can afford [the most] would be ASOS.  It [ASOS] is an English brand known for their individualistic graphic tees.  They have many pieces that are not common, so [I spend] a lot of time [looking at them online], and money [on their pieces].

What makes you stand out from your peers?

Besides my hair, I would say the energy I exude. I am always positive and smiling. If I could describe myself in one word, [it would be] outgoing.  I’m super chill and down to try new things.

What trends are you seeing recently? Do you follow them?

In my product development class, we do a lot of labs using WGSN [Worth Global Style Network] and what I have been seeing a lot from the trend forecasting website is athletic leisure.  [That trend is] very similar to my style.  The use of [those] textiles reminds me of what I like about fashion, such as holographic textiles and mesh.  I also find the iridescent fabric intriguing. 

Your style of dress is different from your peers.  In a day in the life of Cordell, what are some comments you get about your outfit?

“Are you wearing any pants?” Or, “I like it, where’d you get that from?”

Do such comments affect your self esteem?

I usually laugh at them [questions about not wearing pants] because why would I not wear pants?  It becomes annoying. 

Are you the type to pick out clothes in the morning or the night before?

I like to plan the night before so in the morning I can just wake up and get ready for school.  [Planning] takes about 15 minutes to pick something out.

Describe your accessories collection.

It’s GROWING.  I have about 50 different rings in gold and silver, 20 chains and necklaces, 10 to 20 earrings, 15 to16 pairs of shoes, 8 to 10 snapbacks, 6 or 7 beanies, and 2 scarves. I have mainly silver jewelry because the color SILVER is a ‘cool’ color. As for gold, it’s better worn in colder climates [since it’s a warmer color]. 

You say you own about 16 pairs of shoes. What do the 16 consist of?

A lot of high tops! A few creepers. And of course boat shoes.

Today, tattoo is known as an art form and can also be related to fashion and self-expression. Can you tell me about yours?

I have four tattoos total.  One tattoo is in Japanese [lettering] called Kanji, which [translates to] moods.  Another is [of] images representing freedom and eternal happiness.  I really want to get more [and have] ideas up in the air. Some of my ideas are my date of birth on my shoulder, and a crown on my chest because a crown stands for royalty and leadership. As a natural born leader, you are the leader of your life.

What fashion item could you not live without?

I probably couldn't live without any of my accessories! I feel like they truly complete all of my outfits. 

What advice would you give to someone seeking to create their own unique sense of style?

I would probably tell them to dress and wear whatever they want. As long as they feel comfortable and confident about their look, [then] they will be just fine!

What is your most favorite outfit you have ever worn?

I would say that my [most] favorite outfit would probably be my "cao Bella" tank top with an oversized denim shirt over it.  Simple, but also very comfortable. I could probably sleep with it [that outfit] on.

What fall trends do you love?

My favorite fall trend would have to be the "oversized" look that a lot of designers are starting to lean towards.

What are you excited to wear this fall?

I’m most excited to wear all of my jackets! They've just been sitting in my closet all sad!

Although school does get restless, Cordell does his best to always look good. Outgoing, sweet, and honest about his styling tips, he's one to get to know more by checking out his Instagram @_cordabulous_ and by chatting with him around campus!

CREDITS

Copy and Photography: Elizabeth Phan, Fashion Writer

Graphics: Ashley Nudge, Editor-In-Chief

 

FASHION: DRESS FOR SUCCESS IN ANY PROFESSIONAL SETTING

Maia Wilson

Img via Pinterest

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
— Mark Twain

Preparing for an interview for your dream job or internship can be nerve-racking and intimidating. Feeling confident in your communication skills and resume content are the first steps! The truth is, whether or not you are wearing a professionally appropriate outfit has a significant influence on the impression you leave behind. What does your business attire say about you?

Unsure if you are wearing the right attire in a certain professional setting? Wondering what to wear to a networking event? While attending a conference? Presenting a project in class, or volunteering backstage at a fashion show?

Finding an appropriate and trendy outfit for an interview or networking event can be bothersome and time consuming. Debating between wearing a formal suit or a more conservative dress can leave your head spinning!

Don’t sweat it. In this post, we will talk about which pieces are appropriate to wear to various professional occasions and provide you with some outfit inspiration. Also, you’ll be happy to know that all of the pieces included are under $50!

PROFESSIONAL SETTING #1:

NETWORKING EVENT

When attending a networking event, you can expect to dress in business casual attire. Networking events are an opportunity to connect with professionals in a more formal environment, but this doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some individuality into your outfit! 

ADVICE FOR THE OCCASION

  • Ask others if you look appropriate beforehand
  • Smile!
  • Mingle with your peers and companies in a friendly manner. (You may be speaking to your next boss or colleague!)
  •  Prepare a resume and business cards

OUTFIT IDEA: Career Expo

PROFESSIONAL SETTING #2:

CONFERENCE

A business conference can entail a great deal of standing, walking, and talking with others. Wearing a comfortable outfit is important, as well as an appropriate one. A business casual outfit is appropriate for this event. Whether you are presenting, interviewing, or just in attendance, packing a blazer is always a good idea. 

ADVICE FOR THE OCCASION

  • Prepare resume and business cards
  • Update LinkedIn profile
  • Research the companies
  • Have a plan for which general keynote and breakout sessions to attend
  • Get rest the night before/ caffeine during the day

OUTFIT IDEA: Business Conference

PROFESSIONAL SETTING #3:

PRESENTATION

When presenting a project in class or in the boardroom, it is important to not wear bold colors or risque styles. You should want the main focus to be on the project you worked hard to prepare. Be sure to consider how far you may have to walk to class, along with the duration of time you will be standing to present. If you'll be on your feet for a while, wearing comfortable shoes is a must! Also, skip the noisy bangle bracelets that will cause distraction if you use hand gestures. 

ADVICE FOR THE OCCASION

  • Prepare notecards
  • Save your final presentation to a flashdrive
  • Get rest the night before
  • Practice in front of a friend/colleague
  • Have someone look over the content

OUTFIT IDEA: Presentation

PROFESSIONAL SETTING #4:

BACKSTAGE AT A FASHION SHOW

Working backstage at fashion shows can be fun, and also a great learning experience! Wearing the correct attire will show your respect for the producer, designer, or brands being showcased. Unless otherwise instructed, you should wear black from head-to-toe. Comfortable, low-heeled or flat shoes are crucial as you will be on your feet from start to finish! Lastly, refrain from the urge to wear lipstick. The last thing you want is to get a makeup smear on the clothes. 

ADVICE FOR THE OCCASION

  • Be there early
  • Bring extra supplies if necessary (safety pins, fashion tape, etc.)
  • Eat breakfast! (You may not get a chance to while you’re there)
  • Take notes of what you are asked to do if necessary
  • Always have a sense of urgency

OUTFIT IDEA: Backstage Fashion Show Volunteer

PROFESSIONAL SETTING #5:

INTERVIEW

For an interview, wearing the correct business attire is very important. A pant suit for both men and women is always an ideal choice. When wearing a dress or skirt, wearing a blazer to match is suggested. Remember, the individual you are meeting with is your potential employer, so you want to make sure you look polished and professional!

ADVICE FOR THE OCCASION

  • Study the job description
  • Practice a mock interview beforehand
  • Pack all necessary materials, including a copy of your resume and business cards  
  • Do thorough research on the company
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer

OUTFIT IDEA: Internship Interview

Knowing how to dress for a professional occasion doesn't have to be a daunting task! Planning outfits may seem difficult now, but practice makes perfect! Grab inspiration from the outfits above, and add your own personal style to make them yours. 

 If you have a question about what to wear, or want help creating that perfect interview ensemble, check out my Polyvore account! Send me an email regarding the occasion and describe your personal style. I can then tailor a unique look just for you!

Taylar's Email: nuviewfashioneditor@gmail.com

Taylar's Polyvore: http://taylaralexandra.polyvore.com/

CREDITS

Copy & Collages: Taylar Gomez, Fashion Editor

Graphic 1: Ashley Nudge, Editor-In-Chief

FASHION: 10 INSTAGRAMMERS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW

Maia Wilson

Whether a self-proclaimed Instagram addict or a grammer fanatic in denial, every social media dweller knows which IG’ers are considered their faves. You know what I'm talking about.... the people with photos so stunning you actually make a conscious effort to read their captions, leave positive comments on them, and tell your friends how awesome they are with overly enthusiastic praise, aka “You NEED to follow them!”?

Yes. There is valid truth in concluding that some social media stars are simply better than others, especially in terms of those who share fashion related content. In our first post on the NuView blog, I’ve rounded up a list of some of my favorite fashion-related Instagram accounts. Whether their posts are more creative, more engaging, or more beautiful, these Instagrammers have something of value to offer. Their feeds are definitely worth following, so check them out. You’ll be glad you did!

 Without further ado, here is my list of 10 Instagrammers You Need to Follow.

Amanda Shadforth, @oraclefoxblog

This Aussie native’s feed is about as cohesive as cohesive gets. A talented photographer and stylist, Amanda is the founder of OracleFox.com, a premium fashion and style destination. On Instagram, the creative professional showcases work from her latest collaborations and editorials. A stunning curation of crisp imagery in neutral tones of grey, black, and white offer endless inspiration, and give you a glimpse into her luxurious, jetsetter life as an internationally recognized industry leader. 

Sazan Hendrix, @sazanhendrix

Sazan Hendrix is an LA based blogger, youtuber, and wife to her hilarious college sweetheart turned husband/photographer, Stevie Hendrix. Sazan launched her blog while she was a student in the Radio, Television, and Film program at UNT. After gradutation, she moved to Los Angeles and pursued blogging and hosting as a full time-career. Since then, Sazan has gone on to host a fashion segment on E! news, worked with major retail brands, and spoken at numerous conferences across the country, including one exclusively for students at NYU!

Matt, @thedailyfashionproject

Matt "the Sunflowerman" creates illustrations that are exclusively focused on menswear and men's style. His secondary instagram account, "@thedailyfashionproject" is an extension of his original account "@sunflowerman," and is where the artist displays illustrations that are sponsored by brands. He believes that an "illustration... inspires the viewer to look beyond the image and see themselves." I have to admit, when I look at his images, the main thing I envision is myself arm in arm with one of his illustrated dudes. Matt's illustrations are so well-done, and the men in them so dapper, his artistry inevitably functions as a lesson in class for all his gentlemenly followers.  

Marissa Webb, @marissawebb

What is there to say about Marissa Webb other than that she is the is truly incredible in all that she does. Not only is she the Creative Director of Banana Republic, but she is also the designer behind her own clothing brand Marissa Webb NYC, and a Resident Stylist at WhoWhatWear.com. What do I like most about her Instagram account, you ask? There's a sense of attitude and strength in all of her content. Her words and photos leave women feeling empowered, like they're able to achieve anything so long as they're willing to put in the work and stay focused. 

Tony Trahan, @tony_trahan

Tony Trahan is kind-of the total package. Represented by Campbell modeling agency out of Dallas Texas, Tony Trahan has expanded from his modeling career and begun to explore blogging and photography as additional interests. A regular in Dallas fashion shows and commercial campaigns, Tony's sense of style and eye for quality fashion images make him the ideal creative ready for takeover of the Dallas fashion scene. Blue eyes, six-pack abs, and stunning profile aside, this model has a lot going for him. 

Margaret Zhang, @margaret_ _zhang

Margharet Zhang is a writer, model, stylist, photographer, and creative director based in Sydney, Australia. She is also currently pursuing her Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Full of ambition and creative instinct from a young age, Margharet had an unconventional start in the fashion industry. After launching her blog and convincing her school to let her go to fashion week on scholarship, Margaret found herself mixing and mingling with some of the industry's brightest stars. Since then, Margharet has styled, directed, and shot editorials for Harper's BAZAAR, Marie Claire, and others. Her mix of skills make her incredibly rare,  and the fact that she is able to balance her professional identity with her life as a student only elevates her rarity. Notably, Margharet is also queen of the flatlays (she even has her own hashtag, #zhangflat). 

Sophia Macks, @beyondthemag

On this account, Sophia Macks, founder of Beyond the Mag, shares a curated collection of conceptual fashion imagery that packs a lot of punch. Each image is stunning in its own right, and contributes to a feed that is bursting with inspiration for the creative soul. Be sure to check out the captions on each photo to discover the amazing artists, set designers, photographers, and stylists who've helped bring each thought-provoking image to life. 

Lo Caballero, @theriverwolf_

One of fashion-blogger Little Black Bloot's right-hand gals, Lo Caballero is a blogger, stylist, and merchandiser from sunny Los Angeles, California. What I like most about Lo's feed is not just her flawless makeup photos and shots of her flowing, aqua tresses, but the consistency in her sense of style. She can rock her signature oversize black hat and a pair of belted, high-waisted denim shorts like it's nobody's business. Her company partnerships are always true to her aesthetic and reflective of her personal brand, something to be appreciated in a bloggersphere that is often overridden with inauthentic sponsored posts. 

Caitlin, @cmcoving

When I think of the perfect girl-next-door, I think of Caitlin, a PR graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, self-proclaimed Southern Bell, and the writer behind the popular blog Southern Curls and Pearls.  Her outfits can be described as casual yet elevated, and include pieces that are perfect for college students. For fall specifically, think cozy ponchos, fur vests, checkered button ups, and plaid blanket scarves... classic pieces that can be mixed, matched, and worn in a variety of ways!

I'm sure other Merchandising Inc. members would love to know, who are some of your favorite fashion grammers to follow?

Written by Ashley Nudge, NuView Editor-In-Chief