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NuView Blog

Filtering by Tag: fashion

CAREERS: SYMBOLOGY FOUNDER PROFILE

Maia Wilson

In an industry that thrives on fast-fashion, finding someone with a vision to create high-end, sustainable apparel is a light in the dark. Meet the founder of Symbology, Marissa Heyl. This “creative-in-chief” has one goal in mind: to create beautiful pieces of clothing that emulate high fashion and folkloric art forms, all while empowering women in developing countries. With a background in fair trade and a love for design, she is living proof that with a lot of passion and hard work, nothing is impossible.

 

Name: Marissa Heyl

Location: Dallas/ Fort Worth

Job Title: Founder of Symbology

University: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Class of 2007

Major(s): Anthropology and Journalism

 

What led you to the fashion industry?

I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. I just reveled in watching runway shows and going to the mall and things like that. What I love about fashion is that it’s wearable art. I love the fantasy and the artistry that goes into it. This focus I have with Symbology on integrating really ancient folkloric art forms into high fashion is something really exciting and different.

Tell us a little bit about the process that goes into creating for Symbology.

I’ll come up with a concept or a theme based on a motif that runs through various cultures, and use it as a basis for a pattern. We look at three different aspects: the colors, the silhouettes, and the print trends that are coming up for that next collection and we factor that into production. I always keep in mind what the opportunities and limitations there are when working in the communities. For instance, when we are working with Palestinian refugees in the West Bank we don't have access to the type of fabric we make most of our garments out of. So we have to keep in mind that when we are working with their embroidery, we have to use a base fabric that they have in stock. We design each piece with each culture, depending on what resources they have available. I think I learn a lot from the artisan groups and the different cultures. You learn a lot about what’s truly important, rather than the superficialities that pervade in American culture. my view is to take positive aspects from each culture and bring it together, not just for Symbology but in my own life.

There is such a human element to your work. Can you talk about that?

Whenever you have a piece of art, that is something that can only be created by a human being. There is a spiritual element to that item. There’s a history, there’s a story, there’s an identity behind it. That is something that really differentiates what we’re doing. It’s something that invigorates me as a designer. From an aesthetic and moral perspective, I love the craft and the art form. I love working hand in hand with the artists. The travel and the hands on collaboration with these artists is a really unique experience to have as a fairly privileged American. It’s really humbling to meet people of all different walks of life. It’s important to take a step back and think about the amount of influence we can have and the change we can create in the world if we make that effort. I think through my trips and communications with these groups, I am reminded of that.

What is the biggest struggle you face in the industry?

One of the hardest things is establishing yourself as designer, because what does that necessarily mean? I mean even Chanel started off in a very modest place. We’re using quality fabrics and creating really beautiful pieces. The addiction to cheap stuff that is not well made, is really toxic. I see that as really problematic and unsustainable. It really does a disservice to the heritage of fashion. So it’s more than just fair wages for me. As a designer, I want to see unique, colorful and different pieces. I wish people would really embrace fashion, and make it their own. That’s something I try to do with our designs at Symbology.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be?

Well, what I have learned is that you can really pave your own path. You have so much [flexibility] and ability to create your own identity and career choices, particularly this day and age. Being in college, you have access to research and study abroad opportunities. That’s why you’re in college, to soak it all up like a sponge. Take that with you into your 20’s and 30’s and pick up different experiences. The kind of opportunities afforded to you in college are a great stepping stone, I really want to encourage students to take advantage of that and explore the opportunities. College is so much more than the classes, the student organizations and ways to engage with other students can be really exciting. My best experiences were outside of the classroom. I want to encourage students, particularly those who are more entrepreneurial, to really get experience and be empowered to start their own venture. A lot of times fear of the unknown prevent people from taking that leap, but if you have the passion for it, then go for it all the way.

It seems like in a world driven by consumerism, it’s time to take a step back and think about what matters. When speaking with Marissa, I was inspired by her ability to take her passion for her work and use it in a way to give back to the community. If you’re willing to put in the hard work, whether it’s something as small as starting your own blog or as big as building your own company, anything is possible. The point? Find what you love and run with it.


Marissa is recruiting interns for Spring/Summer 2016. Send a cover letter and resume to: marissa@symbologyclothing.com


CREDITS

Copy & Graphic 1: Navya Kaur, Careers Writer

Photos c/o Marissa Heyl

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: 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