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Tracking the trend

Increasingly, the fashionably inclined are turning less to the editorial whimsy of publications such as Vogue or Marie Claire, and looking to street style blogs to monitor the trends., one such blog run by a network of contributing “style gurus” from colleges and universities across the country, frequently features fashionable students and has a large number of USF student contributors who write about and photograph other students. 

Searching for USF on the CollegeFashionista website, you’ll come across a slew of posts featuring mod girls, uniquely layered and primped, posing in front of the Marshall Student Center, outside the Library or in the MLK plaza.

Each post on CollegeFashionista focuses on a specific trend (“Nothing but Neutrals,” “Quilted Dreams,” “Picturesque Patterns”), and features an in-vogue student exhibiting the trend. Each style guru keeps the trend in mind when walking around USF as they look for students who have their own personal style. After photographing a student, the guru breaks down the look into layers and pieces and advises readers on how they can accomplish the look.

Meagan Sapashe, a junior majoring in advertising, has been an intern and style guru with CollegeFashionista for three semesters and chose to join the fashion platform as a way to jumpstart her career.

“I want to get into fashion advertising, which is on a deeper level, taking street style fashion and turning it into an advertising platform,” she said. “There are so many ways that brands can get involved with street style bloggers and Instagram users.”

CollegeFashionista takes broad style trends and campusizes them, allowing students to see how others at their school are exercising a trend.  Targeting winter fashion in Florida, Sapashe recently featured a “Fashionisto,” a trendy male who was wearing a dress shirt and shorts. In her post, she joked that his winter wear could only be pulled off in Florida.

Sapashe has credited a lot of her understanding of the fashion world to her position with CollegeFashionista and sees her experiences as a supplement to her studies.

“I’ve learned a lot from the internship so far, but moving forward, I’d like to take my love for fashion and interest in advertising and be able to put them together into one, and I’ve learned a lot about that through CollegeFashionista,” she said. “You can take fashion and turn it into a business.”

Aside from being a place to keep up with current fads, the site also serves as a platform for students to explore careers in fashion that they might not have the opportunity to experience otherwise.

“I’ve learned a lot of people skills and writing skills because we’re writing new stories every week, and people skills because we’re constantly trying to talk to people and take their picture; it just gets you out of your comfort zone,” said Kelsey Cadenas, a sophomore majoring in studio art.

Cadenas discovered CollegeFashionista through The Fashion Executive club at USF and said being a style guru was the first step toward her goal of marketing for a high-end fashion brand. 

“I’ve met a lot of really cool people in the USF community who also have an interest in fashion and didn’t think that USF was the place or school to do something like CollegeFashionista because we don’t have a fashion school or any majors concerning fashion,” Sapashe said. “To have an internship or something like CollegeFashionista at USF is something that’s brought everyone together.”