I interned for celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger last January and dealt with sample trafficking. I monitored what clothes we got in, when they went out, and who they came from to make sure that the clothing got received or sent. This process helped too because I got to know brands pretty quickly. I learned so much while working for Micaela that I’m spending the summer working for her. Besides monitoring samples I also work on projects for our clients, including celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto, Common, and many others.
Me: What sparked your interest in fashion business?
Alli: Well, I wore a uniform all throughout high school but I wanted to find a way to make it more me and make myself feel more comfortable. So I started accessorizing, wearing different shoes... experimenting in general. Through this, I realized that what you wear can really affect how you feel for the day. I just want everyone to feel their best and not be distracted or held back by how they think they look.
I also took economics and AP Statistics in high school during my senior year. I have always had an analytical mind so those classes were very interesting to me. After taking those classes, I was especially inspired by my statistics teacher. I thought it was really interesting to examine how the market interacts with the consumers and vice versa. I also was my high school yearbook's editor-in-chief so I did a lot of work with design and layout (basically visual collaging). So to make it a viable career, I combined everything I was interested in.
Me: I know that you post weekly on CollegeFashionista. What is the process behind creating a post and what have you gained from this process?
Alli: CollegeFashionista is a campus-wide, national website in which each college has its own section. So I`m one of the Style Gurus for NYU. This is something I have wanted to do since my junior year of high school. For me the most important thing is to find someone that looks fashionable. So I`m very into details such as cool accessories, patterns, materials, etc. Usually someone will catch my eye while I'm walking around campus. For example, there was a girl with a really awesome luxe fur coat that was just beautiful. She was just wearing it super casually and I was like “Wow.” There was also another girl who I spotted with jeans that had different patterns on each leg. So I would go up to someone like that, take some pictures, talk to them, and get to know them.
I will basically write how about the person's outfit is trendy or unique. I’m really interested in the inception of certain styles so I do a lot of historical research. For the article that just went live about my friend Charlie and his plaid shorts, I did research on plaid. I actually found out how it was initially used to designate different Scottish tribes. Then, the pattern started to be a part of school uniforms and now it is being worn casually.
Me: I learned something new today!
Alli: Yeah, exactly! That is my angle. That is what I want. I want people to finish reading my articles and walk away feeling like, “Wow, that wasn't a waste of my time!” I take my writing very seriously.
Me: How would you describe your style?
Alli: That is actually something I have been thinking about a lot. After having a uniform all throughout high school and certain items I wore from ages 11 to 18, I came out of it wondering, “What is my style?” Now, I have the option to wear whatever I want every day and sometimes it's a little overwhelming. I know a lot of people do not think about it like this but it is just really important to me and it’s what I’m interested in. So that is why I think about it more in depth than the average person, probably. I'm actually still developing my style. It's kinda weird because I'm 19 years old and I'm still not sure what I like to wear.
Everything I wear is comfortable. I will not leave the house unless I feel “one hun`ed” (Slag term meaning 100 percent confident and comfortable).
Me: I feel that. I feel that. *Laughs*
Alli: I really don't want to be worried. I don’t want to be walking around thinking “Oh my god, does this look weird?” or “Does this not fit right?” so I can focus my thoughts on my crazy schedule. I also like wearing a lot of juxtapositions or contradictions -- two things that are opposite coming together, like girly grunge or dressy casual. I just try to find ways where I could wear something not in the typical way that it is usually worn.
Me: Where or who do you get your style inspiration from?
Alli: I definitely like to research trends because that is my area of study. But sometimes I don`t necessarily follow the trends because if I'm not comfortable in it then I don't want to wear it. So if something is trendy but unrealistic for me, I will probably modify it. For example, 70s inspired wear is really popular right now. There's a lot of suede, fringe, or flare trends going on but I wouldn't wear my suede fringe jacket with my flare jeans and wedged shoes. That`s a little too much for me. I would not be comfortable walking around looking like I came straight out of the 70s. To modify the trend, I would probably wear black athletic pants with a fringe jacket and cool boots just to focus on the jacket.
I also get a lot of inspiration from my friends and their styles -- like Kiara! If I see something that looks good I would be like “Oh, I want try that!” Also while shopping and browsing stores, their websites, or Pinterest, when I see something that I really like my mind starts thinking “Oh, how can I wear this? What can I wear this with? This would look so cool with these pants and these shoes.”
Me: So my site is called Artsy Window and it is about how different people express themselves through art. And I just want to make it clear that fashion is a art. So how do you express yourself through what you wear or simply through fashion in general?
Alli: I`m also the type of person whose emotions show really easily and that translates into my clothing. If I'm tired, I would wear something that is just a go-to, like all black.
I just want to put this out for people who do not consider fashion as an art or something more frivolous -- it's a basic human thing to wear clothes. Some people put more thought into it than others and there's some people that just don't care. And that's the challenge: doing something that everyone does everyday and doing it differently. How are you going to show your own style? And obviously, fashion is all visual and a lot of art is visual.
Me: When you are walking down the street and wearing an outfit, what do want people to get from what you wear? What are you trying to communicate?
Alli: Ironically enough, I don't really care what other people are thinking. Of course, other people's opinions are of value. But I never would wear anything and think “Oh, someone will think I look really good right now.” That’s just not what I`m about because I've done that when I was younger. I used to follow trends that, in the end, weren’t me. I was worried about how I looked rather than what I was doing or what I was thinking. That’s when I decided that I was just going to do my own thing.
I guess I just want my clothes to communicate “me,” that I'm fun, and I'm open... I don't know… I'm a cool kid…
Me: So when you look at Alli Lorraine walking down that street, just think, “She`s a cool kid!”
Alli: Well, I also want to communicate that I'm put together, comfortable, professional, and ready to go. Like Spider Man could come down from the ceiling and say, “Hey! Come help me do this thing right now!” And I would be like “Yeah!” I wouldn't be like “Wait, stop! Let me change my shoes from these unrealistic heels…” I would be like, “Yeah, let’s go save the city, bro!”
Me: So it is 9:30am and you have 30 minutes before class starts. Right after class, you're going to grab coffee with this cutie you've been interested in. And then right after that you have to go to see The Killers in concert! You have no time to change in between these events! What are you going to wear Alli Lorraine?!
Alli: Alright. Alright. I would probably wear some denim high waisted shorts with ripped tights and black combat boots. As for the top, I would wear my striped t-shirt. All of these pieces are really comfortable and basic, good for walking all over the city -- but they can be dressed to my style with accessories and flair.
Wait, do I have to chose from what I have in my closet? And what day and temperature is it? These questions are important.
Me: It could be anything! ...It is Friday and 70 degrees outside.
Alli: Okay! I would also wear a red plaid flannel with yellow and black stripes. I would tie that around my waist. For this outfit, I'm really thinking about function.
Me: And what would you do with your hair and accessories?
Alli: Well, I would definitely wear my watch to keep track of the time and a couple of rings. I have some studded bracelets and a necklace with a key that I found in Slovakia. That’d be cool. As for my hair, I would probably have it half up and half down because I’ll end up putting it up for the concert since I`ll be jumping around.
But wait, that is just option #1, because it would depend on how I feel that day. For option #2, I would wear a cool-patterned flowy dress with my black pointed toe boots from Free People and lacey socks. I might wear a vest over it.
Me: What are our future goals as a fashionista?
Alli: Career-wise I want to be doing something that affects people in a good way and requires a lot of thought on my end. Ideally, I would like to work for a brand whose vision aligns with my own. I would work for a brand that promotes individuality and is all about making people feel comfortable. Personally, I just want be happy, have fun, enjoy my youth while I still have it, travel, make some good friends, help them through my work, and serve as an inspiration. Maybe I`ll get my own TV show with Spiderman.
Me: Lastly, how can we get connected with you and see your work?
Alli: You can follow my instagrams @allilorraine_ and @rockthefrock_ which is my fashion platform. That is still in the works. For twitter, follow @allilorraine_. As for my written content, you can read my articles on collegefashionista.com/author/allilorraine.
Call me beep me if you wanna reach me, if you wanna reach me it’s okay... (laughs). Yeah, hit me up!
Me: And It's a wrap!
Alli: Stay inspired! That’s all I have to say.