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10. 21. 22

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It is often said to “approach life as your own runway.” But, this can be difficult to follow when you're constantly running from classes to clubs. However, students of some of the most prominent fashion schools around the world beg to differ and are not afraid to show off. “What I wore to fashion school” videos have been circulating on social media, depicting the styles and trends found in major fashion schools around the world. Specifically, New York City has been a hot spot for the over-the-top student lead fashion phenomena. Named “the fashion school influencer '', a new generation of social media stars encapsulates audiences by allowing them to get a sneak peek into the world of some of the most high-profile fashion schools.

Just as inspiring actors flock to LA, those who love all things Bella Hadid run to New York City. Representing a fusion of innovation and timelessness, New York is the home to many inspiring fashion students who hope to make their mark on the industry. Kate Bartlett, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, has skyrocketed in popularity after sharing her classroom fashion and atypical college lifestyle. Although some influencers gain their audiences by being relatable, Kate is completely the opposite. While many people her age consider their morning Starbucks an accessory, Kate depicts herself bouncing from classes to fashion week in the season’s latest styles. Looking at her social media engagement, it is estimated that influencers of Kate’s size are predicted to earn about $6,000 per sponsored post, collaborating with popular brands ranging from Dior to Cult Gaia. Alongside marketing campaigns with large retailers, such as H&M, her estimated net worth is predicted to be between 1 and 5 million dollars, providing an unexpected profession even before graduation. With all this said, I think a part of us all wishes we had chosen a different major after watching her videos.

There is no clear way to describe the style of a fashion student influencer. With an emphasis on creative expression and individuality, it is difficult to find two students dressed alike. Regardless, there are some themes that can be spotted. Many notable features often include excessive layering, mismatching patterns, and extravagant accessorizing. While playing into trends such as maximalism, these students ensure that they dress to stand out. For them, it's pure statistics. What are the odds a person in one of your lectures is sporting the same leather moto jacket as you? While probably not that high, what if you layered a moto jacket under a denim vest, with a trench coat on top? In this case, it would be practically impossible for anyone else in your class, even in a large 100-level lecture, to be wearing the same look as you.

While some see the “fashion school influencer” as someone with an avant-garde style and a little too much time to spend on social media, it is important to note that this growing community is representative of the future of the fashion industry. According to FashionUnited, the global apparel market is expected to grow 6.1% in the next year, creating a buzz for jobs in fashion to be greater than ever before. The Fashion Institute of Technology, one of the most well-known fashion schools, has reflected this increase in interest with acceptance rates decreasing since 2016. As a crucial part of the future of the market, “the fashion school influencer” and students alike will go on to build the next generation of fashion, incorporating the ideals they present today. While I am not saying that we will all be layering 3 jackets on top of each other by next spring, we might just consider switching out our sweats for something more extravagant next time we head to class.

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