MohoFits: a celebration of style, identityMinah Kwon ’20
When you look at designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo and Virgil Abloh, you can see that identity is at the core of clothing design: Expression of identity is essentially what fashion is. Regardless of background, our clothing can be indicative of who we are and what we want to be.
At Mount Holyoke College, fashion and street style have a strong presence and make for colorful interactions between disparate communities on campus. From our Chinese international students to MoHo’s Maine natives, there is a widespread understanding that personal attire is important in our everyday lives. We are embracing our identities through what we choose to wear.
A new Instagram account called MohoFits (short for Mount Holyoke Outfits) has begun capturing the street style on campus — and generating some buzz in the process. The account’s curators, who choose to remain anonymous, aspire to celebrate the many shapes, sizes and styles of MoHo — and to show the interactions inherent at a college with a significant global student population. Celebration, in this context, means giving students of all backgrounds and styles a platform where their identities can be acknowledged and recognized.
The curators of MohoFits recognize that in such a fast-paced environment as a college campus, appreciation for style and beauty can often be forgotten or disregarded. A festive appreciation of self-expression — guided by an intersectional approach — is what drives the account.
Serving style, on the daily
“There is a stereotype that as an inclusive women’s college, we have less of a pressure to dress well, for multitudes of reasons,” said a MohoFits curator. “I feel like our school breaks that stereotype in a lot of ways. We do dress comfortably at times, but we also have a shared vision to dress creatively and courageously. We’re extremely versatile.”
Often, Williston Library or Blanchard Hall can feel like the set of an editorial shoot for a magazine spread or the sidewalks of a fashion week event. From “minimal chic” or “vintage thrifter” to “monochromatic” or “hypebeast,” students hone their styles as they go about their days; fashion is interspersed with classes, studying and dining.
An evolving fit
The method for MohoFits is simple — and largely inspired by students at other liberal arts colleges who are doing similar projects, and by notable figures in current fashion and streetwear. The students behind the account keep their eyes out while on campus to notice the striking and sometimes spectacular quirks and idiosyncrasies. They photograph a given outfit and make an effort to portray each person’s story as honestly as possible. Through a journalistic strategy, MohoFits asks inviting yet personal questions of featured students.
The student curators started by asking their close friends, some of whom are creative or just well-dressed individuals, to share their outfits of the day via the account. The process soon evolved into a more organic formula of approaching students throughout campus, whether it be at a Betty Shabazz Cultural Center event or in front of Prospect Hall’s view of Upper Lake.
“It’s kind of coincidental that MohoFits is called MohoFits,” said a student curator. “It shows that everyone here fits in, and furthermore, we fit together. There is a balance in how students are showcased on the page. You get to see how we correspond — and harmonize — with one another.”