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.
When I started college, the ground was crunchy with salt and the snow was so thick you could sled down the amphitheater steps. I was careful to not invade my roommate’s space as I unpacked (she had started in September and would not move back in for a few days). Besides my residence hall’s community advisor, there was one other person on my floor — an athlete, maybe — and the whole process was very calm and very quiet.
I was so in love with Mount Holyoke College that the idea of arriving a semester later than my peers never threatened my decision to come here. But it did present a few concerns. As a spring admit, or “springie,” I wondered, how would I meet people? Could I really catch up with the rest of my class? What was a Mountain Day?
Despite titles of leadership conferred upon me in high school — delegate to my town’s youth commission and teen ambassador for my local Junior League — I never truly considered myself a leader until I came to Mount Holyoke College. Here’s why.
Growing up, I went to a predominantly white private school for 14 years and never realized how much I needed — and could thrive in — a culturally diverse environment. Until I came to Mount Holyoke.
What is it like for a Cuban American from Miami, Florida, to come to college in western Massachusetts? As you might imagine, it’s different. VERY different. I mean, before coming to Mount Holyoke, I had never seen an apple tree in my life. I grew up in the tropical weather of Miami where all the fruits we grew at home were mangoes, avocados and bananas. I love my home city, but I was ready to experience the seasons and see snow!