CollegeFashionista Next: Marko Alejo

How many times have you walked by a store, stopped and marveled at the window displays. No, not just the gorgeous clothing in the window. But how that clothing is displayed and the majestic nature of the window. Well, Fashionistas/os, we have found the brains behind some of those windows. And he happens to be a former Style Guru. This month’s CollegeFashionista Next article is brought to you by the talented and always charming Marko Alejo. Besides being a former Style Guru and a Visual Associate with Madewell, I have the pleasure of calling Marko a dear friend as well. Enjoy Marko’s story of his experience at FIDM, transitioning Visual Communications into a profession and how CollegeFashionista impacted his journey.

Hello old friend and interested parties. Although I would much rather see those familiar faces across a table in some fantastic little café with baked treats I’d keep eyeing behind you or indecisively browsing a menu at some bustling gastro pub the next best thing that I can do is write to you today to uplift nostalgia with a polite catch up.

Coming to you from good ole’ Los Angeles I, Marko Alejo, am the former Head Style Guru for The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise (FIDM) class of 2011.  I graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree in Visual Communications and departed from the downtown campus excitingly impatient with bright eyes for the promise of the adventures that underline tomorrow.

Still residing in L.A. the road had taken me to all kinds of internships, volunteering and jobs that remain a part of my core when it comes to experience. But my adoring commitment has been within the hands of a company called Madewell.  For the past two and half years I went from working the sales floor to a Visual Associate. I started at the Americana store in Glendale and instantly fell in love. Madewell comes from J.Crew roots and is a women’s tried and true heritage denim brand that also provides other essential classics with quirky yet stylish twists.

As a Visual Associate I work side by side with the Merchandising Manager to take charge in assuring that the creative environment of our store locations remains unique, fresh and memorable. You will probably find me in a window installing fixtures for our store fronts, styling mannequins with new merchandise, on top of a ladder layering props along the shelving and in the back painting or fussing with chalkboard. It’s a hands on job that I always feel excited to do. Like a home you feel a sense of ownership and do everything you can to maintain its beautiful quality.

Another part of the job is participating with the Corporate Visual and Merchandising team that is involved in preparing for new store openings. I’ve projected with them to open Pasadena, The Grove and the restoration of The J.Crew in Old Town.  Together we build up old spaces into our own Madewell factories filling them with handpicked flea market and auction finds of leather club chairs, antique schoolyard touches and authentic scales of all kinds of metalwork. There is a lot of detail and projections to coordinate for future trends when it comes to styling the looks and the floor. Learning with these talented minds who work in the New York headquarters and watching their process come to life is truly inspiring.

Collaboration has also been some of the highlights of working for the company. I’ve been there to debut both of Alexa Chung’s collections for the brand, working with Mr. Kate showcasing her jewelry and designing in store bracelets and working with Julie Sarinana of Sincerely, Jules to create some hand drawn images of her in our spring collection for an event she threw together with the store. It has really felt like one big celebration to plan and to enjoy because I get to work with some of the most creative people and get to meet some show stoppers along the way.

CollegeFashionista will eternally be a part of who I am and always a post-it note to remember why I do what I do. Amongst the racks of must haves, after the party is over and when doors close for the night, I know what remains perpetual is the sincere enjoyment for the love of fashion. So although chapters must end the best thing to do for one’s self is to keep moving forward. 2013 is going to be a fantastic and big year for many wonders to unfold for those who work hard and dream passionately.

Thank you CF, fellow Style Gurus and readers for being precious gems. I take a polite bow and promise to always think of you all so fondly from yours truly.


The graphic design world is no longer limited to hipster nerds or techies way beyond electronic years. The fashionably inclined have taken note of the industry's forward technology movement and have infiltrated more then just our wardrobes. Catherine Cardelucci is contributing to the masses by showing her stylish talents both on and off the computer.

Name: Catherine Cardelucci

Major: Graphic Design

Year: Alumni

College Fashionista: How does graphic design and fashion go together?

Catherine Cardelucci: Graphic design actually contributes enormously to fashion. People tend to think that it’s just about packaging, posters and websites. But not only do graphics visually make their way on clothing as logos and textile patterns, graphic design is also the basis of fashion design. Garments start from technical graphic renderings that are later produced into luscious apparel. If you look deeper into your favorite designer you will realize that their identity and branding is just as important as the garment itself. Look at Louis Vuitton for instance. It would not be what it is without its iconic trademark “LV” pattern. Their simple graphic is what gives the brand its identifiable status. 

CF: How does one acquire their graphic style?

CC: Some people are lucky enough to be born with a unique graphic style and others acquire it from their surroundings. I am very simple and extremely organized. My bedroom feels as if Clorox® bleach has personally endorsed itself against my white walls, bedding and frames. This simplicity definitely shows in my work. I am all about bold colors that contain a small amount of elements that are carefully placed. In the end the purpose is to achieve the perfect scale and balance.

CF: Is there anyone in the fashion or art industry you think is taking the next step in regards to their use of technology?

CC: I don’t think that there is one specific designer or artist because the creative industry itself is quickly moving into that direction. Many designers are making the move from printed look books to digital editions on custom flash drives, which is somewhat innovative and sustainable. It is amazing how tech savvy artists are getting. 

CF: How would you describe your personal fashion style?

CC: My style isn’t influenced by a certain era or even with what is on trend today. I’m drawn to certain pieces because they are bold in color and lavish in fabrics. Whether I’m casual or dressy I always go monochromatic. My closet is organized by color so when I get dressed for the day I automatically go for one hue. I usually look like a walking Pantone swatch wearing a head to toe outfit in different shades of one color.

CF:  What's the best part about FIDM and your personal address being in Downtown L.A. ?

CC: Downtown L.A. has become my home. Even as I sit on the 110 Freeway in bumper to bumper traffic there is a sense of calmness and comfort that overcomes me once I see the skyline. Every aspect of downtown is exciting and somewhat chaotic. The energy is fast paced and creative keeping the right side of my brain going. There is always something exciting going on every day. Whether it is an incredible gallery opening or a music festival I feel like I could never get bored.

CF:  Your major is still quite exclusive at FIDM. Do you find that your peers are less competitive and more supportive of each other’s work?

CC: My major is one of the smallest at FIDM but it is definitely growing. My classes consisted of only 15 students per class with around 60 students to my graduating class. We became a little family. We all became very close and supportive of each other. Of course there was always the one student whose work we would all envy but in the end there wasn’t really a big competitive nature between us. We all had very different styles and taste so there were never copycats. I used to go to the library and rent a compilation of about Pixar and Disney movies and a bunch of “GD-ers” would come over. We would all sit around with our Macbooks and work on our projects until the sun came up. Although the graphic design major may be the smallest it is also the most dedicated and hard working.

How To: The next few months are all about celebrations and you can’t arrive at the best festivities without the perfect LBD. If you’re feeling modern and refined, try a tailored shift dress with tights and a leather bootie. For polite feminine sex appeal, try a lace slip dress accentuated with delicate jewelry and a skinny belt. You can even go chic with a boyish touch with a Peter Pan collar style paired with bold flats. The LBD has become the ultimate fashion staple because not only will it stay in style, but you will also never run out of ways to wear it.


The bridge from graduation to attaining that perfect job vacates a lot of time to dream of endless possibilities and goals. Some say that they want it all — disposable accounts, labyrinth wardrobes and the thrill of each step that takes them closer to another city. All of the above are quite plausible, but it all happens gradually. Drew Hazelhurst has shown that with hard work, being stylish and taking chances can take you to unexpected, yet fabulous places.  

Name: Drew Hazelhurst

Major: Entertainment Set Design & Decoration

Year: Alumni

CollegeFashionista: How does FIDM prepare you for the fashion industry?

Drew Hazelhurst: During my time at FIDM I learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to be successful. The teachers and advisors there didn’t treat me as a student but as a fellow colleague. It definitely took a while to get all of my interests in line and figure out what I really wanted to do. Although where I am now I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out.

CF: What’s your favorite part about living in Los Angeles?

DH: Well I moved here for the weather but I stayed for the people. I love how much diversity and culture there is here. No matter how long you live here there will always be something new to experience. Coming from a small town in Colorado I constantly felt like I didn’t belong. LA was the light at the end of the tunnel and I have been in love with this place since the day I arrived.

CF: You were a visual communications major, studied set design and now you are an account coordinator for Wetherly Fashion Group. What’s your advice for students who want to do it all?

DH: What most people don’t realize while they are going to college is that your choice in a major does not decide what you will do for the rest of your life. It is how you apply what you have learned to the things that you love that will determine your future. My advice is to not worry so much about where your major will take you. Instead focus on the moment and that alone will help you on your path to success.

CF: What are the common misconceptions about public relations?

DH: Most people think that this is a glamorous career path. That it pays incredibly well and that you hang out with celebrities all day. While this job does have some fabulous perks and I do get to meet some really great people I’m still making my way up there and yet to have become Kim Kardashian's best friend. I am 22 years old and have a job that excites me and challenges me in ways I never thought possible. I am very happy.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

DH: I dread this question and I never know how to answer it perfectly. I guess that if I gave it a name it would be comfy chic. I always try to be comfortable but try to have a statement piece that really makes the outfit interesting. It could be red leather pants or a killer bag and necklace.

CF: What’s on your Christmas fashion wish list?

DH: I am dying for a Stella McCartney bag and have a large list of boots and shoes on Guilt that need to be in my life.

How To: Stripes are usually found across your favorite St James sail tee, on a silk tie, and even your boxers.  Although we love the parade of lines the best way to revive a classic is take it away from its usual element. Going with an introverted stripe pattern is modern and quirky. It’s an easy statement piece to liven up any everyday get up. Exaggerate the nautical with the weight of lines with a savvy white and navy paired with fitted khakis and penny loafers. For cooped up days at home to running errands in the city try a pocket tee with your favorite distressed denim and a scarf. Drinks at Chateau Marmont should be accompanied with the finest standard with a contrast button up shirt with a caped pullover and dark denim.



Although it seems the fashion world is all about progression, the classics are essential components. They comprise the recipe to ensure the industry will last. FIDM '12 Debut Designer Michael Ben Pinpin understands that those lessons were best taught as a little boy. From schoolboy uniforms to runways, Pinpin is taking every step to the top with a sophisticated stride.

Name: Michael Ben Pinpin

Major: Fashion Design

CollegeFashionista:  How do you define fashion?

Michael Ben Pinpin: The definition of fashion to me is wearing your personality for people to see. Fashion is a reflection of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, and we as people are now affected by the world almost instantly through technology. The way our personality develops is how we respond to the world around us.

CF:  Who in the fashion industry is always getting it right?

MBP: Personally, I believe there are a number of designers that get it right almost all the time. Ralph Lauren has such a far reach through his many branches and is one of the few brands that is successfully tackling the mobile app market. I haven't seen very many designers try that yet. His company has the ability to target everybody.

CF:  How does your heritage influence being an American designer of today creating for tomorrow?

MBP: My mother’s side of the family is full of worldly people. They constantly look for something new and somewhere they haven't been before. They've instilled that “divide and conquer” manner in my brother and I.  We were introduced to different things at the same time so that we can share our experiences. The way they raised us made me susceptible to current events and culture, which is perfect for a fashion designer! Anything happening in the world can spark my creativity.

CF:  Describe your own personal style.

MBP: My personal style has always been very New England preppy. Since I was a baby my mother always kept me in some type of garment with a collar. I was raised to only use quality goods and investment pieces that will last and always look amazing. From my choice of immaculately white tennis shoes, clean side-parted hair and my strategically picked Jo Malone colognes, all centered around Jo Malone red roses, I'd like to say that almost everything about me is preppy.

CF:  FIDM Debut is a prestigious program for the school. What’s the process like from the moment you get chosen to preparing for the big day?

MBP: The process from the very beginning of the application to the very last show is about dedication, patience, quality and perseverance. Everyone involved in the debut program is dedicated to the quality of the show. The integrity of our garments is nothing to laugh at either. Our teachers drive us to make reach perfection and every single detail must be supreme in order to be approved. Never have I felt so pressured, inspired, stressed and enlightened, simultaneously, in such a short amount of time. This program is such an enriching rush. Three quarters really do zoom by, and it will test your ability to keep up. After everything, it will all be well rewarded when it’s finally time to watch the entire collection come to life on the runway.

How To: Whether it be at a table on Thanksgiving, spreading Christmas cheer or counting down on New Year’s Eve, it’s the season to brighten up any holiday. The best way to do so is with a statement colored pant paired with your favorite winter essentials. For a traffic stopping flare go for a rusty brick red with a white oxford shirt, fitted navy blazer and a chunky wool scarf. Try handsome olive with a denim shirt and Fair Isle sweater when you find yourself with a good stack of books and coffee. Adding a punch of mustard yellow can really dress up an outdoor adventure along with a puffer vest and button-down henley.


We all have heard or said it once, “I was born to do this.” This is the truest statement of divine passion to reach for the stars. There is definitely destiny when one discovers the love for fashion. Our Fashionisto of the week is a student, fashion designer and a part of FIDM's debut 2012. So, although L.A. generally shades the sky with smog, sunshine and celebrity, for Ralph Prado things are looking up.

Name: Ralph Prado

Major:  Fashion Design

Year: FIDM Debut ‘12 Designer

CollegeFashionista: In what way does FIDM, Los Angeles and the West Coast represent itself as a fashion commodity?

Ralph Prado: FIDM is the best school here on the West Coast and I am ecstatic to be attending and currently doing the FIDM debut. The school has established a name where they prepare and expose students to the real industry. FIDM holds a reputation for molding amazing individuals who are doing amazing things in the fashion world. Los Angeles has a completely different lifestyle but still allows fashion to play a huge role. Although the main agenda isn’t always pushing for fashion forward looks there is an effortless style that relays a nonchalant aura. Women like to dress comfortable and feel fabulous, without trying too hard. I see women wearing casual jeans, a white blouse and a perfect handbag with a pair of sunglasses. I can’t help but cautiously go up to them to compliment how chic they are.

CF: As a designer what is your design statement?

RP: When it comes to designing I always think of the current times. I observe the people around me and notice what they wear and what they’re doing. I love to dress women who don’t wear the label; they wear the sensation of feeling absolutely chic. My customer is definitely not a wallflower. Her personality is seen through her wardrobe where people flock to her, and she allures them with a spirit of excitement. Clothes should speak for themselves and that’s why certain pieces create a statement.

CF: Who or what influences your design process and inspiration?

RP: There are many designers I look up to as far as aesthetic and their creative vision. One who truly inspires me to keep going is Prabal Gurung. He has come a long way to where he is now. He was the runner up for a CFDA and has established a successful line in the industry. He truly has a stance in the world of fashion. I truly admire him not only because he has such creative talent, but because he is driven and passionate about what he does. I definitely look up to him as a huge influence in my life which motivates me to pursue my dream.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

RP: I try to play it up with current trends, but still sticking with my personal style. I always revolve my style around my favorite word, “chic.”  When it comes to dressing up I like to interpret polished looks by not taking it too literal. I like to have my shirts slightly tucked in and sometimes embellish my wardrobe with a splash of neon. I absolutely love colors. When I wear neutral colors head to toe my trick is to add that special color to bring it some “pop” into my look.

CF: What’s in store for your collection at FIDM debut 2012?

RP: I can’t really disclose anything yet, but I just want to say that I am ecstatic to be working with the most inspiring and talented people this year. My nine month experience wouldn't have been amazing if the people around me did not share that same drive and passion. So, I guess you guys have to wait and see.

How To: For all you stylish men out there the must-have outwear piece for this upcoming chilly season is the perfect parka. When heading to campus go navy to pair with your charcoal slacks and penny loafers. For a night off and fun at the Cha Cha Lounge try olive with a fur trim with gray chords and an oxford shirt. If you’re planning a weekend to Mammoth go for a field khaki with leather trim paired with your best denim and flannel. It is the best layering garment for cold on-the-go days to something to cover you up for fun in the evening.


Attending FIDM means more than just playing the role of your typical, everyday student. Hannah James has been the fashion show stylist for American Rag, understands the high pressure pace as an associate at Nordstrom and still manages to come to class in style. The L.A. fashion gal gives us her tips for the best season looks and when-in-doubt styling essentials.

Name: Hannah James

Major: Business Managment

Year: Junior

CollegeFashionista: Los Angeles has a different version of winter weather. What sort of staples for fall do you think are in season, but can handle the L.A. sun?

Hannah James: My staples that I think not only work for the L.A. sun, but different fall weather around the country, is leather boots with a stacked heel and long scarves. You can throw it on with a tank top or an oversized sweater on a brisk fall day. They are easy pieces that you can find to fit your style and budget.

CF: Where in L.A. do you find the most trend-setting fashion?

HJ: Whether you find yourself in Santa Monica or Dowtown L.A., the best fashion is found on the street. Living by the beach you get a mixture of local natives sporting trendy looks and tourists giving their best variations of “what's in.” At FIDM there is a lot of eclectic taste and culture  that is showcased on campus. Students are aware of what's on trend but stil manage to maintain qualities that set ourselves apart from one-another.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

HJ: My personal style has a vast range of looks. I have hints of bohemian with effortless dressed-down elements, but always have that hint of glamour. It is all about a balance. I love mixing classic basics with trendy pieces. As fall rolls along you can always find me in oversized sweaters, the perfect pair of denim and leather boots.

CF: Who is your style icon?

HJ: I have a lot of style icons but the person I relate most closely to is Olivia Palermo. I believe her ability to mix and match patterns, effortlessly layer and evolve her style makes her a must-watch in the fashion world.

CF: What necessities do you keep in your bag or car that takes you from the FIDM campus to an evening out with the girls?

HJ: I’m always on the go so there are a few things up my sleeve to keep me swift and stylish. I defnitely keep my make-up bag on me for last minute touch ups and I always have top layering pieces. A sweater, jacket and scarves stay in my car to ensure I get to mix and match when I need something to add that extra flair, or when the weather isn’t on my side.

How To: There is that moment in air where the crisp weather gives you a chill and the first thing you want to grab on to is the perfect oversized cardigan. It is the perfect piece that you can from day to night, but will always keep you chic and warm. Having brunch at Figaro Bistrot? Try a forest green shawl paired with black frost denim and a metallic dotted t-shirt. To add some sex appeal at a mosh pit at the Roxy, try a quirky print cardigan with a distressed tank and a leather mini. For some recovery and laughs at Pho Cafe, go for a vintage popcorn look with your favorite denim button-up and shorts.


Fashion has the ability to transport us to any time period. Technology, on the other hand, only takes us further into the future. A combination of the two and you end up with a modern transformation of style with a mixture of the digital age. The fashion industry and techno-chic are no longer strangers, but compatible game players. From machinery used to manufacture clothing to the way we have the ability to view a fashion show, it is all about a new vision. Antonio Calderon is the Digital Advisor of Burberry, Beverly Hills. He plays as the bridge between the British runways and consumer hands.

Name: Antonio Calderon

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Year: Senior

CollegeFashionista: What's a gadget a FIDM student can't live without?

Antonio CalderonC: I know it sounds cliché but I’m a firm believer in Apple products. If you're someone like me whose balancing out having a full time schedule of having a job and being a student you want something of true quality. I'm on the go and my iPhone has the world in the palm of my hand. I can check my class schedule, facetime with classmates about lectures I've missed, do some research on app angines, take and upload photos of projects, and keep in contact with teachers via email. Couldn’t ask for anything more.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

AC: My style is really inspired by the casual toughness of downtown. Designers like G-Star and Alexander Wang have really perfected that urban look that I find influential. I like pieces that have an industrial appeal and I always coordinate with a great pair of denim.

CF: If you could invent something for both the fashion and technology savvy what would it be?

AC: Fashion shows are a huge part of fashion culture. Nowadays the incorporation of technology is there to really bring that “wow” factor. Alexander McQueen and Gareth Pugh are some who have flagged the movement by creating a cinematic affair with using prerecorded footage and motion senor cameras.  It enhances the experience and relays how forward the industry can be.  I’d really like to build on that idea of digitizing the moments of a fashion show. Although those who come to watch want a face to face moment there is still something defining and connective of having an object within your finger tips.

How To: Nothing says fall and a sense of masculinity like an awesome plaid button-up shirt. It’s the easiest staple any stylish man can have and its versatility can take you from day to night, from the woods to the city. Pair it with khakis and loafers for something handsome and simple for those indoor endeavors. For the evening, try the boldness of a red and blue plaid with a great pair of dark denim — an instant classic. For the “next morning” coffee at Intelligentsia, refine your look with a forest green plaid and a pair of charcoal trousers with a blazer.


Riddle me this: Every celebrity has one, every editorial needs one, and everyone wants one. What’s the answer? A fantastic stylist of course. The fashion industry has created a confidant who bridges what’s off the runway to funnel into magazine shoots, movie premieres, and personal wardrobes.  Stylists are knowledge and savvy essentials to the behind the scenes process of creating a fabulous façade. Jessica Zimmerman gives us the scoop on running the streets of Los Angeles as an up a and coming stylist 

Name: Jessica Zimmerman

Major: Merchandise Marketing 

CollegeFashionista: What role do you take in the fashion industry?

Jessica Zimmerman: I am working my way up in the wardrobe styling industry. Currently, I am an assistant stylist for a style house in Los Angeles. We mostly do celebrity styling for award shows, music videos, editorial shoots, etc. I also do freelance work for multiple photographers and stores in the LA area.

CF: In relation to styling what do you think is the biggest misconception?

JZ: Most people think that styling just means going shopping a lot. There is actually a lot of research and preparation involved prior to projects. To create a look that can be captured beautifully on camera means being able to extend your abilities to any limits.

CF: What’s the best part about being behind the scenes?

JZ: The best part is seeing the finished product. The moment you’ve completed your task and it looks good is instantly gratifying. In the end the true satisfaction is making the client happy.

CF: Whose style do you admire the most?

JZ: I know it’s almost become a cliché but I absolutely adore the Olsen's sense of style. They are on the forefront of individualizing their view of fashion. They continually are doing things to break the rules and making everything their own.

CF: How would you describe your personal style?

JZ: I am a bit of a tomboy. I love the color black, graphic tees, menswear inspired pieces, and boots. My trick is to create the perfect balance. I want to making sure I don’t come across to masculine so to add a touch of femininity I like to throw on a bold lipstick and curling my hair.

CF: What are your fall fashion favorites and what would you like to see more of?

JZ: For fall you can never go wrong with oversized knits and wool coats. It’s easy to accessorize by pairing them with knee high socks and a great bootie. I would definitely like to see some more knit dresses because I can't get enough of them!

How To: A tomboy essential that will last you through all trends and seasons is the ultimate denim shirt. It brings an air of carefree effortlessness with a bit of on the edge attitude. For something more academy try a dark denim pullover tucked into belted trousers quirky loafers. To make something more wild west try a fitted snap button denim shirt with your favorite skinny jeans, felt hat and prairie boots. Although for an everyday appeal go for a light wash ex boyfriend fit shirt to lair with graphic tees and even silk pajama pants. There are enough options to keep you true in your blue.


For most onlookers fashion is mainly confined only in well printed magazine pages, ornate shop windows and the hangers of your own closet. Today, in this day and age, style and all things adjacent have found an outlet through the Internet. CollegeFashionista is one of the many pioneers that have shed a chic, new light on fashion through turning on a computer screen. Social media communities like Tumblr, new style apps on your phone and shopping sites, are the new foreground for expressing your own individual style. It has become a way to stay updated and grasping all kinds of inspiration. What are listed under your bookmarks become your greatest accessories. This week, to share a few of hers with us is savvy and sweet student, Ina Alejo.

Name: Ina Alejo

Major: Humanities

CollegeFashionista:  Fashion and the Internet are becoming the perfect pair of partners. How do you think sites like Tumblr allow individuals to express their style?

Ina Alejo: People who use these websites portray a certain image of themselves when they choose what to post on their blog. Every blog differs from the rest in the sense that each has a certain message it wants to convey to whoever views it, just like one’s own sense of style. Tumblr isn’t just a website to post pretty looking pictures or things that make people laugh, but, more importantly, it’s a website where people can share similar interests by reblogging each other.

CF: What do you like to post about on your tumblr?

IA: Thinking about it, Tumblr is almost like an open diary. My pages are filled with a lot of nostalgic images, like screenshots of old movies and TV shows I used to watch. But, mainly it’s all about tasty food that makes me happy and clothes that I want in my wardrobe.

CF: Are you for or against online shopping? If so, where do you go to shop most?

IA: I am definitely for online shopping. I’m impatient and, truthfully, I hate driving to the store and leaving with nothing when I want something. Although an item isn’t in front of me when I buy things on the Internet I’m just willing to take the risk. I always have the option of returning, but I’m also confident in most of the purchases I make that I’ll look good in them. I mostly go on Urban Outfitters and ZooShoo. I score a lot in the sale section when I do buy things. ZooShoo is great for affordable shoes from pumps to sandals. Urban, I just love their clothes in general and I know my fit there pretty well.

CF: How would you describe your style?

IA: I try to keep a sense of balance in my style. I like to look presentable, but I don’t want to look like I’m trying to impress everybody. It’s about being presentable with a sense of simplicity. I don’t need anything too eccentric, but I don’t think I’m dull either.

CF:  What would you like to see more of via the online world?

IA: I don’t think I want to see anymore from the online world to be entirely honest. My addiction to random stuff doesn’t need to grow any larger. I’m content!

How To: For an eye-catching fall ensemble, try a less dowdy, dark palette and go for Aztec cool, dreamy Ikaat or modern gem splashed pieces. Don’t fear prints, either. Prints are an effortless touch that one can do either big or small. Try an Aztec printed skirt paired with a metallic cable knit sweater and some suede booties while grabbing your morning brew at Intelligentsia. Go for a popping Ikaat blouse tucked into your skinny jeans with a neck embracing scarf and loafers while digging through the Rose Bowl Flea Market. For glittering nights, try a gem-toned homage dress with tights and black pumps for macaroons at Bottega Louie. Make some news by adding some print in to your wardrobe.


Every Fashionista keeps a few secrets up their well-tailored sleeves. Tips such as how to wear invisible make up, master the art of the pose and of course knowing where the best places are to shop. LF has become a fashion haven for stylish gals who desire a one-stop shop full of trendy goodies. Alicia White is a stylist at LF Montana and embodies the cool, eclectic and bold vibe that the company evokes.

Name: Alicia White

School: Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise

Major: Merchandise Marketing

CollegeFashionista: How would you describe your personal style?

Alicia White: I’m originally from Texas, so I’m starting to see my country roots appear in things that I wear, also blending it with a boho appeal. My staples, though, are all about comfortable basics, neutrals and being able to pair them with a great denim.

CF: Who inspires your style?

AW: I admire Nicole Richie and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, but I really grab the most inspiration from people just walking down the street.

CF: How does LF style remain synonymous with L.A. style?

AW: It sounds cliché, but L.A. weather is very coherent in being able to express LF style. It is about being blousy, breezy, with a bit of sex appeal on a bright and sunny day. LF Montana is also a prime location because we have customers who understand and appreciate quality clothing. In the end, it is about thinking outside the box when it comes to style and L.A. definitely has taken hold of that.

CF: What are your tasks as a stylist?

AW: As a stylist, I’m in charge of doing daily associate responsibilities, but my main focus is guide customers to finding head to toe pieces that will fill up their wardrobe. I’m all about honesty and giving them rightful opinions, but it is because I want to build trust in finding things they want to invest in and cherish. Whether you’re going out on the town, vacationing for a weekend or finding something different to wear to work; I’ll find it for you.

CF: What are your favorite staples at your store, and what is coming up this season for fall?

AW: Right now the fall season is full of animal print, chunky knit sweaters and jewel tones. The things that I consider essential are big knits, cut out details, lace tanks and crochet techniques. We also carry awesome brands that are adjacent to our esthetic, like Car Mar jeans and Jeffrey Campbell.

CF: What's your style advice for dressing up for fall?

AW: Don’t be afraid to layer. It’s all about creating different proportions and playing with utility. I’m also a big fan of mixing patterns and colors. Sometimes the mix matches are the best fit.

How To: To achieving this “hot child” in the city look is about being flirty with exaggerations. Throw on an oversized sweater paired with some mini textured shorts like corduroy or lace. The knee highs add that touch of attitude to take it to the next level. It’s effortless sex appeal that can transition from day to night.  Accessorize with some delicate layered jewelry and sky high platforms and the ensemble is complete.