Style Guru Bio: Stephanie Mariah Whitman

My name is Stephanie Mariah Whitman. Originally from a small town in Minnesota or “Minnesnowta,” my passion for fashion began in middle school shortly after out growing my tomboy demeanor of not caring how I looked and wrestling with the boys. My first style phase, I like to joke, was grunge because of my tendency to lack polish. After my grunge phase, I lived for outings to the mall where my father would hand me $20 to go shopping while he waited in one of our indoor shopping center's coffee shops. My personal style admittedly started out rocky, mainly consisting of tight fitting sheer graphic T-shirts and velour pants that my friends and I coined “shaky pants” because they aided dancing to OutKasts hot single at the time, “Hey Ya." 

I always had my own way of putting outfits together, even if it meant excessively layering all of my favorite clothing pieces as a child. I truly fell into my fashion niche when I attended boarding school in Switzerland as a sophomore in high school. Attending school 30 minutes from Milan, Italy, one of the fashion capitals of the world, gave me the inspiration and confidence to truly express my own personal style without worrying about pushing the limits of the Minnesota fashion scope. I began reading fashion magazines, researching fashion news online and trying new things with my existing clothing. It all came together when I realized my love for the art world had a direct connection with fashion. Fashion for me is my art. There is no adrenaline rush quite the same as seeing something you haven’t seen before or being able to visualize a complete outfit by just looking at one piece that you find inspirational. The fashion world is challenging, inspiring, fast paced, exciting, psychological and ever evolving. I love meeting fashion chameleons.   I believe every person is entitled to express themselves in their own way. My life motto is to embrace your life’s style. I look forward to having the opportunity to highlight resident fashion chameleons of the University of Washington and connecting with Fashionistas/os everywhere. Embrace your life’s style, Fashionistas/os.

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