Shopbop has teamed up with CollegeFashionista to create a unique shopping and content experience for stylish students everywhere. To kick things off, we chatted with the founder and creator of CollegeFashionista.com, Amy Levin.
SHOPBOP: How did CollegeFashionista begin?
AMY LEVIN: I came up with the concept for CollegeFashionista.com my senior year at Indiana University. After studying abroad in London, I noticed the influence street style fashion was having on the industry as a whole. When I returned to campus, I was constantly inspired by my peers and what they were wearing to class. I began documenting fashion being worn by students at my university and quickly realized this concept could be taken to other colleges. In August 2009, I launched CollegeFashionista at five campuses with twelve Style Gurus, and the site has grown to cover more than 400 colleges worldwide with a team of 1000+ Style Gurus this fall!
SB: Who is the CollegeFashionista girl?
AL: There is not one CollegeFashionista girl, which is what makes our site unique. College is full of diversity; from campus to campus, from country to country. On our site, you see it all, and we encourage our Style Gurus to shoot unique individuals.
SB: What’s been the most surprising thing about starting your own business?
AL: I launched CollegeFashionista as a naive 22-year-old with a plethora of internships, but never having worked full time. I think the biggest challenges have been learning how a company works from every aspect. From, marketing, HR, strategy, management, coding—you name it, I have slowly learned it (and am continuing to learn). I fail constantly and embrace failure is a great thing. Every time I fail, I learn something new and find my business pushing further along. Entrepreneurship is a beautiful thing, and I feel lucky I am able to have my own company at such a young age.
SB: Describe your personal style philosophy.
AL: I live for a uniform. I have closets bursting with clothes and rolling racks in both my NYC apartment and my parents’ home in Chicago, yet I wear the same basic thing every day. Totally normal, right?
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Photo credit: Alexey Yurenev.