Central Michigan University’s campus serves as a runway for the everyday fashionista. Forget magazines and paparazzi shots – the real style icons can be spotted walking to class.
Kalamazoo junior Kaitlyn Lauer describes her personal style as monotone, sporty and unique.
Classroom to Runway
The style lover is majoring in fashion design and merchandising, focusing on both concentrations, with a minor in professional sales.
Lauer discovered her love for art at a young age. In high school, she had the opportunity to take duel enrollment classes at an art school in Grand Rapids. After spending years taking classes that focused on drawing, Lauer lost her passion for the art form. A conversation with a friend opened her eyes to her current focus – fashion.
“I didn’t really know that schools outside of New York and Los Angeles and Paris offered fashion design, so when I found that out from my friend, I became really interested in [fashion design],” Lauer said.
Lauer is an active member of the Fashion Association of Merchandising and Design, and has been provided with many opportunities through this organization. Last semester, she attended Fashion Speak in Detroit, a phenomenal event for networking and hands-on learning.
Studying abroad in Paris is a goal for Lauer in the near future. She is currently taking French classes and is an executive board member for the French club on campus.
Among her classes, those revolving around sewing are her favorite.
“I like seeing something go from nothing to something,” Lauer said.
Sewing posed as a challenge at first, due to her eye for perfection. After much experience, Lauer shared that sewing has taught her patience and is a new and relaxing pastime.
Lauer plans on implementing her sewing skills in this year’s student-run fashion show, Threads.
“I’m excited for my collection. It’s definitely more colorful than my personal style,” Lauer said.
The audience can expect to see simple pieces from Lauer, such as sportswear, T-shirt dresses and bomber jackets.
Pumped Up Kicks
Shoes are by far Lauer’s go-to when it comes to fashion.
Foot Locker and Finish Line are her favorite stores to shop when searching for the perfect pair of sneaks.
Lauer has a love for all black shoes because of the sleek look that is easy to keep clean after endless wears.
“I first saw a pair of all black shoes on Tumblr or something like that and I fell in love with them, so I wanted to get a pair,” Lauer said.
Her first pair of all black kicks were Nike Air Max 90s. The most comfortable pair in her wardrobe are lightweight Nike Huaraches. When venturing from all black shoes, Lauer’s go-to are her army green Air Jordan Future Lows.
On days when Lauer is running late, planning an outfit is easy – every day her outfit revolves around her shoes. A pair of all black Adidas Tubulars, crew socks, ripped black jeans and a comfy tee have her out the door in no time.
Toned-Down Makeup and Healthy Locks
Most days, Lauer says she will skip makeup all together. On days when she chooses to apply some products, she keeps it simple.
Putting in contacts and applying a light brown eye shadow helps her feel awake and ready to conquer the day. Her basic look is completed with a matte, pink lipstick. (The low price of drugstore makeup allows Lauer to save her money for a new pair of shoes!)
In the process of growing out her long locks, Lauer avoids heat from styling tools at all costs.
She rocks pigtails to spice up her naturally flat, straight hair. Lauer’s hair-spiration is one of the girls in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video, who rocks a high ponytail with a voluminous twist.
High Fashion Meets Hip-Hop
Transitioning into her fashion career, Lauer can envision herself following in the footsteps of her professional inspiration, Miuccia Prada, best know as the head of Prada. To succeed her would be Lauer’s dream job.
Prada is very innovative. Lauer shared that many of the trends picked up by other designers have come from Prada’s previous collections, so she’s ahead of the times.
“[Prada] is known for making something so ugly look very fashionable,” Lauer said.
In addition to inspiration from the runway, Lauer looks at artists such as Rihanna and A$AP Rocky for fashion tips.
Lauer identifies with Rihanna and her dynamic and unique style.
“She’s a different person every day and that’s how I feel,” Lauer said.
A$AP is not only one of her favorite musicians, but he also maintains a very forward style. Many of his looks take pieces made popular in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
“I like how straight forward he is with his fashion. He knows he looks good and he doesn’t care what anybody says,” Lauer said.
Hailing from Kalamazoo, Lauer grew up in an artsy, creative and urban culture. Hip-hop and rap music played a huge role in her generation’s pop culture.
Lauer’s favorite spot in her hometown is downtown Kalamazoo.
“It’s a very cute and busy community, with many boutiques and businesses. It brings the spirit of a big city to a small town,” Lauer said.
From head to toe, Lauer’s fashion represents youth, urban culture inspired by her hometown.
“My future style and designs will always have some elements that tie them back to Kalamazoo.”
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