By: Omari Foote
Image created by Omari Foote.
Springtime at Howard University has arrived as students showcase their style daily at events that were meticulously planned and promoted as soon as the temperature reached the 70s. With the cherry blossoms blooming and the yard packed, herds of bison walk the yard like a runway, adorned in their best attire. From fitted caps and cargos to long skirts and head-wraps; everyone is dressed to impress. Fashion is an unofficial part of Howard’s legacy and with Springfest coming up, it is the best time to display that.
“It’s so personable, like, it’s not like ‘okay everybody has to look exactly the same, it’s really about like how you feel and what best expresses you,’” senior Simone Denard said about what she likes most about the fashion on campus.
Her friend, Cahlia Cotto, agreed saying she admired, “how confident [people] wear it, even if it’s not something you see every day or trend, like people still rock it no matter what.”
Simone Denadrd, Cahlia Cotto. Image created by Omari Foote.
Individuality on campus is what makes fashion statements stand out. Part of what helps with that variety is the fluidity in each person’s style. Many of the students interviewed said they pulled from multiple genres of fashion in order to make it their own. Current students at Howard are a part of a generation that went from big jeans, to bootcut jeans, to skinny jeans, and all the way back to the beginning. So, they pull inspiration from multiple angles.
The uniqueness in style can also be accredited to a recent slower-release of gendered clothes. Studyfinds.org found that 70 percent of the 2,000 young adults they interviewed, “claim that their style is more likely to change and is less bound by traditionally “male” or “female.” As gender norms blur it gives people an opportunity to combine styles that one wouldn’t ordinarily pair together. The inclusivity at Howard gives people an opportunity to explore these different looks with pride.
“Some days I want to dress hyperfeminine, like a bubblegum pop girl, and then days, like today, I just want to be super grunge,” freshman Marcus Daly said.
Marcus Daly. Image created by Omari Foote.
However, the authenticity that each student possesses does not make Howard students immune to buying into what is trending. Fitted caps have recently seen a resurgence in popularity, like many early 2000s staples, and have been worn as a standout accessory to complete any outfit. Another throwback being reintroduced are tote bags. The multi-functional bag is seen sitting on the shoulders of students everywhere. Some keep it simple with a colorful canvas tote bag while others have invested in luxury bags, such as the Marc Jacobs Tote Bag.
“I have to have my tote bag, always,” sophomore Ife Onasanya said.
Ife Onasanya. Image created by Omari Foote.
Wired headphones are also making a surprising comeback, with Teen Vogue calling them the “New ‘It’ Accessory.”
People are ditching the small wireless headphones and picking up over-the-ear headphones instead. They may not be the most functional, but they are a bold piece to add to an outfit and catch someone’s eye.
“It’s a necessary accessory,” sophomore Essenia-Satya Robinson said, “I do think of it when I am putting my outfit together,” Monyell Sessoms, another sophomore, added.
“It’s a necessity,” they said as they laughed together.
Essenia-Satya Robinson, Monyell Sessoms. Image created by Omari Foote.
As mentioned above, a lot of these accessories come from the early 2000s and are a part of a larger wave of minimalistic fashion.
For a lot of Howard students, comfort does not have to go against style. Multiple people interviewed said that they wear what makes them feel good. Fashion is more than just clothes on their body, it is a feeling; a form of expression and they want to get it just right.
Above all, what stuck out most in the Yard was the sense of community. As people posed for their pictures, friends and onlookers cheered out compliments like they were on the red carpet. An interview did not go by without a shoutout to a local brand or students boasting about Howard’s fashion scene.
“I really think more than anything, it feels like a community and that’s like the biggest thing I’ve felt coming to Howard, is community,” freshman Sophia Thompson said.
Copy edited by: N’dia Webb