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SMC student to showcase College fashion sense

Jillian Barwick | Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This summer, Saint Mary’s senior Christina Grasso will highlight women at Saint Mary’s as trendsetters in the larger world of fashion as a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista.com.

“As a college student in the Midwest, my access to the fashion industry is limited to the Internet most of the time,” Grasso said. “I am so inspired by great street style blogs as they capture everyday people with unbridled self-expression in their sense of dress.”

CollegeFashionista.com is a website that showcases trends on college campuses. Grasso said she experienced her first brush with fasion as a 14-year-old while walking through her local mall. A scout for Elite Model Management expressed interest in Grasso and her friend and encouraged them to investigate Elite when they were older.

In years to follow, Grasso particpated in multiple internships with Elite. She said these positions gave her the opportunity to attend New York Fashion Week twice and see collections from top international designers.

“I have seen fashion in its raw form and learned so much from my interactions with many of fashion’s elite,” Grasso said. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I am this little Catholic girl from the middle of nowhere experiencing all of this excitement. I feel like Alice in Wonderland.”

As a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista.com, Grasso said she will take her experiences in high-end fashion and share the styles she witnesses as a Saint Mary’s student.

“CollegeFashionista.com provides links to all featured campuses, so beginning in May, Saint Mary’s will be among these schools and the public can access information about style here at SMC,” Grasso said. “It speaks volumes about our campus because it’s a fairly competitive screening process.”

Amy Levin, founder and creatived director of CollegeFashionista.com, will be Grasso’s editor.

Levin said she receives 30 applications per week from people for the Style Guru position. Students reach out to the website from schools already listed on the site as well as new schools that want to be recognized for their outstanding fashion sense.

“I felt that no one was really addressing the college demographic for fashion trends,” Levin said.

“CollegeFashionista.com is for real girls and guys in college focusing on real life fashion, not just collections from Paris and London.”

Style Gurus post photos on CollegeFashionista.com of trends they see at their schools. Beginning in May, Grasso will post photos that she will collect in the next few weeks on the campus on the College’s page along with discussions of popular styles. In the fall, junior Caitlin Guffy will assume the Style Guru internship position in Grasso’s place.

“I chose Christina to be a Style Guru because I believe that she has a good understanding for fashion, a good eye for what is in style, and excellent photography skills. She is also very tapped into social media like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr,” Levin said. “I really like bringing something new to the site, which is why I picked Christina and Saint Mary’s to launch a page in May. While we have mostly bigger campuses, Saint Mary’s will definitely add something different to CollegeFashionista.com.”

CollegeFashionista.com also launches video interviews with major stylists in the fashion industry, Levin said. The videos have been successful so far and received nearly 50,000 views in roughly one week.

While Grasso is just beginning her journey with CollegeFashionista.com, she said she enjoyed her experiences thus far in the fashion industry.

“Fashion is one of the most competitive industries to pursue. It is very tough, extremely demanding, and quite eccentric. But, if you live and breathe fashion and are prepared to work hard under pressure, learn fast, stand by your convictions, persevere, and still love fashion at the end of each day, it can be done,” Grasso said.

Grasso said she hopes to continue to work in fashion after she leaves her position with CollegeFashionista.com.

“I am still nowhere near my ultimate goal of working as the fashion director or marketing editor for a major fashion publication in New York, but whatever happens, I could not be more excited to continue my journey in the fashion industry as I genuinely enjoy the ride,” she said.