By Amanda Lehnerd
The Youngstown State University fashion merchandising program exposes students to an interdisciplinary and global perspective to the business side of fashion apparel. The students acquire the skills and knowledge for apparel industries. These skills include merchandising, retailing and distribution, computer applications in textiles and apparel, product development and appraisal skills.
Some of the students in the fashion merchandising program took the time to share what they feel are the top trends of the season for students at YSU.
Emily Wright said the ‘90s are back — the current and future trends of the season portray popular looks from the ‘90s.
Many of these looks hit the runway first and trickle down to street fashions. The trickle-down effect is a model of product adoption in marketing that affects many consumer goods and services.
“It states that fashion flows vertically from the upper classes to the lower classes within society,” Wright said. “Each social class is influenced by a higher social class.”
Nicholas Phillips stated a lot of the trends he loves come from what he sees in the mainstream media, music artist, movies, magazines and ads. He gets inspiration from all over.
“When it comes to inspiration, you start to lose sight of individuality because you’ll see what someone has and you’ll forget that they are famous,” Phillips said. “Many times you’ll think ‘I want that belt because they have it,’ when in reality you need to work around your budget; trends like that fade overnight anyways.”
Individuality branches from the colors you like to the material and cut of the clothing that compliments your shape.
“A lot of brands push the envelope because they say what’s popular and what’s in when those brands are popular and in,” Phillips said. “When it comes to individuality, don’t worry so much about the brand, but worry about what compliments who you are because you can always find similar clothing and make it your own style.”
Some of the current popular trends can easily be adapted to one’s own style. One can keep their own individual style by implementing these trends with their current style.
Chokers have been a huge hit this fall and are continuing to be worn through the spring season.
“Anything from suede choker wraps to solid black. Whether it’s going out and using it as a statement piece, chokers are the must have piece this spring,” Wright said. “Girls are copying this trend from the popular Victoria’s Secret ads with models rocking the choker look with their athletic wear.”
Blouses are appearing in stores like Zara, H&M and Forever 21. Sheer blouses and vertical seaside printed stripe blouses are making an appearance this spring.
“They do a twist from their original arrival. This time we see these styles with a cold shoulder sleeve,” Wright said. “College girls are … using these styles for going out, and they are pairing these trends with the chokers or thigh high boots.”
We see suede on denim, jackets, skirts and chokers. Several designers employed suede on skirts and dresses. Suede is leather with the flesh side rubbed to make a velvety nap.
“The beauty of this trend lies in its softness,” Wright said. “A popular look would be the suede skirt. A simplistic suede skirt, paired with a white tee and an adorable cable knit cardigan. Wear this style with or without tights for an adapted and weather suitable look.”
Many stores carry trendy clothing, yet many students can’t afford to shop at top name brand stores on a college budget. Students can look to alternate clothing stores to find essential pieces that fit the current trends.
“If I’m on a budget, I’ll head to the Salvation Army or Gabriel Brothers, and I’ll find things with potential,” Phillips said. “From there I’ll head home, and I’ll grab some scissors and paint and begin putting my individuality into the clothing.”
In the end, what matters in fashion is wearing what you love with confidence.
“When it comes to wearing what you love, don’t worry so much about the brand or where it came from,” Phillips said. “Youngstown isn’t a place that cares about the way people dress, and the final idea is staying true to yourself and wearing what you want even if all of Youngstown doesn’t care.”