February 22, 2013 by Jennifer Lam
With fashion capitals ranging from London to Sao Paulo, Brazil, it is clear that American fashion is influenced by styles from around the world. Even just from walking around on campus, one can find a unique mix of fashion inspired by global trends. Representing over 100 different countries, many Drexel students use style to reflect their diverse cultures.
Danielle Kot, Malaysia, freshman, business administration
Moving from Malaysia to the U.S. led Kot to make several changes to her wardrobe. The U.S. seasonal changes in comparison to Malaysia’s steady 90-degree weather forced Kot to change the color spectrum in her closet. Inspired by celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Nicole Kidman, her fall wardrobe included muted, darker tones, as opposed to the brighter colors she wore in Malaysia. When asked what she feels is the most striking difference between American and Malaysian style, Kot said bluntly, “People would probably stare at you back home,” emphasizing the more conservative street style in her home country. Kot described her personal style as classic beauty — dressing sexy but without revealing too much. In the future, she hopes to attend New York Fashion Week for more fashion inspiration.
Mhomo Kadiri, Nigeria, freshman, biomedical engineering
According to Kadiri, coming to America was like stepping into a diverse, more relaxed fashion world compared to his street style in Nigeria. “Nigerian teenagers are extremely fashion conscious; it’s like a competition,” Kadiri said. While most of the population mimics American style with baseball shirts, baggy sweatshirts and inspiration from television shows, Kadiri explained that teenagers in Nigeria are also very brand conscious. According to Kadiri, most of his peers succumb to the peer pressure of wearing designer clothing. He has noted and admired that people are less judgmental with style in the U.S. Describing his own personal style as functional yet fashionable, Mhomo mentions that in America he can actually wear sweatshirts every once in a while without being judged by those around him.
Priscila Machado, Brazil, sophomore, design and merchandising
Machado aspires to be a creative director at a magazine and is on the right track with a sharp fashion sense and a passionate dream. Taking a break for a year after completing high school, Machado returned to Brazil, where she was employed as a sales associate at her favorite store, Osklen. Besides the Brazilian brand, Machado also enjoys shopping at American Apparel and thrift shops. She has always loved art and fashion, discovering her passion through the joy of dressing up. She says that she doesn’t really follow the trends but does like to incorporate some in her personal style. Originating from Rio de Janeiro, a beach city, she is used to a more tropical style at home, full of colorful prints and mixing and matching. Although she agrees that it contrasts with the more modern and urban style here, Machado added, “Here I cannot even describe a mainstream American style.”
Chul Woo Kim, South Korea , freshman, mathematics
Chul “Thomas” Woo has been familiar with American style even before his first year at Drexel. Woo has traveled back and forth between the U.S. and Korea for the past five years and has been influenced by actors such as Simon Baker from “The Mentalist.” He believes that American fashion has shaped his own personal style, which he describes as the “dandy” style. This term is usually used to refer to men with a professionally sophisticated style. His favorite brands are Bean Pole, Hugo Boss and Ubiq. In Korea, Woo said that men have a more “feminine” style, including vibrant colors that he was never accustomed to. He says that people dress similarly back at home. Upon arriving in the U.S., Woo embraced a more monotone wardrobe, taking advantage of the diversity of American street style.