Senior Lois You brings high fashion to Vanderbilt

While balancing classes and extracurriculars, You creates her own personal brand

“Effortless, essential and evolving” are the three words senior Lois You uses to define her personal style. Having grown up loving fashion and believing that clothes are a substantial way to showcase one’s personality, You intends to pursue a career in fashion and is currently in the process of establishing her own personal brand.

She said that fashion is a larger part of people’s lives than most think.

“Everyone wears clothes. Everyone has to figure out what they want to wear.”

You posts fashion inspirations to her Tumblr account daily and uses her second Instagram account “@fashionlodown” as a visual mood board for her followers. She has recently created her own YouTube channel, through which she hopes to create mainly fashion and beauty content.

While she can easily throw together her own pieces to create an original ensemble, You looks outward for inspiration. The Olsen twins’ elegant edge has consistently influenced You’s personal style.

“They’re so classic and chic and have such great taste. They’re always coming up with something that’s so classical but also brings something new to the table.”

While You wants to go into fashion, she doesn’t necessarily want to become a designer. She’s more interested in developing her brand, marketing designs and giving back to the community.

“I definitely want to be an inspirational person in the fashion industry.”

You also brought up the false notion people often have that being fashionable is always associated with spending more money on clothes or owning more expensive brands.

“People who are stylish can be wearing clothes from Walmart and still make it look fashionable,” You said. “I think it’s all about being able to know your body and knowing what works. What works for someone is not gonna work for another person.”

You’s three must-have clothing items from her wardrobe include a leather jacket, “a classic that will never go out of style,” a white t-shirt, “simple but you can pair it with jeans or a skirt,” and her Gucci loafers because “loafers in general are a classic shoe.”

You listed Pixie Market, The Row and Topshop as some of her favorite places to shop, but most of her shopping is done online. 

According to You, the most difficult part of creating her own brand has been balancing her fashion work with school work, especially at a rigorous school like Vanderbilt University.

“But I think if you’re really passionate about what you’re doing, you make time.”

You studied abroad for a year, spending her first semester in Barcelona learning Spanish and taking Human and Organizational Development courses. She enjoyed her time abroad so much that she looked into other programs, ultimately deciding to enroll in the fashion business program at the London College of Fashion for the following semester.

“It’s not that my style really changed, it’s just the way I portray myself now. Before, I always thought that I didn’t care what other people thought of me, but I think being abroad let me get to know the core person that I am, and who I am. Being abroad for a full year really gave me the time to really work on myself.”

Subtracting the time she spent abroad, You has been studying at Vanderbilt for about two and a half years and has loved her time here. 

“At some schools, it’s really difficult to study abroad for that long. When people ask me about Vanderbilt, I always have such positive things to say. I think Vanderbilt has provided everything that it could to me.”

After graduation, You sees herself working in either New York or Europe.

“Honestly, my experience abroad was so amazing. In college, you just need to figure out what you love to do, what you’re passionate about, rather than a set job. I enjoy traveling, moving around and always having things constantly changing. I would like to potentially work in London or Paris.”

You’s advice for Vanderbilt students who are interested in pursuing a less common career where the track is not so clearly laid out, like a pre-professional program, is to know your resources and use them.”

She exudes confidence when asked about future job prospects because as long as she’s passionate about her job and has the skills to do it, You considers it a stable job.

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