One of the best things about attending an art school is seeing all of the unique styles people wear. I think dressing yourself is such a huge art form, showing people a taste of your creative mind and what you can mix and match together. During my time at the Art Institute, one girl really stood out to me. Her style is different because she can wear almost any kind of style and pull it off so well. Every time I see her, she is always wearing an outfit that exudes a level of fashion that never fails to impress me, making me squeal in delight at her styling talents. For this week's Style Spotlight, let me introduce my beautiful and creative friend, Atiya Clemente.
Name: Atiya Clemente
Where are you originally from? Bronx, New York
How would you describe your style?
My style can be all over the place sometimes. I do love wearing button-ups with a statement necklace. But one day you will see me in a skirt and heels with bright colors and fun prints, and the next day you will see me in darker colors with jeans and sneakers.
My mom, sister and I have different styles and I kind of tap into all of them a little bit. My sister is more into the boho style, very hippy, tye-dye, with all theses fun prints. My mom changes her style up too (which is where I get it from), but lately she has been into fringe, native American styles, and a little boho. I love it! I am always in my mom’s closet. She has so many clothes. She even has pieces that she used to wear when she was my age. So inspiring!
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Definitely my parents. Both of them are so hard working and do so much for us. With 5 kids, it can be pretty tough. I don’t even know how they do it sometimes. They are like Superman and Wonderwoman. My parents have taught and disciplined me so much and I would not be where I am today without them.
If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would want see and meet the singers of The Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin) and watch them perform live. I love listening to their music because it’s so pure and real. No one is autotuning their voices, they are actually singing. It’s amazing and just to watch them perform one time is enough for me!
What's a trend that you absolutely love?
The one trend that I will absolutely always love and stay with forever and ever, is the statement necklace trend. I actually believe having statement necklaces is becoming more and more of a staple piece in a women’s wardrobe. You can do so much with it, and even just having a statement necklace on can make your outfit look 10 times better.
What do you aspire to be?
That’s kind of a hard question. As I'm going through school, I found it more confusing on what I want to do after I finish college. I’ve kind of tapped into bits of the industry, such as styling, buying, blogging, and retailing. Nonetheless, I know that I want to aspire to be an inspiration to young women. Not sure how I’m going to do that, but I am.
What's a style you admire, but would never try?
The style that I admire is definitely the hardcore street style, the people who go all out with prints, colors, and patterns. It is something I would never try, but I admire them taking such huge risks in the industry.
What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Some of the best advice I’ve been given is actually two quotes that I hold very near and dear to my heart. The first one is anonymous that I found while still in highschool, “The challenge is not to win, but to conquer the fear, It’s not the other people you have to beat, it’s yourself." The second quote was the motto of the gym I use to cheer competitively at, “Faith over fear.” Both of these quotes mean so much to me.
I hear you're a big fan of anything vintage. What is your most treasured vintage item?
Actually, my favorite vintage item is something I found at Goodwill. It’s a little purple luggage that I use as a bed for my dog. It’s so cute! It's quilted on the inside and I painted wood letters silver and glued my dogs name on it. It even still has the tag on the inside. It’s ripped a little, but it came from a women in Florida. That it the best part about vintage items it finding out the history of it and where it came from, I love it!
What's a rule you follow when you go shopping?
SALE, SALE, SALE! This is the first thing I look for when I walk into any store. I also sometimes keep a list with me of what items, as far as clothing, that I need. If I don’t have a list or a set idea of what I want, I’m just going to walk around the store aimlessly and probably buy something I don’t really need. And trust me you can find a really good sale, or sale item, almost everywhere. Just a few weeks ago, I went to Burlington and bought a full outfit (maxi dress, two necklaces, and a pair of wedges) and two shirts for my boyfriend, altogether $60. And of course thrift stores are the best. I always go to Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange, or Plato’s Closet.
The fashion industry has a reputation of being cut throat. As someone entering the industry, what do you think of this?
The fashion industry is really hard, there's always deadlines and everything needs to be done perfectly, but that’s what makes the industry so exciting. My favorite part about the industry is Fashion Week. Everyone works so hard for months and months at a time to put on a 15-20 minute show and the end result is always so beautiful and amazing. It honestly reminds me of cheer. We work for months on a 2 minute and 30 second show, and it’s an amazing feeling having all of that work payoff.
Do you have any weird phobias? How did this start?
SPIDERS! Eww, I hate spiders so much and anything else that crawls. I remember one night when I came home from work, I walked up to my front door and there was this huge spider on the door knob. I mean, it was close to the door knob ( I can be a bit dramatic when it comes to spiders). I literally waited outside for 20 minutes until my brother and sister came home. I was on the phone with them the whole time freaking out.
I also now have a phobia of rats. My sister and I were home alone and we found a rat crawling inside our cereal box. Oh gosh, it was so gross! My sister actually took a video of me poking the box with a really long stick. At one point in the video the rat crawls out and all you hear is me and my sister screaming and running away.
What are three of your essential beauty products?
For me when it comes to makeup, I am always experimenting with different beauty products. I especially do this with mascara. So when I run out of mascara, instead of buying the one I used I would buy a new brand of mascara. It’s just a way for me to try new things and makeup products. However, the three beauty products I will always, always need is Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser. I use this to take my makeup off at night and in the morning. After I use Pond’s, I put on vitamin E oil to keep my face from drying up. And, of course, EOS lip balm. These three things I can never go without.
What made you choose a career in fashion?
Well I grew up in the world of art, dance, and fashion. I was always around creativity and dressing up was one of the things I enjoyed doing. After spending so much of my high school career on cheer and competing, I realized that though I love cheer so much, I want to pursue a future in the fashion industry. That's why I stopped cheer so I could to start a career in fashion.
What is your goal for 2015?
My goal for 2015 is to have a more of a direction of where I want to go in my career after college. I want to strive for this so I can start working towards it before I finish college. I don’t want to be directionless. I also want to start blogging again and try it out one more time.