STYLE GURU BIO: Cassandra Neely

Style Guru Bio

Five years ago, when I initially decided that I should pursue a career in fashion, I had no idea what it would take to get me where I needed to be. I just consigned myself to the fact that it would be a lot of work (and, believe me, my journey surely hasn’t skimped on that aspect thus far). Fashion struck me as a Point A to Point B kind of deal. I knew that I loved it enough to major in Fashion Merchandising at Kent State University (Point A) and that in order to get a job in the industry (Point B) I would have to get experience somewhere in between.

But to start, that’s about all I knew. I grew up in a town outside of Pittsburgh that, albeit lovely, was small and allowed for little exposure to the fashion scene. I could recognize what was aesthetically pleasing to me style-wise, and I could name some designers, but it took a while for me to understand that fashion was (as corny as it sounds) my calling. This realization came when I allowed myself to dive into the deepest depths of fashion by becoming a student of it and taking as many opportunities working in it as I could.

I’ve found that fashion is something that grows with you as you choose to learn more about it and really give yourself and time to it. It’s not so much about becoming an Editor-in-Chief of a prominent magazine as it is appreciating the creativity that’s put into that magazine’s writing and editorials. It’s not so much about possessing designer goods that are swimming in logos as it is noticing the pure craftsmanship that it takes to produce said items. Too often I notice my peers tending to see fashion as a competitive race to success or a way of presenting oneself as an accomplished individual. The more that you free yourself of these notions, I’ve discovered, the more you find a true love and appreciation for this industry. Fashion is about the intricacies, the work, the diligence and the art. And, at the end of the day, it’s about the details.

That’s why, as I embark on my fourth semester with CollegeFashionista, I’m thrilled to be writing about just that: details. Every outfit is its own story, and what is a story without a myriad of details to make it unique? It’s the boy whose T-shirt is slightly untucked. The girl who always wears a stack of gold bangles around her wrist and a classic red lip. It’s the simple things that make a person’s outfit belong to that person only. The details of our work, our interests and even our own personal styles make up who we are as people.

This summer as I chronicle the finer details of students’ looks for ALL IN THE DETAILS, I hope that you’re able to discover which fashion and beauty details are essential in making your style as distinctive as you are.

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