My name is Jordan Valdez and this will be my first semester interning as a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista! I am currently a senior at the University of Tampa studying Fine Arts for Photography as well as Communications. I guess you could say I am one of those lucky few that discovered early what my passion was and what I wanted to pursue in my future, and that is Photography. With a camera in hand since I can remember, I have grown in love with capturing every moment in my crazy life. Although it’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment, there was a point in my teenage years when fashion became another slight obsession of mine. Growing up with a dad who owns hairstyling schools, it’s kind of hard not to immerse yourself in the world of beauty. I’d scour the pages of Teen Vogue for the latest trends, catch every episode of America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway and never miss an opportunity to hit the mall. I’m also pretty sure I saved almost every single fashion magazine I’ve ever purchased—you never know when old will become new again. It’s safe to say my love for fashion and style turned me into a shopaholic but I can’t say I’m upset about it.
As a Tampa girl born and raised, my wardrobe has always been overflowing with cut-offs, flowing tanks and flip flops. With the summer sun beating down 365 days a year, dressing for the heat has definitely ruled most my fashion decisions. However, as Tampa has grown to be a top tourist destination, my beautiful University of Tampa campus has become a melting pot of students from all over the world, who bring trends from all sorts of places. Being exposed to so many cultures and styles has opened up my fashion eye and helped me to expand my closet beyond the easy pieces perfect for my Sunshine State home.
One of the greatest realizations I’ve ever made was that I could combine both my loves for photography and fashion and turn them into a career. Finding inspiration in great artists such as Andy Warhol, photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino and designers such as Marc Jacobs, I have begun to find myself through my creative processes. My studies in Fine Art and Art History have an influence on the projects I like to take on as well as in my overall style. Of course, there has been an international influence in my art, so it’s safe to say the fashion in the industry’s capitols such as Paris, London, and Milan also play a huge role in shaping my personal style.
As I take on the journey of capturing the fashion world through the inside of my camera lens, I also have begun a journey of creating my own unique take on fashion to portray on the outside. I believe I have grown up from taking the easy road of tanks and flip-flops, but the Florida girl still comes out in new ways in my style. From boho maxis to strappy wedges to high-waisted everything, I am constantly learning about what I love to wear. Recently I’m crazy about bright colors, studded shorts and summer florals. I’m slightly vertically challenged so finding great shoes to boost my eye level a bit is always at the top of my fashion to do list. Every now and then I enjoy taking risks with my clothing choices and I think that is important for every Fashionista to! Mixing prints is always fun, as is rocking both something hard edged and girly soft. P.S. A favorite rule I love to follow: always accessorize! And just one more tip, as a working girl, I’ve learned that the greatest fashion finds don’t always have to break the bank, so I will definitely be sure to share my tips and tricks for saving some money and still looking marvelous. Fashion is about expressing yourself and as long as your outfit is paired with killer confidence, anyone can be a Fashionista inside and out. Truth is, I’m still figuring out what to call my style but it definitely is inspired by the melting pot I live in and the mood I have when I wake up each morning. I have always loved taking in the styles around me in order to spark my fashion creativity and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share the fabulous Fashionistas/os I spot with all of you! Keep a look out for my STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK posts as I highlight the trends of summer (and bear the heat) here in Tampa!