STYLE GURU BIO: Andrea Yepez

Hello, everyone! My name is Andrea. I was born in Queens, New York to Ecuadorian parents. My sister was born a year later, and with that my family was formed.

The next few years of my childhood and adolescent school years consisted of me moving back and forth from New Jersey and Ecuador, all of which gave me a memorable experience to live by.  As of 2008, I gained my Ecuadorian citizenship and that year was the year I began to study in Ecuador, and the place where I am also getting my Bachelor’s degree in Fashion and Textile Design. I am a junior in college, and I am studying in the University of Azuay, which is located in Cuenca, one of Ecuador’s most moving cities.

If I were to describe Cuenca in one word, it would be ‘cultural.’ It’s a happening city, that much I can tell you. But it is a place so immersed in various cultures, one would not know where to begin. If anything, a person rightfully born in Cuenca, is proud to be so. This is usually demonstrated in their soccer matches, where the opposition against the away teams is surely strong.

And the fashion? Well, I can say this is a complicated subject. For example, as proven by me, a fashion design student, I can surely say that people do keep up with the trends, in their own way. But Cuenca seems like a town that was stuck in the ’90s, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, few people will express themselves in the style that they want, because of this. People are much more closed-minded and get freaked out once they see a Lady Gaga-esque situation.

However, there are the daredevils, people who are not afraid to burst in their own skin. And these past few years have proven that. Of course, some of these people are much more influenced by Western style, and dismiss their own style as a result. Even so, there are those who choose to mix their own culture with a European or American mix. And that to me, is a very interesting hybrid.

Then there’s me. In my case, it took me years to define my style. And I’m still working on that, but it’s somewhere in the indie/comfy/dressy/tomboy category. As to why this is, I couldn’t be able to explain it. My style is influenced mostly by indie/alternative music which adds to my own sense of comfort. Sure, I like dresses, especially floral ones. Maybe it was because during my middle school years I was the biggest tomboy ever, and I only wore hoodies and loose T-shirts. But recently, I’ve been getting more comfortable in my own skin, and as a result I developed a weird hybrid style. But my career has helped me out a lot in that, and I hope I get to keep learning new things.

As for other passions, I enjoy singing. So much so, that I joined the University Choir two years ago. I think you can compare them to the “New Directions” (Glee reference, anyone?). We are having a slow rise, but with the new performances that we’ve had, such as performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in May or pieces from “Carmen” and “La Traviata” with the Choir of the Conservatory, who won third place in the World Choir Games last July, that rise is sure to come.

I hope that you stay tuned, so that you get to see and experience new people through this world of mine. And believe me, that world sure is fun.