Greetings my fellow fashion enthusiasts! My name is Anna Cheng, and I am currently a freshman attending Stony Brook University. I am in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, which empowers and supports women in STEM fields. Just as the influential mentors around me empower me to excel in everything that I do, fashion empowers me with personal confidence.

Style is a tool that silently (or loudly—let’s not underestimate those Dolce Vita wooden heeled booties) exemplifies personality. Personally, I am inspired by the experiences I undergo and the distinct cultures I encounter on a daily basis, and thus my closet explodes with everything from paisley tops and velvet head wraps to biker jackets and reconstructed band T-shirts.

There is no coincidence that my hometown is the same as Billy Joel’s; my penchant for creativity has been an integral part of my personal growth over the years. Growing up in a town in which everyone’s second home was the Abercrombie & Fitch at our local mall, it was easy for one to slip under the evil eyes of conformity. However, volunteering at a thrift shop in the depths of SoHo drew my attention to the vast sea of eclectic styles. It was no longer conformity that empowered me but individualism. It is the condition of being fearless enough to abandon well-fitted low-rise jeans for a pair of mom jeans that empowers me with confidence.

I’m incredibly excited to show you my perspective of fashion and style at Stony Brook University, a place where an array of styles seamlessly meet as students study along the Staller Steps. So, let’s go Fashionista/os, slip on that one quirky article of clothing that you know makes you feel fierce. Be bold, be fearless and be empowered!