STYLE GURU BIO: Maria Nikki Thayyil

Hello Fashionistas and Fashionistos! My name is Maria Nikki Thayyil and I’m a student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. This is my first semester writing for CollegeFashionista and I am currently a sophomore studying Marketing and Management with a minor in Communications. I hope to one day be in the buying or marketing field for a fashion house or large retailer.

I am so excited to be a part of CollegeFashionista because I have always loved both fashion and writing. Fashion is a form of art that I have always gravitated towards. I have been playing dress up since I was a child and have never really stopped. Fashion shows who I am without having to tell anyone, expresses my emotions without showing them and illustrates my perspective of the world around me without speaking on it. It’ll be an exciting change to be able to finally put my thoughts and opinions about fashion into words. I have learned so much about the art and industry of fashion from incredible designers, creative directors, stylists, celebrities and unique people around me and wish to continue to learn for the rest of my life.

I’m thrilled to continue this education through CollegeFashionista while earning my degree and pursuing a career in fashion business. As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” The practice of writing and learning about the styles of all different kinds of people is one that truly defines what “fashion” is and how it expresses both the individual and collective society.

My personal style is one that varies with age, but it is always a goal of mine to make a statement in the most effortless and elegant way possible. My favorite designers include Dolce&Gabbana and Marchesa and my style icons are Olivia Palermo and Kim Kardashian. I enjoy being inspired by what I see on runways, celebrities and social media and incorporating that into my own wardrobe and style.

For your weekly guide to fashion, come visit me here every Wednesday! I hope you can take something away from or be inspired by what I write. But for now, here’s a quick ‘fashion’-forward: florals, statement accessories, button-downs and neutral tones.