STYLE GURU BIO: Sierra Cortner

Earlier this week, it finally resonated that summer 2016 marks my last extended break as an undergrad at Emory University where I double major in English and international studies with a minor in Italian. Those days of scouring the Nashville café scene (they’re not all dedicated to Johnny Cash and Blue Moon, you guys) and making the annual odyssey to Chattanooga—the intermediate city between my besties in Atlanta and my hometown—will soon become ephemeral events from my past. They’ll arise as slivers from my memory that arise when I need to consider the proverbial “good times” or, at least, what a decent bagel and lox tastes like.

This summer has to transcend the rest. From a summer spent writing freelance in Nashville for the luxury site TOOVIA to backpacking across Europe while studying at the University of Oxford, I decided to gain more editorial experience with an internship in Manhattan this year: my desired final destination. At a university like Emory, where a majority of the population follows either a pre-med or pre-business track, I constantly find myself defending a career as a creative director for a fashion publication in the event that the person who “just doesn’t get it” approaches me at a cocktail party. Business school boys, I’m looking at you.

After reading Ready-to-Wear and Ready-to-Work by Nancy L. Green, I grew more confident in my decision. As societies breech the barrier between underdeveloped and urbanized, the service sector’s prominence strengthens. Fashion publications carry advertisements that bring attention to the production sector and, thus, provide designers and laborers with jobs.

In a way, you can say that editorial has a hand in the economy, which proves that we’re not writing solely about the most comfortable brand of espadrilles or our lust over the coveted Hermès Birkin bag, but we’re advertising for pret-a-porter pieces whose conception and manufacture will provide countless jobs. And, let’s not forget, editorial provides a gateway to challenge the beauty norms in said societies thanks to modeling agents who vilify the industry’s homogenization of body size and skin type.

This summer I am happy to give my all in New York whether in the office or during the nitty-gritty process of defining my style, which is a necessity in the industry. Here I sport a dijon-colored blazer, Betsey Johnson sunnies and faux snakeskin boots to complement my choice of scarf and pom-pom keychain. The versatility of this outfit proves perfect for the transition from work to dinner—just trade out the boots for a pair of black pumps. This summer, be sure to check CollegeFashionista for street style shots straight from New York!