Inspired by London's street style culture and the impact that it was having on the fashion industry during her study abroad program, Amy Levin brought an international obsession over to American college campuses, beginning with her own alma mater: Univeristy of Indiana. What began as a hobby soon turned into a full-time career as interest in the site took off and today, College Fashionista can be found on more than 300 campuses. It is written by college students, for college students and showcases each individual campus' style and voice.
We sat down with the girl behind the phenomenon to get the details on her big idea, her obsessions and where she sees herself in the future.
Meet Amy of College Fashionista!
Tell us a little about yourself—how did you get to where you are today?
CollegeFashionista started as a hobby out of my apartment at Indiana University and quickly turned into a full-fledged business. I was inspired by my peers walking to class and wanted a platform to showcase how trendsetting college students were dressing. CollegeFashionista started at 5 campuses in August 2009 and now reaches over 300 campuses worldwide.
What do you love most about what you do?
I absolutely love the thank you emails I receive from my Style Gurus about how much CollegeFashionista has impacted them and educated them on the fashion industry. It's those emails that make the good days great and the bad days better.
How do you describe your style?
Minimalist. I have a uniform I tend to wear: leather pants, a white T-shirt, some sort of funky jacket and my Celine bag.
Who are your style icons?
From where do you draw inspiration for your style?
Traveling! Whether it be roaming around Tokyo shooting photos of young trendsetters or taking the subway around New York. Traveling from place to place and seeing how real people live their lives through fashion inspires me.
Do you have a favorite pieces of clothing?
Black leather pants, white T-shirt and Celine bag :)
Where do you like to shop?
I am not true to any one brand or store. I mix and match vintage, designer and mass market items to get a look that is very “Amy.”
The Shoptiques motto is Be Yourself, Be Different. What’s one thing that truly makes you unique?
My experiences are what make me unique. No one else has experienced the exact same things I have, and for that I am different.
What challenges have you faced so far in your business and how have you overcome them?
Every entrepreneur faces the challenge of persistence and continuing when things are tough. The best way to persevere through those difficult times is to surround yourself by positive people who believe in you. For me, that has been family and I am so grateful for them!
What advice would you give to someone who has a dream or talent they want to pursue?
Trust your gut. People will tell you no. People will doubt you. Trust your instinct and your passion. That's when success will come your way.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you that they’d be surprised to find out?
CollegeFashionista is run by my family. We are like the modern day Brady Brunch.
Ten years from now, where would you like to be?
I would like CollegeFashionista to be an even more recognizable brand that college students turn to for all their fashion needs.
60 Second Spotlight
What’s the one item that's always in your bag?
Mason Pearson Brush
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Australian Licorice—my vice
Favorite day of the week?
Friday---because who doesn't love the weekend!
Plaid, polka dots or floral prints?
Are you a handbag girl or shoe girl?
Both! They compliment each other.
If you could meet one person, who would it be?
Audrey Hepburn on the set of Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Who are the most important people in your life right now?
My family. I couldn't be where I am without them.