New York City may be Columbia and Barnard’s playground, but to some, it may seem like high fashion is only accessible for the enlightened trendsetter.
Luckily, Hoot, Columbia’s on-campus fashion magazine, has brought the fashion world through the Broadway gates with its latest Fall/Winter 2011 issue.
“We want to expand Hoot’s reach and influence on the Columbia community, and the vision is really about establishing an outlet both for Columbia students to express their creativity and interest in fashion,” Michele Levbarg-Klein, CC ’12 and Hoot Creative Director, said.
While the past three issues have featured Columbia alumni, Hoot has changed pace with their current cover star, Kelsey Chow, CC ’14. According to the Hoot staff, Chow’s balance of academics and a role on the Disney TV show “Pair of Kings” tells a story that more Columbia students can relate to: a student who strives to excel in a variety of fields.
Hoot eases the pain of dreaming of Marchesa gowns by avoiding haute couture in its bi-annual issues, which are available online or in print, rather emphasizing quality designer pieces that are still affordable. A feature in the current issue on fashion labels urges Columbia students to steer away from luxury designers and instead to go for brands that exhibit quality, such as Longchamp’s sturdy bags, and positive values, like the charitable shoe line TOMS.
The Hoot team is taking their low cost mission to fashionably challenged Columbia males, asking them to dress stylishly without sacrificing their Book Culture budget by highlighting what to buy at Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters, and H&M.
“Hoot is making fashion more appealing to men by making fashion more applicable in everyday settings,” Shelby Maniccia, BC ’14 and managing editor, said. “Sometimes the industry has a habit of creating lavish, extravagant styles that may be a little scary for someone who’s not a fashion slave.”
This mission represents a new phase for Hoot, which, according to editor in chief Anna Cooperberg, CC’12, is working to better balance student relevance with trends in the wider fashion world.
“In my first semester as EIC, I’ve made an effort to change both the aesthetic of the magazine as well as the club’s infrastructure and management with the help of my executive team,” Cooperberg said. “I plan to make it a more robust and powerful magazine for readers.”
Hoot tries to emulate any other fashion magazine—but its members go to class at the end of the day too.
For Hoot co-founder Noel Duan, CC ’13 and Spectator columnist, who recently interned at Vogue, her position at Hoot gave her an edge in the competitive process of attaining internships.
“I always bring a copy of Hoot to my interviews, and my interviewers have always been very impressed by it,” Duan said.
Anyone from fashionistas to students with the slightest curiosity about fashion can join the Hoot team. Today, many leading staff members at Hoot are fashion interns at national publications.
“We work with PR companies, photographers, models, showrooms, makeup artists, etc., just like any other magazine would,” Duan said. “Hoot operates like a mini fashion magazine–which it is.”