Whether you are reading a book, meeting a friend or just playing Frisbee in Washington Square, something about Alexa Smithwrick’s sunkissed and warm appearance as she walks past will draw your attention and make you smile. In a slightly oversized white shirt matched with a brilliant blue circle skirt pulled up to her waistline, the calm-natured GLS sophomore Smithwrick used a relaxed and coy voice to describe her favorite fashion pieces.
The Virginia Beach native sifted through her closet while doing so, describing that she sorts her clothes by emotion.
“It is really much easier this way. When I wake up in the morning it does not take me very long to get ready because if I am feeling strongly one way, I can look in my frilly, flamboyant section,” she said. “If I am feeling quite another way, I can visit my retro ’50s section, or even my geometric section.”
She pulled out a large amount of shockingly patterned circle skirts, saying she wears one every day and that pants are off-limits in her closet. She likes to match them with crop tops, similar to the ones her style icon Janet Jackson used to wear.
Smithwrick’s circle skirts are followed by a heavy, vintage, embroidered top that used to be her mother’s. The black-and-white top is her most prized article of clothing and Smithwrick said her mother might have bought it at a costume shop.
She obtained an internship during her freshman year with NMRKT, a company designed to connect bloggers to brands who would not normally be in contact, and curate a look. But Smithwrick has other passions besides communication. She is studying contemporary culture and creative production with an aim to one day write about sustainability in fashion and the way brands work in developing countries. She is particularly interested in knowing how corporations decide to give back to the women in these countries.
“I love knowing who is making the products and that they have safe work conditions, as I used to work for American Apparel,” Smithwrick said. “I really do like knowing that the employees are being treated kindly.”
A version of this story appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 11 print edition. Christina Sahli is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]