The fashionista is in: Fresh faces, fresh fashion

First-year students reinvent themselves with intriguing sartorial decisions.

From left to right: Sabrina Frost, Xinyu Lu, Andrew Day, Liu Sichen and Cong Yeming, Maria Friedman.

From left to right: Sabrina Frost, Xinyu Lu, Andrew Day, Liu Sichen and Cong Yeming, Maria Friedman.

Hannah Germaine

The first week at a new school liberates students from the restraints of their past environments. No one knows if the hip art student in mom jeans sucked his thumb until middle school or if the sorority pledge with six-inch Louboutins had braces at senior prom. These first-year students reinvented themselves by incorporating carefully curated autobiographical treasures into their first few outfits of the school year.

Liu Sichen & Cong Yeming

Liu wears a Taobao button-up, a Pull & Bear T-shirt, her mom’s pants and New Balance sneakers. Cong wears a Levi’s denim jacket, a Hi Panda t-shirt, Uniqlo pants, and Clarks shoes.

Liu and Cong are first-year exchange students from China. The pair stays true to their roots with Chinese brands like Taobao and Hi Panda. Cong updated his wardrobe with a recent trip to the Mall of America, where he purchased his shoes. They maintain an urban Chinese aesthetic, but Yeming says they’ll have to make some adjustments for the unfamiliar and unforgiving Minnesota winters.

Sabrina Frost

First-year graduate public health student Frost wears a New Look top, a Bershka skirt, an H&M shoulder bag, Minnetonka Moccasins and Modcloth earrings.

New Look and Bershka are British and Spanish brands, respectively, that Frost discovered while working for an airline in Dubai. Wearing clothes with stories attached to them — like Frost does — adds personal flair to a professional ensemble, while sophisticated elements command respect and mentally prepare students for serious work.

Xinyu Lu

First-year Ph.D. journalism student Lu wears a Girder jacket and button-up, a MaxMara skirt, an MCM backpack and Tory Burch flats.

An always changing, standout style is like armor. Lu exudes confidence with a bold print and smart jacket. Dressing more formally for her first week on campus, Lu is bound to impress peers and superiors alike.

Andrew Day

First-year undergraduate Day, who’s undecided on his major, wears a Puma jacket, Volcom shorts, Nike sneakers, and a bracelet from Israel.

Day traveled to Israel at the end of high school and brought back two bracelets. He gifted one to his girlfriend and wears the other one himself. The incoming first-year student wears brands that represent his passion for snowboarding and music, and band T-shirts and sporty shoes are good conversation starters for making friends in the dorms.

Maria Friedman

Undecided first-year Friedman wears a top, pants, sandals, earrings and a bracelet — all from various markets and shops in South Africa.

Spending a gap year in South Africa influenced Friedman’s wardrobe just as much as the experience changed her worldview. The Zulu tribe uses bracelets like hers to symbolize purity. The first-year student is excited to escape the suburbs and show off her free-spirited style in a more cosmopolitan environment.