Natasha

Name: Natasha P.

Major: Advertising

Grade: Senior

Why did you decide to study advertising? Because I saw that it was one of the largest influences in society. I went into it with a bad attitude and thought that advertising was negative. I really wanted to come in and infiltrate the system. I wanted to learn about the structure of something that is so influential. It really does drive people’s thinking.

How can advertising be used for good? For one, I’m a woman and it’s a white boys club. I think that I can use advertising to change the world, which might be good or bad thing, depending on who’s judging. I see advertising as a driving force for good and change, but in order to do that, people within the agencies need to be more diverse.

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Natasha rocks a total thrifted look. She pairs a vintage floral dress from Savers, a thrift store on Maui, with a grandpa cardigan from St. Vincent de Paul.

What are your plans for after graduation? I’m looking into costume design in film.

Do you have a background in sewing? I have a background in refurbishing clothing. It’s sort of anti-consumerism, but that’s incorrect because I do consume, and I just try to consume things that already exist. I love history and I love old things, but I live in the present. So, I need to find ways to keep the past alive in the present and combine the two because everything is continuous, there is no beginning and no end.

So that led to your interest in vintage clothes? Yes. I started thrifting when I was 15 or 16 when I started working. At the time, I thought I could only afford stuff from like Forever 21 and places that are complete shit and fall apart. When you are working your ass off and you buy something that you love and then you wash it once and it gets a hole, that’s disappointing. When I started thrifting, I realized that everything I was buying was made in America and was made like 30 years ago and was still in great condition.

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Natasha found these cute brown Steve Madden booties at a different St. Vincent de Paul.

Did you need to gain a certain confidence to not wear the same things that everyone else was buying? Oh yeah. I started thrifting because I went to a very wealthy suburban school. So I started trying to look wealthy like them. I tried to find Juicy Culture and Abercrombie in thrift stores. I would wear it to school and they would accept me as one of them. I would do that so I would have this standardized confidence of just being a part of the rich kids. I got really good at it, but I realized that what I was finding in the stores wasn’t what I really liked. I would always buy the Abercrombie and the Juicy, but I would also have all this other stuff like crazy patterns and old things and things that reminded me of my grandma’s closet, because she had a lot of clothes, and of my aunt, who was a fashion designer. I always played with their stuff. When I became totally okay with who I was, I just said “fuck it,” and now I just play dress-up. If I’m in a good mood, you’ll see that through my clothes. If I’m in a bad mood, you’ll probably see that in my clothes.

Is there a specific decade you would want to do costume design for? Not necessarily. I just want to use more recycled clothing. That’s my thing. And I know that’s being done, so I want in on it so I can learn more about it. But the film industry creates so much waste. There are warehouses and warehouses full of shit from film sets, and I just want to play. I just want to have fun and play. I would also love to be a shopper for fashion designers because what they do is go into thrift stores and find old pieces of clothing and redesign them and put their name on them. I think that’s hilarious, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I want in.

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Her retro circular shades are from the Goodwill.

If you could have the clothes from any movie, what movie would it be? “Almost Famous.”

Do you prefer the groupie style or the rocker dudes? I love the clash of both of them, but I love Penny Lanes’ style.

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This ring was actually made from a 1930s ring.

Do you have any tips for thrift shopping? From an economical standpoint, it’s helpful to have an idea of certain looks and go into your closet and realize what pieces you need to have to create them. If you’re new to thrifting, go in with something specific that you’re looking for and try to find it. Because for me, at the beginning, I would buy all this cool stuff, but then I wouldn’t really know what I was going to do with it. But that was also when I was younger and a little bit unsure of who I was, so I was trying to clash two different styles together. A real tip is to not listen to what anyone has to say. Buy what you want. Buy what intrigues you and wear it and own it. Because the moment you start listening to people, you have regrets.

Are there any pieces you regret not buying? I regret this one jacket. It was this old, beautiful acid washed jacket and it had this tacky, furry patch on it that said, “L.A. Girl” in bright pink and it was so beautiful. I remember my friend was with me and she said, “Omg do not get that,” and I don’t know why the fuck I listened to her. But I did. And I think about that jacket literally every time I get dressed. So go by yourself. Listen to yourself. Wear what you want and own it.

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WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY HANNAH STEINKOPF-FRANK, @HSTEINKOPFFRANK

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