Friday, May 21, 2010


Ever since I was a high school student, I had been a fervent admirer of BARE, UC Berkeley's award-winning student fashion magazine. Putting together any magazine, after all, is no easy feat -- from attaining the funding to scheduling photoshoots, students have a lot of hurdles to jump. On top of a full course load and the bittersweet nuances of the adolescent years, BARE is a time-consuming but worthwhile activity for the students who dream of following the legacy of their fellow Cal brethren, from Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony to the Rodarte sisters.

Once upon a time, Columbia University had a student fashion publication too. It was called MODE, and Marc Jacobs was once on the cover. It died more than 10 years ago, but this year, I met a group of students who wanted to resurrect the presence of a fashion publication on campus.

Hoot faced a lot of set backs this year. We applied to every single grant foundation on campus -- only to be rejected but all but one. One group even rejected us because we looked "too organized and proactive to be in need of funding." CUarts took a chance on us. Most companies would not trust us with their samples for photoshoots (really, a bunch of college students asking to borrow clothes?). Many beauty companies sent us samples to help us prep for our photoshoots. Makeup Artist Jennifer Nam gave us a free photography makeup lesson.

Most of our staff had never written an article before. I was lending out my digital voice recorder left and right. Those of us who had never interned at a magazine before did not know how to request samples. Some of our design team staff had never used Adobe Photoshop or Adobe InDesign before. Many of our bloggers had never written a blog entry before.

We had a lot to learn, and we're still learning.

Not only have we launched the issue in digital form, but also we have scrounged enough money to be in print.
We've launched a new website and blog, and we're determined to keep growing and learning as members of the Columbia University community!

In any case, Hoot hopes to prove that within our student population, students can be substantial and smart, and still find pleasure in the frivolous.

Miss Couturable
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