Despite their obvious differences, Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” Maroon 5’s “Payphone,” Britney Spears’s “Circus,” and Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” all have one person in common: Benny Blanco. The Virginia native has created a name for himself within the music industry as a producer and writer. Blanco’s affinity for the music industry began early, with him loving music as a child and wanting to become a rapper. This dream shifted, as Blanco explains in an NPR interview. “I realized no one wanted to hear a chubby Jewish kid rap, so I was like, ‘Oh I guess I’ll make all my own music, and I’ll write songs for other people.” 

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In March of 2019, I was lucky enough to visit the country of Bulgaria. I had in my mind preconceived notions and stereotypes about the country, from every red-scare visual of Eastern Europe to picturing a country full of Viktor Krum's (the Bulgarian Quidditch player from the Harry Potter series). What I didn’t expect was a vibrant and colorful country that while flawed, is still so full of life and beauty throughout. The contradicting existence of modern-day Bulgaria, as a country still coming to terms with the end of state socialism and dealing with the impending globalization that comes from the English-speaking world, a country both urban and rural, a country that often seems like it’s stuck in the middle though. Within this contradictive existence lies a possibility that has just begun to be explored: fashion.

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The roles are destined to switch when the student eventually becomes the teacher taking what they learned and running with it. The storyline for Junya Watanabe, a Japanese fashion designer, doesn’t fall far from that tree. Taking what he learned as an apprentice with Comme des Garcons (a Japanese fashion house based in Tokyo) Watanabe was able to create his very own crazy clothing line that pushes the fashion world to its limits. 

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BCBGMAXAZRIA, a common name on runways, red carpets, and my credit card statements, is the product of none other than Max Azria. Originally from Tunisia and the youngest of six children, he and his family relocated to France where he completed the majority of his studies. Paris was where Azria acquired his taste and inspiration to begin working on designing women’s fashion there. Eleven years later he moved to Los Angeles to open up his own chain of boutiques called Jess. It wasn’t until 1989 that he launched what we all know today as BCBG

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With fashion trends constantly changing, it is no small feat when a brand manages to stay relevant for over fifty years. Classic designs and progressive ideas are both necessary to stand the test of time. Etro has mastered the art of creating clothes that bear a semblance to the past, while simultaneously producing a clothing line that is authentically unique.

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When opening the pages of a fashion magazine, what’s the first thing that you notice? Is it the outfit? You might look at an outfit and wonder who designed it. Aesthetically pleasing attire has character, which has aided LA-based fashion designer Sergio Hudson to success. In a world that now aptly depends on trends, it’s imperative now more than ever to be effortlessly original.

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