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Culture Shock


DK: Yo, what up? Welcome to the second edition of FLEX: I had a chance to sit down with Jade Cotton a Junior here at IU majoring in Political Science with a Chinese minor. Jade's style is artsy, yet calculated as she tries to master the balance of high-fashion and streetwear. Enjoy.

Photo by D'Angelo King

DK: When did you first start getting into fashion and dressing yourself?

JC: Fashion has always been a part of something I was doing, even though in the beginning it was very misguided. A lot of Ed Hardy moments, a lot of, you know, DC, big, ugly shoes. But, I always was trying to figure it out and I’m still trying to figure it out. I think the earliest time I could remember being aware of what I had on was in first grade.

Photo by D'Angelo King

DK: What role does fashion play in your life beyond just having to wear clothes every day?

JC: I think when you look good you feel better, right? You feel a little bit more in control of your situation, I don’t know humans are really judgmental creatures, right? So, when you first see somebody you look at a few things: their height, their skin, their presentation. A lot of that has to do with how you dress as far as presentation goes. I’ve always paid attention to it 'cause I’m always trying to get a leg up in any room that I walk into. If I looked better than half the people there or better dressed, at least more coordinated you know something very small or very basic, then I feel a little more confident in the room.

DK: How would you describe your personal style in one or two words?


JC: Simple sheek (chic).

DK:What’s your biggest fashion pet peeve?

JC: A real issue for me is when a man looks disheveled in a suit. You’re not supposed to look sweaty or (like) you do blue collar work or stressed in a suit. You should look completely sharp at all times. I also really like menswear because it’s really simple, and I really like where it’s going with a lot more silk and fabrics that aren’t really seen in menswear. A lot of different fits like, men are wearing crop tops now, you go do you. I think its good. But definitely ill-fitting clothes or clothes that look disheveled when they’re supposed to look sharp.

DK: Who are your biggest fashion influences? -Do you have a fashion icon?

JC: Uh, I am influenced by minimalist style but, on a streetwear hype type influence it’d be Emily Oberg and then as far as something simple it’d be that lady Pepa Mack. I also follow some influences who are Asian and that’s a whole different thing, they deal with silhouettes differently, they have a different relationship with how color works, and tone. Which is also very interesting to study and understand and incorporate into my own style. Just people like that who know what they’re doing.

DK: Do you have any favorite brands?

JC: Uh, higher style would be like Celine, I think Dior does some really cool stuff. Not as high but Acne Studios is really cool. Saint Laurent does some really nice stuff Balenciaga has been killing everything top to bottom, which is ridiculous! I think that this movement of the hype community away from Supreme is positive. Everybody moving toward wanting to put together more distinguished outfits. I guess like that whole Bape, World Gone Mad thing is still going to exist in a certain time and place. But, I’m happy that a lot of people who were influencers or came into the public eye on that stuff are moving toward higher-level fashion.

Photo by D'Angelo King

DK: Interesting that you speak to that, not only do you see streetwear moving towards high fashion. But you see high fashion also moving more towards streetwear.

JC: Yeah there’s definitely a crossover. I think that honestly streetwear is intrinsically influenced by Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop is influenced by Black Culture. And you know high fashion has always pulled from Black Culture like from the beginning and put it on thin not black models. But now we’re seeing these fits and silhouettes that are seen in streetwear, in street culture, and black culture coming to a crux with high fashion: like Raf Simmons.

DK: Funny that you mention that my good friend Chase who we profiled last week was wearing Supreme and Raf Simmons.

JC: Hypebeast, I think that for Supreme, if you see a Supreme CDG shirt, a Supreme Louis Vuitton shirt, or an old school Gucci logo that they had to take off the shelves, like you know you spent some money on that in this time. It’s an instant status symbol. I think that if I put on Supreme that’ll be my only draw to it. Other than that, it’s a skateboard brand, I low key feel for the people who are upset. Because, you know it’s a skate wear brand and you all are wearing it because it’s cool. (Laughs) I have talked to a lot of people who are upset about it, like red in the face. And I don’t want to offend them ya know? But if I put some Supreme it would be just for the hype, just for the clout.

DK: What’s your go to fit?

JC: If I’m trying to look cute? Some jeans maybe, a single tone top either white or black, or gray. Lighter or darker jeans and some single tone shoes, or boots. Something very simple, good silhouettes. I keep saying silhouette but; I think it’s so important when you’re thinking about what you’re putting on, thinking about the shapes you are creating, mixing, and mingling is so important.

Photo by D'Angelo King

DK: Favorite accessory?

JC: Probably the necklaces I wear jewelry and stuff like that. Nothing in particular, no I have this grey scarf that I’ve been obsessed with.

DK: If you could only wear one pair of shoes for the rest of your life, what would they be?

JC: Anybody who knows me know I’ve been trying to get pair Gucci loafers, I’ve been trying to get a pair for two years, and I’m gonna get em’. I feel like if I can get the soul protected I’d wear those every day.

DK: You and me both, on the hunt for some Gucci loafers.

DK: Dressy or casual?

JC: I like to be in the dead center.


DK: How do you think people perceive you based on what you wear?

JC: Hopefully they think I’m cool and easy to talk to. But I take myself seriously which I think is correct, I don’t know. Like I’m not for the BS but (laughs), I’m for it sometimes. No but, I think that its apparent that I think about what I put on, because I do. But it’s not in a way that’s unapproachable.

DK: And is that accurate to what you’re attempting to portray?

JC: I can’t speak to that I don’t know, are they? What do you think?

DK: (laughs) I think with the BS but approachable describes you perfectly.

DK: What do you think is the end goal of fashion?

JC: I think the end goal when you’re dressing yourself, communicate because you’re saying something about yourself. When you’re a writer you put blue curtains or a red sweater in a scene to convey something. And I would hope that I conduct my fashion style with same level of artistic attention. To like, detail that this is what I am trying to say with this particular piece and this is what I’m trying to say with this particular piece. Hopefully all of those elements together convey something that is truthful about you.


DK: If you had to choose one article of clothing you own that you like the most right now, what would it be?

JC: My favorite piece of clothing would be this pair of Guess high-waisted vintage jeans that I thrifted. They fit better than anything that I have come across in normal stores, and they are really thick denim.

DK: On our campus we see that a lot of students struggle to have individuality, do you have any tips?

JC: If you see too many people wearing the same style that you’re wearing stop wearing that. And I think a lot of originality comes from curating your style it seems like it would make it unoriginal but, when you see people do certain you think maybe I could do this or that. Just open your horizons, think about things in a different way and don’t dress for function dress like its art.

DK: You can follow Jade on instagram @jncoolton, and you can check the WIUFLEX.2 playlist here:



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