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How they make it last: Maria Nguyen

Posted in Life
by Beatrice Widmark on 29 September, 2014

So much energy could be saved if we stopped ironing our clothes! How bad is a wrinkled shirt on an office meeting?

How would your mom describe your style? 

– Weird, unusual and not feminine. She always wishes I’d wear more color and girly clothing.

What part would she be missing? 
– That I dress simple with focus on comfort and ease.

Name an element that’s typical for your style? 
– Being laidback and effortless. Even when I’m dressed up there’s always something that makes it more casual. It can be small details like an unbuttoned closure, rolled up sleeves or adding volume to the fit to make it more comfortable. Or, it can be throwing on a pair of sneakers instead of heels or wearing a worn out tee instead of a shirt.

Most revolutionary fashion memory? 
– 
I grew up in a small town outside of Oslo so our options for shopping were limited – we all went to the same stores. When I was a teenager I went to the city more often and then discovered the magic of second-hand and vintage. Being able to get one of a kind pieces for a decent price was amazing and it allowed me to have more fun with clothing.

In what way is fashion present in your life?

– I study fashion design at Parsons and I’m currently in my senior year working on my graduate collection right now. My aim is to start my own label.

_maria_makeitlast3

Are you happy with that presence?
– Yes and no. Yes, because being able to study what I’m interested in is great. No, because there are so many things you learn in school that doesn’t apply to everyone. When in school there’s also a set of rules that can limit or confuse your creativity, and depending on your teacher it can really change your whole experience. I’m glad I’ve got to study fashion design but I’ve been more than ready to graduate for a while as I feel very confident with my vision.

How do you promote more sustainable fashion for someone who says she’s not into it?  
– 
I would tell her about my view on sustainable fashion and let her know the facts – the negative sides of fashion makes people react but few act on it. You can’t force your opinion on someone, so you’d have to make them realize themselves that there is a problem – and that they, every single person matter when it comes to sustainability and the environment.

How do you reason when you shop for clothes or beauty products?
– First off, I only allow myself to buy 5 items per six month period (excluding underwear etc.) and with that rule I don’t feel too guilty when buying something. When it comes to the actual garments I look for quality and versatility, clothes that I can have in my wardrobe for years. 

Where do you bargain sustainable or second hand clothes? 
Well, I do think etsy is great for both it’s second hand clothing and hand made products created by independent artists.

Give us a few practical tips on how to make their lifestyles more sustainable! 

– 
Be content with what you have. Never being content is a huge problem in our world today, we just buy and do because we can, not because we have to. Buy less. Reuse. Recycle.



What sustainability issue is keeping you up at night?
– Overconsumption and waste. The fact that people don’t know or even care about their effect on the environment is horrible and I hope that being aware of the issues we are facing (and that we can all contribute to help) will be a common matter sooner than later.

Favorite fashion-person on Instagram?
– 
I don’t really follow that many fashion-persons on Instagram because I find their shopping habits tiring. But, I do have a friend that is a fashion designer too, and what he creates is truly beautiful. He sews his garments by hand and makes one of a kind/made to order pieces: kbaoluu_

FACTS MARIA VAN NGUYEN

Occupation: Design Student at Parsons and Blogger at Rodeo.net/maria
Motto in life: Simplify.


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