Low to high: Senior student finds inspiration in thrifting, designer brands


Maryam Wischer / Hilltop Views

Cuellar finds inspiration in both designer brands as well going to thrift stores. 16 to 18% of people will shop at a thrift store during a given year, according to America’s Research Group.

The fashion industry has grown into a billion-dollar enterprise that has attracted people from across the world. For those who are passionate about fashion, however, it’s not only about the money: it’s about self-expression.

Walking on campus is like a fashion show in itself. 

Senior student and aspiring model Rosanna Cuellar described her eccentric style and the inspiration for it.

“I would say my style is contemporarily eccentric,” she said. “It is clean but all over the place. It is more diverse. I like all types of clothes. I like gender bending. I wear a lot of guy’s clothes, and it’s a good balance between my masculinity and femininity.”

Cuellar fell in love with fashion at a young age as her best friends inspired her to dig deeper, past the social norms of fashion. They expanded her horizon and shed light on new designers and materials she was not aware of before.

“I get my inspiration from my best friends; they dress a million times better than me. They helped me open my mind to different types of fashion,” Cuellar said. “A big designer that inspires me is Iris Van Herpen. Her fashion is inspired by nature. All of her pieces are unique; the way that she is able to create something beautiful out of something unordinary is amazing.”

Her inspiration for her style does not stop there, as she named a few more iconic creatives in the fashion industry.

“I love Christian Cowan. He’s very pro-female and revolves around what is considered to be ‘girly’ patterns like sequins and fringe. Then, I also love a few high-end brands like Gucci, Prada and Chanel because they’re classic,” she said.

Designing high fashion products can take about four to six months to come to life and make its way into the market. Fast fashion, however, is the process of making those high-fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers. 

Although fast fashion does produce clothing at a rapid pace, studies have shown it is extremely detrimental to the environment, adding on to the fact that employees are poorly paid and working environments can be dangerous.

Cuellar described using the alternative option of mainstream, store-bought clothes and chooses to thrift instead.

“I like how thrifted clothes are good quality; the material usually lasts a long time. You’re also not limited when you go to thrift stores,” Cuellar said. “I find myself thrifting a lot around Austin. There’s a few places I go to such as Texas City Thrift, Flamingoes, Monkies, this Goodwill called “The Benz” and the Goodwill right by the airport is one of my favorites.“

She puts it simply: “I love thrifting.”