Capturing the “Art” of Fashion
(Nationwide) Reggie James is under 21 and has already found a way to transform his artistic passion for fashion into a lucrative venture.
The Preppy Scholar, a visual multimedia blog, spotlights the current trends of collegiate prep fashion. From Philadelphia to New York City, James attends various college campuses and hip social spots to navigate what’s unique in young adult style. But what inspired this growing career in the business was boredom.
“I was sitting at home the spring of my senior year in high school and I was bored,” James said. “I was obsessed with a number of style blogs and magazines… I looked at what I would want to change… and I went for it!” Last August before James enrolled into the University of Pennsylvania, he launched the website and the buzz began.
“I am constantly working between personal projects, company collaborations, keeping the general content running, oh and school of course,” James says about the daily workings of his start-up. “Just to keep the blog running, I’m always looking for inspiration that will eventually lead to a post…I look at the blog as not only a running stream of (my mind) but also a full piece of art working together.”
And with every piece of art comes finding a source of inspiration – a challenge that James faces on a regular basis. While striving to produce great content for the blog, he balances quality control and authentic influence.
“When remodeling the blog this past summer I made a promise to myself that everything would be high quality,” James recalled of choosing to stay original with his brand. “I refused to make boring art at this stage of The Preppy Scholar.”
James cites surrounding himself with inspiring peers in the field to keep him motivated. Working closely with his good friend, Cody Min, a highly popular collegiate fashion photographer, helped him strengthen the content for the blog. “It’s important to have people close to you, who also happen to make work that you hold in high regard,” James said of Min. “It is a great way to break a creative block.”
In just the first year, The Preppy Scholar has expanded beyond the East Coast college fashion scene and has been featured at various premiere events with collaborations with great clothing brands. But despite the increasing visibility, James is persistent on keeping quality at the forefront on his blog’s focus.
“I want to keep making beautiful pieces that attract attention… along with collaborations with different brands,” James said of his current goals. “Long term, I would like to do design collaborations as well as start styling/shooting campaigns for brands.”
Only a college sophomore, Reggie James’ advice is very practical—do what you love.
“That’s why I believe entrepreneurship is so beautiful… you are creating something from your own mind,” James said of why he decided to start his own venture very early. “Why would you want to create something that you don’t love, but think it would make money…if you know what you love and have a means of creating something around that, you have a winning strategy for life.”