From yoga pants to infinity scarves, trends come and go at California Baptist University. Yvonne Fyne-Nsofor, senior international business major and aspiring fashion designer, keeps her finger on the pulse of it all.
Nsofor is already getting her feet wet in the fast-paced world of high fashion, home to Alexander McQueen and Coco Chanel — two of Nsofor’s biggest influences.
She interns for fashion designer Tatiana Shabelnik, whose designs have been modeled on the runway during Fashion Week.
She also spends time as an intern for the fashion magazine Most, working primarily on their social media. Nsofor said she enjoys her opportunity at the magazine because of its status as a startup publication.
“If you really want to stand out, work for a startup, because they need all the help they can get,” Nsofor said. “It gives you more chances to do hands-on stuff. There’s so much opportunity to learn.”
Nsofor cites her mother and her grandmother as major inspirations. She recalls the work of the two women as her first brush with the world of design.
“Watching them make their own stuff and seeing pretty stuff all the time, I wanted to create something,” Nsofor said.
Nsofor was raised in Nigeria, until moving to the United States with her family at the age of 7. Her diverse upbringing provided her a firsthand glimpse into different tastes and styles.
Nsofor specifically lists African, Indian and Native American cultures as muses for design ideas, having been raised around them in one way or another.
Nsofor also finds inspiration in everyday celebrities, looking to people such as Nicole Richie, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tinie Tempah and Jared Leto.
“Just through talking with her, I learned how you dress impacts the way people view you,” said Kailey Andrews, CBU alumna. “I decided that it’s really important to present myself in a way that really reflects who I am as a person.”
When it comes to fashion advice, Nsofor emphasizes finding the perfect balance between discovering clothes that both suit your body and display your personality.
“There’s so many different styles to try,” Nsofor said. “You have to figure out what looks good on you.”
Nsofor recently entered her first fashion contest, submitting a dress design for women’s clothing website Shabby Apple. She said she views the contest as a learning opportunity and plans to enter her designs into more in the future.
Gracie Snider, senior sociology major and a friend of Nsofor’s, said she does not know anyone as excited and driven about fashion as Nsofor is. She said she would not be surprised if Nsofor achieved everything she hopes to accomplish.
“I don’t ever want to be stopped by fear,” Nsofor said. “From my experience, there are enough people in the world who will tell you no, that you’re not good enough, and tell you why you can’t do something. I want my kids to look at me and say I can always do it, she did it. So, that’s my biggest aspiration — to do everything I want to do and never be held back.”