Recognizing Stylish Students on Campus: An Interview with the BC Sartorialist

“Hey Erin- I’m here. I have a camera in my hand.” This was the message Alex Lee sent me, in order to identify himself for our planned meeting at the Chocolate Bar. His camera is currently his most distinguishing accessory. Alex Lee is making himself known on the Boston College campus for his own version of the famous Sartorialist blog started by Scott Schuman. Today, Alex’s blog, the BC Sartolialist, has over 25,000 page views.

For someone who recognizes high-style students on campus, Alex does not disappoint in his own personal style. Despite the fact he is not the one being photographed, his outfit makes an impression at our interview. When I asked him to describe what he was wearing, he was very detailed. He began with his hat. It is from a small independent brand, ONLY New York. His striped jacket and printed shirt are both vintage Woolrich. His gold chain necklaces, a favorite find from eBay, feature Egyptian-style pharaohs. The finishing touches are his sweet Reebok pumps that he bought at Bodega in Boston. His outfit on the day of our interview matches his self-proclaimed style: “ a mixture of street-ware and vintage.” He likes clothing that “most people will not have.”

Alex’s interest in fashion began in middle school and continued into high school. He admired interesting clothes that made people look different. Entering college, he believed he would have more opportunities to observe different style possibilities. In addition, he believed this would be a time where he could “define [his] own style.” Interestingly,  his passion for photography only developed, in order to express his interest in fashion. He purchased his now frequently-used camera shortly before he enrolled at Boston College. He claims that his inspiration from Scott Schuman’s blog is centered around a “love [for] capturing people in their own element in their daily lives.” He shares a similar appreciation for “people who like to look good and be their own person.”

Alex transferred from Syracuse University to Boston College for the start of the 2011 fall semester. He admits that on the whole, there is not a lot of variation among the styles of the student population. He insists that this is due to a high prevalence for “preppy” styles. Yet, he is quick to acknowledge that there is a solid base of students who are stepping outside of their comfort zones, so that they can truly be classified as “originals.” In comparison to his previous school, Alex mentions that you seem similar patterns there. According to him, there is little variation with the styles at his previous school, especially among the female students. He believes that the male students at Syracuse had more of an artistic edge than the more preppy ones at B.C.

When I questioned Alex about his favorite outfit so far, he seemed conflicted. He kept showing me different pictures and pointing out certain details that he liked. In the end, he decided he couldn’t really pick a favorite. He enthusiastically insisted, “I like all of them! That’s why I took the picture.” Although this is currently a passion he is pursuing, in addition to his studies, Alex hopes this could eventually turn into a job opportunity in the future. He wants to intern at Karmaloop, a street-wear retailer based in Boston, over the summer. Outside of college, he would like work in fashion merchandising or marketing. He also mentions the possibility of eventually starting and managing his own brand, possibly helping with the design aspect. No matter what career he decides to pursue, his work as the BC Sartorialist has proven  that Alex is capable of greatness simply through his determination to combine his interest in fashion with hard work. He humbly admitted he spends approximately 10-15 hours per week working on his blog. Alex assures me, “It is almost like a job.”

Alex Lee definitely has talent as a style blogger. In addition, his kindness and his professionalism during the interview proved to me that he has real potential to be a success. As we shook hands, he graciously said, “Thank you for meeting with me. I like the way you dress. I like the way you act.” I considered this a true compliment from Boston College’s very own Sartorialist.