Rebecca Aronson WG ’13: I worked at Lucky Magazine. As a magazine editor in accessories, I was constantly reviewing other people’s products. It was my job to know every shoe, every bag, every necklace, etc. available that season so that I could suggest items for stories for the magazine. I would spend my days surrounded by the designs and work of other people and often could not help but think “I could do this too.” Rather than being the one to report on what everyone else was doing, I wanted to start my own company and be able to create the products and content myself. This led me to go back to Wharton to get my MBA. I was already well equipped with fashion industry knowledge but I wanted to beef up my business skills. You need both vision and know-how to run a successful business. This summer I am actually putting both those abilities to the test and launching a fine jewelry e-commerce site called Adornia Fine Jewelry with a fellow Wharton student I met through the retail community.
RA: It’s funny, when I started The Whartorialist the idea was just to gain a bit more awareness for the Wharton retail community on campus. I never thought we would get any national recognition, so it was definitely a nice surprise to be noticed. Our first national mention was actually on the LUCKY blog, which is ironic since I worked there for 4 and a half years. It turns out that the brother of one of our featured students is now working at LUCKY and that is how we got on their radar. From there the press kind of took off. We were even mentioned on an online magazine site in Sweden! The global reach of the blog was surprising, but if you think about how international the Wharton community is, it makes sense. The fashion and retail community are slowly but surely realizing the unique value that an MBA can add to their business and I am thrilled that the Whartorialist can do its part in supporting that movement by showing a different side of the typical MBA student.
RA: For starters, I think the influence in the name is pretty clear. When I came up with the word I figured that those who knew the Sartorialist would get the subtle nod, and those who did not would still be able to enjoy the name (though some do find it hard to pronounce!). Beyond that, I think the street style/blogger movement has created a tangible shift within the fashion industry in the past few years. With the advent of the personal style blog anyone can become a fashion influencer in at least a small way. The average fashion consumer is now not only looking to celebrities or fashion editors to get style advice, she is also looking to individual blogs or purveyors of street style, such as the Sartorialist, for fashion inspiration.
TW: Is there anything in your “Wharton wardrobe” that you would never be caught in outside of school?
RA: As a magazine editor you are constantly representing the magazine and so I always strived to be impeccibly dressed in perfect Lucky style. As a result I was hyper aware of what I wore each day and took great pride and enjoyment in putting together the ideal outfit. This approach to dressing is something I have not been able to snap out of, even at school! So I’m that girl that dresses up for class and is often wearing heels, even if it is sleeting outside. So basically what I wear to school is what I would be happy to be caught in anywhere.
TW: Which of the outfits from the Wharton “street style” are your favorites and why?
RA: I would say my favorite look has been a shot of a friend of mine Andrea Tulcin, which was actually taken by one of our contributors (and my Adornia co-founder!) Moran Amir. Andrea has a very unique and individual style, which I love. This look is especially awesome becuase Andrea is a master at layering and print mixing, plus I can never resist a good piling on of jewelry. I also love how one look at this image and the stereotype of the stiff, suit-wearing MBA student is completely turned on its head.
Be sure to check out The Whartorialist! Tell us how you would adapt your style (if at all) for business school or any business function in the comments section below.
- Elonia McHenry