With a frequent streetwear uniform of leather pants and a silk top, freshman college student Andrea Kang already looks the part of someone in her aspiring career field- fashion merchandising. But despite the young business mogul’s growing resume in the industry, Kang is becoming increasingly frustrated with GW’s limiting educational opportunities.
Although Andrea has her own personal blog, Kangster, and clothing company Jeanne Bleu, she is still finding it difficult to learn anything fashion-related in the traditional classroom.
“GW doesn’t offer any courses directly relating to fashion, which is really surprising for a city school,” said Kang. “Being a marketing major will definitely help me in the long-run, but I feel like I should be learning more for what I want to do right now.”
Eventually, the New Jersey native hopes to start her own clothing company, something she has already gotten a small taste of beginning her sophomore year in high school. Having always taken her personal style seriously, Andrea began revamping outdated pairs of denim and turning them into new pieces by adding patchwork, paint, and more distressing.
“I wasn’t even thinking of turning it into a business at first, it was kind of just something I did to an old pair of jeans one day,” explained Andrea. “But then, all of my friends started asking for me to do the same thing to their denim and I realized the opportunity.”
Thus, the creation of Jeanne Bleu.
After only two months of using Instagram as the company’s main platform for order inquiries, Kang launched a website where customers can personalize their own pair of jeans. As her business began taking off, Andrea has since expanded into college apparel which has added even more requests.
“Any time I wear the skirt Andrea customized for me to games, I get a million questions about where it’s from,” said freshman Vanderbilt student and high school friend Sarah Geller. “She’s always had really great style and ideas, I know she’s going to accomplish so much in the fashion industry.”
Although Kang loves hand making personal on-trend items for her customers, this past summer she decided that she needed a creative outlet where she could share her own unique style.
This kickstarted Andrea’s personal blog, Kangster, where her posts range from fashion to lifestyle to travel. Pieces that can be seen most frequently on the site include pictures of her in some of her favorite outfits with edited backgrounds of DC as well as collage clippings of images like pastel butterflies and neon lightning bolts.
The impressive graphics and aesthetics of the website undoubtedly prove that Kang has what it takes to thrive in an artistic field. While Jeanne Bleu’s purpose was to satisfy other people’s stylistic dreams, it is clear that Kangster is wholeheartedly Andrea’s “timeless with an edgy flair” vision.
Since coming to college, Andrea has chosen to dedicate most of her free time to expanding her blog and seeking opportunities to become more involved on campus. Despite GW making it difficult for her to take courses in fashion, Kang has taken it upon herself to expand her knowledge about digital art and fashion.
This semester, she joined the exclusive Fashion and Business Association (FBA) at GW where she has been accepted as a member of the social media team.
“I just found out that she doesn’t know how to use Photoshop which amazed me since she has such great designs,” stated junior FBA Social Media Director Cali Arguello. “This made me admire her even more since she is able to think so outside the box and you can just tell that she puts maximum effort into everything she does.”
With Andrea’s drive, it is certain that she will be successful in whatever path her career ends up taking her.
Eventually, maybe she’ll even come back to GW to teach the fashion courses she never had the opportunity to take.