Her Campus Illinois' Saige Hooker sat down with Jenn Ruppert, the founder and president of College Couture to get the low down on how College Couture came about, how its impacted Jenn, and her plans for the future...and to find out some fun details about Jenn as well!
Her Campus: When did your passion for fashion begin?
Jenn Ruppert: I would say I started becoming interested in fashion probably a couple years ago. In high school I had a lot of friends that did photography and I was really interested in that. I began reading blogs and lately with the eruption of Fashion Blogs in the Blogosphere, I’ve kind of been creeping those. I would just scroll and scroll for hours getting lost in the world of the fashion blogosphere and all the beautiful images of clothes, and I actually started my own blog.
HC: What is College Couture, how did it start, and how can others get involved?
JR: Yeah I’m so excited! College Couture started about a year ago, actually last Fall. me and a few fashion-like minded students got together basically at Espresso Royale, there was probably about ten of us. We were like “Why is there no fashion at U of I, there’s no outlets for it, there’s no clubs.” There’s a few little things here and there, Dollhouse 67 was a club at the time and they did one runway show and we were like “Well we want to do a runway show or create a club where people can channel their interest in fashion but how do we go about doing that?” We wanted to do more than a runway show, like why isn’t there anything here like New York Fashion Week on a College Campus? We wanted to do more events and more so we kind of brewed up the idea right then and there and it kind of developed into this huge thing. Well right now we’re actually in the process of developing our executive board. We are currently taking applications for membership in general, so anyone show wants to be involved in event planning, marketing, advertising, photography; There’s a whole bunch of things people can get involved with. We have applications we can send to people’s email accounts and we’re going to be putting them on our new website. So, they can email us. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send one their way.
HC: What would you like College Couture to grow into in the future?
JR: For the Spring we’re taking it a lot more seriously. Last year we only had about 10-15 people involved in the entire process, so it was super stressful. We kind of had to throw things together so fast and it was so successful but this year we’re taking it a lot more seriously, we’re going to have so many more people involved. This year, we’re actually a client of Illini Public Relations Association, so that’s really exciting. We have about twenty students involved, handling the public relations for us. We’re in the process of contacting huge name brands and getting more sponsors. And, in the future, it would honestly be my dream to see it (College Couture) expand to all College Campuses to give every University a chance to have their own fashion week. That would be amazing, so we’ll see where it takes us! As of now, it’s just on our campus.
HC: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
JR: I would love to be running my own company with all my friends. Doing good, I really want to be doing something that’s benefiting other people. I love planning events so it’d be cool to be planning something that let’s people have a good time and enjoy themselves.
HC: What advice do you have for students who want to build their own organizations?
JR: I would say, it’s a lot easier than everyone thinks. People are always having these creative and innovative ideas but they don’t think it’s possible, they think it’s too hard or it’s going to take too much time. It really doesn’t, I mean on the University of Illinois campus, you can register your Student Organization, and you go online and fill out an application and it takes probably an hour, but that way you can get the ball rolling and it’s more than just having ideas, it’s executing them. I think that’s the most important thing. People will be daydreaming all day and have all these ideas, but it’s nothing unless you put it into practice so “execute,” that’s my biggest word of advice.
HC: How have your accomplishments so far changed and shaped you as a person?
JR: I don’t think I’ve changed a lot, but I’ve definitely realized that what you dream can actually become a reality. I definitely think I’ve met a lot more people from getting my name out there and starting new things. I’ve gotten to learn how to network a lot and I’ve met so many great people along the journey of creating these things. If you dream something and execute it, anything is possible. The networking on this campus is unbelievable and that is one thing that I’m genuinely thankful and so blessed to have met so many people.
Favorite Store: Free People
Shoe Brand: Jeffrey Campbell
Favorite City: San Diego
Favorite Blog: Free People
Biggest Fashion Regret: Uggs
Fashion Icon: Kate Bosworth
Best Current Trend: Sheer and Flowy clothing
Makeup you can’t live without: Mascara
Color Combo: Earth Tones and Pastels
Most Fashionable Girl: Emily Cleary
Most Fashionable Boy: Tyler Miller
Best Place to eat on Green: Chipotle
Favorite Thrift Store: Dandelion
Favorite Drink: Dragonberry Lemonade
Twitter or Facebook: Facebook
Mary Kate or Ashley: Mary Kate
Celebrity Doppleganger: Miranda Kerr