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Marlee Katz: Fashion Power House


Fashion is everywhere even if you don’t think about it. What comes to mind is the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, and what Meryl Streep’s character says that completely reinforced my view of fashion:

“‘This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.” –Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly

It may be a bit lengthy, but it embodies the heart of fashion. I definitely see our next campus celebrity, Marlee Katz, to be much like that fashion power house as a writer and fashion figure. Her style, talent, and ambition are traits to look out for in the future.



Where did your love for fashion begin?

When I was little, my mom would always find me making my own little fashion magazines and stapling felt together to make clothes. My mother realized that I was the creative type, I couldn’t kick a soccer ball to save my life, and she signed me up for sewing classes. After that, I took advantage of as many opportunities as I could, taking art classes in high school and traveling to New York my sophomore year to study Design and Management for the summer. I realized that art and fashion were the things I was good at and ever since then I have gotten really involved with the fashion organizations on campus. 


Who are your major inspirations?

I am really into photographers and bloggers, I could sit and look at websites all day if I didn’t have school to attend to. I love the photographer Jason Lee Parry, and blogs like Oracle Fox and Lovecat Mag. I really get inspired looking at images from fashion photographers and fashion bloggers. As for fashion design inspirations, I love the work of Talulah, Arielle de Pinto, and Mara Hoffman. 


What are your future goals?

I really just want to have a job that I am excited to go to every day. I never want to dread going to work, ever. I want to be successful, pursue my creativity and hopefully live somewhere that isn’t as cold as Wisconsin!


You are clearly a gorgeous model, tell us more about your modeling.

Well, I am flattered. I modeled a bit in High School with FORD and after that I took it upon myself to connect with photographers. I just like getting my picture taken. It’s exciting to see what a photographer can do to capture the best light or style you in a certain way. It’s definitely more of a fun thing for me, nothing that I take too seriously. 

Sum up your style in 3 words.

Comfortable. Artsy. Defined.


What are a girl’s “must haves”? In other words, what can you not live without?

My phone and computer are always a necessity. I am continually responding to emails, checking documents, and doing homework throughout the day. Other than that, I think every girl should have a good piece of jewelry, I’m all about bracelets, a favorite handbag, and a vintage t-shirt to pair with jeans on lazy days. 


Tell us about the fashion shows you are heading. How has the planning been going, and what can we expect?

I have been planning and producing MODA Magazine’s UW Fashion Week Show. MODA Magazine is the student run fashion, social and lifestyle magazine that I am a part of, and I was given the opportunity before winter break to plan the entire show. It has been a really intense process, and I have learned a lot about time management and prioritizing. The show will take place on March 15 in Union South. There will be a mix of student designers, Chicago-based designers and some local Madison boutiques. I am really excited to see all of my hard work come together at the event, it’s going to be really fun!


Why did you decide to take a backstage role instead of struttin’ your stuff down the runway?

I modeled in the show last year, which was a really exciting experience. After getting more involved with MODA, I decided right away I wanted to help plan the show. I am sort of a super organizer and love planning things, so I thought taking on this role would suite me quite well.

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Poi Mida


Poi Mida is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is pursuing a degree in Retailing with a certificate in Entrepreneurship.
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