For some, shopping period is a time of stress, frantic emails and existential crises. But for Roberto Gedeon ’15 and Alexandra Kordas ’15, Shopping Period is simply the next step in the evolution of their personal aesthetic — a street style blog aimed at bringing the multiplicity of student fashion to the wider Brown community.
Street style — which describes images of fashionable individuals in their own environments and outfits — emerged as a phenomenon roughly five years ago, said Gedeon, one of the pair of bloggers behind Shopping Period. He created the blog, which launched in November, with his longtime friend Kordas, working with numerous friends and strangers to produce its unique content.
Friends since their first semester at Brown, Kordas and Gedeon collaborated on a college street style spread featuring Brown students for Teen Vogue last semester. Kordas recruited and styled the photoshoots, while Gedeon served as photographer.
Gedeon, who has done work for various designers and magazines in his native Colombia, said he has been taking photos since high school. “I know if someone is dressed well, (he or she) wants to be photographed,” Gedeon said, adding that his passion for photography led him to fashion.
Kordas attributes her interest in style to her mother, a jewelry designer in London. As a student in an all-girls high school with uniforms, Kordas cultivated a distinct style identity. “I dyed my hair pink and had piercings,” she said.
Kordas has worked for Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan and previously ran her own blog — London’s Best Friend — where she covered events, shows and gallery openings related to fashion, art, film and photography. A former style guru for the blog College Fashionista, she said she also wanted more freedom and fewer content restrictions.
“We didn’t create the site for any purpose but purely to take really cool pictures without any regulation,” Kordas said.
The pair utilized their friends’ strengths to help launch the blog, Gedeon said. Chloe Karayiannis, a Rhode Island School of Design student, helped design the site’s logo and Kappi Patterson ’15 wrote the website’s code.
Gedeon and Kordas feature Brown and RISD students whom they know, or approach students they see around campus.
Kordas explained that the pair zeroes in on possible models “who we think have taste, style or something about them that’s an edge. Everyone here has really interesting styles with such an eclectic mix.”
After reaching out to potential models, the pair then coordinates a day with the students to photograph them in outfits of the models’ choosing.
Photographing students in their personal styles makes them seem “like they are naked,” Kordas said. “They are totally vulnerable. They will start saying things and opening up.”
“Every photo is like a character. It’s about the person’s personality,” Kordas said, adding that the pair finds it hard to pick just one image to be published from the many shots taken during the photo shoot.
“When you’re in high school, you have to subscribe to a certain clique or look. When you come to college, you can be yourself,” Kordas said of the diverse styles found on campus.
Layla Heidari ’15 — one of the models on the blog — said since she is so close with Kordas and Gedeon, the shoot felt like she was just hanging out with her friends.
Heidari said Shopping Period is not a college-centric blog, though it does pinpoint a young audience. “It’s a great age group, where fashion metamorphosis usually occurs.”
Heidari said she comes from a fashionable family and as a result has always been well-dressed.
“Fashion has evolved so much, I’ve been able to pull pieces from my mom’s closet,” Heidari said. She does not like to wear color, and finds herself putting emphasis on various accessories. Heidari said she likes to mix casual urban pieces with feminine pieces, occasionally incorporating animal prints.
Yvonne Cha ’16, another student featured on Shopping Period, said her fashion-designer mother is her biggest style influence, adding that the bag she carries in her photo on the blog is actually her mother’s.
Camille Coy ’16 said she thinks she was featured due to her hair rather than her outfit. Coy said she likes to have unnatural hair colors, because she cannot dye it when she is older, but she joked about having pink hair when she is a grandmother.
Coy said she draws her inspiration from Japanese fashion magazines, people she sees on the street, fashion blogs, artists and her Lebanese culture.
“I like to make art, and every morning I get the chance to decorate my body,” she said.
Alli Schaaff ’14 had previously been approached before by the Unhemmed Magazine street style team and the student group Fashion at Brown. Gedeon approached her on the Main Green one day to ask her to appear on the blog, she said.
Schaaff said she has been more style-conscious since coming to Brown.
“Just walking around campus, so many people have such great style,” Schaaff said. “I think it just encourages me to kind of investigate my own style and try to express that. … Every day is like playing dress-up.”
Gedeon said he and Kordas are focused on producing content to make the site more successful without commercializing it. They considered expanding to other schools, but found the quality of photos they investigated to be substandard, he said.
Schaaff praised the overall quality of the blog’s content, which she credits to the strong rapport between its two coordinators. “Roberto is a really gifted photographer and Alex is an amazing stylist,” she said.
Coy noted the sleek graphic design and diversity of people highlighted on the blog — in addition to showcasing an approximately equal number of men and women, the site incorporates a wide range of personal aesthetics, she said.
“Unlike major city styles where everyone is doing the same color scheme or same trend, on college campuses, everyone is drawing from inspirations way beyond Providence,” Heidari said.
A previous version of this article misstated the school Chloe Karayiannis attends. She is a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, not Brown. The article also misspelled her name. The Herald regrets the errors.