Normcore is Still Misunderstood

Back in October 2013, K-Hole gave the fashion industry a new word to play around with: normcore. It’s been more than six months since it was born, and a lot of people still have absolutely no idea what it means.

The LA Times labeled it as an “a la carte, mix-and-match, label-agnostic approach to fashion.” They said that it’s a conscious effort to look effortless.

A fashion photographer based in New York said that the fashion industry wants “the cool kids downtown on a dirty couch in tube socks” thing. It seems as though normcore has made it possible for just about anyone to be a fashion model.

 But the NY Times gave three definitions of normcore. And the third one is the one that caught my attention. An internet meme that turned into a massive in-joke that the news media keeps falling for. Damn. I just fell for it as well.

The style, which I think has been appropriately described as “dressing like a tourist,” has become the ultimate fashion statement. It has also become the ultimate joke.

Or has it?

The concept began in Brooklyn and spread rapidly. It was considered the way to stand out in Bushwick in 2014 – a pair of New Balance sneakers and Jerry Seinfeld jeans.

And even though it started in Brooklyn, it’s spread across the nation. Lucky has offered a normcore shopping guide. And now, it’s becoming a huge movement in France.

K-Hole, the originator of the term, didn’t want it to be a fashion trend; instead, it was supposed to represent a broader sociological attitude. Alternative types were spending too much energy trying to define themselves as individuals that they lost the joy of belonging to a group. K-Hole envisioned something different.

“You might not understand the rules of football, but you can still get a thrill from the roar of the crowd at the World Cup,” K-Hole’s report read.

Lauren Sherman, a writer for, calls the whole movement a fraud. She described it as dressing like an uncool dad from the ‘90s. Adults who were teenagers during the Seinfeld age, Sherman wrote, recall the white sneakers and ill-fitting jeans.

The backlash, however, seemed to reinforce the trend. Now, six months later, it’s still on the rise. So go into your dad’s closet and grab some jeans. They probably won’t fit well.


Cultivating Your Personal Style

We all know her: the well put together women that seems to have an effortless signature style. However, it is difficult for those who consider themselves to be less stylish to develop their own personal style. How exactly do you even develop a signature style in the first place? Realize that that effortlessly chic woman has been developing her personal style through a process of trial and error over a period of time. She has learned about what looks work for her, what doesn’t and how to incorporate the latest trends into her wardrobe without losing sight of who she is. She has a creative mind and likes to express herself visually.

The one thing that all creative people have in common is the search for inspiration and a muse. This does not mean to copy someone else’s style, but instead study what some of your favorite celebrities are wearing, creating Pinterest boards to collect some of your favorite items and outfit ideas as well as read magazines to see what’s in style and how you can incorporate it into your wardrobe.

Below are 10 quick tips for helping you to cultivate your own personal style.

1. Know the character you want to portray. In the same way that a costume helps to define a character in a movie or show, the clothes you choose are a way to showcase your personality and character to others. By knowing what you want to communicate, you will be able to find your signature style easier.

2. Following the trends can be expensive and pointless. Every single trend will not work for you, therefore, you have to be more selective about what you invest your money in and how it fits into your already existing wardrobe.

3. Always be mindful to remain consistent in your style choices but also modern.

4. An often ignored part of your personal style, but a very important one is your hair. Your hair style is equally a part of your signature style as your clothing is. Learn what works for you and what you feel comfortable in. Are you going to stay conservative, get a new cut, color, style? Whatever you choose, it should speak to the personal style you are attempting to cultivate.

5. Style is not only about fashion, it’s a lifestyle. From the phone case that you carry to the perfume you wear and the music you listen to. All of the pieces of your personal style should work together to tell a story.

6. Don’t be afraid to experiment or bring trends back. If you haven’t realized, fashion is recycled each and every season, so what may not have worked for you a few years ago, may be perfect now. Fabrics have changed, your body has changed and the way you wear it will be totally different. Take some time to keep classic pieces. They will be staples in your wardrobe for years to come.

7. Make sure the clothes you have fit immaculately, meaning that they do not lead to constant tugging, fussing, and fidgeting. The fit of an article of clothing is what differentiates it between being mediocre and being great. Have you seen a man in a tailored suit, compared to one he just wore off a rack? Fit is everything. Be mindful of how the clothes fit before you purchase them. Ill-fitted clothing affect your confidence and your attempt to be effortless will be a failed one.

8. We all need that go-to item that is in our wardrobe. Make an effort to find something that works great on your body shape and makes you look and feel confident. Once you have found this item, purchase it in multiple colors and stock up on it. That way, you will always be ready for any last minute outings, events and dates.


“The Università di Bologna,” by Malikah Kelly

The Università di Bologna (University of Bologna) in Italy has a centuries-long tradition of scholarship. The school is said to have been formed in 1088. At first, its scholars taught rhetoric, logic, and grammar, but in 1158, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire declared the university to be a place of independent research. In subsequent centuries, the university added studies in arithmetic, astronomy, Greek, and Hebrew. Experimental science appeared in the curriculum in the 1500s, followed by the study of medicine in the 1600s and 1700s.

As the modern Italian state became unified in the 1900s, the University of Bologna assumed a central place in world culture. After the two World Wars, the university shifted its focus to a European system of education.

Today, the University of Bologna offers programs in the arts, the humanities, economics, law, engineering, and psychology, among others. It also provides courses in Italian for international students.

About the Author

Malikah Kelly is a recent graduate. She obtained a Master of Business Administration in Design, Fashion, and Luxury Goods from the Università di Bologna.

A Brief Overview of the Università di Bologna’s Alma Graduate School By Malikah Kelly

Located in Bologna, Italy, the Alma Graduate School has earned renown as one of Europe’s leading schools of management. Since its inception in 2001, the institution has educated students pursuing graduate degrees in communication, technology, and management. The school offers a variety of unique programs, including full- and part-time MBA programs that cater to professionals and executives as well as international students. Alma Graduate School takes an interdisciplinary approach and instills in its students the value of solid decision-making skills. Furthermore, the school encourages students to embrace an international orientation, making them dynamic candidates in their fields.

Situated just outside of Bologna’s city center, the Alma Graduate School is housed in the Villa Guastavillani, which dates from the late 1500s. The restored villa now features 4,000 square meters of state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and technology.

About the author: A recent graduate of the Alma Graduate School, Malikah Kelly earned her masters of business administration in design, fashion, and luxury goods. Today, Malikah Kelly serves as the business manager of NEIMASITAWI Luxury Boutique Fashion.

Malikah Kelly’s Blog

Steps for a Successful Social Media Strategy by Malikah Kelly

As a recent graduate of an international Master of Business Administration program, I have confidence in my contemporary marketing education. It is in any emerging business’s best interest to examine the marketing opportunities that social media offers.

The first step is to analyze the audience. This allows a social media director to create the type of content that will immediately grab attention through a relatable “voice,” one that fits the age group, education level, and interests of a target demographic and establishes the company as an authority.

The next step is to decide on one of three specific goals: awareness, loyalty, or sales. Developing one of these specific obectives will eventually lead to increases in the others.

The final step is to measure and monitor. Loyalty can be measured through increased numbers of engagements and instances of influence. EdgeRank Checker and Klout are tools that provide this information. Awareness can be monitored through subscriptions, shares, and likes. Sales are measurable with click rates and similar procedures.

Malikah Kelly received her MBA at the University of Bologna, Italy. Her work with Neima Sitawi Luxury Boutique Fashion provided her with extensive business management experience.