Fashion student turns dreams into reality

Felicia Guadagni

Lauren Pfieffer, senior fashion merchandising major at Kent State, went from flipping through Seventeen Magazine, to being featured in the magazine and even working at the publication during the summer.  

“I promised myself that one day I would be in Seventeen Magazine because I wanted to repay the people that inspired me when I was younger,” she said. “It took seven years, but I made that dream come true and I even got to work for them, too.”

Pfieffer worked as an intern at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen Magazine this past summer. Her responsibilities included checking in sample clothing, presenting the clothing to editors, logging the sample pieces into the computer’s library and assisting photo shoots.

“At one point I had to unwrap a $25,000 Oscar de la Renta gown—I was so nervous,” Pfieffer said.

But the job wasn’t just glamor and beautiful clothing. Pfieffer describes herself as a highly sensitive person and said she was challenged by the harsh nature of the industry. However, Pfieffer said her experience proves that a sensitive person like herself can flourish in a fashion career.

Angie Pfieffer, Lauren’s mother, was initially worried about her daughter’s move to a big city considering her daughter’s sensitive personality. However, she was shocked at the outcome of Lauren’s experience.

“I was afraid she would hate the environment and people, but much to my surprise she flourished,” Angie said. “Working in New York City was a very positive experience for her and she plans on doing what it takes to make New York City her home after graduating.”

Pfieffer feels particularly close to fashion design and merchandising lecturer Marjorie Wachowiak, who called Pfieffer an excellent student.

“She is proactive, a creative thinker and an independent spirit,” Wachowiak said. “I am certain Lauren has a bright future ahead of her.”

As well as interning at the two fashion publications, Pfieffer curates her own personal fashion and lifestyle blog titled “Someone Like You.” She uses the blog to post pictures of her everyday outfits as well as a platform to speak on serious topics. She writes about her personal challenges of dealing with depression and OCD, and even wrote about an emotional breakup she went through.

“I want to be real,” Pfieffer said. “There is so much façade in the fashion industry and I just want to be authentic.”

Pfieffer is very open about the reason she became interested in the fashion industry. It wasn’t the clothing that first sparked her interest in fashion. It was her own personal insecurities.

“I was overweight growing up and really insecure, so I would look at the girls in the magazines and want to be just like them,” Pfieffer said. “I always thought I couldn’t do it and people would judge me, but in eighth grade I decided to go after who I wanted to be and I transformed myself. It was really about me believing in myself and doing it for me.”

That sentiment is reflected in her idea that fashion can be used as a platform for change, whether it is influencing an individual or an entire community.

“I think fashion can be so many different things for so many different people, but through it we can inspire body positivity, increase diversity and promote sustainability and ethical practices,” Pfieffer said.

Pfieffer now works as a barista at Jazzman’s on-campus in order to save enough money to move to New York City full-time. While her five-year plan may not be set in stone, Pfieffer intends to figure it out as she goes.

“That’s all I have planned,” she said. “I just want to be happy doing what I love and making an impact.”

Felicia Guadagni is the fashion reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].