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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

UNCA Student launches fashion magazine as a creative outlet for campus

Megan Abernethy conducting the Mountain Laurel interest meeting.

On Thursday February 15th, 20-year-old UNCA student Megan Abernethy held an interest meeting for the launch of her student-run fashion magazine called Mountain Laurel.

“I saw Appalachian state had their own fashion magazine and I immediately thought why don’t we have a fashion magazine? It’s Asheville, everyone is so fashionable here,” Abernethy said.

According to Abernethy, the magazine will be online based and aims to give students a space where they can fully express themselves through fashion.

“I love fashion, it’s a way for people to express themselves and build confidence in themselves so I’ve always loved it for that,” Said Kenna Palermo, 19-year-old new media major and vice president of Mountain Laurel.

According to Samantha Mazze, 22-year-old psychology student, freedom and expression through what someone wears can be very valuable to a person.

I think it sounds like a great idea. I know a lot of people coming into UNCA are beginning to do a lot of exploring and finding out what styles speak to them,” Mazze said.

Abernethy said she wants Mountain Laurel to have its own staff and take student submissions for fashion articles and pictures as well.

“There are a lot of people who are super into photography who don’t have many big opportunities to showcase their work, so being able to help give people space to do something creative is what I’m excited about,” Palermo said.

Abernethy said she encourages anyone with an interest in writing about fashion to reach out and consider joining the Mountain Laurel team, or contributing to the magazine in their free time.

“We’re looking for copy editors, writers, photo editors and people who want to help run the social media account,” Abernethy said.

According to Palermo, she started with Mountain Laurel as the logo designer and after the interest meeting decided to become the club’s vice president.

“The amount of people who came to the interest meeting made me realize I wanted to be a part of this and help as much as I possibly can,” Palermo said.

Mazze said she wants to see all of the different ways people choose to explore and express themselves through their outfits in Mountain Laurel magazine.

I’d like to see how people are choosing to dress everyday. My style fluctuates between what I’m feeling that day to what’s clean that day. Individual perspectives would be interesting,” Mazze said.

According to Mazze, her job in child care requires her to dress more conservatively most of the time and being able to express herself through her own fashion helps her feel more like herself.

“I change up how I dress. I love to dress funky with lots of rings and dangly jewelry, but a lot of the time I have to dress more practically,” Mazze said.

Mazze said students being able to share and show their individual styles through Mountain Laurel magazine is a great benefit to campus life.

“I thought it was something this school deserved because everyone is so creative and people love showing off their outfits. I want this to be a good outlet for people to have,” Abernethy said.

Abernethy said having a fashion magazine is important for student expression and a sense of community among students, including those from varying cultural backgrounds.

“I remember my first semester here, there was a collaboration between Asian and BIPOC students. They held their own runway for traditional clothing and I thought that was awesome,” Abernethy said.

According to Abernethy, Mountain Laurel does not have a specific launch date yet, but she plans a full launch by the end of the spring semester of 2024.

“We want Mountain Laurel to be for everyone, we’re still looking for people to come and be a part of it. If you have something to share, don’t be afraid to share it,” Palermo said.

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