NAOMY GRAND'PIERRE / SECOND-YEAR

I’m a psychology major, on the varsity and Haitian national swim team. I competed in the 2016 Olympic Games. 

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Naomy is wearing a corduroy button-up from Ann Taylor, a crop top from H&M, DIY distressed jeans she thrifted, shoes from Via Spiga, and a cowhide purse.

David Farr / The Chicago Maroon

My style is a mix of things: high-fashion and grunge, classic pieces and “out there” statement pieces, worn-in thrifted items and contemporary items. 

My first look is a pretty good example of this mix and match approach: I’ve got an Ann Taylor corduroy button-up shirt, which I tied around my waist, with these black denim jeans that I distressed myself. I’m super proud of them—I sat there and tweezed out each fiber to create my own distressed look. The shoes are Italian leather—they’re Usher’s ex-wife [Tameka Foster]’s shoes, actually! My mom gave them to me, since she never wore them.  

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Naomy is wearing a leather jacket from Tibor, dress from Soprano, a suede work shirt she thrifted, socks from Forever 21, shoes from Nine West, and a purse by Louis Vuitton

David Farr / The Chicago Maroon

I find balancing each piece—as in, different aspects of the look—really fun about fashion. If you’re wearing a really bright color or statement piece, then that should be the focus of your outfit, and everything else should be subdued. For the second outfit, I had a bright pink suede work shirt with everything else black. I accessorized with a Louis Vuitton purse, which kept to black but had some color. Those were the two main pieces that popped out but everything else was pretty muted.  

My mom has had a big influence on the way I shop and dress. She also taught me very early on to mix up pieces, like very expensive pieces with thrifted ones. We’ve been thrifting since before it was cool. I have four siblings, so obviously getting a wardrobe for five people is very expensive. And my mom, as an immigrant, is all about finding ways to save money. All my jeans as a kid were thrifted—it’s always been a big part of my style—and there’s something very homey about buying something used that I really appreciate. My mom is a pro at finding real treasures in thrift stores, so I’ve been trying to take after her in that regard.    

"We've been thrifting since before it was cool."

When I’m home, I’ll go raid my mom’s closet. This one time I found a shirt with a really deep V and I thought to myself, “I have to find a way to wear this!” So then it’s about creating an outfit around that one central piece. One time I went thrifting and found these super dope leather pants—they’re very loud, a total statement piece. Once you find that statement piece it’s about finding the very simple things to add to it. It’s the same with buying a very expensive piece of clothing, the entire outfit doesn’t have to scream expensive. By combining all the pieces you get a very balanced look.

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David Farr / The Chicago Maroon

Home for me means a lot of different places, each with their own unique sense of style. In Haiti it’s all about color—and the weather is better—so there’s a very different look. But I tend to shy away from color. I prefer earth or neutral tones, with maybe a pop of red. I try not to drown out parts of my outfit with other pieces I’m wearing. Montreal, on the other hand, is very European. I love that classy, put-together look. In Atlanta, there’s a very distinct style, but at the same time that’s all what everybody wears: It’s either an oversized shirt with shorts, which is a very Southern-prep look that I hate, or a streetwear look that’s very influenced by rappers and hip-hop culture. 

"I want people to think I'm put together but also unique."

Vogue is also a big influence. I have a subscription which I read often. I’m always looking at how they always mix pieces that would normally never go together. You’re not supposed to match brown with black, according to the “rulebook” of conventional fashion. For my look I tucked my [black] jeans into my [brown] boots, like what Kanye has been doing [in his Yeezy collections]. It’s just the look. High fashion and mixing pieces in an editorial way definitely inspires me. New York Fashion Week just happened, so I’ve been looking at the Chanel or Valentino collection—how they mix odd pieces together has been super cool. When I’m not swimming or doing school, I’m all about fashion and keeping up with the trends. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid. Seeing how these icons of the fashion industry mix styles is super cool.  

I want people to think I’m put together but also unique. I’m all about being different and not fitting any boxes. Every day it’ll be something new, combining things in ways that make people think, “Wow, how does she make that work?” —NAOMY