As Ariana Phillips ’21 snaps pictures, Jeffrey Steele ’20 casually leans on the stairs of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library stacks, showing off his colorblocked black-and-white bomber jacket. Phillips zooms in with her camera to capture Steele’s patent shiny black boots and dark floral button up. These pictures of Steele’s outfit are featured on Phillips’ Instagram account that she shares with Chi Igbokwe ’21: The Andover Edition.
Created and run by Igbokwe and Phillips, The Andover Edition features everyday fashion looks of students at Andover. The account was inspired by The Exeter Issue and The Exeter Dress Code, two Instagram accounts that capture the fashion of students at Phillips Exeter Academy. After coming across these pages on her Instagram feed this fall, Phillips approached Igbokwe with the idea to start a similar version of the accounts at Andover.
Steele said, “I think the account is helpful [for] other students [to] see different styles… because although we are a lot smaller than other schools out there in the country, we still are a relatively large school, and you don’t get to see everyone on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s nice to go through a page and think, ‘Oh, I’ve never seen that person before. They look nice.’ Even if you might not necessarily get a chance to talk to that person, it’s nice to see who’s on your campus and get to know a little bit about them.”
Igbokwe and Phillips aim to make their account more focused on showcasing common looks rather than stylized outfits, and they emphasize the quality and style of a look rather than the trendiness of brands or logos.
“We wanted [the account] to be a campus livestream runway kind of thing where we just see people and it’s a spur of the moment. We’re like, ‘Oh you look good. Do you want to be on on our page?’ Then we take pictures of people and post them,” said Igbokwe.
When Igbokwe and Phillips find someone whose outfit they believe is stylish, they contact the person through Instagram direct message and set up a time to take pictures of the outfit. During the photoshoot, Phillips takes pictures while Igbokwe talks with the student in order to keep the situation comfortable, relaxed, and genuine.
“I think the fact that it’s run by Chi and Ari, who say that they’ve just picked up this fascination with fashion, makes it unique. Chi enjoys fashion, and Ari enjoys photography, so the two of them joined up. I think that combination of skills and both of them admitting to the fact that they’re relatively inexperienced when it comes to things like this makes the page really special and genuine,” said Nalu Concepcion ’19, who was featured on the account earlier this month.
Igbokwe and Phillips plan to continue The Andover Edition for the rest of their time at Andover. They hope to expand the account by involving more people in the search for features.
“I really hope Ari and I are able to keep this account going as we stay here and it becomes a big enough thing that we can pass it on to the next person when we graduate. I just really hope it becomes a main thing that people know about. I love the idea of having an account that showcases people just walking around. It’s not scripted or anything… I want that to be a thing that people actively know about and are involved in,” said Igbokwe.