Arts Look of the Week

Look of the Week: Zizo Bahnasy ’17 Confronts Stereotypes with Formal Wear

Matching salmon pink shorts with a dark denim button down shirt, Zizo Bahnasy ‘17 completes his look with a black leather watch rimmed with gold. This look is typical of Bahnasy, as he is well known on campus for his formal wear, according to a friend of Bahnasy, Claudia Meng ’18.

“I think Zizo’s style is very professional-chic. He wears a lot of formal wear, especially like button down shirts and khakis, but I think he stylizes it by wearing multiple different types of shoes and fun colors and belts, which I think is kind of charming,” said Meng.

Bahnasy’s sophisticated look, which partly emerged from his deeply rooted family values, has allowed him to gain a greater sense of identity on campus.

“My parents and my family have always been very much supportive of looking tidy, looking neat, so that other people see you in a good light. But when I came to Andover specifically, I noticed that there was this culture of dressing up, this culture of trying to look good not only for other people, but also for yourself. A lot of people see it as ‘preppy,’ and perhaps ‘pretentious,’ but I gained confidence from dressing well,” said Bahnasy.

Bahnasy likes to blend brighter pieces with more neutral colors to provide a statement yet subtlety in his clothing.

“You can have bright colors that don’t look too dominating or over-present or a bright blue that matches your socks. I have maroon polka dot socks and I pair them with my maroon tie. They match, so I can wear anything else. I tend to stick with grays and creams for the shirts and pants and try to blend them together so that people don’t notice anything sticking out. It’s also very easy to express vitality through colors,” said Bahnasy.

Much of Bahnasy’s ideal to create a sharp style stems from his own socio-economic background. He strives to break the boundaries of students’ appearances based upon their access to money.

“I’m a full scholarship student at Andover. I’ve never had the opportunity to dress up well, so when I came to Andover, I embraced this culture because it represented some sort of shift for me… toward trying to assimilate not only on a structural or a societal level, but also on a personal growth level. This way of dress represents my growth [in] understanding these societal niches for decades and [that] only a certain group of the population has had access to them, but I have tried to breach that access… I’m very much an advocate of having your own signature look. So when somebody thinks about me, I want them to think of the way I want to present myself,” said Bahnasy.

Bahnasy has spearheaded a ‘Formal Finals’ trend, where he dresses up during finals week to maintain his self-confidence during stressful and busy times. This has caught the eyes of his peers and friends.

“Whenever I see Zizo on the path, I always think he is on his way to a college interview or job meeting. What makes him unique is his love for ties. I can confidently say that he definitely loves to wear ties, including bowties, on any given day, but especially when he has big tests. He has this saying, which I hear a lot during finals week — “dress well to test well.” He has fun dressing business professional and it definitely works for him,” said Tyler Shen ’17, a friend of Bahnasy.