Inspired by Hip-Hop and SZA: Mayumi Kawano ’25 Focuses on Comfort and Confidence in her Fashion

Donning a Brooklyn Nets bomber jacket, white corset top, baggy low-rise jeans, and a pair of brown Nike dunks, Mayumi Kawano ’25 describes her fashion aesthetic as “street-style.” Imitating an outfit she wore to a SZA concert, Kawano described what is most important to her when choosing an outfit.

“I’d say my style was heavily influenced by hip-hop. And just music and dance in general, I like to wear clothes, I can feel free to move in since I dance a lot. And a lot of the time, the outfits I wear are kind of based off of the artists that I see,” said Kawano.

Scrolling through her favorite celebrities’ pages on Instagram, Kawano often gets new inspiration from their posts. While most of her style is hip-hop inspired, she also gets inspired to buy pieces that fall into other aesthetics.

“I think it kind of just stems from literally anything and everything in my closet, which can be like street style it can be I have some cottage-core things that I don’t really pull out until it’s spring batch just like mix of everything but mainly street style it’s like influenced by music,” said Kawano.

Jewelry is a key aspect of every outfit Kawano puts together. Having both silver and gold jewelry in her collection, she layers and pairs new jewelry to match with each outfit. Specifically, her two favorite piercings to accessorize are her nose and industrial piercings.

“I think my favorite accessories are my piercings, my nose ring and my industrial. And those just make me feel so cool… But they make me feel like I have my work put together. And I guess it just allows me to recenter,” said Kawano.

When shopping, Kawano buys clothes in-person, online, and in thrift stores. However, she shared why her favorite places to shop are online and getting pieces from thrift stores.

“When I go online, I can actually see the pieces and piece them together individually. And I’d say in terms of thrifting I like to thrift really baggy clothes, not anything fitted just because I feel like those make me feel comfortable. I have a lot of thrifted crewnecks and like I do have a pair of baggy jeans,” said Kawano.

Overall, Kawano reflected on why fashion is meaningful in her life. To her, it is an “ever-changing” form of self expression, and something she has full agency over.

“I’d say fashion is anything and everything that makes you feel comfortable and that fits you. You shouldn’t fit into fashion, it should fit to your needs, your style that you feel like would make you feel comfortable and confident. And overall, it’s just ever-changing. There’s no static style. And I think over time as the more you grow, the more your sense of fashion will grow with you. And that could mean developing more basics or just gaining a sense of who you are,” said Kawano.