Street Style

New Bedford photographer Andrew Kepinski explores the Whaling City to document fashion as it happens. Read about Andrew and how he’s aiming the spotlight at the city’s eclectic sense of style.

@anj_kep // @kepinskiphotography  // @newbedfordlight


Dec. 1, 2022

Aimée Elizabeth Charlesworth

When Aimée Elizabeth Charlesworth moved to the states from Nottingham, England, she brought just 10 days’ worth of clothing. To this day, she says her wardrobe remains nominal.

“Good quality items that can be worn with many different things again and again is the way to go. No one notices you wearing the same things as much as you may think,” says the 27-year-old artist, fashion designer and climate activist.

Aimée says the climate activist in her means that she brings that awareness into her fashion as well.

“Fashion contributes to 10% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, pollutes water with toxic dyes and riddles everything with micro plastics,” she says. “Our wardrobes are an act of activism, and a way we can make a positive impact on a day-to-day basis. So, I try really hard to buy from brands that have sustainable practices, materials, and pay their workers fairly.”

Her go-to items? Three different colored crochet halters, her grandfather’s wool sweater, overalls and a pair of velvet floral wide-leg trousers. She wore one of the halters to our photo shoot downtown.

“I’m a pretty active person, and I can randomly start painting or making art,” she says. “So, day to day, I like to have clothes I can take deep breaths in, walk far, not worry too much about getting paint on, and still feel stylish wearing.”

Aimée, who now calls New Bedford home, describes her style as “boho meets high fashion.”

“I feel like my clothes are like my super suit for the day. What I wear helps me feel confident and step into a certain part of myself,” she says.

Aimée says her favorite hobby is herbalism — “I feel happiest talking with plants” — and her favorite fashion season is, without a doubt, summer.

“I am a summer girl for sure. I love being able to wear things that make me feel like I’m wearing nothing, and I love the feeling of lighter weaves of fabric because of that,” she says. “Bright, clashing and playful colors and prints are what I think of when I think of summer fashion.”

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Aimée Elizabeth Charlesworth says, “day to day, I like to have clothes I can take deep breaths in, walk far, not worry too much about getting paint on, and still feel stylish wearing.” Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light

What Aimée’s wearing: Pants — White Patagonia overalls (“Gifted to me by a friend. She said that every herbalist needs a pair, so it felt like a rite of passage moment!”). Top — Naturally-dyed cotton crochet halter. Shoes — Vibram FiveFingers wool shoes, hand embroidered with pink, blue, gold and copper flowers.”

Aimée Elizabeth Charlesworth: “I feel like my clothes are like my super suit for the day. What I wear helps me feel confident and step into a certain part of myself,” she says.” Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light

Sept. 15, 2022

Annasaskhea Azor

Domestic violence victims advocate Annasaskhea Azor isn’t afraid to mix work and play when it comes to style.

As she describes it, both expressions have “assimilated into one.”

“I find myself matching business formal pieces with leisurely items to curate the perfect mix of classy and comfortable,” says the 23-year-old New York transplant who now calls New Bedford home.

Classy and comfortable. Credit for the love of that combo goes partially to Annasaskhea’s grandmother, her primary influence when it comes to fashion. “She has a very quirky and timeless sense of style. Her combination of colors, patterns and textures is sure to keep you on your toes.”

Annasaskhea, who enjoys photography and “all things creative,” describes her style as young and eccentric, with a lot of her outfits featuring thrifted items that she says “always tie the look together.”

Her favorite section at the thrift store? The men’s section.

“I can never pass up a way to innovatively style a bigger/baggier piece,” she says.

Annasaskhea calls spring her favorite season for fashion. “I love the use of pastel colors and the mixing of prints and textures the budding season brings,” she says.

For our fashion shoot downtown around the Elm Street parking garage, Annasaskhea sports one of her favorite items and a “closet staple,” a simple but cute button-up.

And what better way to highlight her classy/comfortable flair?

What Annasaskhea’s wearing:

  • Shirt: Thrifted button-up
  • Skirt: White mini
  • Shoes: Chunky platforms, socks showing “of course”

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Annasaskhea: “I find myself matching business formal pieces with leisurely items to curate the perfect mix of classy and comfortable,” Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light.

What Annasaskhea’s wearing: Shirt — Thrifted button-up / Skirt — White mini / Shoes — Chunky platforms, socks showing “of course”


Aug. 30, 2022

Mia Pinheiro

A frequent traveler, painter Mia Pinheiro adds to her fashion collection by scouring local shops and street markets, or even tourist shops and convenient stores. You never know where you’re going to find that perfect piece.

“My style is very chance oriented,” says the New Bedford raised 29-year-old who currently lives in Mexico City. “I find pieces, mostly used/vintage, and put them together in a combination that I find interesting.”

Mia says her outfits are mostly simple and comfortable, especially given that she does a lot of “messy work” with oil paint and such. But all her combinations have something particular in common.

“They usually have a special piece that is almost costume-like,” she says. “I’ll include something like shiny retro baseball pants, or a vintage Victoria Secrets corset or a sequin cow print bomber jacket. With the rest of the outfit being more practical.”

She wore the shiny baseball pants to our photo shoot and, combined with a pair of printed nylon socks and black heels, had it going on.

Mia says she considers hair and makeup part of her outfits, and for our shoot wore MAC matte lipstick in Marrakesh, just enough color to pop against the mostly black and white ensemble.

“I think my style is a reflection of all of the strange places and geographies I have passed through,” she concludes. “I am very interested in well made fashion, with curious details. … I like to pull from different eras, but mostly just create my style from combining the interesting pieces that I find to my liking.”

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Mia Pinheiro: “My style is very chance oriented.” Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light

What Mia’s wearing for this shoot: Slacks — White shiny baseball pants with stirrups / Shirt — Cutoff T-shirt from a Mexico City waterpark / Feet — Printed nylon socks with black heels / Makeup — MAC matte lipstick in Marrakesh

Mia Pinheiro says she creates her style by “combining the interesting pieces that I find to my liking.” Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light
Mia Pinheiro says her outfits are mostly simple and comfortable. Credit: Andrew Lepinski / The New Bedford Light
Printed nylon socks kick it up a notch, adding to Mia Pinheiro’s look. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light

July 14, 2022

Kyle Christian

Musician/artist Kyle Christian describes his style as eccentric meets minimalist, which is exactly how he looked the day we met for his photoshoot.

He paired super cool Air Jordan 1 “Crimson Tint” sneakers and plaid jogger pants with a simple white tee and corduroy shacket. He looked the part.

“Some days I’m really colorful and loud, pairing colors that may not match but work somehow with the outfit,” he says. “Other days I might be in all black. Or just a white tee, Levi’s, with boots or sneakers.”

Kyle, from New Bedford but currently living in Boston, says, “My style varies depending on my mood I guess.”

He finds inspiration from ’90s cartoons and sitcoms and lists Pharrell Williams, early Kanye West and Will Smith’s Fresh Prince Of Bel Air as influences. But Kyle’s primary style inspiration is none other than himself.

His favorite fashion season is fall.

“I really like wearing hoodies, flannels and jackets,” says Kyle. “Also being able to wear layers of clothing. I feel as though in fall you have more room to be creative with your outfits.”

What Kyle’s wearing for this shoot:

  • Slacks: Plaid, dressy jogger pants.
  • Shirt: White rounded tee.
  • Shacket: Pistachio corduroy button up
  • Shoes: Air Jordan 1 “Crimson Tint” sneakers
  • Accessories: Rings, watch and round clear-frame glasses

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Musician/artist Kyle Christian. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light
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June 16, 2022

Elisa

Her Instagram and TikTok handles say it all: @elisa.so.chic.

She goes by first name only, won’t disclose her age (“a secret I’ll never tell”) and was raised and influenced by two, super fashionable parents who would never be caught in sweatpants and sandals.

Elisa, a marketing director by day and a model and content creator for her social media fashion pages 24/7 (and a model for other companies as well), is just as cool as you can be.

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, and now living locally, Elisa describes her style as European and chic.

“I choose my outfits based on the weather, the occasion and my mood,” she says. “I believe fashion is art and I use it as a way to express myself.”

She’s confident enough to not follow trends but create her own. Elisa says each season is unique and special for fashion, but that if forced to she would choose summer as her favorite.

“It’s more versatile. It’s a fun season,” she says. “You can pull off great looks, be super girly with summer dresses, and play with different prints and colors.”

So what about those fashionable parents?

“When I was little they would import or buy outfits for me from their trips to France, Italy and Spain,” Elisa says. “My mom would dress me up like one of those porcelain European dolls. I don’t even recall having jeans or t-shirts.”

She also loved her beautiful dresses and sets so much that playing in the mud like other kids was not an option.

“I never was one of those girls that got dirty or messy playing, as I loved my clothes so much I didn’t want to ruin them,” she says.

She describes her parents as elegant and classy in their dressing, and that made her the fashionista she is today.

“You will never see my dad wearing sandals or jeans. The same with my mom. She hates t-shirts, sweatpants and baggy clothes so much and just doesn’t like unpolished looks,” Elisa says. “I got lucky having them as role models because I strongly believe that dressing well does have a psychological impact on the way you see yourself and other people see you.”

What Elisa’s wearing for this shoot:

  • Shorts: Zara
  • Blouse: Massimo Dutti
  • Coat: Sfera
  • Shoes: Zara

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Elisa. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light
Elisa. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light

May 31, 2022

Sophia Aaron

Sophia Aaron digs her vintage clothes and is a lover of fashion from the ’60s, ’70s and ’90s. “My mother raised me on Savers and church thrift,” says the 22-year-old, who was born and grew up in Dartmouth.

She currently lives in New Bedford and sells vintage clothing out of Cove Antiques in the Kilburn Mill along with her sister and two “lovely” friends (find them on Instagram @booth228vintage). She also runs a pet-care business.

“A majority of articles in my possession are thrifted,” says Sophia, whose favorite materials are jean and silk. “My current staple is my pair of Carolina Bike Boots that I’ve scuffed to hell.”

Her favorite fashion seasons are spring and fall because they allow for a range of clothing choices. “I’m known to layer often … New England habits.”

Her idol in the fashion scene is right down the street: Chris Duval, owner of Circa Vintage Wear in New Bedford, who she worked for pre-Covid.

“His passion and encouragement of expressing individual style is a valuable piece of this community and a fond memory in the growth of my personal style,” she says.

What Sophia’s wearing for this shoot:

  • Two jackets: Sheer floral and leather
  • Dress: ’70s polyester negligee
  • T-shirt: Stax Records adolescent (chopped to fit)
  • Boots: Staple boots.
  • (And “the usual array of silver jewelry”)

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Sophia Aaron. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light
Sophia Aaron. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / The New Bedford Light

May 5, 2022

Danielle Monteiro

New Bedford native Danielle Monteiro, 39, is a traveling photographer — complete with a portable studio that allows her to shoot her photos anywhere as part of Willow Studio. On the off season she makes a living as a staffing manager and medical assistant. “I’ve been in the medical field for 20 years caring for the sick,” she says, “which I love.”

Danielle, who now lives in Wareham, says her style goes by her vibe and energy. “I love thrifting so I never know what I’m looking for,” she says. “I buy it all and then put my looks together.  I love street wear, but dress it up for any occasion. I would say my style is edgy with class and love to take risks.

“My parents inspired me,” says Danielle, who would watch her parents put together outfits for events and nights out. “They are always dressed to the nines.” Her favorite season for fashion is fall, when sweater dresses, boots and jackets make for a plethora of options. 

“I love working with artists and putting together their look,” Danielle says. “I would love to do more shoots and get into being a stylist for those who have no idea what to wear and want to be more edgy with their look.” 

What Danielle’s wearing for this shoot:

Jacket — New York and Company (thrifted) 
T-shirt dress — Forever 21 
Belt — T.J. Maxx
Boots — Steve Madden 

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Danielle Monteiro. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light

April 14, 2022

Nick Kosta

Nick Kosta, “New Bedford born and raised to the grave,” describes his style as varied and diverse — containing items from thrift store to Saks 5th avenue. “The goal is to walk into my closet blindfolded, grab an outfit, and be completely confident that when the blindfold is lifted I look cool as hell,” he says. “If I had to put a term on my style in its entirety … Street meets Sinatra.”

Nick, 34, works in sales and marketing and lives in the city’s South End but is originally from the West End. His style was heavily influenced by his father and grandfather. “I gravitate towards the same tasteful colors that my grandfather wore every day (gray, taupe, and beige),” Nick writes.

“I think where my style deviates from what I absorbed from them through osmosis is what I picked up growing up and playing sports in New Bedford,” he explains. “Being a huge basketball fan, I was always clocking for the newest and coolest sneakers that my favorite players were rocking.” (His favorite sneakers of all time? Air Max 90 Infrared.)

Nick’s top fashion season is fall, when “the diversity in clothing and layering options allow for the most creativity and widest range of styles.”

What Nick’s wearing for this shoot:

Sunglasses – Barton Perreira for Fear of God
Shirt – Fear of God
Pants – Suit Supply
Tennis Shoes – Fear of God ESSENTIALS
 

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Nick Kosta. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light

March 28, 2022

Aria and Maya Christian

The two New Bedford natives Aria and Maya say fashion has always been a constant in their lives.

“Fashion has been in our blood since we were little. Our mom has always been so stylish,” the twins said in a written response to interview questions. “We used to play dress-up in her clothes and makeup all the time.” Aria is in fact wearing their mother’s mink coat in this photo shoot. 

“We both have such different styles. Maya is eclectic , with an earthy vibe. She could go either way. One minute it’s sweats, the next it’s a long maxi skirt with a head wrap, giving you goddess vibes. Aria loves a sweatsuit too, but has a trendy chicness. Very clean and always in black. We both are daring though, and love anything dramatic and ‘campy.’”

As twins, does this stylish duo find they influence each other as far as fashion goes?

“I don’t think so,” the twins say. “We get more inspired by different eras, movies, pop culture, etc. We are definitely students of fashion in the past, present and future.”

The twins now live in Brooklyn — Aria in Bushwick and Maya in Crown Heights. Besides running their business, “Twins that Cook,” Aria is a musician and Maya is a jewelry designer. 

Their favorite place to go when they visit New Bedford for summer and the holidays? The South End Beach: “We always make sure to take drives by it, even in the winter.”

The Baker is their go-to spot for coffee and breakfast and, as avowed thrift-shoppers, they have a special affinity for Savers on Kings Highway.

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Aria, left, and Maya Christian. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light

Feb. 28, 2022

Gwendolyn Baptista

Gwen, age 20, majors in fashion entrepreneurship at UMass Amherst. Her favorite hobby — when she’s not putting together her next creative outfit — is sewing. 

“I like to think of my style as eclectic, Gwen says. “I enjoy looking like I have an array of trinkets that crows would find interesting. I don’t have one particular style, I usually wake up and think, ‘Hmmmm, who do I want to be today?’ and roll with that.”

“I always know when I run into Gwen she’s going to be wearing something your mom might disapprove of but the fashion world will embrace,” Anj says of this week’s Street Style All-Star. “Thanks for being you Gwen!”

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Gwendolyn Baptista. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light

Feb. 3, 2022

Celia Brito

Celia Brito, the owner-buyer of Celia’s Boutique in downtown New Bedford, attributes her fashion sense to her mom and the women in her family, who were always elegantly dressed and took pride in what they wore.

It was only natural, she says, to for her to develop a passion for quality-crafted clothes that fit with her classy personality.

Celia was born in Brava, Cape Verde, and currently lives in Dartmouth.

She describes her style as being “classic chic with a flare of fun.”

In this photo shoot, Cecilia is wearing a leopard print maxi length coat with a cozy faux fur collar by Fabulous Furs, Betmar large-brim wool hat with leather piping and Italian-made black suede pumps by Brenda Zaro. All items were styled by Cecilia. 

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Celia Brito, owner of Celia’s Boutique. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light

Jan. 19, 2022

Luis Villanueva

Luis Villanueva doesn’t look like your typical New Bedford native and that’s because he’s not.

He was born in Poblacion, Chile, and moved to the U.S. at 23. Luis knew when he moved to the states he wanted to have a signature style that stood out from the rest. He defines his look as Modern European with inspiration from the ’40s.

Luis — who has worked as an art dealer as well as an artist — ran the Colo Colo Gallery in New Bedford from 2008 to 2018. He closed the Colo Colo space for several reasons, including a decline in sales and the difficulties involved with recruiting artists to show their work exclusively in his gallery.

Nowadays, Luis is busy producing art pieces and planning his next gallery space. He aims to open what will be called “The Smallest Gallery in New Bedford” in early summer at Kilburn Mill, for the purpose of showing smaller pieces from multiple artists. To start off, he intends to have six shows a year in what will be a U-shaped, roughly 8-by-8-foot space.

Luis attributes his fashion sense to being an artist and considers clothing and personal style another form of art.

“When you dress well you are more approachable,” Luis says. “People also tend to be kinder and more respectful.”

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Luis Villanueva. Credit: Andrew Kepinski / For The New Bedford Light

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