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.
July 14, 2022
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
June 16, 2022
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
May 31, 2022
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”)
May 5, 2022
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
April 14, 2022
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
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.
Feb. 28, 2022
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!”
Feb. 3, 2022
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.
Jan. 19, 2022
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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