Gator Talk: An outfit that builds community

Gator Talk: An outfit that builds community

Welcome to Gator Talk, the Xpress podcast that brings city perspectives to local, regional and national news.

In today’s podcast episode, staff reporters Victor Harris and Jason Hernandez,  sat down with administrators of the popular Instagram account SFSUFitss to speak on building community on campus through clothing. 

 

Intro

Victor : Welcome back to Gator talk. My name is Victor Harris Jr. I’m a writer on staff.

Jason:My name is Jason Hernandez and I’m a writer on the staff and we will be your host on this episode of Gator talk. On the first episode, we’ll be sitting down with Esperanza Vaquiz and Diego Paredes,  owners of the SFSU Fitz page.

Preview of the Show

Victor: Today we’ll talk about the inspiration behind the page. Our clothing has helped build community on campus and their plans for the page in the future. 

Jason:  We’re going to hop right into the interview with Esperanza and Diego. Here we go.

Interview

Victor: So we’re sitting here with Diego and Esperanza. How are you guys doing today?

Esperanza: Hi, we’re good.

Victor: We brought you guys in because you guys are running like one of the most famous pages with SF State right now. You guys are actually running the SF Fits page. So like what went into starting the page?

Esperanza:  Um, so I started it last year, I was just like walking around campus. And I saw like so many cute outfits. And I kept complimenting these people like you, sick fit. And then I saw my friend goes to Santa Barbara. And she was showing me like, this page that they have with like, fits. And I was like, Yo, someone should start it for SFSU. So I was like, oh, yeah, I’ll start it. And then I just went around campus taking photos. And then I brought along friends to join me  And here we are,

Jason: Did you anticipate the page getting like so big? Like, you guys have like 3500 followers?

Esperanza:  No, I honestly, I thought it was gonna be like a niche thing just along with me and my friends just like haha, like a joke. But then it just like kept growing and growing. And it’s still growing. I think that’s really cool.

Jason: So are there like set days that you guys will like, go out and just like, you know, get pictures of people and like produce content? Or is it just, you know, kind of random or what

Diego: It’s kind of it’s kind of random, just because we both are taking a full schedule of classes. But I know that last semester, we really tried to get stuff in the middle of the week. So like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, we tried to, like post a photo set, or at least post some stories and do that type of stuff. But that’s kind of what we’re looking to do. We want to ramp up the content a little bit and get people more of what they’ve been getting, which is just like photo sets. And then also like, interview content and stuff like that.

Victor: So like, you guys have a team. So like how many people does it take to keep the page going?

Esperanza: Honestly, I don’t know. Like, it’s like, right now I think like 17 people. And we like hope to grow that so we can get as many outfits as we want and like just like be as creative as we want to and practice our creativity skills and stuff. But honestly, I always tell people, like, Don’t feel pressured to like, you know, oh, no, it’s two o’clock today on Tuesday, I have to go out and take a photo. But just like whatever capacity you have, and if you see someone, whatever time you’re on campus, just, you know, go with the flow of it. And your own time your own capacity. Yeah. And I think that’s like, so cool. Because like, everyone on campus is like patient about it, too. So everyone’s just like, just whenever it happens, it happens. And I think that’s like, what makes it so cool is because it’s like kind of like Christmas you just like open the President just like oh, like I don’t know, it’s like unexpected too I don’t know.

Diego: Everyone’s always like we’ve been we’ve been waiting. I’m like I’m with fits of SFSU like, I love your outfit. Um, can I take a picture of you and feature you and people are like, I straight up, like, got dressed not for class, but to be featured. Yeah. So like, people are always super hyped on it. And it’s also like, it brings light to people’s day and people’s weeks. Like I can tell that like when I go up to people and say like, Hey, I love your outfit, I want to feature you. That shit will make people’s weeks real like that. Like, they have a smile on their face. And they walk away with a smile on their face. So it’s definitely good both ways. 

Victor: Like to touch more like how it makes people’s day and like people look forward to it. What do you guys think it is about people putting together outfits and stuff like that, that just builds like this kind of community that you guys are getting right now?

Esperanza: I think at least from like what I’ve observed its just like people used to feel like afraid or like shy of wearing something that they’re not used to wearing but because they’re seeing other people on the page wearing something that they wanted to wear, they’re getting this confidence can embrace in who they actually are and just wear whatever the fuck they want to wear and just like be who they want to be. And like that’s definitely what we want to like display on our page, just like diversity, the beauty of it all on campus. And so it’s just like, I think that’s what makes people day people’s day because it’s like we’re recognizing them just being themselves I think.

Diego: I think has to do also with just like, like globalization and like global warming and stuff where now it’s a lot about like How can you repurpose? And like, can you thrift cool clothing instead of buying it from a department store? Or like those types of things? And so, especially with like social media, people have such cool pages where it’s like, yeah, my entire wardrobe is thrifted. And look how cool it looks. I feel like people want a piece of that. And people also want a piece of the sustainability. That’s kind of what has tailored a lot of people to taking an interest in personal fashion.

Esperanza:  Also, just to add on to that, like, you can also see like how people like embrace their culture as well through their sense of fashion. And I think that’s like such a dope thing. Like, yeah.

Diego: When people like style, their hijabs, or people, you know, just wear whatever is part of their culture, like, I can tell that people are really putting some thought into it. And it’s super fire.

Jason: Yeah, only kind of on the topic of thrifting. Do you guys have like any like known places, or that you guys yourselves like to shop at?

Esperanza: For sure. Like, I love going to Second Street on a good day, when I get a paycheck, you know, I can ball out a little. But if I’m on a tight budget, like most of us all, goodwill on Valencia, they have like a lot of good stuff. Goodwill bins in Oakland as well. You can get like a pound of clothes for like, just like $2 or something. Yeah, those are my spots.

Diego: For me. Yeah, I’m more of like a Salvation Army goodwill type person. And I feel like the common question is like, where do you thrift? Instead of like, how do you thrift? Because I feel like a lot of people want to know, like, Well, where are you getting these cool items? And I think the answer to that is like, the cool items are everywhere. They’re at all the thrift stores, you just kind of you got to kind of know what you’re looking for. And you got to know like your body proportions and know what kind of colors you’re looking for whatever, and then you can kind of narrow it down in your mind. And then you can just kind of look for that. So I feel like, more importantly, it’s about like, what am I looking for? Rather than like, where am I looking for it?

Esperanza:  Yeah, that’s true. Like, as long as you have patience, because I know sometimes I like go thrifting like, oh, no, I’m getting I’m getting all sweaty in here. 

Diego: Everybody’s  sneezing. 

Esperanza: So just like having patience and just knowing like going with the flow of things like maybe you want it to go for to get a shirt, but then you end up getting some like dope like low rise pants with like cool patterns on it or something just like, you just gotta be open-minded, I guess to go into different locations.

Diego: I think I think the beginning for any Thrifter is like find a goodwill and just go crazy.

Victor: Since you guys have like this big following, that’s still growing. Do you guys have like any plans to host like events or like donations or something like that coming up?

Esperanza: For sure, we hope to have like an SFSU swap, clothing swap. Because again, we just want to like embrace saving clothes and stuff like that and repurposing it. We hope to do that by the end of the semester. So it’s like at the end of finals, everyone’s like going back home for a break. And they want to get rid of clothes so they can bring in more clothes from their hometowns or whatnot. We also want to do more interviews on campus and just like be more interactive with people as well.

Diego: For sure. We were also thinking about maybe setting up a little booth and just letting anyone in everyone come and take their picture regardless of like if we think it’s a cool outfit or not like we want to give the opportunity for anyone and everyone to come and be featured on the page. And so that’s kind of one thing that we wanted to do as well.

Esperanza: And we’re also open to ideas. So if anyone listening…

Diego: Definitely!

Esperanza: You guys even like we’ll make it happen. We’ll do our best and stuff. 

Jason: Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was you guys that held like a clothes swap last semester?

Esperanza: Yeah, yeah. 

Jason: Tell me more about that.

Esperanza:  So my friend Marinessa she did the organizing shout out to her and my other friends to came  Zonovan, Ken.  We just like, posted up on like near the love tree. And we’re just like donate clothes and the amount of clothes you donate is the amount of clothes you can get. So you know if you want to get rid of your old shirts, you can get these cool pants that you see that someone else donated. With all the clothes we- all the donations we teamed up with this kind of similar page at UC Berkeley, we just had a bunch of like student vendors come through and we posted up at Oakland because we thought like it should be accessible for commuters as well because not everyone is located in SF and then the rest of the clothes I donated it to a woman shelter nearby. And yeah.

Victor:  Since a lot of people look forward to getting on the page, what is like the criteria for you to get the tap on the shoulder be like get a picture you’re fit?

Diego: Man. There’s not really much criteria so I feel like it’s just kind of like when me and her got time we go and do it or whatever. It’s just it’s usually it’s an item that pops out like a lot of times she’s like, oh my god her skirt is amazing. Or like oh my god, her boots are amazing, or her. Her, her hat is amazing or whatever. Um, so I feel like she goes with a lot of that. And then for me like, I don’t, I feel like I try and look at the outfit. But I also try and look at like the confidence too, because like, sometimes people will be wearing something that’s like, I guess considered basic or whatever. But they’re like really rocking it, and they’re strutting, or whatever. And then I asked them to take a picture. And not only do they like, are they willing to take the picture, but they pose for it and all that, and that’s just what like, brings that charisma to the page.

Esperanza: Um, for me, also, I would pay attention to like, trends that I see a lot of people wearing. So I’m like, Okay, if a lot of people are wearing this type of style, I feel like I should capture this so everyone can like it. And I also pay attention to something that is just like, well, I’ve never seen that before kind of thing. Like, it just sticks out to me. But we’re open to all kinds of styles. And we try our hardest. And we can still even try even harder to get even more style and more variety of that.

Diego: I’ve gone up to some people that are that I really thought had unique fits on. And I’ve been like, Hey, I’m with SFSU fits like I really love your outfit. Can I take a picture of you and feature you? And sometimes they’ll like, look at themselves, like look themselves up and down and be like me, you like my outfit? I’ll be like, yeah, man, like, you got on is creative and dope and you’re rocking it or whatever. And like, sometimes they deny me and be like, Nah, sorry. Like, I don’t want my picture taken or whatever. But yeah, like I try and just whatever comes to mind, or whatever looks interesting I try and approach it.

Victor: Yeah. Speaking of like, the reject, of like, I don’t want to be on the page. I don’t think there’s any of you two, but there’s somebody I know in this room that rejected their photo, getting  taken, to get posted on the page. Why?

Diego: Honestly, that type of stuff happens all the time. Like a lot of times, people will be like, Oh my god, like thank you for complimenting my outfit, but I just don’t want to be featured on the page. And we’re always just like, Yeah, no worries, like, Yeah, we’re good.

Esperanza: There’s no beef or anything. It’s all good. Sometimes people just don’t want to get their photos taken. And that’s okay. Like they still have a cool fit on and, like, we always wish them the best. Like it’s nothing personal at the end of the day. You know, it’s a cute little silly page, it’s fine.

Diego: Sometimes people get featured. And then after the fact, they’ll be like, Hey, do you mind taking down the photo? And we’re always like, yeah, of course. No worries. Yeah.

Jason: Yeah, kind of what he was alluding to. I remember I think it was you [Diego]. That came up to me last semester. And you said, you know, I love your fit, but I actually said no. And like you were alluding to man, it really made my week, I was just like thinking about that, I still think about it to this day, for sure. And I’m just like, wow, like people actually, like pay attention, you know, to what I wear. And it’s really like, like a confidence booster. It’s really, like, it makes you feel like good about yourself. And I feel like having like that on campus is you know, very positive for like the community and everything around it.

Diego: And that’s why and that’s why I tried to like put out more content and and make the team bigger and all that is super important. Because we know that we’re not just like getting engagement for ourselves and running this page that super cool that people like to interact with, but we also like, we want to be contributors and we want to like help people out with their confidence and all that type of stuff too.

Esperanza: And also like SFSU is a commuter school. It’s a struggle to find like friends, a community, or like just like people to talk to because everyone’s like class go home class go home kind of thing. So I think like this kind of helps with that to find like, hey, there’s like a school community going on. Like there’s some stylish people out here like we like want to talk to people we’re craving that like sense of school spirit, I guess.

Diego: One hundred percent. Last year, the first semester I was just commuting and I can be like an hour and so I was just going to class and then just dipping out and then there was one day like a few months into the semester where she came and she told me she really liked my outfit and did a little interview and featured me and all that and then a couple months later I ended up joining the crew and I didn’t really have like any friends out here at the school or like anybody that I interacted with during the school day or are hung out with and then she kind of came along and now I’m super close friends with her and I’m friends with all her friends and like we’re all a big squad and like now I got a network of people so like it really changes just like that.

Victor: On a lighter note, there’s always gonna be do’s and don’ts with like fashion like what are your guys’s like biggest no’s for going with a fit? 

Diego: Oh my god. 

Esperanza: I had a lot of conversations about this.

Diego: For me, I’m not big on super fat logos. Just like…just just like big Nike, big Adidas, and Timberland.

Esperanza: Like, if you look like a middle schooler and PE kind of thing.

Diego: Hurley and Hollister, whatever it’s like not there’s nothing wrong with any of those brands, but the fact that they have their logo, like that’s covering the entire back of the shirt. Like, yeah, it’s a little, it’s a little rough. And I would also just say like proportions, like, I would just say, like, sometimes people are wearing stuff that is like, so loose or so tight, that it almost seems like well, if you had something a little more fitting like it maybe a little more comfortable, or maybe this or maybe that, so.

Esperanza: And also, I just realized accessorizing like you can have like, just a cool fit. But then you accessorize with gold hoops, jewelry, belts, shoes, hairstyle even like, and then if you like put all those things together it’s like dang you got a  fit on like it just accessorize always. Yeah.

Jason: So I kind of just see on the page that there’s a lot of diversity, you know, you have, you know, people wearing really, you know, like, whatever really, they want. And I feel like that’s one of the like, the best parts about the page, you just see so much stuff. And, you know, kind of just the last question here, like, is there like one fit that really stood out to you like the most? Like the one that you just, you know, remember.

Esperanza: I have a lot that I remember, where I don’t know where to start.

Diego: There’s a particular person, I don’t know who they are, but they are always in crazy fits, I have to find the name of them. But I think we featured them a few times, and they’re always just in like, something that’s different. So I don’t have anything off the top of my head. But when people are just rockin’ stuff that is different and is a little bit outside the norm and kind of pushes on those kind of normative beliefs then that’s what’s really cool.

Esperanza: There is this one person actually like during the first week of school, they like wore this like silver jumpsuit with like silver boot heels and like, had like a mohawk and like, awesome, huge like eyeliner, I think and I was like what like she looked like she was going to a concert and I was like that that was so cool. Like I was like oh my god love.

Diego: That was that was one that I was definitely thinking of like when people wear like chrome or people rock-like stuff that looks like a stage outfit. Like this is something like sometimes people are rocking stuff where I’m like Taylor Swift would rock this on stage. This would go crazy. Like those are the types of fits that I really enjoy seeing.

Victor: Diego, Esperanza we appreciate you guys. Thank you for taking the time out. It was a blast. Hopefully, we can do it again. 

Esperanza: Absolutely.

Diego: We appreciate you guys for sure. No problem.

Victor: Yeah, no problem. Just keep doing what you guys doing and the followers are going to keep coming.

Esperanza: Thank you so much.

Diego: Thank you. Thank you. 

Victor: Appreciate it.

Esperanza: Stay fitted.

Outro

Victor: That will conclude our first episode of Gator Talk this semester. We’ll be back and make sure to follow Golden Gate Xpress on Instagram at GGX News.

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About the Contributors
Victor Harris Jr, Staff Reporter
Victor Harris Jr (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. Raised in Fairfield, California, he is a transfer student from Solano Community College, majoring in Journalism with a minor in Management. During his free time, you can find him watching sports, bowling, gaming, or working on his sports podcast, More Trophies.
Jason Hernandez, Staff Reporter
Jason Hernandez (he/him) is a reporter for the Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in education. He's lived in the Bay Area his whole life and was previously a psychology major before switching to Journalism. He chose to do Journalism because he believes it will allow him to travel the world and meet new people. He hopes to one day work as a sports beat writer, writing about football, soccer or MMA. During his free time, he enjoys thrift shopping and meditation. 

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