The president and vice president of the IUPUI Fashion Club have been partnered since birth. Literally. Twins Skylar and Hope Martens have loved fashion ever since they used to put on shows in the living room for their parents.
Now, the seniors from Chicago are working to build up their club by bringing in the senior style editor of Seventeen Magazine, Kelsey Stiegman, and New York City stylist Audree López.
"Hope and I, ever since we were little, just always loved fashion. That was our thing," Skylar said. "We would dress up for our parents in the living room when we were little, or my mom would try to dress us, and we'd cry if we weren't stylish enough."
Skylar is a senior studying marketing in the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI. She and her sister started the Fashion Club this semester and already have 40 members, she said.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the weekly meetings are all on Zoom and feature guests like Stiegman and López. Skylar said having the meetings online hasn't been ideal, but it still offers fashion-lovers a sense of community.
Skylar said although Indianapolis is an urban city, there aren't many resources or contacts for the fashion industry.
"Besides just starting the club and having people come together who all like fashion, maybe it'll get big enough to where IUPUI will start to consider opening resources like that," Skylar said.
Hope, also a senior studying marketing in the Kelley School, made the initial connection with Seventeen Magazine's Stiegman. When she was a sophomore, she had to conduct an interview with an industry professional. She direct-messaged Stiegman, who, to Hope's surprise, answered and agreed to do an interview.
Stiegman offered Hope her advice and said she could keep in touch if she ever needed anything in the future. She even led Hope to her current internship with Fashion Fundamentals, a company created by Audree López that serves as a community for fashion students through workshops and a digital course.
"I'm a social media marketing intern, but my primary role is to be their senior ambassador," Hope said. "I'm basically in charge of the ambassadors we hire. I manage them, I create content and I host brainstorm meetings with them."
López was impressed by the twins' fashion Instagram account, @thepleatedstreet, which they created after high school to share their fashion trends with social media, Skylar said.
López asked Skylar and Hope to do an Instagram takeover for Fashion Fundamentals and share their styles for a day, Skylar said.
Because of the twins' fashion connections, Stiegman and López attended the Fashion Club's Nov. 11 meeting via Zoom. They both shared their fashion journeys and their internship stories and left time for a Q&A session at the end.
"I knew this was an opportunity for a lot of people to gain some knowledge if they want to work in the fashion industry," Hope said. "I think the members got a lot out of it."
As for future plans, Skylar isn't sure where she's headed after graduation but said she would like to stick around Indianapolis for a while. Hope is moving to Seattle for a change of scenery and is looking into the creative side of marketing and fashion.
"We've always dreamed of working together and accomplishing all this stuff together," Skylar said. "One of our dreams when we were younger was to be celebrity stylists together. That's still something we'd love to do."
Even though the twins are parting ways after graduation, their love for fashion will always keep them close.
"Fashion is literally our everything," Hope said.