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How 6 Months In A New City Can Change Everything

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    ILLUSTRATED BY ALEX MARINO.

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    We don't just appreciate an inspired ensemble. We want to know the whole making-of story behind it. But in Style Roots, we're going one better. In partnership with Nordstrom Rack, this series will deep-dive into the real sartorial evolutions of seven city dwellers who all came from very different starts. Be it a streetwear OG or newbie vintage collector, we'll examine how past and present cultural, social, and career influences mold one's unique style persona.

    While most style transformations don't happen overnight, sometimes all it takes is a brief stint in a new city to impact our wardrobe game forever. Specifically, for Chicago native Samantha Lula, a quick six-month run as a fashion intern — as well as a particularly humbling fashion show experience — in NYC was all it took took to fully shift her perspective.

    For starters, the former fashion-business and marketing student, as well as one-time, self-professed preppy Catholic schoolgirl, swapped in her too-many-trends-at-once attitude for a new, edgy look and a minimalist color palette. (Because as any New Yorker would agree: Black is always the new black.) But more importantly, in the three years since moving back to her hometown, Lula's taken the style chops she honed in the concrete jungle and leveraged them to help her thrive as a girl boss. She's launched her own choker company, All Choked Up, and has plans to expand. Big time.

    Read on for more on the pivotal fashion moment that nearly brought Lula to tears; how Chicago is welcoming her bourgeoning business; and her key advice to entrepreneurs everywhere.

    Don’t forget to check out Nordstrom Rack's new store, opening September 30 at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, IL. Get the details here.


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  2. ILLUSTRATED BY ALEX MARINO.

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