You may have noticed senior Reid Hildebrand’s signature, pared-down style, or wondered if his oversized glasses frames could actually be real. (His prescription is -9.75, so they absolutely are.) The film major and Charlottesville, Va. native has drawn fashion inspiration from the aesthetics in New York City and Kyoto, Japan, where he studied abroad, and says he is careful with his Instagram feed to find larger inspiration in art and architecture.
The Argus: To what extent do you consider yourself interested in fashion?
Reid Hildebrand: I consider myself interested in fashion from a much more third-person perspective. Like I follow what goes on with the labels, and seasons, and releases, and things like this, but as far as it applies to myself, it’s more just like a hobbyist interest that I enjoy other people doing. Because especially now, as like a 21-year-old, I don’t have very much money, and fashion is a very investment-oriented hobby, you know? So to be able to buy things, like new things all the time, you definitely need to be able to have cash turnover. And I don’t have a job. So I find it much easier to wear like, white t-shirts and black jeans everyday, and pay attention to what people are doing elsewhere.
A: How long would you say you’ve been interested in fashion?
RH: In some capacity, probably like four or five years. When I was younger, in high school, I made this short film, and it got accepted to the Los Angeles Film Festival, and my dad and I decided to go out there to the festival, to do the festival things. And before we went, my dad was like, “Alright, Reid. Here’s the deal. If you want to go rub elbows with people that make movies, you need to look the part.” So we went to the Urban Outfitters that had just opened up in my town, and bought some t-shirts, bought some jeans, and that was really it.
A: Describe your personal style in three to five words.
RH: Some people would for sure call it boring. But minimal, clean. I think restrained is a big one.
A: What do you like most about style at Wesleyan?
RH: Honestly, that there is some. Like a lot of college campuses have no semblance of style, and at Wesleyan, there seems to be sort of a status quo that the average M.O. is that you care about how you look. And so when you’re in an environment like that, it’s much more entertaining for someone like me, who enjoys seeing what other people wear. And also, if you’re into experimentation, you can go a little bit further than you could in a place like Charlottesville. When I was living in New York, when I was living in Japan, like, those are both places that have a very stylish way of going about things, and I find Wesleyan to be sort of like a microcosm of that.
A: How has your style changed, if at all, since you came to Wesleyan?
RH: I know my jeans are tighter than they were when I got here. When I got here I wore contacts, because I had worn glasses for, like, sixteen of the first eighteen years of my life. I had a couple medical issues with the contacts, and at some point I decided I could do two birds with one stone, and I could get rid of contacts, stop having the medical issues, and also get glasses and use them as sort of an accessory.
A: Where are your favorite places to get your clothes?
RH: Honestly, coming back to the thing in which I am a college student and I don’t have much money to spend, I do a lot of second-hand, not like thrift shopping, but like eBay. I have online shops that I really like to browse, for stylistic inspiration, like Très Bien and Totokaelo, those are two of my favorites. So I’ll take what they have and go to eBay, and see if anyone’s selling similar things. Because I don’t really believe in compromising: I’m pretty particular, which is why I have like one thing that I stick with. And I have patience, so I’m not against, like, checking eBay every day until five months later, I still want it, and it finally shows up, that’s a victory.
A: How would you say the Internet influences your relationship with fashion?
RH: I think the Internet in general has made fashion a lot less trendy and cyclical [than] it used to be. There’s still definitely trends that come and go, and they catch on very strong and then they disappear. But people always say that fashion is cyclical, and I don’t think that’s true necessarily as much as it used to be, because on the Internet, you have all sorts of pockets of people who are interested in different types of styles. I think the Internet has done a really great job in proliferating a diversity of styles that all have their own communities and are all strong in their own way.
A: As a senior, how do you think your personal style will differ out in “the real world”? What will you miss about dressing for Wesleyan?
RH: I’ve actually given that some thought, because honestly I can’t wear black skinny jeans forever because at a certain point, just like a “too old for this shit” sort of thing. But it really depends on where I move. Like I’ve been talking with friends about moving to New York, or to like Austin, Texas, or to New Orleans, and like, all those places have very distinctive atmospheres.