At age 25, Eugenian Andrew Van Asselt has established himself in the Pacific Northwest as both a designer and an activist. As the owner of Coalition for Justice clothing (pictured below) and director of the Abolition Project fashion show (which is held annually spring/fall on campus), Van Asselt has worked to raise awareness for human trafficking and the mistreatment of women and children for the past two years. His motto? Do good, look good—and he does just that with a clean and simplistic style.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I’ve always been interested [in fashion] and I’ve always been one to set trends. I remember in first grade I would wear something and about three months later people would be wearing it. The same thing happens when I design something—it just happened this past fall. I designed a jacket, then this spring I went to a department store and BAM! The same jacket I made was right there. I like that fashion is a living art piece, and I like looking good. I love to have people judge me on my clothing when they meet me or see me. I want my first impression to be a good one, and usually that happens when I walk in the door. I say a thousand things before my mouth ever opens to say hello.
What would you say is your ideal outfit?
Some good jeans in slim fit, a scoop neck or v-neck t-shirt, and a great jacket. Not a North Face, but a good jacket. Layering is necessary. Also, a watch that is classy and clean, and not too bright or bling-y, like a Nixon watch. Add a clean pair of shoes and you’re set. Also, accessories always make the outfit, so sunglasses are usually key.
Where do you get inspiration?
I get inspiration from the people around me: my friends and family, Scandinavia and Europe, but most of all God.
What are the best aspects of fashion?
The creativity. You have style, and that makes fashion personal. And it’s always changing.
If you had to wear one specific article of clothing for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I would say nice dark denim jeans. It goes so well with everything. You can wear a blazer with it, or you can dress it down with a plain white t-shirt. It just goes with so much, and a dark wash makes you look thinner and taller.
Any advice for men or women struggling to define their style?
I would say to start by looking at yourself and ask, “What do I want to say to people with my clothes?” Like it or not, we judge people by the way they look. Just start small and build up, and look at [stylish] people and trends.
Bottom image from http://coalitionforjustice.co.