Bringing black back

Spring means one thing: it’s time to stop hiding under heavy parkas. David Milliken — sporting a clean and simple all-black combo that’s anything but gloomy — has made the perfect transition.

Milliken, ArtSci ‘17, has an ever-evolving style reflective of a modern aesthetic. When I spoke to him, he had paired a black baseball button-up over a classic black T-shirt, and grounded the ensemble in a set of plain, dark wash skinny jeans. His effortlessly cool vibe provides the perfect sounding board from which to draw inspiration this season.

Milliken gave me some insight into every element of his style, from ethics to design.

How do you feel your style represents you?

My style represents me in the terms that it’s constantly changing and evolving. My style will change depending on how I feel on a certain day or a certain climate and certain environment. It progressively develops and builds depending [on my] mood.

Everyone is going to have their own definition and understanding of what good style or good fashion is. And you have to realize that fashion/style is a subjective form of art and people are going to use it to express themselves however they would like.

What do you look for in clothing?

As a sales associate, I am constantly surrounded by old and new merchandise and I have been able to look at it for a while and develop something I like. [Like] this baseball jersey, I bought yesterday but I have been looking at it for a while.

How do your tattoos play into your style?

I match them with simple basic pieces of clothing and bring the observant eye to them. Tattoos, in my opinion, are what people view as symbols of negativity.

In their own way they are a social movement — they allow people to express themselves.

What inspires your fashion choices?

The hard thing is because I work at American Apparel, I am a little biased. What inspires me is when clothing is sweatshop-free. I have transformed my wardrobe to something that is morally and ethically correct. That is what inspires me to dress — clothing [that] is sustainable and ethically created.

What interests you about fashion?

It is this subjective force that anyone can take. It’s an art form.

Your body is your canvas and how you want to project yourself onto the world. If you yourself are the artist, you can take control of how you want to be perceived.

Aside from working at American Apparel, how have you involved yourself in style?

I am head of photography for the Vogue Charity Fashion Show. The huge part is our designers. The Vogue Fashion Charity Show works with students who make designs for our yearly theme. What was cool was the designers were making designs from different art this year. I got to see amazing designs. So if students are looking to get involved with fashion on campus, it is a great outlet.

What advice would you give people to broaden their style horizon?

Street style is a huge thing. Get out of your room, go for a walk downtown and on campus — there are some very fashionable people.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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