Shops | Stories | Trends

Top 3 Trends of the Semester

By on November 7, 2018

This semester at the U of A, trends have been popping up out of nowhere! The stores on University have been getting new clothes on the daily and they are all flying off the shelves. The women on campus are making these trends blow up by posting on social media and inspiring one another to go shopping from simple posts.

The first trend that is taking the campus by storm is chunky shoes. Whether it be chunky gym shoesDoc Martins, or just chunky heeled booties, this trend is rapidly being adopted by the women walking around campus. This type of shoe is easy to style because you can dress it up and dress it down. I have seen Doc Martins being worn to all types of events with all types of outfits such as dresses, jeans, skirts, shorts and many more.

Another trend that has been taking over the campus is animal print. Recently, cheetah print has been the most popular but snake print is also super popular in the stores. Dresses, bodysuits, skirts, shoes and even belts are all being covered in animal print. With Halloween just passing, this trend took over the night by allowing many women to dress up as a cheetah for the night. 

The last trend that has been brought back in popularity from the 90’s is plaid. Any type or color of plaid is making a comeback. This generation is known for bringing back items that were popular in the past and plaid is one of them! The classic flannel has always been around making plaid something that never really left but in recent seasons it has been seen much more as it is being turned into dresses, skirts and tops that can be dressed up or down.

All of these trends are super versatile and can be worn in any environment, which is why I think they are becoming so popular. While looking at Instagram it is easy to find all of the top trends that are in season by looking at all of the boutique’s pages and seeing what people are wearing. Keeping up with the trends is simple as long as you’re on social media and paying attention to the women walking around campus.

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Shops | Stories | Trends

The Mind Behind Swindlers

By on October 25, 2018

If you were to ask a student at the University of Arizona where the top place to shop was, they would tell you University Blvd. I got to talk to the mind(s) behind the successful shop, Swindlers located on University Blvd.

Christina Henneke, owner of Swindlers (which opened in December of 2008) gave me all the insight on what it was like to own and run a business on a college campus. “I think the most challenging thing about running a business on campus is keeping up with all of the demand,” Henneke says.

One of the main topics that I wanted to cover was how to keep up with trends. Henneke as well as one of the Swindler employees, Dia de la Viña, shared with me how the store accomplishes that.

Trends are quick to change, Henneke expresses, it’s a challenge to make sure that Swindlers does a good job and keeping the customers coming back knowing that they can find the hottest trends there. De la Viña shares with me that trade shows are the main way the store learns about trends before they become the trends.

In the fashion industry, there are people whose sole job is to predict trends based on current and past trends. By attending trade shows, the Swindlers team learns what they should be ordering and stocking and when they need to do it by. Henneke says, “We have a team of people, which consists of myself and two employees, who focus on managing all of our merchandise.”

Today, trends are mainly based on large influencers such as the Kardashians and many other public figure influencers. Swindlers, recently, has been focusing a lot on using Instagram to help them learn and pick pieces that they want to sell.

De la Viña also shared with me what makes Swindlers unique when being compared to the other clothing stores on University Blvd. One big factor that makes Swindlers unique is they have a website that is an online store. No other boutique on University has a website that you can purchase clothing from, this is huge for Swindlers.

As of recently, Swindlers starting to sell thrifted and vintage items that she referred to as “little bombs,” since they are usually one of a kind of there is only a limited amount of that item and they fly off the shelves.

Selling the thrifted and vintage clothing makes the store unique since thrifting is the new thing. They are also selling classic Levi items such as jeans, shorts and jean jackets. Swindlers receives new inventory every day and remerchandise the store one to two times a week, which shows how fast everything changes.

It is important for the employees to keep an eye on which items are the most successful and which are not as successful. It can be difficult for them to know which items are going to sell. It is risky sometimes to put them out, but it’s a risk they must take, both Henneke and De la Viña shared.

When they do have items that are not as successful they will decide whether to hold it in the back until a later time (when maybe it would sell better) or just put it on the sale rack. If it still doesn’t sell, “then, the last resort is $5… Everything sells on the $5 rack,” Henneke says.

Sometimes they have items that don’t sell because they are too far ahead of the trends. In that case, they take it off the shelves and hold it for long enough until they think it will be more successful. There are even a few items that are held entire seasons to make it back on the floor, but they usually come back on the sale rack.

In Tucson, especially at the beginning of first semester, the weather tends to fluctuate a lot. I asked Henneke what they do to deal with the weather, considering the customers and the merchandise. She says, “Rain, which we have been getting a lot of, affects the store. But, If it’s hot, girls shop. If it’s cold, girls shop.”

As far as making sure merchandise is corresponding with the weather she says they are constantly watching and making sure that the appropriate items are out for the current weather conditions.

Swindlers will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary in December and it is more successful than ever. The minds behind Swindlers sure do know what they are doing.

Follow them on Instagram: @shopswindlers


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Fallin’ in love with the weather 🌩⚡️

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A Wildcat You Should Know | Profiles | Stories

Just a Girl With a Dream

By on October 15, 2018

Every little girl plays with Barbie’s they are young, but Marlene Bond took it one step further. Ever since she was young she had a fascination with fashion. Bond at a young age began to create the clothes from scratch that she was dressing her Barbie’s in.

As she grew older, she started to create clothes for herself, DIY some of her purchased items and added patches to jean jackets. As this continued, her friends and family started to notice and wanted some items for themselves.

Bond created clothing for her friends and family as well as herself of a while. Realizing that other people wanted her personalized clothes, one of her friends suggested that she could start selling her clothes for a profit. At that moment, she created an Etsy page.

She started getting sales from not only within the country but all over the world. She was getting orders from Florida, Seattle, London, and many locations all over the globe. This was when Bond realized that this could actually be something.

Hand sewing from scratch Bonds Etsy page turned into her own website and company, Just MB Designs. Bond keeps up with the trends by constantly keeping an eye on what’s coming out in the stores as well as keeping up with all fashion magazines and social media.

Trends are simple for Bond because if she’s walking down the street and sees a piece she likes she usually thinks to herself “I could make that,” and then does. Something she struggles with is keeping it unique. It would be too easy for her to just recreate a piece, she likes to make her clothing stand out.

While Bond is keeping with her company she is also a student at the University of Arizona. While she is now majoring in Retailing and Consumer Sciences she originally started on the path to be a nurse. After starting her freshman year, she began to realize she was not following her dreams.

After joining the TREND Fashion Club on campus, she started to realize that she was on the wrong path. What helped her make her decision was hearing her biggest inspiration, former CEO of Macys, Terry Lundgren speak to the club.

Lundgren graduated from the University of Arizona so he visits often to speak to the club. Bond says that she gets inspired again each time she hears him speak because he says the same thing every time and “each time it gives me chills” she says.

As she continues to grow each day within the Fashion program she is constantly working hard, while balancing school, her company and a job at Banana Republic. Bond has worked many different jobs and has had multiple internships as well, and all this helps keep her going and growing.

In the future, Bond’s ultimate dream job would be to buy and pick what goes on the racks for a department store. Ideally, she would also like to design her own clothing for large stores as well.

But for now, she will be finishing college and running Just MB Designs.


Follow her at:

Instagram: @justmbdesigns1

Visit her website at:

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