Happy end of the semester! With final exams wrapping up this week, summer break is even closer than ever.
Finishing up the school year, however, also means bidding farewell to the next graduating class. Out of the class of 2018, there is one individual that everyone here at The Spread holds dear. Jane Lee, our Fashion Editor, is one of the seniors leaving UIUC this spring to pursue the next stage of her career. To honor her time with the magazine, we have dedicated this spotlight to Jane to kick off our final issue of the semester. Read on to discover more about one of our hardworking and talented editors!
1.) How many years have you been involved with The Spread? What was your role within the magazine each year?
I have been with The Spread magazine since freshman year. I began as a fashion writer and editor. I kept my Fashion Editor position for all four years, but in junior year I became the Vice President of J.A.M.S., and now in my senior year, I am the President of the organization.
2.) What other leadership roles or extracurriculars have you participated in on campus during your college career, aside from The Spread?
I have been a part of The Daily Illini as a news reporter; 107.1 WPGU as an evening news anchor; and the American Advertising Federation’s executive board from freshman to senior year. I started off as an AdBuzz Account Coordinator, then was VP of AdBuzz as a sophomore, EVP Intelligence as a junior, and am now EVP Client Services. I am also currently an anchor for Good Morning Illini, the University’s morning news.
3.) How did you first hear about, and become involved with, The Spread?
My friend Hana Hong, President of J.A.M.S. at the time, had introduced me to it. She heard that I was really interested in fashion and writing, and she reached out asking me to write and edit for The Spread. Of course, I said yes in a heartbeat!
4.) What are some of your favorite memories associated with the magazine?
I really enjoy reading the articles posted each month. Everyone has such a unique perspective and writing style that I get so much inspiration from it! I also love meeting really passionate and friendly people. Everyone I’ve had the chance to interact with is so sweet.
5.) Do you have a favorite piece or pieces you’ve written for the magazine? If so, what are they?
Honestly, that’s very hard to decide! I really enjoyed writing all my fashion-related articles, because I covered a different aspect of the category each time. However, I think the Odyssey-style article I wrote, “An Open Letter to Sophomore Year,” has to be my ultimate favorite.
6.) When did you know that you had a love for writing?
Ever since I was little, I loved writing poems or writing song lyrics. I would pretend to know how to play the guitar and strum randomly, while I wrote down “inspiring” music. Also, I love listening to and telling stories. I think words have so much power, and to see them written down is an art itself.
7.) How long have you been into fashion? When do you think you first began to develop your own signature style?
Since I was born! (Haha.) My mom is my inspiration. She is super fashionable, and when I was little she would dress me up in all sorts of styles. I think from then on, I started developing my own interests in style, seeing the way my mom was crafting different outfits using various colors, patterns, texture, silhouettes, etc. I’ve always been passionate about fashion, but I think I really developed my personal style that I fell in love with in college.
8.) Speaking of your style… we’re obsessed. 😉 Where are some of your favorite places to shop??
Aw, thank you so much! That means SO MUCH. A lot of my fashion influence comes from Korea. I do visit Seoul often, and whenever I go, I purchase quite a bit of my favorite pieces. Or if I can’t visit, I’ll shop online! Besides that, I love Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom.
9.) Where do you think your love of fashion and writing will take you in the future?
I’ve always wanted to go into the fashion industry! I have also found passion in the advertising/media industry. Hopefully, I’ll be in NYC working in advertising, which has a storytelling and writing factor to it in the creative department, and I would love to attend NYFW shows!
10.) What advice do you have for the rest of the staff going into the Fall 2018 semester?
Uncertainty can be daunting, but never let your dreams get blurred out. Instead, continue to fuel yourself with your ambition and see how you can develop your talents all the more!
11.) If you could give your freshman year self any advice, what would it be?
Exactly the same advice as #10 🙂 and to be more confident with everything I do!
12.) Lastly, how would you describe your college experience in one sentence?
A process meant to strengthen my knowledge, develop my character, and manage time all the more wisely.
We cannot thank Jane enough for all of the hard work and dedication she has poured into the magazine over her four years at UIUC. You will be missed, and we will never forget you. Everyone on the staff wishes you the very best, and we cannot wait to see where your passions for fashion and writing take you in the future! You will surely do amazing things.
Madison Gillespie, Editor-in-Chief, and the rest of The Spread‘s staff members.