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A Love Letter To The Chic

By: Alexia Hill

I’m an avid overthinker, a perfectionist whose main focus is usually “go, go go.” I find myself filling my schedule and trying to make sense of the work I’m doing, making sure I feel fulfilled or that it’s worthwhile in some way, personally, professionally, academically. 

I feel like every time I’ve been asked about how I got involved in The Chic, the wording gets shuffled, changing depending on the day and mood. It’s honestly all a blur now, like January 2021 was a lifetime ago and the Alexia that joined her freshman year is someone completely different, simply a silhouette in place of the version of myself that has come into light over the years. How am I meant to recall those feelings when so much has happened since then? Still, I’ll try my best here. 

Not to be the bitch that brings it up as a major life-shattering event (like yeah, duh it was for everyone) but I felt incredibly lost throughout 2020-2021. Sitting in my dorm room day in and day out, attending Zoom classes, mainly leaving my room to go to my best friends’ dorms, or getting a to-go box of food from the dining hall was not the college experience I was anticipating. Still, that wasn’t the worst part really. 

More than anything, this was the first time I felt such a heavy sense of the typical Cronkite student’s “Imposter Syndrome.” I was excelling in classes for all intents and purposes, but seeing peers already obtain internships with The Arizona Republic and AZ Big Media, made me push myself down into a corner. What I lacked in confidence I used to make myself small. I took a stab at writing for an extracurricular option at the time, (shout-out Odyssey for my shitty, first stab at entertainment writing) but it wasn’t the right fit. I didn’t even bother applying for internships because I didn’t feel ready. Every time I logged into that JMC 201 Zoom, I questioned whether journalism was for me. Writing in many ways came easy, but the content, the act of pursuing hard news, was not fulfilling, not exciting, not meant for me. At least, not yet. 

My JMC 201 enterprise story was all about the experience of ASU students living at Roosevelt Point, giving a mix of opinions and perspectives. I got a B on it, the critique being that it wasn’t a new story, and had no news angle to it. 

The want to “go, go, go” contrasting with my stagnance in classes, in not having an internship, not having a job, not having an extracurricular was stifling, draining and almost self-sabotaging. 

This all changed when I joined The Chic. 

Looking back, I didn’t realize how important this little student organization would become. The saying, “slowly, and then all at once,” would be fitting to explain my love, passion, and growth for The Chic. 

All while feeling suffocated and trying my best to make class assignments fit the things I wanted to create, I was slowly immersing myself in a new-found joy with The Chic’s online meetings. 

That first semester, I didn’t write a damn thing. 

I sat in on desk meetings, listened to guest speakers like Ashley Paige, and subtly began to understand – like The Cut (Cronkite’s entertainment/hard news broadcast club) there were real career and creative outlet opportunities with this organization. I wanted to experiment with my artistic abilities and photography so my first contribution to The Chic was a (really horrific) photo collage in the Chic Magazine’s February Issue. Maja Peirce (Creative Director) was a saint for being so kind, patient, and willing to work with me. 

Like dominoes, my work with the club and my confidence grew exponentially. I wrote, modeled, took photos, and designed spreads for the magazine, ultimately moving through the ranks to become Creative Director. Influenced by the creativity and beauty of every woman in leadership — Megan, Lauren, Autumn, Mckenna, Gabriella, Maja, Ella — I aspired to be like them. Their kindness made the club feel like more than just a weekly extracurricular. I gravitated toward learning more about fashion, but first and foremost, building my skills to utilize them within this channel. 

Pages upon pages would be wasted in an attempt to recall every beautiful, transformative moment I’ve experienced with The Chic and its members. There’s too much to go into detail, but my college experience largely hangs in the hands of this silly little student organization – from romances and break-ups to my first runway show, to conflicts and tensions, to my first internship, to finding some of my best friends, endless fashion shows and even producing my own fashion show.  

Even the mundanity of weekly desk meetings warms my heart, recalling seeing everyone split into their different areas, their eyes lighting up and laughing about their pitches, hearing people get to know one another through this shared experience, shared space. 

From Creative Director, I continued progressing to become Vice President and President. The shift in being the one attending and watching the VP and President present their slides vs. being the one to present was a big, bad, scary one to make. Lauren and Autumn had so much faith in me though, maybe even more than myself in that moment. Their mannerisms, of having no doubt whatsoever, in putting me in such a high leadership put me at ease. 

If they were able to do it so well and they have this much confidence in me, then I can do this, I would remind myself. 

A feeling that has been both a little conflicting and heart-warming (but more than anything rewarding) is people coming up to me directly after the meetings to ask questions or learn how they can get involved. Although I can never be sure, it’s hard to fathom the impact that The Chic has made on me, and the impact I’ve had on The Chic. To think that I have gone so full circle to be the one guiding these younger students, having conversations with members and peers who don’t feel like they fit in at Cronkite, or feel like maybe journalism isn’t actually the path for them. 

When I say, “Trust me, I know exactly how you’re feeling,” don’t take that for granted. There was a point in my college career where I even considered dropping out to pursue real estate (can you even imagine?) 

I have always said that before this club, I would’ve never taken a leadership role. The truth is, I was Editor in Chief at my high school newspaper. What I mean is, I had never actually seen myself as someone who could fit and fulfill a leadership role in the way that I have with The Chic. 

I’m endlessly grateful that this club has given me the opportunity to learn about the industry first-hand, the good, the bad, the ugly, the rewarding, the harsh, and the beautiful. Through trying to teach others about fashion, I’ve been inspired to read more fashion news, find niche content creators, spread my knowledge, initiate more conversations, seek out opportunities, and truly begin to understand what needs to change and what the industry actually has to offer, both locally and globally. There is so much more to learn, and it will be a lifelong journey. 

Thank you to The Chic for the space to create work I’m proud of, that shows who I am as an individual, team leader and professional. Quick flex, sorry not sorry. Over the past three years, I have:

  • Led as President for 2-3 consecutive semesters

  • Written 28 digital publication articles 

  • Written three magazine articles

  • Designed 2 magazines independently 

  • Designed one magazine in collaboration with Maja

  • Participated in 3 non-profit fashion shows

  • Produced one fashion show independently

  • Traveled to LAFW and NYFW (3x)

  • Created 40+ social media posts and live-covered multiple runways  

And more. That feels so fucking good to say.  

I’m also incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to learn so much about myself, and the people around me. There have been too many long-night phone calls, voice memos and brainstorming sessions to count, trying to keep this club afloat and ensure our members are enjoying what we do. Through this, I’ve built intimate relationships due to our combined dedication to the cause, to something larger than ourselves.

Thank you to the members that I’ve grown with, whether we are still as close as ever, or have grown apart: there are no hard feelings ever, only love and appreciation for our time together. Thank you to the new members that I’ve watched grow and I hope will continue to grow with the club.  

The community that The Chic provides is indescribable. Cronkite/Chic alum Camryn, Lauren and Autumn are still some of my best friends, and I can see to this day how much this organization has also impacted their lives. I will forever crave and chase that feeling, and I know I’m not the only one. 

As an overthinker and perfectionist, I think it’s fair to assume I’ve made some decisions out of fear. But, life is a never-ending butterfly effect. Even if I joined The Chic initially out of fear (and curiosity) to desperately get something on my resume, it all worked out. The Chic was a comforting, yet uncomfortable environment. I felt safe and free of judgment to learn, but knew that I had just. so. much. to learn. And, I still do. I hope to move forward in my life happily learning and making decisions out of love, and knowing that The Chic directly/indirectly played a part in getting me this far. 

I carry so much faith and excitement to see how much The Chic will continue to grow. For those of you in the club now, or future club members, you’re going to fucking kill it. Trust in your work, trust in the club, be open to learning and speak your opinion. Olivia, don’t let yourself feel small. You are so much more than your doubts, and you’re going to take this organization so very far. I’ll always be here for you.  

It is my biggest heartbreak to have to say goodbye to The Chic. But, I will forever recall my time at ASU with this club, the memories imprinted into one single word on my collarbone. 

Thank you for changing my life trajectory. Thank you for being my butterfly, my constant, my senior year thesis, my reason for growth, my drive to continue to “go, go, go.” This is a break-up of sorts, but at the same time, it’s not. Because at the end of the day, I will always love you. 


Alexia Marie Hill <3


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