Avant-Garb Mag interviewed Maurice Asare ’19 who shared about his penchant for soft, heathered sweaters, Zara, and being bold

Interviewed by Hailey Wozniak

Photos by Darius Riley

HW: What’s in your closet?

MA: Sweaters are my everything. They’re my go-to, especially here in Maine. I’m from New York so I’ve been collecting sweaters for a long time. Coming to the New England area gave me a reason to invest in sweaters. I’m also a big fan of coats.

 

HW: Do you have favorite sweaters?

MA: I’m mostly a pattern kind of guy. I love simple patterns, whether that be stripes or multicolored prints. Recently, I’ve been into the idea of turtleneck sweaters and sweaters that devour your body. I enjoy shopping for them at Zara. I definitely feel like I’m one of the few people in Maine ordering boxes from Zara. Their sweaters are well-priced and they fit my aesthetic, which is kind of trendy but daring. I’ve also been shopping at Topman and Macy’s.

 

HW: Tell me about your style.

MA: I started caring about what I put on my body in high school. At the time, I felt like no one else cared about putting effort into their wardrobe. When I got to Bowdoin, I felt pressure to conform, especially my first semester here. It seemed like in order to be a true Bowdoin student I needed to look like one, dress like one and at times act like one. At Bowdoin, there’s an emphasis on functionality and warmth, while there isn’t much emphasis on fashion, flair, being bold, or trying to stand out. This is my third year here and I still haven’t purchased Bean boots so I think I’m battling the good fight and winning.

 

HW: Is being bold important?

MA: It’s important to me because I’m the type of person who has wanted to hide behind various walls. I see my clothing as an opportunity to stand out and break down those barriers that I put up for myself. I think boldness is a beautiful thing. When we dare ourselves to walk in our own truth and live our own truths, that’s the most beautiful sentiment that a human being can pursue.

 

HW: What inspires you to form an outfit?

MA: It depends on the way I’m feeling. If I wake up in a crappy mood, I’ll pick out black pants and a black sweater. My mom tells me to brighten up my wardrobe. I go more for materials and textures. This coat makes me so happy, and I may have over-worn it. I like clothes that have certain feels and balance my moods. They make me feel at home.

 

HW: Do you have any style influences?

MA: Occasionally I’ll stumble upon someone’s Instagram page that inspires me. I like the effortless, just-woke-up look. I started out shopping at H&M. One of their brands has an asymmetric quality to it and that’s when I realized I had that preference in clothing. I also have a lot of fall colors. Fall’s the greatest season. It’s the only season.

 

HW: Is there something in your closet that has a special significance?

MA: This scarf. I wore it once the right way in high school and since then, I haven’t been able to wear it correctly. I remember walking into class and my friends in class immediately asked, “Maurice, what is that?”  I was overwhelmed, but at the same time, it was the first instance in which I received some sort of validation for my clothing. I remember feeling apprehensive because I thought people would judge me. Then I felt that overwhelming sense of appreciation for wearing something unconventional. It honestly made my day, which is really great. It was a beautiful surprise.

 

HW: Why should fashion be talked about?

MA: Fashion speaks to the kind of individual you are and how people see you. It’s my way of turning pretense into an art form. It gives certain individuals the opportunity to express themselves in the way that they want to be seen.