Introduction & Interview by Caroline Skou
Shop the MMXXI Collection & The Columbia Collection
In a year that has turned our lives inside out, the old reasons for why we wear what we do, no longer applied. We have been looking away from the industry, and back to ourselves & each other for aesthetic inspiration. As street style became screen style, we reverted back to our 2012 camp tie-dye trends, and retired our jeans in favor of monochrome matching sweat suits. It seemed the fashion playing fields we’re becoming level as a digital fashion week, made the elite event attainable to all levels of social influence - from 100k followers to your neighbors dog account.
As this next generation continues to change the ‘old rules’ to the fashion & beauty space, it’s exciting to look forward to what the industry will look like in a post covid era. And for a peek into that future, I had the chance to talk to Sofia Perez, a senior at Barnard College, who is looking to pursue a career in marketing & sales within the beauty industry
With everything that happened this past year, what has it been like to be a part of the Class of 2021?
For the class of 2021, the pandemic has been difficult. Like most seniors around the globe, my education abruptly transitioned to online learning. In a way, however, I think it’s made us closer as a class year unlike the ones before us. We’ve all had a difficult, collective experience of managing classwork with the uncertainties of the pandemic and as a result, we have become stronger and more united. Although I would have preferred a senior year in person with the greater Barnard College and Columbia community, I think we should be proud of the accomplishments we’ve been able to achieve during such a difficult time in our world.
Social media has greatly impacted my relationship with beauty and I’m inspired by others’ cosmetic creations. Seeing so many different people experimenting with makeup online has given me the courage to dive into the digital beauty community
I would love to hear more about your makeup journey. How did you get into makeup and begin to develop your own brand online?
I think I’ve always been interested in makeup for as young as I can remember. My interest in beauty started by seeing the makeup looks of the women in my family, especially mom. Growing up, I would always watch her get ready with her wine-colored lipstick and black eyeliner. When I started wearing makeup in high school, I watched so many YouTube tutorials on how to achieve different looks with the few makeup products I had at the time. Social media has greatly impacted my relationship with beauty and I’m inspired by others’ cosmetic creations. Seeing so many different people experimenting with makeup online has given me the courage to dive into the digital beauty community, specifically on Instagram and TikTok. I haven’t made my own YouTube channel, but hopefully, I will in the future. It takes a lot of confidence to put content out on the internet, but I’m slowly learning to be more expressive in my makeup looks.
(SHOP SOFIA'S MMXXI NECKLACE & COLLEGIATE SUNBURST NECKLACE HERE!)
I saw that you had a few internships at Cosmo and COVETEUR. Could you tell us about your experience? Did you receive any great advice while working at these cool places? How did your experiences impact your future goals?
Going to school in New York City has led me to some great opportunities that I am very grateful for. I interned at Cosmopolitan Magazine in the summer of 2019 as their Beauty and Skincare intern. The editorial team there is amazing and I even got to write a piece for the website and magazine! It was such a fun internship where I got to play with makeup everyday. I interned at The Coveteur last semester as their Sales and Marketing Intern which taught me so much about the business side of editorial. I think having those two internships under my belt helped me realize that I want to dive into the beauty marketing industry after graduation. At Cosmopolitan and The Coveteur, I noticed one thing that helped me make this decision: everyone I worked with was so passionate about their work. It’s also the one piece of advice my mentors at The Coveteur told me as well. You need to have passion for what you do, so I immediately knew my passion was for beauty.
Our Little Luxuries campaign focuses on celebrating small victories with the level of enthusiasm typically reserved for big accompaniments. What is a ‘small victory moment’ you’ve had recently?
Recently, I submitted the first draft of my senior thesis. Although it’s just a draft, I was so proud to be a step closer to finishing a very lengthy project. I’m majoring in Art History and the department at Barnard has been very supportive in writing on a topic that I am very passionate about. I’m exploring the women’s relationship with cosmetics as demonstrated throughout art history and how they create different identities through makeup. It’s been so much fun analyzing different makeup looks from 18th-century France to the TikTok transformations of today. I’m currently wrapping up the editing process and I hope to submit the final draft in a few weeks.
Before COVID-19, I always liked to have a plan with my life, but I think this pandemic has taught me to embrace the uncertainty. Now, I’m excited about the unknown.
I love to end interviews with you telling us something you're excited for. So, looking forward to next week, after graduation, or anytime really, what is something you're looking forward to?
Although all celebrations are virtual, I am excited about graduation. I’ll be celebrating at home in Florida with my family. Because of the pandemic, I haven’t had many chances to see them. It would be nice to have an in-person celebration at Radio City Music Hall, where Barnard usually has their graduation ceremony, but having my family by my side is the most important to me. I’m excited about a world without COVID-19. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family as much as I want and without masks. I can’t wait to visit museums and explore the city like I used to. Before COVID-19, I always liked to have a plan with my life, but I think this pandemic has taught me to embrace the uncertainty. Now, I’m excited about the unknown.
Thanks Sofia for taking the time to let us interview you!
Check out the MMXXI Collection & The Columbia Collection here! And don't forget that 10% of proceeds from the MMXXI Collection are donated to No Kid Hungry, Girls Who Code, and UNCF! Pick which organization you would like to donate to at checkout!