For many students, the desire to blend in on campus outweighs the motivation to stand out.
A certain amount of stress can come with getting dressed in the morning, producing a series of rapid-fire questions thrown at the reflection in the mirror. Is this sweater too out there? Are these pants a little much? What will my friends think about this jacket?
What results is a sea of monotone on-campus clothing — and a unique population of risk takers thrust further into the spotlight. Their trick? No fear.
The same is true for Roy Freiha, a business marketing student in his third year. Donned in a vintage crew neck with a colorful fish graphic and bright teal pants to match, Freiha emerged from the crowd like a vibrant vision from the past.
His bright white Nikes sauntered confidently through the shady underpass of the art building, flashing glimpses of checkered Vans socks from beneath the hemline of his thrifted pants.
With his hands tucked gingerly in his pockets for warmth and a smile painted across his face, Freiha radiated self-confidence.
A couple weeks ago, Frieha released a video titled “What People at San Diego State University are Wearing,” based off of similarly titled videos made around the world to showcase local fashion.
Bringing the movement to San Diego State, Freiha featured a handful of students across a range of styles, highlighting those who dare to dress outside the box.
But the man behind the lens remains a stranger, leaving his viewers with one question: what is Roy Freiha actually wearing right now?
How do you describe your style?
I would describe my style as a mix of a lot of thrifted clothing with a touch of streetwear. It’s a blend of both elements. I’m not into big streetwear brand names — like Supreme, Balenciaga or Off-White — I mostly thrift my clothing and add some sneakers. There’s not really a specific description of how I would describe it, it changes up a lot.
What inspires your style?
There’s no specific person I follow. Based off of what I see on Instagram, on my explore page, I’ll find random pieces that I think would be cool and could make my own. I see how I can do something close to that, but in my own way. My friends — we build off of each other and we help each other pick out stuff.
Favorite places to shop?
A lot of clothing I’ve been getting lucky with is from Buffalo Exchange. Some days I go and find four good pieces, other days I go and find nothing. It’s all luck. Definitely Goodwill, Salvation Army and AmVets — I’ve found a lot of good pieces from there. Through ASOS and Urban Outfitters I’ll sometimes find good pants or shirts that I feel I can add to my collection. And La Loup vintage — I wish they had a bigger guys’ section, but that’s okay.
Tell me about your project, “What People at San Diego State University are Wearing.”
Not too long ago on YouTube there were viral videos titled “What People Are Actually Wearing” and it varied from people in Paris art schools to high schoolers in Tokyo to people in Portland. I got very into those videos and I always wanted to do one.
I decided to do one for San Diego State because a lot of my friends have really good styles and I feel like they’re underappreciated. There are a lot of unique people at this school mixed with a lot of basic people, so I just wanted to record them, put them out there, showcase my friends and just do it for my own personal satisfaction.
How’d that go for you?
Good! I normally take pictures, but that was my first time recording and editing video. I put it out there and received a lot of good feedback. Everyone was commenting on it, a lot of people were telling me to do more. A lot of people want to be featured in the next one.
What advice do you have for students looking to explore their personal style?
As cliche as it sounds, try new things. Even though you may think it’s a big deal, it’s really not. People are going to be surprised by what you wear the first time they see it, and then they get used to it. Just try new things and don’t be afraid. People are going to talk and keep talking no matter what. You’ve just got to do your own thing.