Confluence (n.ˈkän-ˌflü-ən(t)s, kən-ˈ a coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point.

September 2015 marks the start of my fourth year in Pittsburgh, which always serves as a catalyst for dredging up all the less-than-stellar memories I’ve accumulated overtime when instead, I could be focusing on the plethora of positive vibes evident in my life thus far.

I strongly recall having this ridiculous idea to help turn Pittsburgh’s fashion scene into a model of New York’s or London’s, without ever truly giving the city’s history (and by extension, the artists that it births) any thought. In retrospect, that perspective was greatly flawed, and helped me realize that I am quite prone to comparing entities (mainly myself v. the rest of the world) when I should take time to appreciate each individual and each environment for the amazing things they have to offer.

In going out to work with those who know the city quite well or are native residents, it becomes apparent that the feel of the city, in its architecture, hope, pride, and riches-to-rags (and back again) story is strongly reflected in the those who are molded by the Pittsburgh community.

Eryn, a stunningly talented artist with a super laid-back personality, is an immensely strong character. Taking through the shoot with me and Heather, I came to learn that she is a character much like the city she hails from; strong, yet gentle, proud, and quite assured of (and happy with) who she is. In her many casual dismissals of baseless societal pressures, she is one in a movement of people calling to be assessed as an individual in every aspect of life, instead of being compared to something they are not. In having this level of comfort with herself (which greatly calmed the “make new friends” nerves, as she was very accepting of Heather and myself, leading to these excellent images), a formidable beauty emerges, one that knows its potential and will fight for its future.

This year, I’m looking forward to actively exploring as much as I can in this beautiful city,  to facilitating a confluence of personal identity and growth with the supportive and colorful community the City of Bridges has to offer.

There’s always something new to learn, kids.

Look 1: Banana Republic Sequin Mint Tank (Goodwill) / / Goodwill Black Culottes / / Cure Thrift Shop Black Blazer

  Look 2: Wasteland Mint Moto Jacket / / Avalon Exchange Pleated Scarf / / Goodwill Mint Pleated Skirt

Photography: Heather M. Hensen
Editing: Heather M. Hensen / / Khadijat Yussuff
Creative Direction & Styling: Khadijat Yussuff

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