Pop!: Meet Leandria
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, 12:26 p.m.Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library
Pop!: Meet Leandria
Pop! Street Fashion is an experimental collection of patron street fashion at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. It is devoted to photographically documenting the sartorial narratives of patrons who visit the library. Please email My Nguyen for more information.
Architect Mies van der Rohe once said that God is in the details. While he passed away decades before recent Howard University graduate Leandria, 21, stepped into the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial library—incidentally, a library that he himself designed—Leandria nevertheless took a cue from van der Rohe in constructing her outfit.
Simplicity done well is more difficult than one would think; anyone can just throw on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt and call it a day. It takes an affinity for detail that elevates basic pieces into something stylistically inimitable, and, ultimately, stylistically yours. Leandria's outfit has it in the [Michael Kors] bag. Read more about her after the jump.
So you just graduated in May. How do you feel?
I feel lost. I really do. I kind of just don’t know what to do. But it’s a sense of accomplishment. I’ll be going back to school for law school [at UDC], though.
What kind of law would you like to practice?
What’s your dream job? Is it to be a malpractice lawyer?
Yes. That would be so much fun. I would definitely like to represent the families moreso than the doctors. So that would be really something cool, to get a big case and win it for them. But malpractice law would definitely be it.
Who are your style icons?
I don’t have any. I went to Howard. The fashion students there should really be my fashion icons. If I had to look at anything fashion-related, I would look at wedding dresses. I’m obsessed with wedding dresses.
I wanted to be a wedding planner for a really long time. Just the whole grandeur of it. I guess that’s why I took so many event planning classes. But that’s not actually what I’m going to do.
What did you study at Howard?
Journalism. I am a journalist. So this whole blogging thing is really something that I do. I did it for a while. It was definitely a requirement to graduate.
What do you see in the future of journalism?
It’s definitely going digital. I think eventually newspapers are going to be something that’s looked at in museums and not necessarily gotten off your street corner. Everything is online. Web design, we have new classes featured for online writing only, classes for just blogging, classes for videoblogging. So, I think paper eventually is going to go out, which is sad, because I love books. I love to actually feel the book. I don’t like the whole Nook/Kindle movement.
Do you find that it is useful, though, Kindles and Nooks?
Yes. Definitely. Two of my best friends have Nooks and Kindles, and they’re cool looking. But I just can’t get with it. It’s just something I don’t want to do because I actually like physically turning the pages as opposed to pressing a button.
Word. Speaking of books, what are your favorites?
My favorite book of all time actually is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I love Rebecca. I read it in my sophomore year of high school and I reread it all the time. But I just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by [Stieg] Larrson. My favorite one of that trilogy has to be the second one, The Girl Who Played with Fire.
Because it has the most action. The first one has the history so you can understand what goes on. [But] the second one ends in a cliffhanger. I really like cliffhangers. And the third one completes the story, but the second one we actually find out most about Lisabeth Salandar.
What did you like about Rebecca?
It’s a suspense story. I like suspense stories. It’s mainly all I read. And I kind of identified with the main character. She falls for an older man, and she’s moving into this big house and she kind of doesn’t know what to do. Which is something I would totally do, just kind of be intimidated by something that’s not even there.
I also read Scapegoat by her [Daphne du Maurier]. I just like her books in general because they’re just…weird.
What do you like about MLK?
Well, I started coming here my freshman year, because the library is my safe place. When I’m stressed out, I go to the library. The smell of books is comforting. That’s where I spent most of my childhood, just in books. I guess that’s why I’m a journalism major. But I just never stopped coming here. Even though they built a new library by Shaw, I was just not into it. I’ve moved around, and I’m still at this spot. I guess it’s kind of nostalgic since I’ve been coming here forever.
Where do you shop?
I shop at H&M, Zara, and a lot of thrift stores. I’ve kind of gotten over my Forever 21 phase. I feel like I can find the same thing at a thrift store or at a vintage shop that Forever 21 sells for like 10 times the price.
Which thrift shops?
There was one—they closed—it was called 4NXC. It was on U St. It was a vintage shop. If you go in the back, there were $5 bins and stuff. But it closed. I [also] go to the one on Georgia Avenue. Georgia Avenue Thrift.
What makes you happy?
Food. Food makes me happy. Food makes me extremely happy. I’ve gotten to where cooking makes me happy. Watching Paula Deen makes me happy.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Tenacious, ridiculous, atavistic. We can go with those three.
Earrings: "My friend’s room in New York."
Bag: Michael Kors
-- Story and photography by My Nguyen