Every Fashion Week a new issue of Page Six Magazine comes out to tell you the fashion stories you don’t know. Those happening in Boston, for instance, an increasingly fashionable place, even though Gisele told Vogue she likes to stay inside her home for days on end when she’s there. One story in the new issue comes from deep inside Harvard Business School, which is not exactly an unlikely source since alumni include the Gilt Groupe and Rent the Runway founders. But the magazine informs us that in addition to those successful fashion companies sprouting from Harvard’s overly manicured, bunny-strewn lawns (yes, we’ve visited), the business school is also home to some attractive people, such as ex-model Olga Vidisheva, whose waist size — 24 inches — must be relevant enough to include in the story.
Olga is part of a new and growing breed of Harvard students: well-groomed, well-heeled women who know as much about modern capital markets as they do about hemlines; who strive to work in chic lofts in Dumbo rather than a trading floor on Wall Street; and who claim that forgoing a “serious” career as an i-banker to hawk beauty products and designer dresses marks them as a new breed of feminist.
So, if we understand Page Six Magazine correctly, the small group of women who look good and care about clothes — precisely 150 of the 1,843 total MBA students, according to the story — are a new phenomenon on campus.
But you can probably find a handful of well-groomed, fashion-inclined women anywhere. And a lot of HBS students who came from financial backgrounds will have enjoyed the kind of disposable income that allows them to indulge in designer clothes; of course some of them, like Olga, who used to work at Goldman and didn’t like it, want to transition into fashion careers.
For its exorbitant tuition fees and all its rich (pun intended) history, an institution like Harvard ought to give the students what they want. So they’re catering to this new, attractive set of students.
Harvard, in turn, is playing up to its newly stylish image. Earlier this year — for the first time in the university’s 374-year history — the college added an Introduction to Fashion class to its undergrad curriculum. Taught by model Katiti Kironde, who once graced the cover of Glamour, the class was oversubscribed by 100 percent, forcing the college to delay its start by a week.
Maybe they’re afraid that if they don’t give the pretty people pretty classes, they’ll run away to somewhere that has a reputation for being fun and sexy. Or maybe they’re trying to do something fashion-y to make up for their awkward and perhaps embarrassingly frivolous decision to launch a Harvard clothing line.
Harvard Goes High Fashion [Page Six Magazine]