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UA Runway: Featuring Ryan Swift

By: Tatum Koster | February 28, 2022

Photo Credit: Nolan Adelsky

Ryan Swift, a junior transfer student, served this look in the Campus Center last Tuesday, separating himself from the modern world with a vintage vibe. Nolan Aldelsky and I sat down with him to gain insight into his style inspiration.

Swift told us he is mostly inspired by the late 80s into the early 90s era. He categorized this popular style as a grunge sort of look or “organized chaos.” This style includes oversized tees, loose pants, and usually boots, sometimes paired with iconic spiked hair.

Around Swift’s neck swung a pendant passed down from his Grandmother through his Mother and now in his possession.

“I like meaning and stories behind everything,” Swift explained. “I’ll never wear something that I just bought just because. That doesn’t mean anything to me—it has no story. It doesn’t represent any part of me, it’s just a thing.”

Swift then told us about the ring he wore on his pinky finger with “Live the life you love and love the life you live” imprinted on it. This was inspired by a James Dean quote.

“Live as if you will die tomorrow and dream as if you will live forever,” Swift said.

This quote held meaning for Swift because he believes we will all leave this earth someday, and we have no idea what will come after, so, “you might as well make the most of what you’ve got.”

Because of his fondness for items that hold a story or meaning, Swift told us that he enjoys thrifting, which has recently exploded in pop culture. He explained how he once had a backpack with Russian writing on it. He gathered that it may have been a soldier’s before it reached him. The wonder of what the previous owner had done with his life and with the backpack fascinated him.

He then connected this appreciation for stories with photography, providing the insight that he believes everyone should capture what they see because it all holds a story.

“It’s been that way forever. Somebody was alive 3,000 years ago that felt the same way as me,” Swift said. “The people in Pompeii, before it was buried in a volcanic disaster, were writing graffiti on the walls, talking about their crushes and their feuds.”

“We’re just the same as them. I believe that more of us have more in common than we actually think,” said Swift.

He showed us that an everyday outfit around campus could hold a lot of deeper meaning for the individual. For Swift, his daily attire helps him express his personal philosophies about life itself. He finished the interview with the philosophy, “Life is precious.”


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