Part III of this series is concluded by the ever so wonderful, Kristin Coffman. She is radiant, ingenious and unabashedly confident.
Her story is a bit longer in length, but is beautifully told + so inspirational. Check it out!
LB: Tell me a brief synopsis of your journey in life thus far.
KC: Heya! My name is Kristin and here I am, writing before you on this lovely brainchild of a fashion and lifestyle blog devised by my sweet friend Libby Bartley. To be included in this is so flattering, and I am so grateful.
Twelve years ago, I departed from my dream of working with fashion to pursue my journey as an athlete. I worked tirelessly to be the best and found myself very successful in middle distance and high jump, but could never quite trade my heels for tennis shoes or my skinny jeans for shorts. My fashionable expression remained. After getting recruited by Oregon State to run track and field, I realized I wasn’t sure I liked the direction my life was going.
So…. I packed up my shit, threw away all remnants of orange and black and hightailed it 30 miles south to Eugene, whereI truly began to feel like myself. I pursued a major in advertising, an internship with a music marketer/booker and became a stylist for a photographer in Portland. This concoction of things ignited a love affair between my dark, minimalist street style and music.
LB: Complete the following sentence. My favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe is:
KC: My YRU lasso western ankle boots. Thank you Solestruck. And my Brixton black tiller hat.
LB: Complete the following sentence. The soundtrack to my life is:
KC: Black and White by The Maine. They will always perfectly articulate my life. I’m a pop-punk kid at heart.
LB: Why fashion?
KC: Fashion does the talking for me. Ever since middle school, I loved the idea of dressing myself in a way that allowed other people to get a sense of who I was just by looking at me. Fashion tells a story. It helps me reinvent, shape my identity and stay in touch with culture (as well as defy it sometimes). Fashion is one of the only industries that sets guidelines in order for people to break them, or set limits just so people can push them. It is amazing to see what people come up with after someone else does something seemingly un-toppable; a constant fuel and fire situation.
LB: Tell me about your dreams.
KC: I would love to do something that links music and fashion. Music is what gave me the bravery to pursue a path less traveled in the first place, so it only seems fitting that that inspiration would carry me to a career. I am always scoping out how fashion and music intertwine, so perhaps a job as a stylist for Alternative Press, or blogging about music and fashion would be a wonderful avenue.
LB: What challenge defines your story? In what ways have you learned from it?
KC: For a long time I placed a lot of pressures on myself that confined me to doing one thing. I lived in fear of losing who I was if I departed from what I was good at. I had to really take time to accept that sometimes, just because you are good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to love it. I can’t even tell you how many times people told me “What a shame,” and “You’re wasting your gift,” after I decided to quit track. All I wanted to say to them was “Well what about what I could be good at?” I had never given myself that chance. In many ways, I had fused my identity with my talent and forgotten all about what it was that I wanted. After a while, track and field made me feel hollow. I had to stand up for the person I knew I could be and jump. Ever since I ended my career as a runner, I made a life shift. I no longer live in fear of breaking rules (well, nothing too extreme) and I stopped building fences that separated what was safe and was worth it. I’m going after some crazy-ass dreams and I have never felt more sure of myself.
LB: If your sense of style could share a message with the world, what would it be?
KC: Faux-goth. All my friends tell me I look intimidating, but in reality I’m a pretty warm and quirky person. I just wear big dark clothes and lots of dark makeup.
LB: What are your favorite things?
- I have this skateboard hanging in my room that has Johnny Cash on it. He’s pointing outwards and has this face that says “Hell yeah dude, you got this.” My boyfriend gave it to me after we’d been dating about six months and told me “Every time I look at this board, I feel like Johnny is saying ‘You got this dude!’ I want you to feel that same way!’” Now, every time I walk out of my room I see it and think, “Yeah, I got this!”
- My Jeffree Star liquid lipstick. Shade: abuse
- My cat. Her name is Pat and she is fat and awesome and kind of a tyrant but maybe that’s why we get along.
- My grandma’s homemade mashed potatoes and fried chicken. Good God. Be still my heart.
- My framed gold “Forever Halloween” record. One of my favorite albums (got me through my sophomore year misery) and my parents framed it as a christmas present with the CD cover, and a tour poster. It’s beautiful, and hanging on my wall to this day.