May 2013 Articles

Hoot Couture

A Q&A with the editor-in-chief of student fashion magazine, Hepburn’s Closet.


Jessica Tan ’13 is the editor-in-chief of Hepburn’s Closet. Photo by Jia Li ‘15.

Interview by Molly Petrilla

As part of our mission, we do not seek to tell you how to look,” writes Jessica Tan ’13 in her first editor’s letter for Hepburn’s Closet, an online fashion and beauty magazine. “We are simply Mawrters who love la moda, and are collaborating to show you our observations and opinions on fashion and beauty.” A self-declared fashionista, Tan decided last summer to breathe new life into the magazine, which was founded in 2009 but had been lying dormant for a couple years. As editor-in-chief, she has overseen the publication of three issues. Entirely student-led and produced, the magazine showcases a unique Mawrter perspective on what’s in vogue.

How did you set out to make this magazine different from newsstand fashion magazines?

Jessica Tan: I wanted to make sure that once readers finished an issue, they’d have learned something they didn’t know before. We have a lot of articles about culture and local artists and feature Bryn Mawr students who are involved in activities related to fashion and culture. In our Fall 2012 issue, we had a spotlight on henna and talked to a student henna artist about it. Also, all of Hepburn’s Closet’s photographers, writers, hair stylists, makeup artists, models, stylists, 
et cetera are Bryn Mawr students. One of the magazine’s goals is to feature BMC students and allow them to express their passion for the fashion world in various ways. BMC has a lot of talented students!

You’re an economics major and a biology minor. how did running this magazine add to your Education at Bryn Mawr?

Tan: Running this magazine has been like a crash course in running my own business, except I don’t have to worry about the revenues. I do have to worry about budget, getting readers interested, getting work done on time, and motivating my “employees.” I’ve learned a lot of management skills as well as technical skills, since I also do the layout.

Tan: To be frank, when I first came here, I didn’t think that much of the fashion. After being here for four years, I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more. I think Bryn Mawr’s style, if I could choose one word, would be eclectic. Many Mawrters express themselves in ways that wouldn’t show up in the pages of Vogue or InStyle. But I say to each her own, as long as she feels comfortable and confident.

Read issues of Hepburn’s Closet at

HepClo_4 copy

From “Holiday Fashion Inspired by The Nutcracker,” Winter 2012 issue of Hepburn’s Closet. Model: Sarah Friesen-Johnson ‘15; Photographer: Zoe Colman ‘14.


From “Class Color Monochrome,” Fall 2012 issue of Hepburn’s Closet. Model: Samaita Jana ’15; photographer: Jia Li ‘15.


From “Portraits of a Mawrter,” Spring 2013 issue of Hepburn’s Closet. Model: Lauren Buckheit ’15; photographer: Kim Wiley ‘15.


From “Portraits of a Mawrter,” Spring 2013 issue of Hepburn’s Closet. Model: Elsie Chung ‘15; photographer: Kim Wiley ‘15.