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Style Spotlight

MBA blogger brings fashion and business together

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Style Spotlight

Oksana Pelt's unique style features bold accessories.

Oksana Pelt's unique style features bold accessories.

Courtesy Oksana Pelt

Oksana Pelt's unique style features bold accessories.

Courtesy Oksana Pelt

Courtesy Oksana Pelt

Oksana Pelt's unique style features bold accessories.

Allison Duchin, Contributing Reporter

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Oksana Pelts, a current MBA student at the Weatherhead School of Management, is bringing a new voice to fashion in Cleveland and to Case Western Reserve University by association. Approximately six months ago Pelts started her blog “Style Moment” as a creative outlet, but since its creation Pelts may have bigger plans for the future of her blog and love of fashion.

As the blog and range of network expands, Pelts is utilizing the masters program to “marry the business side with the arts side” in order to be in a field that is more creative.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University with her Art History degree, Pelts wanted to move to New York to pursue a career that would allow her creative side to blossom. Due to certain circumstances however, Pelts has remained in Cleveland and now says she appreciates the Cleveland style she sees every day.

It is this “Cleveland street style,” as well as her Ukrainian heritage, that best describes Pelts’ own personal style. Pelts said she believes the essence of Cleveland’s street style is simplistically trending looks, but with an effortless feel.

Granted, Pelts said she spends most of her time outside of the CWRU sphere because she is working on her masters part-time and doesn’t see the swarm of students in sweats on a daily basis. However, she believes the essence of Cleveland street fashion exists in nearby areas of Cleveland such as Tremont, Little Italy and downtown.

Fashion icons have also helped shape how Pelts views her sense of fashion, which could be described as “understated elegance” or as subtly stylish. These icons include women who Pelts believes embody this kind of style: Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Kate Middleton. A style trait that Pelts attributed to all of these women was that they always had a sense of looking put together, but with a sense of ease.

It’s no wonder these women inspire Pelts’ sense of style, considering her devotion to the “one bold piece” rule. The rule suggests having one stand-out piece that is somewhat different and using the other garments in an outfit to complement the standout piece instead of competing with it. One of her examples is a floral dress.

In trying to promote her own style throughout and beyond the Cleveland social sphere, Pelts also made a point to mention other style havens that have an influence on the Cleveland fashion scene, like The Wandering Wardrobe.

This hidden gem is not only an ingenious retail shop, but altogether a fantastic business model. The store looks almost like a food truck and allows shoppers to walk inside and then see a beautiful retail store.

Pelts highly recommends this outlet to anyone looking for a good deal on amazing fashion finds from L.A. and New York. Pelts elaborated that not only does the owner get top quality trends from the two largest fashion hubs in the country, but also that she admired the owner’s business intuition that has allowed her to eliminate large portions of overhead costs by driving her store around.

Pelts has no interest in halting her creative path. If nothing else her blog has spurred her forward to create more business opportunities. She specifically mentioned that she loves designing patterns and hopes that one day she can sell the prints or design small accessories and supplies such as paper or even phone cases.

Pelts credits a lot of her fashion identity to her Ukrainian heritage (she moved to the states when she was 15) because she says there is a different culture in relation to one’s appearance between Europe and the United States. She mentioned that in Europe, appearance is taken more seriously and is something more commonly addressed throughout a country rather than just in metropolises.

Pelts says she likes to honor her heritage by adding in elements of traditional Ukrainian fashion to her wardrobe. Luckily for her, the beautiful embroidery and loose bohemian peasant tops that are trending now are iconic pieces of Ukrainian fashion, and she exemplifies this with her favorite white embroidered blouses.

Her advice is to not buy clothing that is cheap just because it is affordable. If you are just going to have to replace it, then you should value the slightly more expensive goods (especially classics) for the quality it will hold, as it lasts longer.

Dressing well provides Pelts with a little bit of savings and a daily boost of positive energy. It also provides others around her with a positive impression of what she thinks of herself, her work aesthetic and ethic. The one key piece of advice Pelts gives to undergraduates is that people don’t understand how important clothing is.

“A person forms their opinion of you within a split second, and you want to give yourself the best chance. I think it’s very important for students, because you’re building your network and your career while you’re in college,” Pelts said.

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