Golden Gate Xpress | Between the Issues: Flop or Serve? SF State students talk fashion

Golden Gate Xpress | Between the Issues: Flop or Serve? SF State students talk fashion

On the third floor, there are two classrooms that are newspaper-plastered and reporter-cluttered. Dramatic keyboard clicks leak from the rooms, serving as the hallway’s consistent ambient noise. 

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These are the magazine and newspaper production areas. The single door that separated them was finally opened in this semester. 

Welcome to Between the Issues. This is the first podcast that was created in collaboration between the Golden Gate Xpress newspaper, and Xpress Magazine. The editors from both publications sat down together with the SF State fashion accounts that has gained more than 2,000 followers within a little over a year. Fits of SFSU. 

Breanna Miller and Esperanza vaquiz, two students behind the page, talk about their favorite fashion trends, online haters, as well as why they created it.

Check out the premiere episode of Between the Issues.


Oliver: Hello everyone, and welcome to the inaugural episode of Between the Issues. I’m Oliver Michelsen, one of the editors for Xpress Magazine and I’m joined by the editor-in-chief of Golden Gate Xpress this semester, Lisa Moreno.

Lisa: Hey, everyone.

Preview of the show

Oliver: For those of you who don’t know, SF State’s Journalism department hosts two student-operated publications: the Xpress Magazine and the Golden Gate Xpress newspaper.

Lisa: We both have our newsrooms and staff. But after a solid year of reporting and around 20 years of coexistence we decided to meet up to discuss some of the best stories and get you excited about the future.

Recently, on Xpress

Oliver: Alrighty well, let’s just hop right in. 

I would really love to talk about some of the reporting over at  newspaper first. Myron Caringal, your guys’ actual managing editor, wrote a little bit about the former chancellor of the CSUs being given a raise post-resignation. That was a great story. Some of the stats he cited in there were unbelievable. I mean, in that eight or nine months since he’s been retired, he was making more than Gavin Newsom, the governor of California. I noticed that you guys have been covering a lot on CSU faculty, SF State administration, and other topics. I was curious if that was a deliberate effort by your guys to cover more institutions of the CSUs. Or are those just the stories that have arisen to your guys’ newsroom?

Lisa: Yes, it was. It was an effort from the beginning to just reflect on the struggles of students and faculty here at SF State. We really just wanted to reflect our community and dive in and, I don’t know, just kind of get to the bottom of things that people have been struggling with for years.

Oliver: I feel there’s a sense of accountability you guys are trying to hold and I feel this semester in particular you guys have done a good job with your guys reporting in that regard.

Lisa: You know, similarly, I really liked mag’s story, “Impawsters,” by Nadia Castro, about people with emotional support animals on campus and imposters they’ve encountered.

Oliver: That was a fun story. It was surprising to me how much Nadia had come up with. She explains how people can take advantage of the system to obtain emotional support animals, and this is something she really gets into in her story. It was interesting to me that she mentioned that some of her sources believed that people on campus and around campus knew who the real support animals were and who the fakes were. But there’s kind of just this legal loophole where you can’t do anything about it. It was very interesting to me. And Nadia did a really good job encapsulating that… 

Selfishly, there’s also some very cute photos of animals in that story. Juliana Yamada, who was the photographer for the story, did an amazing job. 

You guys have been doing a lot campus reporting. And you actually specifically Lisa have been doing some writing about these Christian protest groups that have been showing up on campus a lot since we’ve been back in-person. Let’s talk a bit about that. What does that look for you in your newsroom

Lisa: Yeah, definitely. I mean, this isn’t, you know, a new issue here on campus. I’ve heard from faculty, staff and professors that, you know, this has been happening for ages. But like you said, we’re back after two years and there are new students here, there are students that aren’t here from the area. And people just don’t know that this happens and they feel, they’re feeling a little bit scared. And they’re feeling a little bit targeted as what we’ve noticed and our couple of our editors, Zackery Stehr our campus editor and Isabella Vines, our diversity editor added on to my story, when another extreme Christian group came onto campus and they were specifically targeting Muslim women wearing hijabs. At this point, you know, Zackery Stehr and Isabella, are looking into how much of this is allowed on campus, because according to time, place and manner restrictions, these types of demonstrations – even if they do get a little bit rowdy – are allowed on campus. So Zack and Isabella are looking into that deeper, but I’m really excited to see what comes out of their reporting to see if we can get some names behind these organizations and find out who these people are because for the most part, they’ve been anonymous.

Oliver: Yeah no, I’m really looking forward to seeing you what reporting comes out of there. As you mentioned, San Francisco State is like many campuses. The time, place, manner and work restrictions are all part of the campus’s unique structure. This makes it a fascinating topic. 

Staff reporter feature: Giovanna Montoya

Oliver: Giovanna Monteya joins us, she wrote about ironic fashion and was featured in the magazine’s last issue.

Can you explain to your family what ironic fashion looks like loosely?

Giovanna – Ironic fashion is shirts with funny sayings. Or things that you feel would look terrible but actually look great in a bizarre way. This is basically anti-fashion. You think it would look odd but it just doesn’t. 

Oliver: You interviewed a small fashion designer who goes to the SF State, she is a student here, or…

Giovanna: Yes.

Oliver: What’s your relationship with her and how was working with her; how was looking at her process and stuff like that? 

Giovanna: How I came to realize that she was doing all of this stuff and more. We lived in the same building freshman year, but we were- we didn’t really talk or anything, we just kind of waved acquaintance-ly. This is when the whole story began. And I knew I really wanted to write about fashion because I follow her on Instagram and I’ve bought a few things from her in the past, I knew she had this and I knew this would be a great story to do. Because I’ve had a few other sources that I was really looking forward to talk to about this topic. The ironic Y2K fashion and everything. And that’s kind of her forte is just funny sayings on shirts, on shorts on anything and she comes up with them herself. It’s really interesting.

Lisa: And I’m like, I’m wondering myself, you know, this is kind of a trend right now. But do you think it will withstand the current trends? Is this going to be like a micro-trend or a little micro-trend for you?

Giovanna: I mean, I think it’s going to continue for a while. I’m obviously not a fashion expert, but it has been going on since around 2020, 2019. And it’s progressed a lot since then. It feels like there have been a few T-shirts like this. They say really raunchy words and it just keeps getting raunchier. Even high-end fashion brands such as Balenciaga, you can see them doing weird things. I feel like it’s just going to keep progressing into eventually something new.

I would love to do more stories on fashion in the future. As more new developments occur. I feel that distressed fashion is a growing trend, similar to avant-garde style fashion. It’s grungy and dirty, with rips and holes, but also in bright colors. Yeah.

Oliver: I was going ask that question because you talked a bit about Paulina and then her struggles with some of her designs being taken, or misappropriated. Do you view that as a problem in fashion?

Giovanna: People are taking her designs, or just fashion in general. That is definitely a problem that is getting worse. I was scrolling through TikTok. And I saw that there was a girl who liked a video. It was in her closet. And there was one of Paulina’s shirts in her closet. Someone asked, ‘Oh, where do you get it?’She did a separate video explaining that she bought it from Amazon. Here was the link. So I commented, and I was like “Oh, actually, this design was taken by this small business. If you would like the actual shirt, the actual product, then probably go buy it from her.” So I saw that and I was like, I’ve seen that a few times actually now. She was showing me a link to an AliExpress product which was almost identical to her shirt. It was even the pictures that they were posted in like, Sydney Carlson had posted wearing her shirt and they took those pictures from our Instagram and posted them on AliExpress and were selling Paulina’s shirts. She does everything. She designs the designs, prints them, presses and packages them. Then she mails them out. She receives thousands of orders every day. And I think it’s really interesting that out of nowhere she got all these she had all these social media influencers and celebrities posting in her designs. This probably helped her work ethic as she began gaining more orders. She had to accelerate her pace. It was also interesting to see her manage her school. Because both running a business and going to school takes a lot of your time.

Oliver: If you guys are interested in ironic fashion, you can read our first issue online at 

Lisa: Thank You so Much. 

Oliver: Thank you, Giovanna.

Giovanna: Thank you. 

Special guest: Fits at SFSU

Lisa: Okay, before we close out, one Instagram page has recently strutted onto the scene and captured the attention of SF State’s unique student body. Fits of SFSU has more than 2,000 followers in less that a month. They have been documenting SF State student fashion throughout this semester.

Lisa: We’re sitting down today with Fits of SFSU.

Fits of SFSU – Hey. Hello, hello. 

Lisa: All right, we’ll start off easy. Lisa: Okay, let’s start with the easy part.

Breanna: I’m Bree [Miller]. I’m a second-year majoring in apparel and design.

Esperanza: My name’s Esperanza [Vaquiz]. Most people call me Espy, I’m also a second-year. I’m majoring in journalism. I’m an Aquarius. And yeah, I’m just simply capturing, you know, students all around campus.

Lisa: What is Fits at SFSU?

Esperanza: So I made the Instagram because I was just walking around campus and I just love seeing people’s outfits. I was just thinking. “how can we don’t have one?”I was tired of waiting for someone else make it. So I was like, I’m gonna just do it myself. And if it’s a flop, it’s a flop. It’s a– it’s working out fine now. So yeah, I’m just going around campus.

Breanna: Honestly, it’s such a fun thing to do. And that’s the point of this account. It was created for fun and to give people energy in the same way that we give ours.

Lisa: How did you meet?

Esperanza: We’re sorority sisters. No, I’m just messing with you. We did meet. We did meet, and we did.

Breanna: We actually did meet. We flew to London and met Beyonce. We had a conversation with the Queen and then met for tea. Yeah. 

Esperanza: So I, so she’s, I didn’t see her in our sorority last year. I did see her and she had the most amazing outfit. I was just thinking about what that would look like. “oh my gosh, like, I have to talk to her.” Like she’s so cool.

Lisa: What was she wearing at the time?

Esperanza: Yeah, I don’t remember what she wore. It was cool, I just remember. The next day, she was on campus, and I was like. “do you want to get coffee and just like chit chat?” And we just clicked so quickly, so well. Then, like, the next morning, I was like, yeah! So I made this account. Do you want me to help? She said, “Yes, so.”

Breanna: She was actually really funny, but she asked because we clicked really quickly. She actually asked me the question, and I answer. “What’s your signs and stuff?”It was so simple that I had to Google it. It was like looking it up. I was like “What time was I born again?” And I was like, I told her and she’s like, Oh my God, this makes so much sense now. And then the next day when she asked me, she’s asking me, I was like, Oh my God. But I looked like I was in sweats. I was like, Man! I wish I looked better when she asked. But no, not like.

Esperanza: She doesn’t give herself credit.

Breanna: We like, but it’s not true. We just clicked instantly. Yes, crazy. It’s like we knew each other for like, it’s like we knew each other for years and stuff.

Lisa: How was it at the beginning? Did you just start like, oh, I’m gonna ask this person or like, you know, how did that go?

Esperanza: I was like “How can I like, build upon this?” So? And I was like, too shy to ask people that I didn’t know. Because like, there was no, they’re like, they’re gonna be like, what? I liked to know them so I asked these girls. They were so nice. They were kind enough to repost it on their stories. It was posted to my story. I liked sharing it with my friend. Then I was like, gaining like 20 followers. Then, I was like “How can we build followers or whatever?”You might be asking, “How can I get this to people?” I reached out to the SFSU Confessions page because I knew everyone was going on that. Everyone loves the chisme and the tea.

So, I was like “hey, like, I just started this account. Do you guys mind giving me a shout-out?” Yeah. They were so sweet. Whatever they were. They were all like, “Oh my goodness, yes, I love this concept.” They reposted it. And then, literally overnight, boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Like followers just came in. I was like, “From there.” I just, I just gained the confidence and I just went up randomly to people and was just like “hey, really quickly. I know you’re going to class, but I love your outfit. But can I post you on Fits of SFSU?”Some people were like “we have we have an account?,” like, I’m like, now we do. Then I started talking to people through this. We just kept growing from there. It was amazing. We grew so fast.

Breanna: The reason that we grew so fast was like not only because we got SFSU, or some of our friends to really be like, Oh, I’m willing to take the picture. It’s because people have been so like, reciprocating of our energy. They’re like, “Oh my god, like you want to take a picture of my outfit?” And we’re like, yeah, we do. And they’re like, oh my god, like I’m down like, how do you want me to pose really like, You’re fine, you’re fine. Also, too. It’s some people like they’re not feeling like the day but when we ask them sometimes they’re having a bad day and they’re like, oh my god, you just like made my day and like.

Esperanza: I think that’s the best part. 

Breanna: Yeah, like even to like people that you know, they’re not feeling it that day. It’s all good. you know, we it’s never personal. It’s all for fun. And if they don’t feel comfortable, like we don’t feel comfortable taking it up them. 

Lisa: No, yeah, that’s what I was thinking that we always joke about waiting for y’all to take our picture but like that’s–

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Oliver: You guys have almost 2000 fans. I know that 1000 was a significant milestone for you guys. Do you guys have any milestones on the horizon that you’re looking forward to any plans with that kind of stuff?

Breanna: We do.

Oliver: How did your guys celebrate like the early ones – if at all?

Esperanza: So this is like, we’re like, we’re like, we’re at 999 followers. I did a Q&A. People were like, “oh, can we figure out who you guys are?” And at first, I didn’t want people to know who I was because I didn’t want them to prejudge me, go on my account and be like, girl, like, your outfit is not it, like what do you know about fashion? So I didn’t want people to like to do that. I want them to see the work first. But when we hit 1,000, we’re like, Okay, well, we’ll secretly follow ourselves. And you can see who we really are. We followed our own lead when we reached 1,000.

Breanna: It’s not true, but people are still surprised to see us. 

Esperanza: Yeah, they’re like, “Oh, you’re that girl?”

Breanna: Oh, you’re from that account.

Esperanza: Yeah. But when we hit 2000, we hope to capture students in Y2K outfits, because it’s like a 2000s theme 2000 2000 buying nothing too much about it, you have to go on our Instagram to find out more information. 

Yeah. And then we’re also hoping to work on doing a student-led like flea market and like students can have the opportunity because, you know, as a college student, we’re on a tight budget. So if you don’t have the money to buy the clothes, you can definitely have the option to exchange or swap.

Breanna: You know, nowadays, you know, vintage-like stuff is really expensive, even at like, you know, flea markets and stuff like, you think it’s going to be good price. Tell me, why is this ring so special? They were like this: “Oh, we can give it to you for 20.”I was like, “No, you can give that to me for five.” Students these days have a tight budget. So we got to make sure it’s accessible to everybody.

Esperanza: But we do have- that’s just a little bit of what’s coming up.

Lisa: You know, you’ve made a lot of people’s days, but what’s been the response to the page overall? Are you having any problems yet? 

Fits of SFSU: Yes.

Esperanza: Where do we begin? Okay, actually, I’ll tell you like a rundown. So I thought it would be cool to post this, because it’s like Latin Heritage Month. I thought it would be fun to share a fun fact about Chicano culture, and some of the current trends. And I got a lot of DM’s that were like, “This isn’t it, this is offensive.”I was like, how is that offensive? And then people are like “Cholas are offensive”I was like, how are they offensive? and then the person’s like “they were a part of gangs” and I’m like, you know, can never win and then with the Queen [Elizabeth], I thought it’d be cool to post her outfits. We realized that she is a complete flop and her lifestyle is a disaster. So we deleted the post and received some hate comments.

Breanna: They were valid.

Lisa: I think you said that fits are at a higher level here. What do you think makes SFSU so special?

Breanna: People don’t care what you wear here, it’s like there’s no judgment at all. And honestly, we like go up to people, we appreciate each other’s outfits and like we’re very open-minded and very welcoming towards other people.

Esperanza – SF State is so diverse, so inclusive. It is a wonderful place. There is no tea, no shade, just facts. But, when I went to Berkeley, everyone was wearing jeans and a white shirt. It was very basic. We entered and everyone gave us dirty looks. Like we’re like crazy. But here, everyone is the sexiest fucking bitch. Like there’s not one person that looks bad. We are just so stylish. We are so awesome, so inclusive, so diverse. So loving.

Rapid fire questions

Oliver: We did not want to throw any fashion trends at you, but then it was either yes or no. What did you guys do?

Fits of SFSU : Flop or Serve

Oliver: Okay. Flop or serve. Bucket hats?

Esperanza: It all depends. Is it similar to denim? Is it furry or denim? 

Breanna: Yeah. I’ll say Flerve. 

Esperanza: Flerve.

Breanna: Flerve.

Esperanza: It’s a flop or flerve.

Breanna: It’s a flerve.

Oliver: Okay. Ski masks or balaclavas?

Esperanza – Flop, I want your face. 

Breanna: That’s a flop, I’m sorry.

Esperanza: Unless it’s a knitted one. I think that’s cool. But if it’s not like flop.

Oliver: Air Forces

Fits of SFSU : Serve.

Esperanza:  They’re just like essentials

Oliver: Platforms, just in general?

Fits of SFSU : Serve

Oliver: Low-rise jeans?

Esperanza: Serve! Serve!

Breanna: Serve every step of the way

Esperanza: I know people are like, Oh, don’t bring it back, but I think it looks good on everyone. Like–

Breanna: No, it’s literally so flattering. It’s sexy. It’s awesome. It’s casual. It’s cool.

Oliver: Athleisure?

Breanna: Mm…

Esperanza: Flop. 

Breanna: I don’t know.

Esperanza: Sorry. I’m like–

Breanna: Nah, I don’t like that. I like certain pieces of athleisure, like body suits or whatever. 

Esperanza: People look good. 

Breanna: Yeah, but like certain things I’m like, girl like, that’s not an outfit.

Esperanza: We’re in 2022 and you’re wearing Lululemons. And you think that’s The outfit? You know what I am referring to?

Oliver: Telfar?

Fits of SFSU : Oh, yeah.

Esperanza: Serve.

Breanna: These are served. 

Esperanza: But also. 

Breanna: Serve in an appropriate way 

Esperanza: It’s like, I hate to be a hater, but I’m also a hater. Like it’s slowly like becoming overused, but it’s still a serve.

Oliver: Baby-Ts?

Breanna: I’m wearing a Baby-T so I will say serve all the way.

Esperanza: Serve, but if it has a graphic design if it’s like Taco Tuesday: FLOP!

Breanna:  Forever 21, yeah.

Oliver: I think I already know what you’re gonna say here but, SHEIN?

Esperanza: FLOP. Major flop.

Breanna: Flop. Please don’t shop there. It’s a bad place to shop. There are better places. Even if it’s a bit more pricey, it lasts longer. It’ll last you years that’s for sure. Like to invest. Investing is the best way of saving money. 

Esperanza – Investing in yourself can be the best investment. Stop investing in SHEIN

Breanna: Self-care doesn’t anybody know about self-care Sundays like that is your self-care don’t shop at SHEIN.

Oliver: And the last one, we have Dickies.

Esperanza: Serve. Yes, like baggy Dickies. TightDickies? Like no. 

Breanna: I can’t do it. Yeah, don’t don’t do tight Dickies. I don’t know what’s wrong with you people. But honestly though, like, you know, we’re saying this stuff. This is our opinion. Please let us know if you have any questions. Don’t worry, guys, like you guys all have your opinion on your style, just own your style, own your style. We love that you have it. It is yours to own.

Oliver: Oliver, I’m glad you guys sat down with me again. It’s been so much fun. Last but not least, I want to ask you guys: Do you have any closing advice for the SF State student body. It’s someone who perhaps would like to be on Fits of SFSU,  what can we strive for?

Esperanza: Wear what you want to wear, wear something you feel confident and like, if I go up to you and I’m like, Can I take a photo of you? You need to be striking a pose. I don’t want this like oh… you should be able to feel so good in that outfit. No matter what you wear, it will make you feel iconic.

Breanna: Honestly, if you feel confident in what you’re wearing, show it off. Like there’s literally no reason to hide an amazing outfit. Even if others might not agree. Like, if you think it’s amazing,  who cares. That’s you. We think it’s amazing. You think it’s amazing. We want to show you off, and also, you know… FYI for all my shy folks out there. I’m so shy too. It takes me courage to even approach you guys. The fact that you want me to take your photo is a great thing. I’m very appreciative of all of you out there.


Lisa: Thank you for tuning in. This was Between the Issues. I’m your host, Lisa Moreno.

Oliver: And I’m Oliver Michelsen. If you want to read more about Fits of SFSU, be on the lookout for our fall issue and check out our websites and Until next time.

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