The U Scene: Celebrating a year of fashion and inclusivity at UC | Features

The U Scene

The U Scene’s front cover of their first, which revolves around the theme of “Passion” due to the fact that this magazine was started all because of Daniela Blanco Asapchi’s personal passion for fashion.

The U Scene, a student magazine at The University of Cincinnati (UC) that’s dedicated to expanding boundaries related to fashion, has recently celebrated its one year anniversary.

The U Scene’s mission is to inspire stylish living among UC students by spotlighting diverse styles and connecting fashion with campus life and current affairs. At its core, the organization is driven by a passion for inclusivity, spearheaded by its founders and executive team.

Daniela Blanco Asapchi, a third year double major in communications and marketing with a minor in fashion studies, is the founder, president and co-editor-in-chief.

Blanco Asapchi’s inspiration to start The U Scene stemmed from her observation of a lack of a fashion magazine at UC. Despite facing the challenge of rigorous application processes in existing magazines, she aimed to create a platform accessible to all students interested in fashion, regardless of their background or experience.

“I didn’t have any type of experience in fashion publications. But I wanted to create a space where students could experience and gain that expertise without necessarily having to have prior experience,” Blanco Asapchi said.

With this idea of ​​an open and welcoming fashion forum for all students with any major, Blanco Asapchi started organizing the magazine in March 2022 but it officially became a registered organization in fall of 2022.

When Blanco Asapchi started the magazine, she wanted to show that the fashion world was diverse and inclusive, something that wasn’t always obvious. Even though she and others on the team aren’t fashion majors, they all share a strong passion for including everyone in the magazine.

Working alongside Blanco Asapchi is Zachary Blackmon, a second-year international studies student with a minor in marketing and fashion studies, serving as the organization’s treasurer. Blackmon’s dedication to inclusivity echoes Blanco Asapchi’s vision, making him an integral part of The U Scene’s journey fostering towards a diverse and welcoming creative space.

“Daniela said her passion for inclusivity and I knew it was a no brainer to join. I value people who value inclusiveness. It’s one of the biggest things we’re still trying to navigate as a society, but it’s something that we have to incorporate. It’s necessary. It’s a necessity,” Blackmon said.

Since then, both Blanco Asapchi and Blackmon have served to open up the fashion world on campus to students who simply have a passion for being a part of their creative process.

In its first issue last year, The U Scene curated a mix of articles and photoshoots, centering around the theme of passion. This theme resonates with Blanco Asapchi’s personal journey in the fashion scene, infusing each project with a heartfelt dedication to creativity and expression.

“Our first edition was centered around passion because it was very important to know that this magazine is my passion. The core of the U Scene came from it being my own passion project. So we try to incorporate passion into every project in very different ways. Even if you don’t see it right in front of your eyes, it’s still there,” Blanco Asapchi said.

Since the magazine is still somewhat new, the executive team is still finding ways to distribute the physical copies of each issue in a fair way. They do have an online file of their first issue but as they grow, they plan to discover different ways when it comes to their physical copies.

As the team has finished their first issue with the theme of “passion,” they have made it a goal to get as many student involvement as possible so that they can continue to remain a diverse and inclusive environment.

“Before we incorporated poetry in our first edition, we put out a post on Instagram asking UC students to submit their work to us. So every piece of poetry that we had on our first edition was not written by staff but only by students,” Blackmon said.

In the world of fashion, The U Scene emphasizes breaking traditional academic barriers. They are aware that entering fashion can be intimidating at times, however their sole mission is to foster a space filled with constant creativity.

“The U Scene provides students with an experience that they might not have the possibility to be engaged with in the classroom. Some people think they can’t participate in fashion because they are not a DAAP major. But we were able to have students from all different kinds of majors come work with us, allowing them to be as creative as they want,” Blanco Asapchi said.

As the magazine grew over the past year and settled into its operations, the team’s definition of success has evolved along with their content creation.

“When more people on campus are talking about the U Scene casually, that will feel like a win. When people come up to us saying they’ve seen our TikToks or heard about our first edition, it makes me really excited for where this magazine is going,” Blackmon said.

As the semester finishes, the team behind the magazine has made serious progress with their second edition while also being able to gain consistency when it comes to publishing.

“The second edition is going to be really exciting for us and the student body. “We have really cool photo shoots and articles in this edition and just in general, I am thrilled to see all of our creativity being shared with the rest of campus,” Blanco Asapchi said.