‘Clover Magazine’ creates space for the fashionable intellectual

By Charlie Deichman Caswell

Clover Magazine, Middlebury’s only student-run fashion publication, aims to serve as an outlet for the stylish mind within academia. Illustration by MEGAN MAHONEY/CLOVER MAGAZINE

Clover Magazine, Middlebury’s only student-run fashion publication, aims to serve as an outlet for the stylish mind within academia. By snooping around their website, you’d get the impression that it has been around since more than six people could be in a room at the same time, but it was founded this summer by Karinne Aguirre ’21 and Madison Brito ’21.5.

According to its website, the magazine was founded as a platform for students “to think critically on the world of fashion within our own boundaries and on a global stage, provide an outlet to capture and create new forms of sartorial expression and redefine what New England fashion can be.”

Clover’s current all-women staff, selected through an online application process, was cemented last summer. Each member has their own distinct passions, ranging from embroidery to portrait writing. The team is always accepting new members.

In consultation with their writers, the founders made the decision to adopt a blog-style publication method. Article topics are decided at a monthly meeting and subsequently released on a regular schedule, with a few days between posts. This way, according to Brito, the magazine is “more casual, more reader friendly and more honest.”

“It’s a snapshot of the times in which we live,” Brito said. “We’re not skirting around uncomfortable topics and writing about what we think the readers want, instead of what they actually want to read.”

The magazine’s content focuses on the fashion world’s complexity. “Fashion has a more profound meaning. It’s hard to pinpoint, but fashion as a way of expression became more interesting to me over time. There’s a lot to be said about it,” Aguirre said.

How the Pandemic Changed my Relationship to Fashion” by Meili Huang ’23 is an example of how the magazine offers students a new blend of artistic and cognitive expression. The piece provides a thoughtful and multi-faceted assessment of fashion in the Covid-19 era as observed through the lens of Huang.

Clover seeks to place itself in the conversations that explore the role of fashion in the global community and how it affects the lives of students. In the months and years to come, Brito and Aguirre want to go far. Aguirre has dreams of modeling. She sees herself on the runway, sporting the outfits she loves to write about and exploring fashion behind the scenes. In her words, she wants to explore “clothes in motion.”

Brito wants to work in publishing. Understanding her natural writing ability and appreciative of the instruction she’s received at the college, she hopes to find her home in a publishing house. As for the future of Clover, they see an opportunity for growth.

“Everyone contributes to [fashion], consciously or not,” Aguirre said.