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Fashion passion gets Ellis School student a Nordstrom blog

| Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 8:59 p.m.
Jasmine Goldband
The Ellis School sophomore Brittany Ellis, 16, of Edgewood (left) was named one of three teen bloggers nationally who will write for Nordstrom BP Fashion Blog, and Alexandra Foster, 15, of Wexford is on the BP fashion board and is the one who told Ellis about the board. Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Suzanne Mauro
Members of the Nordstrom BP Fashion Board (back and middle front) pose with Nordstrom employees Brianna Bacchus (left) and Alley Brundage, BP Department manager. The fashion board meets monthly at the store in Ross Park Mall. High school girls and boyscan apply for a position on the board which discusses everything from designing clothes to the business side of fashion. Suzanne Mauro
Suzanne Mauro
(left) Carolyn Skowron, a freshman at Fox Chapel High School and Anna Argentine,a senior at Mt. Lebanon High School talk about an outfit they chose in a Nordstrom's BP Fashion Board meeting for an interview. The two are members of the board which meets monthly at the store in Ross Park Mall. High school girls and boys can apply for a position on the board which discusses everything from designing clothes to the business side of fashion. Suzanne Mauro
Suzanne Mauro
Nordstrom employee Aaron Valentic (middle) discusses an outfit with two members of the BP Fashion Board. The department store offers high school girls and boys a chance to apply for a position on the board which discusses everything from designing clothes to the business side of fashion. Suzanne Mauro
Suzanne Mauro
Anna Argentine, a senior at Mt. Lebanon High School talks about an outfit she and a team from Nordstrom's BP Fashion Board chose for an interview. Argentine is a member of the board which meets monthly at the store in Ross Park Mall. High school girls and boyscan apply for a position on the board which discusses everything from designing clothes to the business side of fashion. Suzanne Mauro
Suzanne Mauro
Nordstrom employee Aaron Valentic (middle) discusses an outfit with two members of the BP Fashion Board. The department store offers high school girls and boys a chance to apply for a position on the board which discusses everything from designing clothes to the business side of fashion. Suzanne Mauro

Brittany Ellis has style.

She knows how to put an outfit together and searches out the latest trends and celebrities with chic tastes.

The sophomore at the Ellis School in Shadyside was rewarded for her fashion sense.

Ellis, 16, who lives in Edgewood, is one of three girls chosen nationwide as a blogger for Nordstrom BP Fashion Board. (BP is the name of Nordstrom's junior department.) The other girls are from North Carolina and California. Ellis blogs about everything from clothing to accessories to footwear for Nordstrom.

She is a member of the Nordstrom BP Fashion Board at Ross Park Mall. It is a group of high schoolers who meet monthly to discuss fashion. The board often discusses trends appealing to a teenage audience and evaluates the clothing in the store's junior department. They meet fashion insiders from Nordstrom, learn about the history of fashion and design and become brand ambassadors for the store's styles.

Members of the board are eligible to apply to be a blogger. They submit a portfolio of original writing about fashion designers who inspire them and images in homage to their favorite designers. Ellis' favorite designer and biggest inspiration is Alexander McQueen. She also likes designers Elie Saab and Oscar de la Renta and fashion photographers Scott Schuman, Boo George and Sebastian Kim.

As part of her application, Ellis submitted a sample blog post about school-uniform style.

“I think my unique viewpoint and experience with making uniforms personal appealed to the lead blogger and BP department head at the Seattle headquarters,” she says. “I also used my own pictures of my classmates to really illustrate my point. I think they like how personal I made it.”

Some topics she's blogged about recently include fashion icon Diana Vreeland, award-show fashion and watches.

“My favorite thing about blogging is definitely the journalism aspect of it,” Ellis says. “I love writing, and I, especially, love writing about fashion or my style icons.”

“Brittany is a great asset to our blogger team, and her take on trends and personal style really resonate with our blog audience,” says Sydney Schuit from the Nordstrom BP marketing team.

Ellis' posts go live Tuesdays and Fridays at blogs.nordstrom.com/bp.

“The blogging experience is wonderful,” she says. “It has been a great opportunity through a local store here to compete with other bloggers from across the country for this position. I value every minute of it.”

Ellis learned about the fashion board through classmate Alexandra Foster, 15. The two girls say the fashion board helps them learn about new styles.

“Fashion is about expressing your personality,” Foster says. “There is no set definition of what is fashionable. It is up to the individual to create her own style that she feels good about.”

The monthly fashion board meeting teaches about jobs with fashion photography, modeling, starting a fashion line, running a business, trends and style. They plans events, such as an annual fashion show.

“The BP Fashion Board is a fun opportunity for high-school students to learn the ins and outs of the retail industry and to network with people their age who are passionate about fashion and style,” Schuit says.

“I love being around others who love fashion,” says Anna Argentine, a senior at Mt. Lebanon who designs clothes. “I think fashion is art, and I use the body as my canvas versus a fabric canvas.”

The board includes members from public and private schools as well as cyber students and home-schoolers, like Dominique Seneca.

“Some of my friends look at me like I am speaking a different language when I talk about fashion,” Seneca says. “But here, everyone understands me. I know everyone has her unique style, but I love to see how others put outfits together. We learn from each other.”

Nordstrom employees often address the group. Recently, Linda Graswick, personal stylist manager for Nordstrom, divided those at the meeting into four groups and gave them 15 minutes to put together outfits for four outings: semi-formal, job/college interview, lunch with Grandma and first date.

“My favorite part of being on the board is the opportunity it gives me to make both personal and professional relationships,” Ellis says. “I have made new friends, but I have also had the chance to talk to people working in various industries in the fashion world — stylists, fellow bloggers, advertisers, etc. I think those connections are invaluable.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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