Brooke Sargent is an aspiring teacher currently attending the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Studying women’s studies and history, she is greatly influenced by these two factors. In fact, you can see references to history and strong female figures in her wardrobe. RuPaul and Solange are just a few fashion figures in her life, which she sites as major inspirations in the way she chose to dress herself. A certain level of trendiness and retro fun can be found in her wardrobe. One day you might find her in an ’90s inspired ensemble complete with converse and a waist-tied flannel, the next day she’ll be down up in black lipstick with references to the Black punk movement. A true fashion chameleon, we spoke to Sargent about her universal fashion influences and ever-changing looks.
303 Magazine: First off, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your connection to fashion?
Brooke Sargent: I was born in Maui but I’ve been in Colorado since I was like four. I really started admiring fashion in middle school, I love creative representation in any way and clothes just became another form of expression for me. I really came into my own style around 19 — that was when I felt the most comfortable expressing myself for who I was, versus who people wanted me to be or look like, and it’s been changing and evolving ever since then.
303: Where are your places to shop in Denver? Are there any major retailers you think Denver needs in 2017?
BS: I honestly don’t have a ton of time to leisurely shop because I go to school and work five days a week, so I pretty much only shop for certain essentials that need replacing the most often. When thinking of retailers that need to come to Denver, I wear jeans almost every day so I think we’re seriously lacking in a good quality denim retailer for women. I would like to see a stronger female presence in terms of offering certain cuts — I’m always looking for a high waist and a relaxed leg and I don’t think any major retailer is making that pant right now (I have to rely on my ’90s 512 Levi’s that I can’t find anywhere else).
303: If we were to rampage your personal closet what might we find? Whose closet would you most like to raid?
BS: Oh man…to much surprise you would find lots of black, lace and leather, but also so many plain black and grey t-shirts, ’90s mom jeans, and too many horror movie t-shirts. I would raid RuPaul’s closet first and foremost and then Bettie Page… I don’t want to say that I would raid Beyonce’s closet because that would be too predictable, but I would easily wear anything in Solange’s closet, like, tomorrow.
“Fashion is so much fun to play around with, so I’m never afraid to try new things!” – Brooke Sargent
303: Where can we find you hanging out on a typical Friday night and what might you be wearing?
BS: If I’m not at home watching Game of Thrones for the 80th time with my cat, I’ll probably be at Hi-Dive in disco pants, a bodysuit, a pair of Chelsea boots and my leather jacket.
303: Who are your style inspirations and why? Do you find inspiration through your identity as a Black Female?
BS: I get a lot of style inspiration from different eras in history. One day I’ll channel Janet Jackson and Lauryn Hill in the ’90s and then the next day I’ll channel Black punks and rude boys in the ’70s. The thing I love most about fashion is how malleable it is, everything will repeat itself at one point or another so we have so much freedom to play around with history. My identity as a Black female is what gives me the most confidence when I get dressed in the morning — Black artists and Black people in general have paved the way for everything iconic that happens in fashion so there is a plethora of rich history I get to draw from every single day.
303: You seem to thrift a lot, what tips and tricks do you have for those interested in thrifting but don’t know where to start?
BS: I would say first and foremost, don’t be afraid. If you’re thrifting then you’re looking for things you won’t be able to easily find anywhere else so don’t shop for things you would normally shop for. This is your chance to find the thing that no one else is going to have in their wardrobe so take advantage! And remember to not only shop in your size because every single retailer makes their clothes different and do not guess — you have to try stuff on in order to know how something is going to fit your body.
303: What is your take on the current Denver fashion scene? What would you like to see more of?
BS: What I love the most about Denver’s fashion scene is that there are so many different things going on so you don’t have to feel pressured to ascribe yourself to a certain look. One day I can go out in leggings and a flannel and then the next day I can wear a leather harness and no one thinks any different. I think we have a lot of freedom in how we express our styles and I love that. I would like to see a little more variety in street style here, I think sometimes people are afraid to take risks and I think that needs to change!
All photography by Danielle Webster.