King Of Style: Pitzer Junior Pushes The Boundaries Of Fashion

Bashel Lewis PZ ’19 explains that for him, fashion is more than a creative outlet — it’s a way of coping and finding one’s unique style and being comfortable in it. (Courtesy of Marcus Polk)

Bashel Lewis PZ ’19 made his fashion debut in a royal blue suit, stunning his fellow classmates at junior prom in high school. Since that night, he has continued to develop his style choices, taking his self-described “clean, color-coordinated, and bold” fashion in stride.

A victim of bullying, Lewis looked to fashion as a creative outlet, and found solace in continuing to experiment with his style. For him, fashion provided constant support and unbridled creation.

“I got into fashion because I realized how much people respected me for how I looked,” Lewis said. “It was a way to cope.”

Since then, he has cultivated a vibrant presence on Instagram (@King_Bashel) and COPE, his own website. As the first in his family to own a passport and travel abroad, he went to the United Kingdom and decided to document his international experiences through his blog. As for producing website content, Lewis spots trends via Instagram, takes his own photos with his iPhone, and reaches out to photographers around the 5Cs.

His mission statement for his blog is a highly notable one: “Because fashion is the best way to deal with your problems!” Not only does this declaration ring true for Lewis, but it also acts as a reminder to continue to preserve and develop his artistry.

Lewis’s first job — working at an after-school preschool program — propelled his fashion finesse.

Through a melange of lifestyle advice, style trends, and mini-lookbooks, Lewis curates his art with the millennial generation in mind. Along with a variety of personal articles consisting of “10 Things To Do In College,” “Favorite Black-Owned Clothing Brands,” and “Winter Essentials Guide,” Lewis is determined to keep his content fresh and innovative.

In terms of the blog’s success, Lewis’ hope is to use his insight and knowledge about style to encourage his readers to push the boundaries of fashion.

“I want to continue to inspire people and live my life through [COPE],” Lewis said.

While it has proven difficult to manage the blog in addition to his major, minor, and participation in various school-run shows and performances, Lewis posts consistently on the first and third Wednesdays of every month. When asked about the blog’s future, he expressed interest in making a transition over to YouTube.

“On YouTube, I would try to do segments about being in college, but it [would] be a web series, so it [would] be like a comedy-type thing,” Lewis said.

Over the past year, becoming invested in the brand’s evolution has proved to be a highly rewarding experience for Lewis. Among many of his findings throughout the process, he has come to recognize fashion as more than just following the latest trends. To him, it’s about honing one’s unique style.

“I think it’s more about being who you are and rocking it in a certain way,” Lewis said.

Lewis’ definition of style stems from a deeper idea of being comfortable and confident in individual fashion choices.

With the help of social media, Lewis has been able to build his most authentic persona online. In the development of his fashion-forward character, he has found his account to be an excellent way of connecting and reaching out to his audience.

Additionally, Instagram has proved to hold a great amount of marketing value for the young fashionista. He’s had the opportunity to work with companies like Jeepers Peepers, a sunglasses company based in the UK, which launched around late March and was cited in his “Spring Essentials of 2018” post.

“I take so much pride in my Instagram account because I get to layer it a certain way, and I put a lot of thought into it because that’s how people are getting paid these days,” Lewis said.

Moving forward, Lewis is working toward a career in marketing and brand management, and advancing his eternal thirst for innovation.

“Whatever I do, I need to be creative,” Lewis said.

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