The Magical Macademian
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Through sheer talent and an amazing eye this sought-after fashionista has international glossies banging down her door.
With a name like Tamara Gonzalez Perea you’re not expecting a Pole. As in: from Poland. And you’re really not expecting her to be a fashion barometer whose proclamations are watched and listened to by people all over the world who are paying attention to fashion. But they are. Oh, yes, they are.
“Celebrities are beating down her door because of how she uses accessories and color,” says Monika Petryczko , a former arts/culture critic at Polskie Radio Szczecin for the past decade. “And how her choices challenge how such things should be used: It’s both unique to not only Poland but present fashion in general. So it’s nice to see her recognized internationally.” Tamara Gonzalez Perea, who makes her home in Szczecin (pronounced Stet-chin), Poland’s seventh largest city, not only just won Fashion Magazine’s award for best fashion blog of 2012 for her Macademian Girl blog, but also took a first place win from Press Magazine for fashion blogs. In fast fashion, those wins were followed by spreads in Glamour , Elle and Cosmo this summer. And it’s not just the fashion blogging that makes her interesting. Nor is it simply her wild pastiche of found/repurposed materials.
A sentiment seconded by the willowy 24-year old Perea, an interior design student at Szczecin’s Art Academy and a product of a Polish mother and a Panamanian father (with a Native American grandmother), even if Perea’s processing of different inputs and influences had not always been so welcome in Poland, a country that’s 98 percent racially homogenous. Beaten nearly to death by kids in her class when she was younger for being a “nigger,” Perea had a lot of alone time. On her own inside, she grew her interests in fashion, interior design and writing.
“My biggest success, outside of what the awards recognize though,” said Perea, “is overthrowing all of the fashion stereotypes that Polish people love so much. America too. For example a trend you all are late to would be colors in metallic versions, like in the SS 2013 Burberry Prorsum collection. Beautiful.”
Fashion for me is like art … That’s what I want in my clothing. And that’s what I want in my life.
— Tamara Gonzalez Perea
So her love of fashion, design and writing is now channeled into a business model that lets you buy what she wears and blogs about for prices that are ridiculously affordable even by Polish standards (Poland, though part of the EU, still uses the zloty as their primary currency). But Perea finds the cash much less interesting than the fact that her readership in Poland is spreading to fashion hot spots in France, Italy and beyond — her blog pulls in about 100,250 unique visitors a month.
TV has come calling, too, with features on her during coverage of Poland’s Fashion Week in Lodz. All this attention steadies a starward trajectory for Perea that includes brand work with H&M, Wrangler and Adidas among others. All before she’s even left school. “Fashion for me is like art,” Perea say. “That’s what I want in my clothing. And that’s what I want in my life.”
And these days? She just won first prize in a Glamour magazine contest, besting a large field of wanna-be’s and giving her her own column. As a result, she’s relocating to Warsaw. Where we’re quite sure she’ll remain as fashionably electric as ever.