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Student Ada Chung creates fashion content to express herself and inspire others

Backlit by a red light, Ada Chung looks off to the side. The fourth-year political science student began posting photos and videos of her outfits on her Instagram last year. (Brandon Morquecho/Daily Bruin)

By Harbaksh Kaur

Feb. 9, 2023 9:59 p.m.

Ada Chung is creating content to inspire confidence in others.

The fourth-year political science student said she has always seen fashion as an outlet for self-expression and helping her gain self-assurance over the years. Chung said her lifelong interest in fashion began in elementary school, drawing fashion sketches as a kid. Chung has been posting photos and videos of her outfits on her Instagram account for about a year. She said she felt self-conscious about what people would think when she started creating content, but her confidence has grown since she was younger.

“I remember being shy in elementary school, and so dressing was my only outlet,” Chung said. “I just thought that people would make fun of me, but it’s all in your head – it’s like you’re playing mental games with yourself.”

Chung’s style has changed dramatically since she started posting her looks online, as she said she began following trends when first creating content. With the rise of sustainable fashion, she now sources several of her pieces from second-hand sites. By creating outfits with pieces she already has in her closet, Chung said she can focus on practicing sustainability by refraining from the overconsumption that accompanies trends. She said her personal style is developing with this method as well.

When she began sharing fashion content, Chung said her style was geared more toward wearing trending Y2K-styled pieces involving many colorful patterns. But now, she said she is attempting to make her closet more timeless since she did not like her original purchases. She said she initially struggled with buying pieces because they looked good on others, but she didn’t like them on herself. However, she said she has since become more mindful when sourcing clothing items, using other content creators for inspiration.

Ada Chung looks off to the side while posing in front of the Regency Bruin Theatre. She said her self-confidence has grown since she first started creating fashion content. (Brandon Morquecho/Daily Bruin)
Chung looks off to the side while posing in front of the Regency Bruin Theatre. She said her self-confidence has grown since she first started creating fashion content. (Brandon Morquecho/Daily Bruin)

[Related: UCLA alumnus-founded brand provides affordable streetwear that reflects community]

Lexi Ludovico, a content creator and friend of Chung’s, said Chung is dedicated and consistent, posting new content often. Chung’s style is very much her own, as Chung’s signature details – such as bows and drawstrings – that she incorporates are unique to her outfits and add personality, Ludovico said.

“She’s very up on the trend, but she’s also very specific to her own style with mini skirts with big boots,” Ludovico said. “I just think it’s so unique to her.”

Chung said she found community in a group of fellow Asian American content creators, who encouraged her to break out of her shell and continue posting her fashion content. She said she faced a lot of self-doubt and would delete and archive her posts and stories out of fear, but her community helped her to stop doubting herself so much.

“I think people forget that social media is also about building community,” Chung said.

Carissa Zhu, a fourth-year computational and systems biology student, also creates content and met Chung during their first year through a club. Despite living in Los Angeles, where one feels a certain amount of pressure to conform to trends, Chung developed her own sense of style, such as incorporating a more preppy, academia look, Zhu said. She added that Chung has created a recognizable brand for herself over the years with an image and style associated with her.

[Related: UCLA student shares personal health journey through social media]

While Chung enjoys fashion and content creation, she said she is preparing to apply to medical school after she takes a gap year following graduation. She said she is pursuing a minor in disability studies and hopes to make a difference in healthcare by helping patients directly. Nevertheless, she said content creation brings joy to her life, and she wants to continue with it as a hobby further down the line, potentially pursuing a side job as a stylist.

“The way someone dresses can make them feel more confident in themselves,” Chung said. “I think everyone should try to (explore their style) if they want to feel more confident in themselves.”

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Harbaksh Kaur
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