CAFE, Concord Academy Fashion Enthusiasts, is a club led by Carter Wood ’22 and Zoe Perlis ’22. This year, the club has produced an online magazine called Hue. The online magazine has one mini-holiday issue and two major magazine editorials, including the most recent March 2021 issue. CAFE focuses on highlighting fashion at CA and in the world while exploring colors, textures, and emotions through clothing. The club hosts weekly meetings on Wednesdays, where everyone is encouraged to attend.

Carter and Zoe both have been interested in fashion since 9th grade after meeting at orientation. “Zoe and I have been talking about wanting to do some kind of fashion thing since basically freshman year. We just have always been interested in it, and we got passed down the club from Serena ’20 and Sam ’20 last year. We were just [thinking about] how we can make this something that’s engaging for a lot of the community because we know that a lot of people at CA love fashion,” Carter shared. CAFE, though not a new club, had not met for a long time, so Carter and Zoe made the decision to resurrect it. 

The March 2021 issue focuses on femininity in male fashion and small businesses. Carter said, “We kind of started conceptualizing it [the editorial] around the time of the Harry Styles Vogue cover, and when there was a lot of discussion around his choice of wearing a dress on the cover. It was the first time it had ever been done and it was really exciting to me, this idea of...exploring femininity in the context of male fashion. From there we also wanted to do a small business spotlight.” Zoe also talks about the opportunity to work with small jewelry business owner, Natalie Cangas ’21, and how focusing on textures and patterns of clothing created a background to spotlight her jewelry. “It [the editorial] was for her jewelry to shine and give her a platform to talk about it, and do some promotion.”

Both coheads mentioned how leaning away from central themes has allowed them to be more creative in their work. For the March 2021 issue, they were mostly inspired by the theme of winter meets spring. Because COVID permitted the club to only take photos outside, the weather had a large influence on the shoots.  

Producing an issue is a very extensive process that lasts for about 4 weeks. Typically, the club starts with an initial meeting to talk about what themes they want to explore. When conceptualizing themes and color schemes, the club uses Pinterest boards to visualize what they want their shoot to look like. In later meetings, they hash out details about the exact editorials they want to do and come up with a timeline. Members begin writing articles and reaching out to models, and on ensuing weekends, they start shooting for the editorials. After pictures are selected and edited, they assemble as a club with their website and layout editors, Lainey Brown ’23, and Sophia Di Giovanni ’23, to finalize the magazine, which is ultimately released through their website. Carter said, “It’s chaotic, it’s energetic, and I think we love every step of the process.”

CAFE has many projects that the CA community should look forward to, including a new issue coming out in late May or early June, though they are still in the early planning stages. Carter said, “Something that people can look forward to is [that] we are starting a new student spotlight initiative on our Instagram which is @hue.bycafe.” This will be an opportunity for students to talk about how fashion impacts CA and their personal experiences on a public platform with over a hundred followers. Zoe says, “In the works is a pride section that is aimed to be released at some point in June.” The theme this time will be pride month and queer fashion.

CAFE has expanded exponentially throughout this school year under the leadership of Carter and Zoe. Because of the community’s support and engagement, CAFE has been able to produce three issues, and have more upcoming projects on the way. The community looks forward to seeing how CAFE continues to develop as a club and to highlight fashion at CA and in the world.