Fashion’s Next Big Superstar in the Making: UCI’s Daniel Nguyen

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Can you major in being a future superstar? Fashion enthusiast Daniel Nguyen, 20, certaintly thinks so.

Nguyen is a full-time student, but manages to juggle acting, photography, a part-time job and critique fashion in the greater Los Angeles area.

On top of his considerable interests, Nguyen recently started a fashion blog called GafferDash: Leader of Style (www.gafferdash.tumblr.com), where he writes his take on both men’s and women’s trends as well as behind-the-scenes coverage of Los Angeles fashion shows and events.

The concept for GafferDash is to bring LA fashion to Orange County, Nguyen explained.

“I grew up in LA my whole life. I was surrounded by fashionable people … I feel that people in Orange County have money, but not a very good fashion sense. OC is so beachy and people never take risks and take chances to be cutting edge. People are too scared to take that risk here at school,” Nguyen said.

While coming to school doesn’t exactly require a runway-ready ensemble, Nguyen still urges his peers to break out of the sweatpants-and-flip flops mold and experiment with fashion: “That’s why people make clothes — so you keep up with it,” he said.

The name GafferDash originated from the initials “G”, for his initial collaborator (he now runs the blog on his own), USC student Gena Milanesi, and “D”, for Daniel. When coming up with the title, Nguyen explained, “We [had] to make something ours that’s original, catchy and different, but it has to have a meaning to it, too.” “Gaffer” means “leader,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen looked up style in a thesaurus and found the word “dash”. He combined the two words to mean “Leader of Style.”

What makes GafferDash different from a typical fashion blog? While most blogs chronicle the blogger’s outfits and their favorite trends from the world’s runways, GafferDash does the same but with a Southern Californian focus. Nguyen discusses worldwide trends but any of his posts are about local designers.

“A lot of people hear about and read about fashion shows, but they just get to see pictures [of the runway]. They never really get to see the behind-the-scenes of it,” he said. Nguyen reports on a show’s atmosphere, including the food, the celebrities in attendance, who looked good and who did not, as well as the bad behavior of certain celebrities.

As mentioned before, Nguyen has an impressive ability to do what he loves while attending UCI as a full-time student. He works part time at Gap, does freelance photography, and works for Aramis Corporate and Estee Lauder on marketing, casting models for events, and takes photos at promotional events.

On top of all this, Nguyen dabbles in acting and is currently a diner patron on “Men of a Certain Age,” an upcoming television show on TNT. His role on “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood” as “Tori Spelling’s Number One Fan” earned him a fan base that noticed his sense of fashion and urged him to create a blog.

“Because of the Tori Spelling show, I had credibility,” Nguyen said. He contacted designer’s public relations people in order to gain access to shows and events to cover during LA Fashion Week.

“Right now, my focus is on my fashion blog,” Nguyen said. “I feel like I’m multitasking my talents everywhere. Being young, I have dipped my fingers into all different industries.”

Of course, despite his busy schedule, Nguyen hasn’t forgotten about school: “I manage to attempt to work hard. I prioritize my time. In my free time I can go on fashion things. School comes first for me.”

Nguyen plans to pursue a career in the entertainment business, doing “styling, blogging, acting, whatever comes first.”

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