By Kelly Higginson
The theme for UP Magazine’s final spring issue is Essence, the nature of something that determines its character. We had the privilege of interviewing one of Oxford’s most lively students, Preston Kahn, who we noticed has developed great character the last three years at Miami. Kahn, a double major in Strategic Communication and Sports Management is from Cincinnati, Ohio.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would say my personal style is a mixture between classic-prep and obnoxious-prep. There’s times where there are simple clothes that I really like, but I’m also totally fine wearing the most obnoxious clothes ever… it’s fun! I always used to be into Polo going into high school, which was a time when I met with some depression / anxiety issues. My personal belief changed when I accepted I might not feel my greatest, but I put out on a “look good, feel good” mentality by dressing well. I would say that my personal style is whatever I’m feeling in the moment for that day. I don’t like to put too much into what other people think I’m wearing. I just stick to whatever makes me happy and not worry about what a crowd of people think.
Where do you shop for clothes?
I used to love everything Vineyard Vines- I would only wear about four brands. Then I got to a certain point where whatever I think looks good at the moment, I’m going to put on. I think when you have a certain idea, then you’re not letting yourself expand with your style. Where I am now to when I came into college it a lot different… I’ve calmed down a bit. I used to be at the bar with my shirt tucked in and i’ve strayed away from that now. I like to shop for my clothes wherever as long as it appeals to me. I don’t like to pigeonhole myself. If I see something I like, I’ll snag it. I also don’t like paying for clothes full price. If you can get a good deal on clothes, you’ll feel much better wearing it if you didn’t break the bank on it.
What does fashion mean to you and where do you get your style-inspiration?
I would say that freshman year I was all about KJP, but I moved away from that brand because it didn’t feel organic to me. Ever since I can remember, I was always fascinated with John F. Kennedy. I love that East Coast style. People ask me why I dress like that (an East Coaster) when I’m from Ohio, but that style really stands out to me. I’ve always wanted to live on the East Coast, and if all goes accordingly, I want to own my own sailboat one day. My style is kind of classic American-prep. John F. Kennedy liked the debauchery. He’s both sides of the coin and had many shots to him, it’s pretty cool.
How do you distinguish yourself and your style at a place like Miami?
I think everyone comes into freshman year with an image of what college is going to be like. Now being a junior, a lot of people have nice clothes, but they don’t worry about pulling it all together as much anymore. For me, I’ll be sitting around and someone will be like, “Preston, why are you so dressed up?”, and for me, it’s something I really enjoy. Being one of the best dressed people in the room can be fun. It’s a look good feel good motto. At Miami, so many people flock together. I do that sometimes too, but I always tell people that I dress the way I do because I can. There will always be times where I would walk into a place and people would think I look ridiculous. However, it doesn’t affect others what I’m wearing. I don’t’ worry about it, I get the benefit of the doubt now.
Are there certain male styles that you consider to be “timeless”?
I like vintage stuff, I like clothes that are a little more… the basic core of prep. I think it gets misconstrued to be fratty, which irks me, because certain aspects of prepiness are timeless. There’s just a certain element to it that you hope never goes out of style. I know I’m not the most well-spoken person, but the basic ideology is be well mannered, care about your presentation, and be as well spoken as possible. I’d say those aspects are a little more timeless being polished.
What do you plan on pursuing?
Obviously you come into school and you think you want to run the world. I wanted to do an internship with Vineyard Vines but now I’m going to do a marketing internship for a real estate developer in Cincinnati. It’s not super fashion oriented, but the one thing that I want to do after graduation is be successful in what I’m doing, and also be put together when doing it. You don’t want to look like some shmoe; you want to stand out to whoever you’re talking to no matter what you’re doing.