The Fordham Ram

Junior Jumps Into World of Fashion

Las+Raefski%2C+FCRH+%E2%80%9920%2C+operates+the+fashion+brand+Strictly+Original%2C+which+also+functions+as+a+film+and+photo+production+house.+%28Courtesy+of+Las+Raefski%29
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Junior Jumps Into World of Fashion

Las Raefski, FCRH ’20, operates the fashion brand Strictly Original, which also functions as a film and photo production house. (Courtesy of Las Raefski)

Las Raefski, FCRH ’20, operates the fashion brand Strictly Original, which also functions as a film and photo production house. (Courtesy of Las Raefski)

Las Raefski, FCRH ’20, operates the fashion brand Strictly Original, which also functions as a film and photo production house. (Courtesy of Las Raefski)

Las Raefski, FCRH ’20, operates the fashion brand Strictly Original, which also functions as a film and photo production house. (Courtesy of Las Raefski)


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By Joergen Ostensen

Nicholas Raefski, FCRH ’20, received a shipment of clothing he designed at his apartment on Tuesday. The clothes were manufactured in the Middle East for his brand Strictly Original and will be on sale in a pop-up store in the Lower East Side next week.

Raefski began his college career at Wake Forest but transferred to Fordham after his freshman year. He came to New York along with Justin Krail, a high school friend who transferred from Ithaca, and is currently a junior at New York University. “We both decided to move to New York and kind of pursue our dreams here,” Raefski said. He said he was inspired to create his clothing line by the competitiveness of the city.

“New York is the most competitive place for everything; it definitely helps drive me,” he said. Strictly Original is a production house that produces film, photo and fashion, but according to Raefski, the fashion’s solely up to him. He said his current collection is called My Second First Collection and is themed around the resilience and finding yourself.

He said the goal is to create four collections each year, following a seasonal schedule, but there is always freedom to experiment. “It depends on the story I want to tell and how I want to tell it,” he said. Currently he is selling 16 different pieces, which range from t-shirts to snow pants.

According to him, while looking at one piece, it may not be possible to see the theme, but it is apparent if one looks at the entire collection. “You might not always see it, but to see it with everything else, I think it tells a story,” he said. He said he tried to keep it simple this time around, using a lot a blacks and whites. “This collection was very basic though, it wasn’t over the top, it wasn’t too boisterous or flamboyant,” he said.

To create a piece, Raefski said he painstakingly lays it out on the computer, in what are known as tech-packs, which are then sent to the overseas manufacturer. The manufacturer will make exactly what he tells them to, so every detail matters. “You literally describe in perfect detail what goes into making a t-shirt,” he said. Fashion has been Raefski’s passion since he was a kid, but it was not until recently that he felt accepted pursuing it as a career.

According to him, going down south to Wake Forest made him realize that designing clothing was what he wanted to do. “I don’t care what people say, that’s (what) I’m gonna focus on,” he said. Raefski said running the clothing line has helped him to understand the real world applications of things he learns in his classes. He is currently in an economics class learning about trade tariffs, while dealing with manufacturers in the Middle East. “It’s crazy; you learn about this stuff in class, and then you actually do it in real life,” he said.

In addition to the clothing line and his course work, Raefski also keeps himself busy as a member of the track team.
He said the secret to his productivity is napping. “I’m a big believer in the nap,” he said. “I swear by it. It makes you more productive.”

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Junior Jumps Into World of Fashion