Jennifer Marks-Gold, International Students & Scholars Advisor

Sera Jeong/The Phoenix

Swat Style Snapshot

Marks-Gold dons a color palette of black, white and grey with eye-catching prints and sparkle. Marks-Gold’s white pants are from Banana Republic while the black silk camisole is by Diane von Furstenberg, her favorite designer. She purchased the rest of her outfit at thrift stores, including her silver studded belt and animal print scarf, which she paid no more than $1 a piece for. In keeping with the color palette, Marks-Gold wears a pair of grey silvery high heels and her trademark accessories of three bracelets and earrings.

Described by her colleagues as being “thrift shop hip,” Marks-Gold frequents stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army. As a seasoned shopper at thrift stores, Marks-Gold can gauge the quality of the garment by looking at the fabric without needing to weed through racks of clothing. “I eye everything down,” Marks-Gold said. Recently, she purchased a Ralph Lauren Black Label blazer, typically sold with a quadruple figure price tag, for a mere $9. Procuring fine garments typically sold at upscale retail stores is an activity that she describes as an addiction. “It’s almost compulsive sometimes,” Marks-Gold said. Work during the week and family commitments during the weekend sufficiently mitigate her urges to shop, according to Marks-Gold.

From Design to Higher Education:

Sera Jeong/The Phoenix

Marks-Gold’s creative flair runs in her blood, as many of her family members are artists. The development of her sense of aesthetic can be traced to her undergraduate college career as she took many design and art history classes at Drexel University, her alma mater. Post-graduation, Marks-Gold worked at Macy’s dressing mannequins, honing her skill in creating cohesive outfit combinations. Although she enjoyed the design aspect of her job, working with plastic dummies was unfulfilling. “I was working with inanimate objects; they don’t talk back to you,” she said.

For this reason, she decided to go pursue a Masters in Education. Marks-Gold presently works as a staff member of the Dean’s Office where human interaction is plenty abound. Marks-Gold’s colleagues often turn to her for advice on style, her honest opinion on their outfits, and for shopping excursions. Although her career path has diverted from design, she maintains creative outlets. Marks-Gold designs jewelry and has invented beadatz, an ear-bud accessory that is copyrighted in the Library of Congress. For both these ventures, she is in the process of distributing them to retail stores.

Personal Style at Swarthmore:

Sera Jeong/The Phoenix

Improvising and never adhering to a strict formula when dressing herself, Marks-Gold produces a unique combination of clothes, shoes and accessories, daily. “I’ll never wear the same [outfit] twice,” she said. Yet Marks-Gold approaches style with a simple manner, believing clothes should also be comfortable. “Fashion is supposed to be fun,” she said. Although Marks-Gold makes more of an effort to dress up for interviews and meetings, she appreciates the leniency of the dress code at Swarthmore College. “I think [faculty and staff members] have a lot of freedom to dress how we want here … the same [can be said for] the students,” she said. Working with international students brings Marks-Gold plenty of perks, such as the unique gifts from overseas that students present her. Many of these gifts have added to her collection of jewelry, such as earrings from Thailand, beads from Ghana and a medallion from Egypt. ”I work with the best students … they are so appreciative of what I do,” she said.

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