by LAUREN SCHUSTER, Asst. Features Editor
Like many college students, sophomore Sophie Demurjian likes to make her fashion feel personal.
Cutting and bleaching t-shirts for her and her friends to wear started out as nothing more than a fun hobby. After only two weeks of running an Instagram account dedicated to it, however, it has quickly snowballed into her own small online business.
Through her Instagram account @cutandcropped, Demurjian now markets her creations to her fellow college students, all for around $20 each. She is also the creator of @bronxbites, the popular food account featured in last semester’s special issue.
“My roommate was the one who taught me how to cut [the shirts], so last year we would just cut them and we would wear them places,” Demurjian said. “So I thought over time ‘this is so simple, why don’t I make something out of it?’ and [then] I saw ones that were bleached. Then I started bleaching them and I was like ‘you know what, people maybe will buy these,’ and I tried it out, and it’s been more successful than I could have imagined.”
Demurjian’s designs usually start out as nothing more than a simple XL graphic t-shirt. By the time they end up on her Instagram account, however, she has transformed them into fashionable crop tops worthy of a night out with friends.
“I cut [the tees], I bleach them, that’s how I get that design and then you wash it. There’s a whole process behind it. Bleach is no joke,” Demurjian said.
Demurjian creates unique designs according to her own vision in addition to taking custom orders over direct message on her account. Due to the somewhat unpredictable nature of the processes she does, each tee comes out differently, giving her customers a one of a kind piece to call their own.
“It’s hard, it’s like a gamble, because you don’t know how a shirt is going to come out. Each one is made and it’s its own piece, and some materials don’t always bleach, so you have to guess. Even not all cotton bleaches, I’ve learned the hard way on that,” Demurjian said.
Demurjian’s goal was to create designs made for college students by a college student, keeping in mind both students’ style and their price range.
“I sell [my designs] for under $20, so it’s affordable for everybody,” Demurjian said. “Cropped t-shirts are a big thing now, a lot of girls wear them, even if it’s not super cropped. It’s just a look right now, it’s all over Instagram.”
While she started out considering her classmates at Manhattan College as her only market, Dermujian’s designs have become popular enough to gain outside attention as well.
“I get people from all over [ordering shirts], even outside of our school. They ask me to ship them to them,” Demurjian said.
While Demurjian admits that working on her designs takes a great deal of both time and dedication, especially while keeping up with her schoolwork, it remains a labor of love for her.
“It’s something I thoroughly enjoy,” Demurjian said, “It takes up the majority of my time, but I don’t mind it at all. I love it, it’s something I would want to get up in the morning for. Balancing it is not too hard, you know, you make time for the things you love, so I make time for it.”