Bold, Brave, and Beautiful: Lauren Onelum brings high fashion to high school
By Sam Goodman
Editor In Chief
It’s the sway of her white lace shirt with billowing sleeves, the shift of her flared black pants, the stomp her silver platforms, and the bounce of her big black curls. It’s her easy, breezy, beautiful confidence and her inherent kindness. The things that make Lauren Onelum so identifiably her. The girl who is the physical manifestation of ‘marching to the beat of your own drum.’ The girl that transforms bleak high school halls into the runways of London, Paris, Milan. An it girl.
You can hear one of Onelum's French, Spanish, British, or Nigerian accents in the halls of Sierra Canyon, or her roaring laugh on the plaza. You can see her contagious smile and fierce fashion. However, regardless of outward confidence, Onelum considers herself shy, more of an introvert at first meeting. Be patient, wait, and watch her personality unravel.
“When I first met Lauren she was shy, but I [found out that] she’s a ball of energy and is one of the sweetest girls you will ever meet. Lauren is one of my best friends...she is true to herself, and her fashion is a perfect reflection of her personality— bright, bold, and happy,” friend Noelia Chacon said.
Writing, styling, exploring, and creating, Onelum is unafraid to express herself, being nothing but uniquely her.
Onelum enjoys exploring places like Echo Park, Downtown LA, Grand Central Market, 4th and 5th Street.
“When I was driving my friend from Nigeria around, she kept noticing how every part we were in looked so drastically different. Montrose looks like a European village, Downtown looks like New York; L.A. is [just] a very eclectic city. I love experiencing that,” Onelum said.
Onelum prides herself on the evolution of her personal style, enjoying everything about clothes, especially how they make her feel— happy. According to Onelum, she could just sit in her room, put on clothes, listen to music, and be happy, as getting dressed is her favorite part of the day.
“I used to rock gauchos, headbands, and [other] things that give me nightmares. But even then, I was bold with my style and was exploring what the world had to offer,” Onelum said.
If she’s stressed or unhappy, Onelum will go shopping because just being around clothes makes her happy.
But, it’s truly a combination of fashion and language through which Onelum can express herself best.
Art, design, and poetry, Onelum has been the Editor in Chief of The Canyon, the school's yearbook, for two years and has submitted stories to both The Standard and The Rambler, the school's newspaper and literary magazine. Her passion for writing began when she was in ninth grade English where she began to use writing as a way to express herself.
“Because I’m pretty shy, it’s a lot easier to communicate through [writing]. Even when I want to tell something to someone I’m close with, I find it difficult to talk. It’s because eye contact makes me uncomfortable. When I can just write it down, I have time to express myself more accurately,” Onelum said.
Onelum enjoys writing short stories, letters to herself, and in her journal every day. Onelum also runs her own online blog which she began at the beginning of 2017, laurelumwears.wordpress.com. Onelum describes the blog as being 'a little taste of her'.
“Everything about me is diverse and there’s no single way to categorize me.”
Onelum hopes to pursue a career as a fashion director, creating themes, writing copy, staging photo shoots, and organizing store layouts online and in-store each season.
“Because I have such an eclectic personality, and my tastes change all the time it would be a very good atmosphere for me. I also love to write, so getting to do that based off a season’s ‘personality’ would be very fun,” Onelum said.
Onelum has been at Sierra Canyon School for seven years and has gradually left her [beauty] mark on the face of the school.
Onelum cannot wait to graduate, and is excited to explore the world, wanting to be in an environment where people are passionate and curious about the things they’re learning. As of 2018, Onelum attends Barnard College in New York City where she is majoring in French and Marketing.
“I want to leave a legacy that inspires people to have a voice of their own. This year, I’ve really grown into myself and have become unafraid to express myself. I hope I remind [people] to be themselves, and that the opinions of others don’t matter. I hope I’ve embodied that,” Onelum said.
This feature story was written prior to Lauren Onelum becoming the Co-Editor in Chief of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine.