Matthew Salzano, A&E Editor
She sees you when you’re walking around campus, she knows when you’re checking her blog and she’s been listening to your comments — much like Santa Claus, junior LuteLooks editor Grace Takehara is delivering gifts this winter.With a new website, new contributors and new content, Takehara is taking steps to make sure the blog she started in 2013 doesn’t become “stagnant.”
To begin grand changes to LuteLooks, Takehara has been working on transitioning from Tumblr, a blogging site which functions almost like a social network, to Squarespace, a more traditional website hosting service.
Takehara held two focus groups to find out where students turned for content when they woke up in the morning. She determined that the goal was a visual, up-to-date and easy-to-use website.
With that in mind, the new website — of which The Mast has been given a small preview — focuses on large images, easy-to-read text and minimalistic design.
After four months of research and design, the new website will unveil Jan. 15.
In addition to a new online space for LuteLooks, there are new voices.
“I really want [LuteLooks] to be innovative, and keep pushing forward and expanding,” Takehara said. “By adding contributors, they get to do things that add to LuteLooks and keep pushing it forward. I think that’s really valuable in keeping [LuteLooks] relevant to students.”
Two music contributors, sophomore Austin Miller and junior Zachary Kuntz, as well as two lifestyle contributors, senior Dania Tolentino and first-year Rizelle Rosales are being added.
Takehara doesn’t want to take away from the original goal of LuteLooks — focusing on the best on-campus fashion — but feels that music is simply a “natural addition” to accompany fashion on her blog.
She thinks the new Lute contributors will find music, fashion and culture content to inspire readers.
Students well-acquainted with culture at PLU may be aware of the newest form of celebrating Lute fashion, an Instagram account titled “Pfly Looking University” with the username Pfly_looking_university.
The Instagram, which is run by anonymous PLU students, collects submissions primarily via email and posts these pictures with conversational captions, such as “what quality do you like about yourself?”
They also allude to a future tumblr blog.
With LuteLooks being an on-campus fashion blog, one could argue there is no need for another. In one comment, the user claims they are a better representative of PLU’s community.
“Instead of focusing on one fashion style or trend we want to showcase the university as a whole,” the Pfly Looking University administrator wrote on the first Instagram post. “We want to show off the colorful, quirky and realness of our campus… As a team with varying fashion taste, and personalities in general, we [are] able to create a more diverse [and] inclusive page.”
Takehara understands this could be seen as a threat to her blog — before these changes, she was the one voice of LuteLooks representing one point of view. However, she’s okay with this allegation.
“LuteLooks is striving for excellence,” Takehara said, “not the everyday.”