It was a cold day in December — barely 40 degrees. The model was freezing, the horse was restless, and the project was daunting, but exciting. After weeks of preparing fall styles and finding the perfect setting, the photo shoot could commence. Little did anyone know how far this small, Midwest-inspired fashion shoot would go.
Jineo Saito is a senior fashion communications major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Although his major is technically one of business, Saito said he has always thrived in his creativity. Because his mother tailored clothes, Saito was surrounded by fabrics from an early age and has preferred expressing himself artistically through drawing and fashion.
“I started off as a fashion design major, and I realized I couldn’t design while in school. It took too much of my creative energy,” Saito said. “So, I switched to the creative side of visual merchandising, but because I don’t like business, I’ve now found myself in fashion communications. I absolutely love it.”
Jineo Saito, a senior fashion communications major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, looks through his website outside Love Library on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Photo by Mia Everding
Saito now works as a visual merchandiser for Forever 21, and as a hobby, he builds mood boards and style models for local photography shoots. One of these projects turned out to be what he said was one of his biggest accomplishments, being featured in Vogue Italia on April 12, 2017, in a collaboration with local lifestyle photographer Letura Idigima.
“I kept refreshing the page. I couldn’t believe it,” Saito said. “The moment that I realized we were legitimately featured in Vogue was when I saw our names were under the photo and that the photo had the trademarked Vogue stamp. I just thought to myself, we f****** made it.”
Gage Holbein, a senior fashion communications major who has collaborated with Saito many times, said he appreciated the photo shoot that made it onto Vogue, as well.
“Those shots were beautiful, absolutely magical,” he said. “It was the perfect marriage of model, photographer and stylist vibing so well together.”
Saito said he wants to make it clear that this is only the beginning of his career, as he has many projects in the works. He finds a lot of his inspiration online, but lately, he’s found beauty in things that other people often don’t.