Ira Bornstein ’22 combines business with fashion
AN EYE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY: Bornstein ’22 is always on the lookout for interesting backgrounds.
Ira Bornstein ’22 doesn’t have a clear memory of when his passion for fashion started. But his love for clothing has earned him— @yvngiraa — nearly 2,500 Instagram followers. At Brandeis, Bornstein is interested in studying business with an emphasis on fashion. His love of fashion and interest in business is exemplified by his hobby of reselling clothes.
Soon after gaining his following on social media, Bornstein started his small business. While some fashion influencers have turned to reselling clothes for profit, Bornstein said he just needed to get rid of clothes he did not want.
However, he said that “I started taking reselling seriously when I found out that you could make a lot of money by selling hyped brands. And in the last year, I started branching out more and started selling designer brands. It is a really good way to generate money.”
In addition to reselling clothes, Bornstein is also in the early stages of creating his own clothing brand called iN/Öutdated. “There isn’t much to speak on it right now, but it is very different than what most have seen before. It is a mix of streetwear and other styles,” he said.
Among Bornstein’s most memorable fashion items is a shirt that he has never owned, or even seen in-person. While on Instagram two years ago, Bornstein saw a polo shirt featured in the rapper KYLE’s story. And despite searching for the JW Anderson — a British brand — shirt, he couldn’t find it for a reasonable price.
“I have been listening to KYLE since 2014 and he has been a huge inspiration to me. “Smyle” was his second album and it really boosted my confidence. My favorite line is “Ain’t no elevator to success I had to take the stairs.” I took the verse into everyday life because when I would use the metro, I would always take the stairs instead of the escalator because it was more convenient and most people take the escalator,” Bornstein said. “I love his sense of style and I have been inspired by his outfits. He is different from most artists. You won’t find another one like him.”
The love that Bornstein has for fashion also extends to modeling. Describing it as “another way of self-expression,” he is constantly displaying his outfits for his followers. “I mainly did this as just a way to show people my outfits, but also to inspire others,” he said.
One of the reasons Bornstein has been able to grow his platform is because of the modeling that he did in 2016 for clothing brands based in his home of Washington D.C. Even though his Instagram profile is listed as a “Fashion Model,” he is quick to say that he doesn’t consider himself a model. “It is just an occupation, and it is something I do, but I don’t give myself the title ‘model’,” he said. “And the goal is to influence people, so the closest thing that I could do to describe myself as is an ‘influencer.’ But that’s too mainstream. I’m just someone who loves fashion.”
Bornstein he says he started taking Instagram more seriously when he was 16. Washington, D.C. and his friends originally had “the greatest impact” on his fashion, but he soon realized that he had to find his own style, saying, “It was me who had to look for my own style and way of self-expression.”
Also taking inspiration from streetwear, some of Bornstein’s favorite brands are Acne Studios, Raf Simons and Eqouta. And despite Supreme’s obvious presence in the streetwear community, Bornstein said, “I never really wore Supreme, I always thought it was kind of overrated.” Unabashed to subvert current trends, Bornstein often combines mainstream brands like Nike with thrifted vintage T-shirts.
Since photography is such a large part of fashion, Bornstein is always on the lookout for the next background. “I just have an eye for locations to shoot my outfits. Whenever I go somewhere or walk past a place I keep it in the back of my mind for when I need to shoot an outfit,” he said.
His posts, which can garner more than 1,000 likes, are often taken by friends or family. Bornstein has even started featuring spots on the Brandeis campus in some of his most recent posts, like the laundry room in Shapiro Hall and a hill in Massell Quad. When scouting locations to shoot, he says he is drawn to “anything minimal or abstract.”
“My style is always changing, so nothing is constant. If my following is willing to come on my journey with me then we will grow together. It is a marathon, not a sprint.”