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Designer Hester Sunshine Talks 'Slutty Kindergarten Teacher' Fashion: BUST Interview

hesterHester Sunshine, Fashion Designer/Creative Director, Brooklyn, NY
Tell us about this look.
This outfit is what I might call my slutty kindergarten teacher look. The sweater is a vintage kid’s sweater from eBay, and the skirt is from O-Mighty. I got the tights and socks at Party City around Halloween. The glasses are from See Eyewear, and the head wrap is a ’60s nylon scarf I got on eBay and tied into a big bow. The backpack is a kid’s one from the 99-Cents store.   

When did you become interested in fashion?
I’ve always been interested in fashion. I wanted to be a fashion designer when other kids wanted to be astronauts or ballerinas. I grew up in TriBeCa, and I was very fortunate to have an artistic mom and be in a very artistic community, so I was exposed to weird creative outlets from an early age. I would make clothing for Barbies out of pieces of felt and paper and tissues. That was my jam.

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style changes significantly from day to day. When I was younger, I was very specific about how I would look for a season or a period of time, but as I got older, I just treated dressing like a daily dress up. I am, each day, whoever I want to be. But there are certain characteristics that define my style: little fluffy skirts, cropped tops, and over-the-top hair accessories. My outfits vary from psychedelic mod to what I might call Barbie-meets-The Brady Bunch.  

What tips do you have for building an original wardrobe?
I shop a lot on Etsy. The majority of the stuff I buy is either made by some indie designer or it’s vintage. If you really want to be an individual, look off the beaten path. You don’t need to be shopping where everyone else shops. Also, explore kids clothing!

What advice would you give to girls developing their own personal style?
Be completely true to yourself. Don’t give any shits about what people say and don’t care about what’s going on in popular fashion. Also, never feel like you need to tone yourself down to be normal or to be accepted. If you have something that you feel is an element of your identity, express it fully because that’s what makes people happy and what makes the world special.  

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Like Hester's Colorful Flair? Snap up these picks for eye-catching ensembles.

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1. COMPASSION IN ACTION TOP, $49.99, MODCLOTH.COM
bonehairclips copy2. BONE HAIR CLIPS, $6.99, SPIRITHALLOWEEN.COM

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3. WOOL BLEND BERET HAT, $30, TOPSHOP.COM

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4. THE RAGGED PRIEST ZIP FRONT CORD MINI SKIRT, $69, ASOS.COM

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5. SEE 6715 EYEGLASSES IN TEAL, $299, SEEEYEWEAR.COM
hester66. NU CAMO LONG SLEEVE CROP IN GREEN/NAVY, $240, HAYLEYELSAESSER.COM

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7. UNIF TRIXIE PACK, $88, REVOLVECLOTHING.COM

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Get inspired by some of our favorite interviews, featuring Dolly Parton, Solange, Tina Fey, Jessica Williams, Kathleen Hanna, Laverne Cox, the Broad City gals, and more! Plus, keep up with the latest from BUST.

Screen Shot 2016 02 04 at 1.33.48 PM8. KING ME CODE BOOTS, $90.30, DOLLSKILL.COM

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By Olivia Harrison
Photographed by Victoria Stevens

Follow Hester on Instagram @besta_hesta.

This originally appeared in the Februrary/March print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today

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