Amy Lee is a third-year communications studies major at UCLA, with all the normal student concerns about midterms, relationships and the rest. But to her more than 150,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel Vagabond Youth, she is a fashion inspiration, a new media icon who infuses her video with cutting-edge style, empowering messages for young women and her own brand of kooky charm. On The Hill sat down with her to discuss what led to her move both to UCLA and online.
Ok, Amy tell us a little about where you come from Well, I’m from kind of a small city in Los Angeles County called Cerritos and that came with that came the small town environment, where everybody knows each other and things like that. (Laughs) I mean that comes with its pros and cons, of course.
And how did you end up at UCLA? My first school of choice was actually UC Berkeley, but I didn’t get in unfortunately. Coming to UCLA though, I realized that the world had a plan for me that meant ending up in LA. After coming here I know in my heart that UCLA is where I meant to be and is more my personality.
How did you end up making YouTube videos? I started out with a fashion text blog and then turned to YouTube as a way to show off my clothes using video. Then my first couple posts just kind of took off, with people supporting me and suggesting ideas for other things. In time that became my primary way to reach out to my fans as my audience grew.
What advice do you give to people who are interested in getting into fashion? I mean I got where I was by working hard, I didn’t really have a defined plan of how far I wanted to go or what exactly I wanted to do. I think that if you have passion for something and actually follow through on it then that attitude will take you far. Sure it takes a little bit of luck, but you never want to step back and say I didn’t put my all into it and what could have happened if I had.
Where did you live when you were on The Hill? I lived in De Neve Plaza for two years. You gotta stay loyal.
What do you miss most about living on The Hill? The food of course! When Bruin Plate opened, I never went anywhere else. I mean, why would you?