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Alumni Profiles

Getting Ready For Fashion Week With A SUNY Alum

Fashion Models on Catwalk

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Gina Marinelli, graduate of SUNY New Paltz and fashion editor for branded content at Refinery 29.

It’s that time of year again. We’re nearing the start of another New York Fashion week! The fashion world is abuzz in conversation, speculation, and anticipation. And whether it was chatter about new trends or a model with a bionic arm, it got us thinking of our own very accomplished alums in fashion. So we reached out for some info and heard back from Gina Marinelli, the fashion editor for branded content at Refinery 29.

Marinelli went to SUNY New Paltz where she studied Journalism with a minor in theater. For two years she was a staff member and copy editor for the student newspaper, The New Paltz Oracle. And in case she wasn’t busy enough, she was also a member, and later captain, of the New Paltz Dance Team.

She worked various internships in broadcast, print, and digital media before she found out about an internship opportunity for Refinery 29, a fashion and style website that delivers inspiration to help women live a more stylish and creative life.

“Admittedly I started out as a Refinery 29 super fan,” Marinelli admitted, “I began reading the site in 2010 and found myself on it multiple times every day, totally engrossed and enamored by its content and unique voice. (Fun fact: My first appearance on the site was actually when I won a fashion editorial caption contest.) When R29 posted that they were looking for an editorial intern, I practically had my application ready to go.”

She began working the internship in January of 2011, two years after graduating from New Paltz, and by August of that same year she was officially brought onboard as their editorial assistant. The rest, she says, is history.

Marinelli recently joined Refinery 29’s branded content team and is excited to use the position to do creative storytelling.

“Something I always value about working here — in addition to having brilliant, talented, and supportive coworkers — is our try-it-and-see attitude when it comes to content. Ever since my days as an intern, I’ve always felt empowered and encouraged to speak up when I have new ideas for features, photo shoots, or how we package a story. Some of my favorite and most successful stories have been born out of quirky, unconventional ideas, and it’s great to work somewhere that helps you see them through to fruition.”

You can read an example of this creative story-telling in some of Gina’s latest articles, including her recent piece “What It Takes to Be Successful Before You Turn 30.

Aside from this article she gave us a bit more advice. In preparation for Fashion Week, we asked Marinelli what her favorite trend for the new season was. “Currently for fall I’m loving mock neck sweaters, mod dresses, and crisp, white sneakers with anything at all.” But aside from fashion advice she says the best advice for SUNY students is, “Be a kickass intern, make connections within your industry (and maintain them), and don’t be afraid to hear the word no.”


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Written by Kay Broughton

Kay is a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media. She is a University at Albany undergraduate working towards a double major in English and East Asian studies with a double minor in communications and film.

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