Trendy street fashion. Quirky anime outfits. Designer chic. Asian international students have a style reputation that is a far cry from the stereotypical library dweller.
You can usually rely on international students to up the fashion game ante on campus. Their cultural differences – and often the difference in bank balances – can bring a whole different vibe when it comes to clothes.
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, a quick search on the #studentfashion Instagram tag will reveal all…
This trendy mash-up of patterns:
Not to mention this colourful ensemble:
The fashionista style of Asian students has made the fu’er dai – those born in the late 80s or early 90s to wealthy Chinese business people – an exciting target for boutique designer brands, according to Jing Daily.
Like walking models, brands are viewing wealthy international students as the best way to get their fashion on campus. Whether it’s through student fashion bloggers, Instagram micro-influencers or simply fashionable friends wearing the clothes around their university, the fu’er dai are thought to have a strong presence.
It’s no secret international students have to pay a whole lot more than domestic students to get a degree. So it’s unsurprising that some of these students have the cash to splash on the more luxurious things in life.
The level of privilege these students have has recently gained media attention. The ‘rich international student’ memes depict these students as rich kids who eat designer brands for breakfast – a far cry from the bowls of cereal found in most student kitchens.
“The truth is that the majority of intl students in the UK struggle to get enough money to come &fulfil their dreams. Usually, it’s the ‘bank of mum &dad’ who are paying. Sometimes it’s the whole family’s life savings that are put into it.” https://t.co/CBS5J462wd @Study_INTNL
— UK Council for International Student Affairs (@UKCISA) April 10, 2018
This is not the story for all international students, though. The expensive student fees mean some students are struggling to afford their monthly rent and even their weekly food shop, let alone designer brands.
“There is always going to be a small, possibly loud minority who are going to drive their Lamborghinis through Mayfair, and they’re going to be highly visible,” CEO of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Dominic Scott told BBC Three.