#StyleforAll: Meet Elana Schlenker

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This month, our curated collection of workwear is modeled by strong women of the Pittsburgh art world. Business as usual is anything but ordinary for these well-rounded gals, meaning a typical day calls for chic and versatile pieces that go from office to opening – all while exhibiting their unique style. Of all the marvelous things they’ve achieved, their magnum opuses are the profound impacts they’ve had in their field and in their communities. 

Meet Elana Schlenker

Pictured: Come Out and Playsuit Floral Romper, The Grasshopper Is Always Greener Earrings

Tell us a bit about what you do.
I run my own design practice, Studio Elana Schlenker, and also publish a magazine called Gratuitous Type.
Who is your favorite artist, and why do you identify with them?
I have many favorites, but one is the book designer Irma Boom. Like the best graphic design, her work is always thoughtful and surprising.


What are a few fun facts about yourself?
I love gardening and houseplants. I started a traveling pop up shop for gender wage parity called Less Than 100. I love Law & Order and sometimes it makes me secretly wish I was a lawyer.


Describe your personal style.
I’m all for comfort—easy dresses, linen pants and tops, cozy sweaters. Sometimes I’ll get dressed and my boyfriend will think I’m still in pajamas—I’m pretty hardcore casual! I make creative decisions for work all day, so I like simple stuff I can throw on without thinking about it, but punch up with great shoes, accessories, and fun lipstick.
How do you see style as an art form?
What I wear is an expression of my tastes and lifestyle—for me its definitely a creative activity, but maybe not an art form—I love fashion but I don’t take myself or what I wear too seriously. It’s just fun!

What do you like to wear to an art opening, gallery event, work meeting, etc.?
I love color and bright patterns, so when I dress up I’ll throw on a graphic patterned dress and statement earrings or a strong lip. When I meet with clients it’s fun to wear pieces that reflect my design sensibility.
Best career advice you’ve ever received?
This is advice I’ve learned through experience: If you’re interested in doing a certain kind of work, but can’t find clients to make that a reality, then become your own client and invest in yourself. Whether it’s money to take a class, produce a personal project, or pursue some other professional endeavor, if it’s something that you’re passionate about it will be money well spent.
+Check out Elana’s website
+See what’s up with her publication, Gratuitous Type
+Follow Elana on Instagram: @elanaschlenker

About Savannah

If something's happening on stage, you can probably find Savannah there, from house shows and dramatic theater productions to faraway metal gigs and full-on festivals. Otherwise, she spends her days elbows-deep in carb-heavy meals, rattling about years spent overseas, and testing the creative limits of an all-black wardrobe.

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