UW alum and self-described fashion nerd Gabrielle Pedriani has also made a name for herself on the Internet. Her Look Sharp, Sconnie blog started making waves when it won Marie Claire magazine's nationwide #SoGoodFashion Twitter challenge in 2012.
People-watching in Madison inspired Pedriani to launch the blog. She says her first posts were photos of stylish strangers she'd accost on the street.
"It's fun to approach [fashion-related] topics I see being popular around the country and then filter them through a Midwestern perspective," she says. "I don't think that would have even been possible before the Internet."
The blog helped her make personal and professional connections as well.
"It was a way for me to meet people who I could tell were interested in fashion," she says.
But Look Sharp, Sconnie did more than put Pedriani in touch with Madison's small but emerging fashion scene; it was the start of a bona fide career.
Pedriani's nationwide following has translated into gigs both on- and offline. In February, she covered New York Fashion Week for the online retailer Polyvore, and she's done televised fashion segments on Madison's NBC affiliate, WMTV.
She doesn't plan on stopping there.
"I want to change the face of fashion, to make it more approachable and something that reflects the entire country," she explains. "For too long, fashion has been completely dominated by a small, elite [group] on the coasts."
The streets of Madison paved the way for Look Sharp, Sconnie, but the runways of New York are especially alluring to Pedriani. Two weeks ago she moved to New York City, where she hopes to make an even bigger splash in the fashion world.
Pedriani is keenly aware that her time in Madison has prepared her for the next step in her career.
"People in Madison are open to big things, so big things come to Madison," she says.