Caroline “Cici” Ricci’s Pop-Up Shops are All NewZz, No Rulez

When Cici Ricci ‘19 started her vintage clothing company, Old NewZz, she didn’t give a blast about profit or fame; the mindset was awareness and the execution was whole-hearted. Her main focus —no focus. She is open-minded, adventurous and, like most 22-year-olds, unsure of where life will take her, but she is willing to hike the highest mountain in Arizona to find out. When it comes to style, Ricci adheres to zero guidelines. Her fashion choices are as free-spirited as her core, making her a total business inspiration and environmental guru.  

Describing herself as a Cancer, a corky-weirdo and a west-coast baby, Ricci is from Encinitas, C.A. and grew up competing in sports and revering all aspects of the natural. She said her mother, father and older brother shaped her confidence.

Photo Courtesy: Madeline Casalino

Photo Courtesy: Madeline Casalino

“Much has been a push from my brother and his guidance and forever believing in me,” Ricci said. She is appreciative of her geographical opportunities and has an “insane love” for all creatures and people.

“I am a social cat and love to be hanging out with friends, whether it is at a watering hole or at the drive-in movie theater,” Ricci said. Likewise, she finds immense joy in her volunteer work at a local animal shelter.

While her Instagram handle, @oldnewzz, and retail space is recent, her concept began years ago in high school with her best friend. The two purchased used jeans, which they distressed, trimmed and transformed into shorts, and shared with classmates. This was the start to her entrepreneurial drive.

“I love the idea that someone else might have had their first kiss in this dress or had stood up to a bully for the first time while rocking these Levis,” Ricci said. No matter the story, each piece Ricci sells comes with a past and operates as an element for change. Her hope is to erase the negative stigma of thrift clothes and highlight the cool, conscious and feasible beauty of old versus new. “I do this all for love and to spread the impact of sustainable shopping,” Ricci said.

At her most recent pop-up shop, located in the Building D lounge, Ricci wore a white-vine embroidered pant and tank set tucked into desert-hued cowgirl boots. She has curated a large collection of pre-worn items, available in all sizes, ranging from lingerie to collegiate baseball caps to kitten heels.

“I have a little bit of boho, western while throwing in that street and edgy taste,” Ricci said. “I love experimenting with different textures and patterns because it can be unexpected, which I completely dig.” Almost everything she wears and sells is thrifted from places she has traveled, such as Colorado, Rhode Island, Maine, New York and Italy.

Alongside Ricci, Julia MacNair ‘22 sold her hand-made hair scrunchies and personalized stitched, dyed and painted apparel. MacNair, also known by her Instagram trade, @_casual_encounters, has the same mission of fostering an ethically-influenced campus.

Photo courtesy: Caroline Ricci

Photo courtesy: Caroline Ricci

“Protecting our earth is a collective effort and having fun by creating cute clothes is a bonus,” MacNair said. With their deals, both Ricci and MacNair successfully decrease the negative effects of quick trends and clothing waste.

Scrolling through recent social media posts, Marist community positively commented on Ricci’s initiative. Her moving advice—“Be different. You only have one life and one body so rock it and enjoy every inch and second.”

Ricci also maintains value over mass. Her closet holds only the basics, with a mix of unique finds for further flare. After graduation, Ricci plans to move with her boyfriend to the San Francisco Bay Area and continue her favorite outdoor activity: backpacking. For now, you can locate her brand either online or at the student center on April 10, where she will be joined by other local artisans selling both cloth and fare goods.

Madeline CasalinoComment