The World According to Ana Escalante
Rowdy's Editor-in-Chief breaks down the most pressing questions as asked by her friends, family, enemies and exes.
Photography by Mariel Wiley
Ana Escalante is always in the news. Usually, that’s because she’s writing it.
You may have first stumbled upon Ana through one of her articles in Gainesville’s local publications. It's been three years since she packed up her bags from abroad and settled down at the University of Florida. Since her homecoming from across the pond, she’s worked to get more bylines than statement pieces in her closet. Her favorite? Probably those pink velvet ankle boots. Story wise, it's the time she placed in a national competition for breaking news after an investigation into a teacher using racial slurs. No biggie.
Maybe you've read about her as one of the featured 10 most influential students at the University of Florida. If you’re a longtime Rowdy fan, you might have seen her hopping around the SL8 Gallery in this Mitski-inspired outfit at our first launch party. If you're a student, you might recognize her as the figure hunched over her laptop at Concord, furiously typing away into a Google Doc. With an editorial internship at CR Fashion Book and too many brand influencer sponsorships to juggle, her ScreenTime would give a Victorian child a heart attack. (It's an average 9 hours and 17 minutes this week, in case you were wondering.)
Here at Rowdy though, we know Ana as our Editor-in-Chief. It’s a position she’s filled with progressive activism, funky fashion, bold design and many, many dancing bananas on Slack. She spearheaded the Rowdy Online blog this summer and led coverage on quarantine, the Black Lives Matter protests, breaking entertainment news and the changing world of fashion and beauty –– all while entering her junior year.
We’re not really sure how she does it, but we think it has something to do with the Major Capricorn Energy you can feel radiating off her neck every time you see her. Ana’s usually the one asking questions, but before the release of her first issue as Editor-in-Chief, some of closest friends and colleagues decided to switch it up and put her in the hot seat.
The World According to Ana Escalante, as asked by those who know her best.
Dress Selkie Boots Whitefox Boutique
What made you fall in love with journalism? - Lauren Rousseau, Online Editor
It’s very basic, but helping people. For a long time, I wanted to do politics and human rights advocacy. In some ways, that translates over into what I’m doing now. Just because I’m talking about deep shit while wearing a pair of high heels doesn’t make it any less valid. Or maybe I’m just pretentious.
On a lazy day, what’s your go-to accessory to spice up your outfit? - Melody Castillo, Media Manager
Sunglasses, for sure. Extra points if they have a chain, a la Elizabeth Tamkin.
How did you come up with the theme for this issue? - Andrea Wilson, founder
You’re gonna laugh– it was originally inspired by a boy. A BOY. There’s this phrase he introduced to me called mono no aware, which is a Japanese phrase that roughly translates to the sadness in all things. It’s basically the knowing, lingering feeling that everything is fleeting. I think as young people, we’re overly aware that the world is changing– whether that’s for worse or for better, I’m still not sure. I’d like to believe it's for the better. Using that thought, I sat down and thought about the changes that are making us feel all of this. The overwhelming chaos that tends to consume us 24/7. As a generation, we’re leaping into all of that head-first. So, thanks to him, this issue was born. Maybe men are useful for some things...
How would you decorate a brand new apartment? - Sam Bailon, Staff Writer
My interior design style changes every few months. Right now, I would say all I’d need to be happy is a big, bright blue velvet sofa
Media producers have such a large effect on the world around them. How do you plan on using that effect for good? - Grace Romo, Copy Editor
I try to be as raw and honest as possible with all of the issues I deal with on a daily basis, and use that as the inspiration for a lot of the content we talk about. A lot of my identity comes from being a plus-size woman. In that way, I use my abilities to empower other femme plus-size people to dress freely and creatively. It’s taken me a long time to love and nurture the body I’m in.
What fruit would you decide to indulge in before going skydiving? - Daisy Alejandre, Designer
With a parachute, mango. Without, duran.
2020 was a shit show to say the least. What moment this year propelled you to expand the Rowdy brand? - Kalia Richardson, Editorial Assistant
From the moment I first joined, I already had plans on how to change things when I was in office. Contrary to popular belief, the political tone Rowdy has now was always there, it was just a little bit more subtle. At this point, we’ve all learned that this year isn’t one for subtleties, so I just took everything I wanted to do and ran with it. It wasn’t risky at all. I knew in my heart this was the direction we always needed to go in, and I’m grateful my staff supported me every step of the way.
What's your go-to cocktail? - Valentina Botero, Media Manager
A highball with lemon. If we're gonna get real fancy, a peach Strong Zero. If you know, you know.
Is there anything in your college experience you would’ve done differently if you could travel back in time? - Angie Tra, Finance Manager
Stick your head up above the crowd and leave the flock.
If you weren’t editing the magazine right now, what would you rather be doing? - Jenna Bennett, Editorial Assistant
Go on a hike and connect with nature. My goal is to be a granola bitch. Ohmmmm…..
(Above) Boots Whitefox Boutique Hat Stylist's Dress Selkie. (Below) Ring Cartier.
What are three things in your online shopping cart right now? - Rachel Kutcher, Staff Writer
A pair of Comme Des Garçons clogs, a blowdryer and green juice.
Did you carry any influences from Tokyo over into your life, and how have they affected your inspiration for various aspects or themes for Rowdy? - Olivia Pucciarelli
I was a quiet kid in high school. I didn’t really go out, much less have many friends. Moving abroad kind of became that coming-of-age experience for me a lot of us only dream about. On the surface, I’d say a lot of my inspiration floats towards counterculture fashion and big cityscapes, of course, but it’s so much more than that. I think my experiences over there, finding myself then losing myself, then building myself back up again, kind of made me appreciate the melodramatic antics often associated with adulthood. I think a lot of people find solace in being emotionless and not caring. I throw a lot of that out of the window. There’s something special about being a teenager and celebrating your youth.
Are you a typical Capricorn? - Natalia Galizca, Staff Writer
According to my spray painted WildFlower phone case, yes.
If you join any K-Pop group, what would it be and why? - Sandra Salvatierra, Copywriter
What would be the peak scene in a teenage coming-of-age movie about your life? - Isaac Grossman, Merchandise Director
I saw Tyler, the Creator in Tokyo a few months after he released Flower Boy with my best friends. It was a really intimate venue, there were probably only 500 other people there. We all went to get Denny’s after the show at 3 in the morning with a few strangers we met that night. Put on Slip Away by Perfume Genius and A-24 filter over that experience, and you’re golden.
What’s your go-to outfit? - Madeline Murphy, Online Writer
My 3-day-old pajamas.
If you had the money to have anyone’s closet, who would it be? - Maya Lang, Online Writer
This is your chance. Tell us about Japan. - Ava Loomar, Editorial Director
If you were an Azealia Banks song, which would you be? - Valerie Muzondi, Art Director
Competition. I know every word. It’s a bit embarrassing.
What did it feel like when the first Rowdy TikTok went viral? - Lisa Share, HR Manager
I remember waking up the next day to 14,000 views and thinking that was a lot. I think I shot it in less than 5 minutes, it was totally unplanned. I like to think it was the start of our “big break.”
What does it feel like to be a Latina EIC? - Sarah Cuervo, Influencer Relations Coordinator
I think it’s important to acknowledge I’m a white Latina woman, that is to say, I hold immense privilege while navigating the world. But it’s pretty cool, I guess. I don’t hold my Latinidad in this way other people do. That whole concept has a lot to unpack, so maybe we’ll discuss in Volume V. ;)
Who is the mysterious Rowdy Twitter intern? - Mariel Wiley, Photography Director
That’s a secret I’ll never tell.
Dress Tanya Taylor Boots Whitefox Boutique Ring Cartier Bracelet Eazy There Tiger Necklace Stylist's Scarf Parade
If you could pick any candy to describe your personality, what would it be? - Gianna Ramos, Designer
Nerds. I’m a weeb, if you couldn’t tell.
Team Edward or Jacob? AND WHY. - Riana Rickard, Social Media Director
Does every woman’s value have to do with the partner she chooses to end up with? But, neither. Team Peeta.
Favorite color without using the word. - Katie Delk, Online Writer
That comforting feeling of warmth on your face when the sun is shining in the winter.
What’s your favorite movie? - Maya Prater, Designer
Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola. For obvious reasons.
Was it always a straight path to journalism? - Torri McFarlane, Casting Director
God, no. I wanted to do human rights law first, then photojournalism, then fashion. It’s not quite a jump as everyone seems to think. I always loved clothing and design, I just needed a little push in the right direction. Studying and working with models and designers in Tokyo really made me think outside of the box in terms of my career.
Our generation is the first to feel the effects of climate change. What do you hope to do so that our children’s children aren’t succumbed to face a fate of impending environmental doom? - Anushka Dakshit, Staff Writer
Supporting progressive policies at a grassroots level to try to reverse as much damage as we can. I try to do what I can, both in my personal life and with the business. I don’t know why people continue to think someone will snap their fingers and everything will be alright. Did you see that clock in Times Square? Also, fuck Jeff Bezos.
What’s the most important physical thing in your life? - Hannah Engel, Online Writer
This is so Gen-Z of me. My phone.
What has been your biggest obstacle in your time at Rowdy? - Ava Loomar, Editorial Director
Having tough conversations. I’m a very outspoken, political person, and bringing that energy into a typical fashion magazine was tough at times. There was a lot of flack at times. We were too loud, too aggressive. I didn’t really care. I put on white noise to block out the haters. Everything I, or Rowdy, can do to educate our generation, both in fashion and activism, is enough for me.
What do your friends call you? - Veronica Nocera, Staff Writer