Morning Wood: UMass style watch: Kumble Subbaswamy

Fashion meets function meets unbridled power

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Morning Wood: UMass style watch: Kumble Subbaswamy

(courtesy of UMass Alumni Association)

(courtesy of UMass Alumni Association)

(courtesy of UMass Alumni Association)

(courtesy of UMass Alumni Association)

By Lottie Bull, Collegian Correspon-don’t

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This week’s spotlight is on Kumble Subbaswamy, fashion’s diamond in the rough. As chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, he is adored by the legions of students who don’t question his authority in the slightest. Although a public figure, Subbaswamy dresses as if he’s actively trying to avoid being interacted with. But before he diverts me to Ed Blaguszewski, the University’s spokesperson, Subbaswamy is here to use his passion for fashion to leave UMass in a better place than when he was first hired to advertise it as such.

Lottie Bull: How would you describe your style?

Kumble Subbaswamy: As a chancellor or a fashionista?

LB: Your pick.

KS: Well, I would say that they’re pretty similar. Because both are essential parts of my everyday life; one influences the other. However, I think that both follow my personal mantra: stay under the radar, away from any accountability.

LB: Who would you say are your style icons?

KS: Hmm, maybe Chuck Schumer, but, when I get dressed each morning, I definitely keep an image of a stock photo businessman in mind.

LB: What is it about Chuck Schumer that inspires you?

KS: Well, what really draws me to Schumer is his lackadaisical attitude toward the interest of the common people. It’s really eye-catching. The way in which he makes claims of sympathy just to garner votes blows me away. I mean, you’ve seen what he looked like at meetings with special-interest lobby groups, right? Whoa, nelly!

LB: Can you elaborate more?

KS: I’ll try, but Mary Dettloff might get mad at me for doing her job. As chancellor, I wasn’t hired to serve the students to my full capacity; I was hired to fundraise money for the new Isenberg buildings. It may not seem like much, but you’d be surprised how many alumni are willing to donate money when they’re being asked to by an extremely well-educated man who can work a pair of frameless glasses. Chuck Schumer is the same; he’s also a very well-dressed and educated—but not as much as yours truly, if I do say so myself—man who was elected to serve an oligarchical agenda. And he does so with such gravitas!

LB: Can you give us a run-down of your morning routine? What’s your strategy when picking out an outfit?

KS: Well, every morning, I try and catch up on current events. Usually, I reach for either the Wall Street Journal or a printed-out copy of The Onion, always hand-delivered to me by a student on work-study. Have you heard of the saying “you are what you visualize?” I’m a huge believer in it, so that’s why after my morning paper, I go over to my desktop and start googling the type of man I want to emulate: stereotypical businessmen in suits. The style might not be for everyone, but the stockphoto aesthetic sure does look good in the promotional fliers the school sends out during fundraisers.

LB: And are you a fan of these promotional fliers? I know that, for a lot of people, being in the spotlight can be pretty uncomfortable.

KS: Oh, definitely. As a man who’s only really seen by the SGA, how else are people going to know who the man who walks his dog at five in the morning is? I mean, hello, I get paid to look relatable, not to be relatable. I can’t just talk the talk, you know? As a man who makes sure to get his 10,000 steps in a day, I really understand the value of ‘walking the walk.’ And anyways, my salary has to be inflated for something, right?

LB: Wow, what a guy! With such a busy schedule, how do you have time to keep up such a dynamic wardrobe?

KS: With the kind of power I have, there’s always time to shop for another dark suit. And anyways, evolving my personal style only fuels my passion, evading any situation where I could be held responsible by the student body.

LB: So I’m guessing accountability is not in this season?

KS: Oh, it never was. Why do you think I’ve hired Ed [Blaguszewski]?

LB: Wow! I feel like I’m really getting a glimpse into the man behind the style.

KS: You are, surprisingly; enjoy it while it lasts.

Lottie Bull can’t be reached because she’s busy washing her daytime pajamas.