Saturday, March 29, 2008

What I thought about the industry

I am taking an Intro to Fashion Careers class, which has provided an unbelievable amount of clarity into the industry fro me. The class hasn't necessarily dispelled any misconceptions for me as to what the industry is all about — I was aware that pretty much everything is profit-driven, it's incredibly cut-throat and it's not all glamor and celebrities. Instead, the class has given me exactly what I wanted: A clear, realistic plan of how to break in and what to expect when I get there.

It's strange, because the more I read about what exactly is involved in each position, even when it sounds overwhelming, the more motivated and excited I become. I read the lectures with fervor, feeling more alive with every page. I now am more sure than ever that this is what I am meant to do . This is where I should be — in the fashion media industry.

So here’s what I’m going to do: My teacher said the best way to get started in the industry is to work for a temp agency. There are three main agencies in New York that cater specifically to the fashion industry: stylists, magazines, etc. Fashion people regularly use these agencies, especially during busy times like fashion and buyer weeks, and it’s a great way to break in and learn about the industry. She said if you’re driven and determined, you should be able to get a permanent job in no time.

She also advised that I stay in a women’s residence to start. These are residences that cost somewhat less than an apartment that are furnished and many offer meals included in rent that are available only to women. I looked some up and they are by no means cheap, but if you think about it $980 to live in mid-Manhattan that’s furnished and includes security and two meals a day isn’t so bad. Plus other women who are starting their careers live there too and it would be a great opportunity to meet people.

So I am planning a trip to NYC around September where I’m going to make appointments with these agencies and residences and get a clear picture of when I can move. I hope to be living in New York by January.

This short class has provided me with more real-world information than four years of college ever did, and I plan to put it to good use.

Career Path - Fashion Sylist Director

When reading about the different responsibilities of a market editor, fashion director and fashion stylist, I think my interests and skills fall into the fashion stylist director category.

Although I have no professional experience in styling, I have always been the go-to person for my friends and family when they need fashion advice. For a very long time, my mother wouldn't go shopping unless I went with her. I have a natural ability to see what items fit a person's personality and personal style, while knowing what will flatter their body shape and make them look their best. I think I would be a great fashion stylist for a magazine because I could keep the view of the magazine in mind while still knowing what's up and coming in the industry to keep the book on the cutting edge.

Obviously since I have no professional experience, that would be necessary to really see if I am a fit for the position. I have always wanted to take some fashion classes to really get a better understanding of what goes in to designing and making clothes so I have a better appreciation for them.

I also need to better acquaint with as many designers as I can wrap my head around — knowing designers' styles, their history and anything else about them I can find. I need to memorize the history of the industry, it's icons, it's enemies, what it stands for — everything. I plan to do this by reading as much as possible and talking to as many knowledgeable people as I can find. I plan on being a sponge and soaking up any information I can get my hands on.

I know I'm young and inexperienced, but I am confident in my abilities and am aware of what I need to do to progress. I can't wait to actually put all of this in action.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Big dreams


Here I am, sitting at my parent's computer at 1:49 a.m. the night before Easter, unable to sleep. How could I sleep when images of cabs, people from all walks of life, bright lights, and tall buildings keep flashing through my mind? I keep going over my plan of moving to New York in my head, over and over and over. Thinking of selling my car and everything else I own that I can't fit in to a suit case. Leaving everything I've ever known behind to chase a future I've always wanted. One of a New Yorker. And not just any New Yorker — a fashion editor.

I keep imagining the day when I arrive, my bags in tow, ready to take on the universe. The moment when I finally think to myself, "I made it. I did it." That will be the best moment of my life.

Every time I explain my plan to someone — leave everything behind by the end of this year, start working for a temp agency, get an entry-level job in fashion and work my way up — I get polite grins and the response, "Wow, well that's a big dream now isn't it?" "Yes," I respond. "It is. But I can do it."

I am well aware things might not go my way. I know I probably won't get a job in fashion in the first month, maybe the first few months. But I will eventually. And until I do, I'm prepared to work jobs to support myself that might not be ideal. But even that excites me. I want to experience New York and all it has to offer.

Perhaps the thing that most excites me about the city is it's promise of life. Fully living. Meeting people you never would, having conversations you've never had, opening your mind wider than it's ever gone before — that's what I want. I've lived a very sheltered life until this point, and it's time to branch out and take risks.

So here I sit, at 2 a.m., dreaming of the day when all this comes to life. And when it does, I'll remember the nights I laid awake dreaming, and be so proud of myself for doing so.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Campus fashion

So I was walking around campus today and I was especially aware of what everyone was wearing around me. And to my surprise, most people looked pretty good.

Usually college students are known for wearing the university uniform: jeans, flip flops, tank top, hoodie. And while this was still very true, a couple students stood out.

One girl was wearing metallic strappy sandals with a navy blue pleated skirt, white tank top, and a really beautiful silk poncho that had white and navy diagonal stripes. I almost wanted to stop her and ask where she got it, but she looked like she was in a hurry.

Another guy had a pretty standard outfit on: black shirt and jeans. But what made him stand out was that his clothes fit him perfectly and he had a really cool belt buckle and nice black shoes instead of flip flops.

One last observance that I'll talk about isn't really about the clothes this girl was wearing, but how she carried herself. I passed a girl who was wearing a standard turquoise polo with cropped jeans and flip flops; but what made her different was the fact that while she was listening to her iPod, she had a huge smile on her face. She walked with confidence and was so comfortable in her clothes that she shined to the people around her. Seeing her smile made me smile, and in that moment she was the most beautiful person I saw. This is what fashion is all about.

I wrote a similar article for the USF Oracle a few years ago about campus fashion, but with a much different take. Check it out:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Carolina Herrara Fall 2008


As I was exploring in search of a designer to inspire me, I came across Carolina Herrara. Knowing who she was but not knowing much about her design, I fell in love with her fall collection. To me, runway shows need to encompass the idea of extravagance while still keeping in mind the need for the pieces to be wearable, and she did this perfectly.

The show had every texture and embellishment a girl could ask for. From feathers to tweed to fendoras to riding boots to polka dots with metallics and plaids and lace and fur and velvet ... One could get lost in the brilliance.

According to, her program notes explained, "to grab from the mudroom, over a crinkle chiffon gown for an elegant dinner on the farm." This "rustic-chic" look could easily translate to the city, with women pairing velvet riding pants and high-heeled riding boots with their big winter fur coats.

(Photos from


My biggest mistake is not beginning a fashion blog with my current employer, I was given every opportunity and my editor was very open to it, but I let other obligations get in the way. I could have devoted the time to it, but instead I told myself that with school and work, I would rather wait. This was the most incredible opportunity, and it could be gone now. I plan to try to start it after I graduate in May, but by then the door may be closed. I'll never let an opportunity like this pass me by again, no matter how busy I am.

My life's goal

Ah, the age old question: What do you want to do? As you can tell by the name of my blog, I'm a little into fashion ... okay, a lot into fashion. But what do I want to do for a living?

My life's goal is to be Anna Wintour. To head the most fabulous fashion magazine and have the heads of design coming to me for opinions. To influence not only the fashion industry with my words but also the people who subscribe to my magazine.

Hopefully five years from now I'll be a fashion editor at InStyle. I'll have started my rise in the industry and people will begin to know my name.

A typical day five years from now:

I rise from my studio apartment in Manhattan far too early for my liking, wishing I hadn't had that last glass of wine with Marc Jacobs. I stumble into the shower and reach for the closest Gucci skirt suit I can find. I emerge on the chilly streets ready to take on the world, or at least my day. When I start to hail a cab, I remember that my rent is due and choose the subway instead.

After fighting the crowds of New York, I arrive at my office in InStyle magazine. I greet the Editor in Chief and go straight into the budget meeting for the day, offering my opinion on the fall fashion spread and pitching a fabulous idea for a new editorial section. I then go to my desk and manage my staff and section, answering questions, editing copy and creating layouts.

Around 8 o'clock my day in the office is over. Michael Kors is having a cocktail party so I hurry to freshen up and make my way over to his Manhattan townhome. I'm greeted with a martini and cheek kisses from fabulous people. After too many hours of joyous conversation and too many martinis, I arrive back at my studio and dive into bed, ready to begin again tomorrow.

This is my life's goal.