Our very own trailblazing fashionista, Christina Dun, was selected to attend the coolest university (in our humble opinion) on the planet this weekend. Check out her insider tips on how to break into the world of fashion.
From October 21-23, 500 fashion lovers from around the world were brought together for the 6th Annual Teen Vogue Fashion University in New York City.
I was fortunate enough to attend the event and had such an incredible experience, from private shopping events to a tour of the Teen Vogue offices.
And I’m sure anyone who wants to get into the fashion industry is asking the question: How do I get there? So I thought I’d share some insight from a few of the amazing guest speakers.
Session 1: Keynote Address – Michael Kors
He emphasized the importance of: “Keep your focus. Don’t try to please everyone. If you try to please everyone, you please no one.”
Session 2: Editorial Floor Tour – Ade Samuel (Fashion Assistant) and Danielle Prescod (Accessories Market Assistant)
On getting an internship: Show initiative and keep in contact with people you meet. Also know your stuff and know what you are getting into (for example, they both work around 12 hours per day). And when you go into an interview, always have questions!
Session 3: “The Dynamic Duo” – Proenza Schouler designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez
On being an intern: Work hard, even at menial tasks. Look the part and follow it up with an exceptional work ethic.
“If your point is all about making money, don’t go into fashion.”
Session 4: “The Creative Genius” – Betsey Johnson
On getting into design: Have a vision. You have to work for people because you have to learn. Learn the pace, because you don’t learn that in school. You’re only as good as your last sale. Learn in a place where you’re happy and learning.
“Go for it, live it. I take interns because it helps.”
Session 5: “The Chosen One” – Jason Wu
Qualities he looks for in an intern: Attention to detail, relentlessness to get the job done right, dedication, and drive.
“When there’s a really good intern, we hire them, because we don’t want to let them get away.”
“Just have a passion in what you do and you will succeed in one way or another.”
Session 6: “Teen Vogue 101” – Amy Astley (Editor-in-chief) and the Teen Vogue editors (Gloria Baume, Jane Keltner-De Valle, Danielle Nessbaum, Andrew Bevan, and Shiona Turini)
On taking interns: They prefer people who are willing to learn over people who think they know everything. Do your homework and spend quality time doing research about the company you want to intern for.
“The first thing we do is Google you. So clean up your Twitter and Facebook pages.”
Session 7: “Fashion in the Digital Age” – Simone Oliver of The New York Times, Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power of whatwhatwear.com, Rich Tong of Tumblr, Aliza Licht, SVP Global Communications for Donna Karan International, and Susan Koger of Modcloth
On getting your own blog out there: Networking is a must and cross-promoting with other sites is also helpful. Keep up to date and read other blogs. Brand yourself and get your name out there. Social media is booming and so many companies are hiring young people for these positions because of how web savvy this generation is.
Overall, it was a fantastic fashion-filled weekend and I encourage anyone out there hoping to branch into the fashion world to apply for next year!
And to end, here’s a great quote from Michael Kors:
“Get your foot in the door, and once you get there, look fabulous.”
Christina is a native of the west coast who has fallen in love with the big city lifestyle of Toronto. Currently a student at Ryerson, Christina currently runs her own fashion line. You can follow her musings at http://www.christinadun.blogspot.com/