Teen Vogue’s Fashion University Taught Lessons in Fashion and Life
This past weekend, October 18-20, I attended a weekend long and incredibly informative seminar, Teen Vogue’s Fashion University, and got the chance to learn lessons from people in the fashion industry like Joseph Altuzarra, Thakoon, Elaine Welteroth, Amy Astley, Andrew Bevans and Sheena Smith. Everyone spoke about making it in fashion, what they’ve learned, and what it’s like from their side of the cutting room floor. There were important lessons to be learned by everyone there – even the people you met while waiting in line to get a great seat. Here’s some of the best advice I received this weekend on how to make impacts in the world of fashion:
It’s Okay To Be Confused
As young adults about to go to college or looking for your first job or even picking a major, we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to make everything as perfect as they are in our dreams. The knowledge you get from exploring things in life helps to make you well rounded and helps you to find out what you want and don’t want to do. “It’s okay to second guess yourself initially,” said Andrew Bevans, the Styles Features Director at Teen Vogue. Go explore what you like to and what’s perfect for you.
You Are A Brand
Whether you want to be a blogger, stylist, editor or director, you are a brand. Know yourself and perfect your craft and be unique. I know a lot of people feel overwhelmed and ask themselves ‘How can I stand out when there are millions of people who want the same thing that I do?” Don’t sell yourself short. You already have one thing over everyone else: you are the only person who can be you. Play up your strengths and make your weaknesses work for you. “Don’t try to be everything to everyone,” said award winning designer Joseph Altuzarra. Find your niche. A lot of people will have thoughts on what you should/shouldn’t be doing and who you should/shouldn’t be. You create your brand and what you want it to be. Listen to advice but you have the final decision.
I’m sure everyone has seen “The Devil Wears Prada” or has heard horrible stories about people in the fashion industry. Surprisingly enough, everyone was really nice and said that the only true way to make it anywhere is to be nice to people. “Don’t be fake about networking, be sincere,” said Elaine Welteroth, Beauty and Health Director at Teen Vogue. When you meet people in the industry, it’s important to be sincere and genuine, there are so many fake people who just want to use people so it’s refreshing and memorable when someone is genuine. Don’t just limit your sincerity to your boss. Sometimes the boss, CEO, Editor-in-Chief might be busy. Be just as nice to everyone that you meet and the word will follow suit. You never know who people might know.
Fashion Is Inspired By Everything
“Do some of those things that might take you to fashion,” said Thakoon Panichgul, an award-winning designer. Fashion is inspired by everything from animals to politics and everything in between. Your life does not have to be about fashion in order for you to make it in fashion. Thakoon went to school for Business but is now is an accredited designer. The trick is to balance your creative side with your curiosity and other passions and to be well rounded. It’s completely okay to love more than one thing at a time.
This weekend was truly inspiring and I hope that these lessons have inspired you to go after your dreams, whatever they may be. “You make a change,” – Amy Astley.
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