Model: Claire Geist
Photographer: Rachel Scroggins
Styling: Claire Geist
Prop Styling: Rachel Scroggins
Model: Claire Geist
Model: Claire Geist
Photographer: Rachel Scroggins
Styling: Claire Geist
Prop Styling: Rachel Scroggins
This past Saturday, I was invited to sit in at Teen Vogue Fashion University, a program that lets high school and college students attend a weekend full of seminars featuring some of the top names in fashion giving out tips, tricks, and advice on how to make it in the industry.
Teen VOGUE Editor-in-chief Amy Astley moderated the seminars
The morning began with a keynote address from Michael Kors.
Even the non-fashion world is familiar with Michael after his years as a judge on Project Runway, but it’s his 30 year career as a fashion designer that earned him the honor of dishing out advice to an auditorium packed full of teenagers
Michael’s talk was one of the most inspiring I’ve ever heard from anyone in fashion. He talked about how much he loved fashion, from as far back as age 5. And gave excellent advice on how young people could turn their own love of the field into a career.
One of the points I really agreed with, was Michael’s opinion that in the internet age, everyone expects young up and coming designers in particular to be “seasoned pro’s” by age 21. He encouraged teens to make mistakes, ignore the rules, and do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams.
Pointing out that as a designer, “you’re only as good as your last collection,” Michael stressed the importance of never ceasing to learn new things, and experiment with new ideas. “If you think you’ve arrived, you’re over”.
The best advice, which he repeated again and again, and credits with his success: His attachment to his customers, and never being afraid to get feedback from real women.
And for those just beginning their careers, a strong cover letter, but also a very keen sense of style, that shows you yourself can “look fabulous” on the job (regardless of whether or not your clothing is designer) will in Michael’s eyes, make you stand out the most as a potential intern.
A stylish attendee, between seminars
Teen Vogue Publisher Sabine Feldmann, Alexander Wang, and Amy Astley.
The second seminar I attended featured Alexander Wang. The 27 year old designer of the moment also placed emphasis on the importance of internships, crediting his own experiences with helping direct his career. His ideal intern is someone who is “eager to learn,” won’t complain about doing everything, and has their own point of view.
His best advice for aspiring designers—-being flexible and adaptable. Citing the 6month fashion cycle– which he finds to be a long time to be stuck on one idea, Alex told the audience that ideas and inspiration need to be an enduring process. “You’re learning until the day you die”.
Mentioning his own decision to drop out of college as a defining point where he knew what was best for the direction he wanted to take his career, Alex said that to really succeed, “you must believe in you first”. “Don’t let anyone say you can’t do it, or you aren’t ready.”
As for what’s in the future for Alex, he says a store in Beijing, and then Europe are next. But designer collaborations, which are in his opinion “so common,” probably won’t happen anytime soon unless it’s something very very different.
Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez, The design duo behind Proenza Schouler spoke extensively about how their education impacted their careers during my third seminar of the day. While attending Parson’s (where Tim Gunn was one of their instructors!), Jack and Lazaro sold their entire joint thesis collection to Barneys.
The fact that Barney’s fashion director was in the audience to see their first collection changed the entire course of their lives. Their best advice for young people who want to pursue fashion is to go to school in New York City. No matter where you are from, attending school in NYC puts you in the center of the world “where the industry happens,” and gives you access to many of the top names and resources in the fashion world.
Along with school, internships with fashion designers played a huge part in shaping the duo’s careers. Both said that an internship is the most important thing you can do “pre-job,” since school itself “can’t teach you everything”. Lazaro expanded on the topic, saying that having your own sense of style, and doing good work are important, along with people who “don’t bitch about menial things” and put in that extra effort.
Like Alex Wang, the Proenza boys stressed the importance of believing in yourself and being “the best you that you can be”. Mentioning that yes, sometimes the “business” side of fashion can be difficult and confusing, Lazaro said that while the business knowledge can come later you must start with an idea and “be different than what others are saying”. The most important thing is to have your own point of view.
But if your desire to work in fashion stems from just wanting to make money? Lazaro says “don’t do it”.
Like many creatives, Jack and Lazaro said there is a fine line between working and not working. Inspiration can strike anywhere, even on your day off. So to recharge, and find inspiration which they find is sometimes lacking in NYC, they travel 2-3 weeks after every season.
At the very end of their panel, I got to ask Jack and Lazaro if they felt that the internet had changed things greatly for young and aspiring designers. Both said yes, definitely, that it’s “changed everything”! And that they personally of course find that critics matter, but they keep tabs on what consumers think, and “like to know what the kids are saying” after the show on things like blogs and twitter.
Sabine Feldmann and Betsey Johnson
After lunch, I was able to make a brief stop at the Betsey Johnson and Whitney Port panels in the Conde Nast building before heading home. Betsey (who is always in such a happy, jovial mood!) entertained an over-capacity audience with stories from the early days of her career, and her stint at Mademoiselle Magazine.
Whitney Port spoke extensively about starting her own line after gaining fame as a reality TV star, and gave advice on how aspiring designers can best deal with naysayers and criticism.
Overall, I had an amazing time at Teen VOGUE Fashion University, and ended up wishing it had existed back when I was in school. If you want to work in fashion, and have the opportunity, I’d strongly encourage you to apply in 2012. You really can’t beat getting firsthand advice from some the biggest and best designers, and editors in the industry.
Even I learned some new things, and went home feeling truly inspired by the day’s seminars. It was definitely affirming to hear so many people agree with what I always say here, and say when I’m asked by young people for career advice: DO AN INTERNSHIP. And do as many as you can.
My university required an internship for graduation, and looking back, I can say doing one (eventually a second, post-grad) put me ahead of the game. And my internship experience was singlehandedly responsible for getting me my first freelance job, and subsequent three year stint as a magazine photo editor.
As many of the designers and editors at Fashion University said, you should never stop learning.
Check back soon for a fresh batch of Spring Fashion internships (always one of the blog’s most popular posts).
All Photos ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/The Greyest Ghost
EDIT: Looks like the sale is now open, a few hours early!
Earlier in the week while I was walking around shooting street style in Soho, I bumped into a bunch of interns unloading a truck full of clothing for the Alexander Wang sample sale.
I hung out for a few minutes watching the merchandise coming off the truck, but quickly decided there wasn’t anything I was really interested in. A lot of “sweats”: sweat pants, sweat shirts, sweat dresses, etc. Not really my thing. I didn’t see any shoes or bags being unloaded (what I’d be REALLY interested in), but racked.com has a preview of what’s to come and mentions a lot of accessories. Supposedly there will be over 8,000 items. The stacks of clothing I glimpsed before the windows were papered over were pretty massive. Madison Avenue Spy got a preview of the merch as well, and seemed to find better stock than what I saw. If there is something you desperately want, or you need a sold out size, I’d brave the expected insane line and check it out. Overall though, it doesn’t sound like the merch will be that much cheaper than current sale prices on sites like shopbop and La Garconne. The boots I wanted were (last time I checked) literally the same exact price online.
One of the best ways to break in to the fashion and publishing industries is by interning! I did two internships myself (in the photo departments of Maxim, and MORE magazines) and learned skills that I still use in my day to day work nearly four years later. Now is the prime time to apply for an internship. Fashion week is about to start, and the spring 2010 semester is now starting. I’ve seen great internship opportunities popping up left and right– Here is my hand picked list of some of the best opportunities currently available in NYC:
EDIT 2/24/2010: PLEASE KEEP IN MIND MOST OF THESE POSITIONS ARE NOW FULL.
Harper’s BAZAAR Magazine is looking for editorial interns available to start
immediately and work 4-5 full days a week for the Spring 2010 semester.
Candidates must be responsible, hardworking, dependable, and proactive.
They also must have some interest in the fashion industry.
Responsibilities include sample trafficking, creating shoot boards,
faxing/filing/admin, and assisting the market editors with general duties.
PLEASE NOTE: All interns must be able to receive academic credit for their
Please contact ASAP if interested at email@example.com.
Marie Claire magazine’s features department is looking for spring
interns who can start immediately. Responsibilities include research,
reporting, writing, and some administrative tasks. Magazine internship
and/or college newspaper experience a plus. Unpaid.
Please submit cover letter in the body of your email. Include resume as an attachment and label the subject line “MC Features Intern.” Send to Jihan Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org. MUST be able to receive college credit for this internship.
The Gucci Special Events department is currently seeking interns for the Spring 2010 semester, available to start immediately.All applicants must be able to commit to at least 2 full days a week and be eligible to receive school credit. We are seeking hard- working, dedicated, motivated and detail-oriented students who are interested in event planning and production.
Previous fashion internship experience is preferred but not required.
Send resumes as an attachment to Julie.Vigneulle@us.gucci.com
PLEASE NO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OR REQUESTS FOR SUMMER INTERNSHIPS
Modeling Agency Internship:
Established high-fashion modeling agency in Midtown Manhattan is seeking an intern to assist the director, one of the top modeling agents in New York. Work in gorgeous offices in prime Times Square building.
Intern will assist with various administrative duties, including daily scheduling, liaise with photographers and fashion designers, meet and greet clients and models, answer phones. The position is unpaid, part-time and flexible hours available. The intern will need Mac and PC skills, including MS Office applications (Photoshop a plus) and the maturity and tact to interact with top models and celebrities.
This is the perfect situation to learn the modeling and fashion business from the best, and to make invaluable contacts. Please send resumé to the email here: email@example.com
FerOHHHsh Blogging Internship:
FerOHHHsh.com is looking for an editorial intern to cover Men’s trend for new
Men’s Style section of site to be launched next month.
Duties will include online research of trends in Men’s style, accessories, and personal
care, writing and submitting a minimum of 3 posts per week, and social networking via
sites like twitter and facebook.
Additional tasks may be required during New York Fashion Week, possibly including attending shows with the editor and reporting on men’s collections. During that week, multiple daily posts will be required.
No pay, but credit is available if desired.
During Fashion Week, Metro Card will be supplied.
Please email with the following:
– cover letter/resume
– writing sample or link to any prior writing exp. (for sample, please choose any Men’s brand, trend, line, etc… and do a small write up in the same writing style of the site.
FIJI Water NY Fashion Week Intern:
FIJI Water is looking for four (4) fashion-savvy interns to make sure the Fashion Week designers, stylists, models, and fashion show guests are not only hydrated but informed as to why FIJI Water’s winning taste and purity makes it an indispensable component of any fashion show.
1). Read the post on our FIJI blog: http://www.fijiwater.com/blog/2009/12/new-york-fashion-week-internship/
2). Post your 150-300-word comment on this blog post explaining why you’re the most tasteful, hardworking individual deserving of a weeklong New York Fashion Week internship. Comments must be submitted by 11:59PM PST, January 6, 2010.
3). January 15, 2010: We’ll choose the final eight (8) candidates, who will show off their style and swag in their very own video, along with answering three (3) specific questions from our FIJI Water Events team.
4). January 22-28, 2010: Visitors of the blog will be able to view the videos and vote for their favorite.
Make sure you include your email address when responding to the blog post so we can contact you if you’re chosen as one of our finalists. If we can’t contact you through the email address you included, you won’t be considered.
Check out the blog post for more details. See you at Fashion Week!
Showroom Seven and Seventh House PR is looking for fashion interns to assist Public Relations Director with day to day activities including sample loan, pitches, database upkeep, event production, etc.
Send Resumes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
VPL by Victoria Bartlett:
Production Intern: Seeking energetic, positive interns eager to further their knowledge of the inner workings of the fashion industry. Interns will work directly with the production coordinator to facilitate communication between VPL and our local factories. A design degree is preferred but not required, as knowledge of textiles, patternmaking and construction is beneficial.
Depending on their skills and interests, interns will also have the opportunity to assist the design and sales/pr teams with special projects. For the right individual, this internship may later translate into a full-time job.
• Maintain daily communication with local factories in Manhattan and Brooklyn, problem solving as needed.
• Enforce VPL’s quality control standards at local factories.
• Spec garments.
• Organize and maintain stockroom.
• Maintain an accurate inventory report of fabric stock.
• Swatch and distribute cutting tickets.
• Research and source trims, hardware and fabrics.
• Assist with shipping.
Please send resume and cover letter detailing your qualifications and interests, as well as availability.
Send Resumes to: email@example.com
The PR team is looking for college students or recent graduates who can commit to at least 3 full days a week. Ideal candidates are detail-oriented, proactive, and already have a fashion internship or two under their belts.
This hands-on (albeit unpaid) position is perfect for someone who is interested in learning the ins and outs of how a public relations department works. Your main duties include sample trafficking, organizing the press closet, and compiling credits, but you will get a chance to help out in planning for the upcoming show in February!
If you’re interested, please e-mail a brief cover letter (including your availability) and resume to Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Via Fashionista)
Stella McCartney is currently seeking a sales intern to assist during our Pre-Fall market week in New York from January 13-January 22 2010. We are looking for interns to assist with dressing/styling models, merchandising the showroom, photographing the collection and assisiting the sales team with all preparation necessary for buying appointments with department and specialty stores.
This position is unpaid but college credit is available. The Stella team is small so it is a great opportunity to gain experience and see what it takes to run a fashion house through the excitement of market. This position would be perfect for a recent graduate looking to add a valuable experience working with a luxury retailer to their resume.
Prior experience is a plus. A love of fashion, high energy and a good attitude are a must. Hours during this week would be 8:45am-7pm with some flexability.
Any interested applicant should send a copy of their resume and a short description why they are interested in assisting during market. If you can also include two times you would be available to meet for an interview this week or next. Send Resumes to: Samantha.Shirreff@us.stellamccartney.com
**ADMINISTRATIVE INTERN NEEDED**
We are looking for an administrative intern to manage the front desk as well as interact with each department company wide. The ideal candidate must be poised, well spoken, and have exceptional phone and writing skills. In addition strong organizational skills, an ability to take direction and knowledge of general office management is required. Must be available immediately, Must have open availability. Also this is a Non-Paid internship.
If interested, please email resume for consideration.
Send Resumes to: Hr@zacposen.com
Barneys New York:
Barneys New York – Graphic Design Intern for Web
Barneys New York is committed to providing the best of everything: merchandise, customer service, and innovative people with creative ideas. We are currently seeking a Web Design intern in our New York office. The position will run throughout the spring semester. While this is an unpaid opportunity, it is a great way to learn about eCommerce in the fashion industry.
• Create and edit graphics and HTML for emails, homepages, banner campaigns, email newsletters, promotional materials, and marketing landing pages
• Work with advertising department to maintain consistent company look and feel
• Work with web and advertising teams to design new graphic templates
• Graphic Design concentration/major
• Creative problem solving skills for visual design and proficiency in typography
• Understanding of web design principles
• Ability to work under tight deadlines with great attention to detail
• Experience and proficiency in Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Adobe InDesign CS3 on a Mac platform
• Online portfolio is a must
Email resume and cover letter to email@example.com. Please include “Web Design internship” as the subject line.
• College credit is required
• Program length: Spring semester
• Hours per week: Minimum 15 hours/week
GREAT RESOURCES FOR INTERNSHIPS:
The “gigs” section of Craigslist.
I’m a bad blogger, and forgot to post this week explaining the lack of updates! I’m on vacation at my parent’s house, enjoying the beach one last weekend and attending some family parties. I’ve got a LOT of exciting updates coming soon, but wanted to share what I found while browsing shopbop to kill time before heading to my cousin’s 12th birthday:
I FOUND CREEPERS!
I had a black velvet in high school, it’s cracking me up that they are back in style. I’ve seen a ton of bloggers posting about coveting a pair. Alexander Wang made some, but I’m really not feeling them. These are one of the first pairs I’ve seen that I actually like, are reasonably affordable, and not high-heeled.
Will you be wearing creepers this fall?