Industry veterans mentor students aspiring to work in fashion industry

At this year’s annual Teen Vogue Fashion University, 500 uniquely dressed fashionistas showed up from around the world to participate in this year’s classes.

Teen Vogue Fashion University is a weekend-long seminar held by Teen Vogue magazine in Times Square. The magazine hosts different fashion designers, bloggers, stylists and other people prominent in the fashion industry to talk to students about their beginning experience and offer advice on how to break into the industry.

The day’s classes began with keynote speaker Grace Coddington, creative director of Vogue magazine. Coddington described her life as a model, how she merged into the job of a stylist and eventually landed her job at Vogue. Coddington answered numerous questions about her life as a model and stylist and also explained that she looks for an intern with “humor, character and a love for cats.”

After the seminar with Coddington, the students dispersed to their next classes. Some students were lucky enough to get a tour of the Teen Vogue offices and saw where all of the magazine’s editorial decisions took place. They caught a glimpse of the famous Teen Vogue closet, and even peaked into editor in chief Amy Astley’s posh, modern office.

Other students attended seminars with designers like Chris Benz, Prabal Gurung, Peter Som, Erin Fetherston and Christian Siriano. A crowd favorite was the seminar held by designer Chris Benz who illuminated the group with his witty humor, effervescent energy and neon pink hair. The best advice he gave during his seminar was to stand out from everyone. He emphasized uniqueness, genuineness and humor.

Besides the design aspect of the weekend, people like entrepreneur Nicole Richie, Topshop creative director Kate Phelan and esteemed bloggers Bryan Yambao, who goes by the Twitter name Bryanboy, and Rumi Neely hosted seminars offering insight on other jobs in the industry. Many students enjoyed Yambao and Neely’s seminar for their advice in the world of fashion blogging. The bloggers emphasized originality without being too influenced by trends.

The day ended with a seminar with all Teen Vogue editors. They answered questions on their prior experience, work ethics and what they look for in an intern. The editors agreed that “hard work, a good attitude and knowledge” will get anyone far in the industry, though they also emphasized that failure may lead to success.

In addition to the seminars, there were two shopping events at H&M and Topshop, where the students received discounts on their purchases and enjoyed live music and food.

The last day of the seminar included a “Fashion in the Digital Age” panel with people who effectively use social media to enhance their companies. The panel included Nadia Hussain, Danica Lo, Treena Lombardo, Rebecca Minkoff and Huan Nguyen. This panel emphasized honing exceptional skills to make yourself known in the industry. After the panel, the students got their certificates and the seminars came to a close.

Teen Vogue Fashion University is a way for college students to get an insight into the fashion industry, and it’s a great opportunity that all fashionistas should experience.

Layla Ilchi is a staff writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com.

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