Category Archives: Advice

Soapbox: Nina Garcia

“We have a lot of interns, and I can tell you. Tip for the interns: Please take notice. We do notice what you wear… There’s some girls who come, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, who’s that girl? Anybody can go and buy a Gucci outfit or a Prada outfit. What impresses me is when they have style and I’m like, ‘Oh, what are they wearing”

– A proud Nina Garcia on Marie Claire interns.


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Teen Vogue on Fashion University and DvF


Photo: Getty Images

Diane von Furstenberg was the next keynote speaker for Teen Vogue‘s Fashion University who dished advice to industry wanna-bes of the next generation. Thanks to Fashionista‘s recap of ‘Five Things I Learned from DvF’, here’s what she the designer had to offer:

1. She takes pride in understanding women. Diane believes that clothes should be like close friends: “When you’re standing in front of the closet in the morning, and you feel like shit, you should go for the reliable one that makes you feel good.”

2. She always has a camera with her. Her close-ups of leaves, bark, or anything else she finds beautiful in nature can end up a pattern in one of her collections.

3. One of Diane’s biggest inspirations is street style, and she loves to see a variety of real women wearing her dresses, whether it’s with pearls or combat boots. She decided in the late 1990’s to relaunch her wrap dress because she saw “hip, cool” girls on the street wearing her old dresses from vintage shops. Encouragement from the President of Saks Fifth Avenue didn’t hurt either.

4. Since she’s President of the CFDA, she tries not to play favorites, but cites some like Alexander Wang — who she mentors — and the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte. Diane thinks Marlene Dietrich is the most stylish woman of all time, and she is inspired by greats such as YSL, Mademoiselle Chanel, Lanvin, and Issey Miyake.

5. Diane is getting ready to launch a line of sunglasses. She photographed the entire campaign by herself, and the model is her son’s fianceé. [Fashionista]

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To The Y Generation: In Some Regards It’s a Rotnem – Not a Mentor – World

57042608Photo: Getty Images

As the final generation of internet-handicapped executives seek the late Y generation who have grown up with the media networking boom at the onset of this new millennium, positions managing (and teaching) third party social networking applications have become increasingly available in larger corporations that can afford to support the exorbitant salaries of these ‘children’ (exorbitant considering the job requirement). The Chicago Tribune found that Baby Boomers and the early X Generation were turning to the younger generation for social media help.

“Many organizations eager to strengthen their presence in the online world have discovered that they have the perfect consultants on their staffs: 20-somethings who live in that world… The baby boomer executives who might have scolded these young people for that if they had been their parents are now turning to them for help. A survey for the Center for Work-Life Policy found that 40 percent of respondents had asked younger colleagues for help with text messaging, social networking and using iTunes.”

Competitive companies, realizing the benefits cyberspace has to offer, see the mentor to pupil exchange, in some regards, break down the barriers of workplace hierarchies, allowing the pupils unprecedented access and relationship building opportunities.

“Think of it as reverse-mentoring… “Rotnem” — mentor, backward.”

The Chicago Tribune reveals that, “Some 95 percent of the leadership in the Chicago office have Rotnems, and the company has expanded the program worldwide. At organizations where social networking is not an integral part of the business, young mentors have to make their instruction simple.” [The Chicago Tribune]

If you’re clueless when it comes to WordPress, Digg, Blogspot, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and other social networking/media applications, start acquainting yourself. It’s resume worthy material a significant factor in attaining that coveted job or internship. Trust me I would know.

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Self Editor-in-Chief Skips the Town Car, Takes Up a Bike

Lucy Danziger Biking

20% cuts at Condé Nast? Self magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Lucy Danziger, has taken initiative during these recessionary times, downgrading from chauffeured town car rides to work to the less convenient alternative, biking, all the while fashionably dressed in Tory Burch and boots. If you’re not a morning person and looking to cut back on the gas bill, put the automobile congestion of Time Square into consideration and weigh your options. Biking equates to a quicker commute, daily exercise and elevates your adrenaline levels — reason to skip your early morning Starbucks trips. Those Wall Street jocks sitting stolid in cramped cubicles could take a lesson from Lucy. Biking to work is certainly the cure for that all too comfortable stomach.

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Teen Vogue on Fashion University and Thakoon

58729904Photo: Getty Images

With the intent to educate, Teen Vogue hosted Fashion University — moderated by Teen Vogue‘s Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley — for Vogue Teen‘s subscribers and aspiring fashion designers, and sat down with Richard Chai, Philip Crangi, and Thakoon Panichgul, who invited questions about their – namely Thakoon’s – meteoric rise to fame.  Fashionista revealed the details:

His family didn’t initially accept his career in fashion. His mother and grandmother were expert seamstresses and didn’t see why he wanted to make a career out of something that they saw as just “work”. He learned how to sew very young and that fashion was much more hard work than glamour.

He was a small-town boy. Raised in Omaha, Thakoon would hunt down editorials by Bruce Weber and looked forward to reading Vogue every month. They gave him a sense of escape and were his only real form of inspiration in his town. He sites art as his biggest design influence.

He went to business school. He got a scholarship out of high school and felt that if he didn’t attend he would regret missing the opportunity. After graduation, he did everything he could to break into the fashion industry, and he took a job at J-Crew as a production assistant. Next, he started writing for Harper’s Bazaar, while at the same time spending all of his nights and weekends taking classes at Parson’s.

He never has preconceived ideas for his collections. He doesn’t create his pieces around a common theme. Instead, it’s always a design detail that he’s into that shapes the collection.

His interns go places. Thakoon hires very few interns, but he keeps them around a long time. He wants them to learn about every aspect of his business, and will make them work in various other departments before they ever get to design. One of his three year interns recently moved to Paris to take a job with Azzedine Alaia. Impressive.

His number one tip for future designers: be well-rounded. Thakoon firmly believes that your teens and early twenties are meant to be filled with learning experiences. He suggests taking as many opportunities to learn as you can, whether it be through schooling, interning, or reading (ie: Women’s Wear Daily) to arm yourself with knowledge of the industry. [Fashionista]

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So You Want To Be Schooled In Fashion… at The Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts

Royal Academy Of Fine Arts

Every so often, I’ll be posting some links to fashion schools that might pique your interests.

You can’t deny a school’s credibility when Vincent Van Gogh (yes the artist who mailed his serrated ear to his lover) studied at this 540 student school in Antwerp. But, its fashion department might do you in with powerhouse alumni Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela and scores of budding designers whom you likely have heard of — Les Hommes/ Bart Van Den Bossche and Tom Notte, and Kris Van Assche. The Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts School schools a mere 130 fashion design students for a three year bachelor degree and one year masters program beginning with history of dresses, fashion design and tailoring/patterning in the first bachelor year, culminating in the masters program with a 12 piece collection — or what university seniors know as the thesis.

If you’re looking to apply to the selective program, you can find the website and application here.


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Behind the Beast: Networking for Professional Women

For those of you out there, you might be interested in this piece of information about respective industries by professionals from Refinery29, Self, a publicist, trend forecaster and an MTV VJ.

“On Wednesday, October 28th, Ladies Lotto, a networking group for professional women, is hosting a panel called Behind the Beast.

A panel of experts, including the Editorial Director of Refinery29, the Fashion Editor of Self, a publicist, a trend forecaster and even an MTV VJ will talk about how to break into the industry, despite the tough economic times, and what to do once you’re in.

The moderated discussion, and the cocktails after, will give you a chance to ask questions of a pretty diverse group of women and gain some insight into both magazines and blogs, as well as the PR side of the industry.” [Fashionista]

Cost: $15

Venue: Tribeca Grand

RSVP by October 27 with

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