Between meeting Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, hanging out with my girl at Who What Wear, learning from the VP of Fashion at Bergdorf Goodman (Linda Fargo), and hanging out with THE Iris Apfel, I definitely learned a thing or two about the fashionista landscape during my trip to NYC this last week.
New York — it’s seriously a majestic place — one that is filled with inspiration at every corner, a million backdrops for shooting gorgeous blog photos (jealous), motivated fashionistas, and non-stop energy. During this NYC trip, I spent my time hopping from meeting to meeting, chatting with NYC fashion gurus, learning more about where this fast fashion or the luxury fashion industry is going and what’s next. I also had the exceptional experience of hanging out with the University of Texas’ fashion students who were there for their notorious program called UT in NYC. If you didn’t read it here previously – this program is lead by that 96-year-old big-sunglasses eclectic style icon, Iris Apfel, as she takes you to her favorite office visits, PR teams, designers, fashion houses, designers, merchandisers, and stores throughout the city. And I too was one of those students… way back when I was only 20 years old.
So here’s the deal: the fashion industry is always changing – and there’s a big question mark on where it’s headed next. Being an influencer in the digital realm, I’m always curious to learn more. With pen and notebook in hand, here’s what I learned in NYC:
- Fashion is great, but you need to know how to run a business. This point came from UT’s discussion at Bergdorf Goodman with one of the head merchandisers and I could not agree more. The Bergdorf team asked questions like: “Who is your customer behind your business and what is your message behind the business?” I think that there is a common misconception in my industry in particular, about how blogging is simply posting clothes. When it does boil down to a fundamental business and knowing your customer and community thoroughly and wisely.
- “You don’t have to be a girl boss to be successful.” This was a discussion led by Leandra Medine, book author and founder of an incredibly successful fashion digital platform, Man Repeller. This was one of my favorite quotes from the trip because Medine emphasized the point that you don’t need to run a business or own a company to be successful in the midst of all the buzz about making it as a #girlboss. She genuinely encouraged girls to find their own fit of success and whatever works best for their lifestyle and personality, whether it’s working for someone or not. I believe this point is not spoken about enough in our society and I’m excited to see her bring it to light.
- Spending too much time captivated by what others are wearing and doing can hurt your own sense of self/style. This was reinforced by Iris Apfel, after we had a long conversation in the back seat of her driver’s car in the middle of NYC traffic. She believes that social media is causing too many young gals to feel the pressure to look the exact same, instead of branching out to find their individuality. Being the world’s only 96-year-old style Icon, I think she knows a thing or do about stand-out-style.
- “When it comes to your first job, it’s the time to kiss a lot of lot of frogs,” according to Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo (look at any fashion week photo and she’s there). Linda went on to tell the UT Austin students “not to panic about their first job because they’re not married to it.” I think this applies to not only your first job but any job. Each job builds experience, character, relationship, and teaches you more about where you are really meant to be. Fargo encouraged the girls to never stop dreaming and working towards their end goal. In a previous discussion, Man Repeller’s Medine added on to this point and suggested that girls not “ just sit back and wait for things to fall in your lap.” She talked about being relentless and determined concerning pitching yourself to whoever you need to, and working towards your goal.
- Digital has officially taken over the industry. Last year I had the insane experience to be featured in the Marie Claire Magazine December issue where I met a group of darling New York City girls working in the magazine and digital industry. After getting together with one of them who now works at Who What Wear and talking over what’s new in her realm, I’ve realized all together how much movement the fashion industry is undergoing towards Digital. Of course, the magazines, and print industry are quickly adjusting and adapting — but digital is definitely the new it-spot, babes.
Phew, those were my favorite points from the trip above. Last, but not least, New York city is a captivating and motivating city and I couldn’t have done it out with my trusty photographer, Nicole, who I met on Instagram right before the trip (she was just as enchanting as the city! check out her portfolio here). Together, we captured a few of my looks including being super touristy to going Iris Apfel’s birthday party in a little off-the-shoulder flouncy dress. We shot this in the rain and the morning was darling, leading up to the cutest snapshots and memories from the big city life.