So, a few months ago as I was perusing Eventbrite, trying to see whats the haps on the fashion scene in NYC, and I saw FashionistaCon. I thought that sounds awesome, but I felt the epic nature of the event would be lost on hubs once he saw the cost. But over the next 6 weeks Fashionista.com kept feeding tempting info like the costume designer of the Sex and the City will be there. Omg, What!!!
So I made sure I was off that day, it would be a quick up and back on a school day so kids wouldn’t even notice I was gone. Fast forward to a week before, I came across a little discount code, and just bought it!
So, hubs surprisingly was okay with the purchase. I bought a megabus ticket at 4am and caught the 7am up to Manhattan!
Now Fashionista.com has been my go to source for fashion news, even after I’ve read Business of Fashion and WWD, they have a particular take on events that speaks to me.
For some reason, I was nervous, I mean its different to say your a fashionista and actually be around real ones. As a fashion writer/blogger, I’m in my comfort zone being behind the scenes, you know sometimes scooping up an emerging designer’s first interview. But I thought to perfect your craft you got to be where the leaders are, understand the history, and figure out how to make it your own.
Once I arrived in NYC, I paid too much for a cab to only take me 2 blocks in traffic, but I made it! So once a put my coat in coatcheck, and perused (aka Snapchatted) the room…
Then, a very kind blogger told me that I did not completely zip up my dress in the back… Unlike when Carrie said in SATC to her publishers about her book cover, “No matter how fast paced the city, I always manage to get my clothes on…” True words to live buy, I guess its the hazards of dressing in the dark and rushing from Baltimore to NYC on a whim, lol.
Anywho, now that I was dressed, confidence renewed, I was ready to soak up the fashion knowledge… I missed the 1st megabus, therefore missing the first speaker & panel (darnit!) but there was so much more on the agenda!!! Oh by the way, and I tried to include lil bits from the Q&A, hope you enjoy!
Interview with Cathy Horyn…
She definitely embodied, what I’m trying to be. She wore a fantastic black top and pants, black heels, just real hard-edged chic. I remember listening to Laura Sherman on American Fashion Podcast who described Cathy Horyn as authoritative, and I agree, she’s also quite provocative.
Q & A:
Why did you want to work in fashion? Love how fashion has a PLOT; didn’t care about the clothes but the PEOPLE.
How did your writing evolve? Worked at Washington Post in the 90s, where she was encouraged to have a strong voice, opinion, and to well “Just let it rip!” Continued to become selective with her writing , yet continue to keep herself entertained
What’s your view on the role of social media? Changed greatly because of Instagram; twitter is contagious and her favorite because its a challenge to compress your thoughts
What’s the future of the fashion critic? Named some of her favorites: Kennedy Fraser (tend to write fashion’s effect on society), Eugenia Sheppard (personalized fashion), John Fairchild (editor of WWD and founder of W mag). She stated the biggest challenge is saturation, with so many sites to look at, its hard to sustain your voice.
How do you know when your ready to move on? Chose the people first not the title because you’ll be more in sync with them; once you get the experience, move on.
Interview with Patricia Field…
Omg the one the only… Patricia Fields! So animated, engaging and was rocking that cashmere sweatsuit! I thought this is the lady who basically told us what to wear in the early 2000s, and the reason that every girl attending the Sex and the City movie, wore a big flower on their top (well, except for me, I missed the memo)
Were you always interested in fashion? her love grew subconsciously
How did you get into retail? Comes from an enterpenerial family, “She knew business, she knew fashion but had to learn the fashion business.” ; its importantto grow with what you feel confident and strong in..
“Don’t follow the money, if you’re happy, it will come.”
How did you go from retail to SATC? Referred by a friend, and said she loved working on SATC because she got to elevate the reality, get on her tippy toes and fly off to Mars!
What influenced you? Early Hollywood… So with her work you will see an infusion of glamour/beauty/optimism mixed with quirkiness
“Nothing like making people happy, there’s a lot return”
Her visual explanation to fashion today..I love her!
Interview with Christian Siriano…
Next up, Christian Siriano! Now this Maryland native, went to Baltimore School for the Arts, probably around the same time, I was attending there after school wishing my mom would stop sending me for ballet lessons!
Anywho, he has dressed Michelle Obama, Scarlett Johansson, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kerry Washington, Victoria Beckham… and so many other stars. But I love how he also does seasonal collections for Payless, and Lane Bryant, just so versatile, with a true understanding of all women!
“It’s a challenge to make clothes fit everyone…but couldn’t imagine alienating one group.”
How important is internship? Good because not all fashion is fabulous, take the opportunity as an intern to ask many questions. Have to be obsessed as with fashion because as a designer there are a lot of hard days.
He states he was always a creative type but interested in money, lol. When it comes to advice, not everyone will give you the best advice because it’s based off what has happened before.
How did you grow deliberately and keep control? He stressed the importance of team, who wants success as much as you do, i.e. is former intern is now his sales director. He tries not to micro manage everyone, which shows his trust in his team.
Hardest part of navigating the red carpet? He stated that at one point in time he had 9 amazing women in custom pieces 1 week after fashion week; but stated its a good problem to have. He tries not to be too calculating and allows everything to be organic.
What’s it like being a champion of body positivity? He is trying to make it no longer a conversation. (love this!)
Panel: What does it Mean to be an Influencer Today?
Hubs and I don’t rely heavily on monetizing techniques to maintain our blog, fortunately our careers allows this to be a fun passion for us. Plus, we are so not models, lol.
But I did learn how partnerships work with brands. Authenticity is critical! With a huge stress on aligning talent (blogger) with the brand. The brand should be inspired by the talent and vice versa. Brands prefer long term relationships, the days of one post on social media is a thing of the past. This panel is really chockful of everything you need to know, aim for and perfect as a fashion blogger. Definitely check out the links above, for more information on brand partnerships, Next model management, Kate Spade, and one of the most well know bloggers, Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat!
Interview with Linda Rodin…
The last speaker was Linda Rodin, a supermodel in the 60s, stylist and now skincare guru! So, she accidentally fell into beauty after 30 yrs as a stylist. She developed a blend of essential oils for your skin, basically as a chemistry project in her bathroom. I love her authenticity, she wouldn’t make products that she wouldn’t use. She also stressed the importance of a good team.
“Not easy getting old, but I’m not trying to hide it”
She’s become great by persevering! Simple as that.
I just wanted to mention… I loved seeing the people who write to us daily… The actual editors of Fashionista.Com, they all did such a great job!!! One of the statements consistently across the board of these megafashion panelists was, what we know these people for, doesn’t define them. They are so much more. It seems that they spent their lives driven by dreams, fueled by their fashion desire; preparing for the unknown, priming them to flourish in opportunities … Now they are relishing and so deserving of their achievements! Overall such an inspiring event!
P.S. So the day after this conference, I went on a week long Caribbean cruise with hubs, so I’m just getting to check out my awesome swag bag and finish this post, lol!