first came across Fashionista.com when I was in college, researching careers before my “big move” to NYC. Every 12 months, Fashionista puts on one of the most fabulous conferences of the year, called “How To Make It In Fashion.” I was so bummed I missed it last year. So, needless to say, I was thrilled when I found out I would be covering it.
The daylong event was spread across two floors at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. The main floor had girls with bright smiles, greeting the guests at check-in, alongside vendors like Essentia water and Sweet’Tauk lemonade. Of course no event is complete without a photo booth, so the Bosco was there, too.
[portfolio_slideshow id=22950 align=center width=700 click=advance thumbnailsize=40 showcaps=false]
The morning started off with a menswear panel, “Why Menswear is Having a Moment,” from top gentleman like Jacob Gallagher of WSJ to street-style pro and brand director Lawrence Schlossman. The topics drifted from breaking gender barriers in the fashion industry, with lines like Vetements, to youth currently being the pulse of men’s fashion.
The collective of five professionals (which also included Jian DeLeon of WGSN, Todd Snyder, and Tom Kalenderian of Barneys), all agreed that NYFW: Men’s wasn’t quite ready for it’s “primetime” — specifically mentioning that until other designers like Ralph Lauren and Thom Browne show during the week, it still flies almost under the radar.
A lot of attention was focused on the talented up-and-coming young designers filling the void of what we’re experiencing now in menswear. The guys said there is so much potential for any young designer to create a collection and really blow up right now, since so many designers are looking to outlets like Instagram, and the streets, to see what trendy guys are wearing.
“Any young designer can really blow up right now.
[portfolio_slideshow id=22951 align=center width=700 click=advance thumbnailsize=40 showcaps=false]
After a quick break — when attendees could either sign up for a mentor session or network with fellow goers — the conference resumed.
The next topic was “How to Get Your Fashion Label Off the Ground,” with panelists Molly Howard of La Ligne, Rachel Roy, Scott Studenberg & John Targon of Baja East, and Timo Weiland.
Cathy Horyn was the next guest speaker, head critic at The Cut … and was she fierce! She spoke about her time in Norfolk and Detroit, and how she was never a serious fashion lover but stuck with her original plan of journalism. She prides herself on being able to write freely, and noted that although she does have this advantage, her freedom of speech has cost her attendance to shows. That doesn’t stop her however: her badass attitude on life allows her to get back out there and cover the same story in an alternative way.
“Cathy Horyn’s freedom of speech has cost her attendance to shows.
After a nice leg-stretch and mini-networking break, Patricia Field of Sex and the City fame was the next to guest the stage. Dressed in a cute and cozy cashmere jumpsuit, Field automatically brought the audience to life. Her bubbly and out-there personality created such a humorous interview. She advised the audience to “go with what you are strongest at.”
Following Field, Christian Siriano bounced on to the stage and kept up the liveliness! The most talkative of the bunch, Siriano spoke about his childhood and humble beginnings. Questions from the audience expressed the concern for the lack of other designers keeping in mind body issues on the runway. Siriano’s September collection was noted as including plus models, and models of different ages and races.
“Siriano is known for including plus models, and models of different ages and races.
In the Spotlight
[portfolio_slideshow id=22952 align=center width=700 click=advance thumbnailsize=40 showcaps=false]
The last panel included influencers from brand agencies to bloggers. Featured panelists were Danielle Bernstein, of We Wore What, Jennifer Powell of Next Model Management, Krista Neuhaus of Kate Spade & Company, and Reesa Lake of Digital Brand Architects.
The audience was clearly made up of Danielle Bernstein fans, as they clapped for her as she glided across the stage. This was a really interesting panel, as not only could you get down to the super-nitty gritty of advertising on social media, but also hear how that business works from an agency’s side. Technology also played a big role in their conversation on gaining followers, engaging them, and the future of social.
The final keynote was Linda Rodin of RODIN olio lusso, who closed down the conference with amazing stories from her time styling on shoots, to creating more than 500 bottles of face oils in her apartment. Her love for her craft, and really creating a perfect and honest product, shone through.
The event was a huge success, not to mention the swag bags at the end! I loved being able to meet girls and guys working in a similar or same field, and all the advice that was given. (Plus, truly, you cannot go wrong with all-day coffee!)
For tickets to next year’s FashionistaCON visit fashionistsa.com. And a special thanks to the editors of Fashionista who moderated each segment: Alyssa Vingan, Tyler McCall, Dhani Mau, Maura Brannigan, Chantal Fernandez, and Stephanie Saltzman.