NEW YORK — Fashion wannabees got an earful of career advice from six seasoned insiders at “The Future of Fashion” discussion Tuesday night at the Fashion Institute of Technology here.
From start to finish during the 90-minute talk, moderator Mickey Boardman was pure entertainment, whether advising interns to be sure to get the right diet soda for their superiors or describing how a Romanian palace guide once gave him a free tour after recognizing him from talking about Britney Spears’ hot tub on MTV. “Bad TV changes lives around the world,” he said in reference to the latter.
Mainly, though, he and the rest of the panel were earnest and willing to share their own experiences to help newcomers find their way in the fashion industry. Cynthia Rowley recalled how, early on, she was just happy to no longer be in a bartender job.
Presented by the YMA Scholarship Fund, the event was billed as “Starting Out: What I Wish I Knew Then and Other Insights from Fashion Leaders’ Early Years.” Don’t send form letters, show up late, text or Tweet on the job was some of the advice that was doled out.
“And don’t think we’re not going on your Facebook page,” said Michael Bastian.
Other tips included:
Rowley: “The number-one thing is, you have to be able to get over it and keep going.”
Stylist Lori Goldstein: “You just do what you love and then you find your path. And you might be part of LVMH one day and have your own business with 300 of your own stores. But you don’t really know. Do what you love. Do what you believe in. Clearly, you need the business plan and all that. But don’t talk to me about that.”
Terron Schaefer, executive vice president of Saks Fifth Avenue: “Surround yourself with smart and nice people. And then hire smart and nice people.”
Bastian: “The best interns are the ones who really make themselves an indispensable part of the family, like you can’t imagine not having them there. And then you think of ways to pull them onto the team.”
Boardman: “Be yourself and be sincere. There are no tricks or things you should say if they are not true. You should really only interview in a place where you think you should be.”
Alexis Bittar: “I feel like I didn’t get going until I was 30. I started selling [my designs] on the street when I was eight and until I was 25.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)