Aspiring designers gathered in New York City last week to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry from seasoned professionals.
In its first year, Fashion Camp NYC provides an inside look at the business, giving teens ages 14 to 18 a chance to learn everything from where to find inspiration to how to source their product.
The young women have come from across the U.S. and overseas to network with top designers, buyers and merchants.
"We thought the campers would just come from the Tristate area, but we have girls from Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Canada and even England," said Gordon Josey, a 15-year veteran of the summer camp industry and co-creator of Fashion Camp NYC.
"Even though they are young, these girls know they want to be designers and buyers," Josey said. "Some of these girls even have their own lines. They make their own clothes and handbags. One girl even sent her designs to China to be made."
With big-name instructors including Jimmy Olson, vice president of merchandising and one of the founders of American Eagle Outfitters' new concept Martin + Osa, and Elizabeth McNulty, former vice president of design for Tommy Hilfiger, the teens are provided an overview of the industry they otherwise wouldn't receive.
"There are so many kids and teenagers who want to go into fashion but don't know how to break into the business or know the fields available to them," said Fran Della Badia, vice president of merchandising for women's handbags and accessories at Coach and co-creator of the camp. "I really want to give back to young women. Growing up I didn't know anything about a career in fashion. Now that I have established myself, I feel it's important to give back and encourage and educate these women on how to succeed in this industry." Aside from classes and off-site outings to fashion showrooms and manufacturing facilities, the campers will work on a hands-on design project.
In groups the students will create their own brand, tackling each stage of development, from concept to design to sale, ending with a presentation of their brand in front of a panel on Friday.Josey and Della Badia expect Fashion Camp NYC will expand into other cities in the future, and have already received requests to bring the camp to California.
"Where are our leaders coming from in 20 years?" Josey asked. "The fashion industry has changed completely over the last 20 years and will evolve even more in the future, but we have to educate these future leaders on how to continue to expand and transform the industry."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast