A Night to Remember: CFDA Awards 2017

Throughout the years, attending The Fashion School at Kent State University has proven to be the best decision I’ve ever made. In my three years as a student, I have been presented with an incomparable education, passionate professors and a multitude of opportunities to emerge myself in the industry. The NYC Studio is one of Kent State’s most dignifying factors.

All thanks to the studio, I have been able to intern at the top luxury PR firm, Karla Otto, and NYLON, learn from working industry professionals, work New York Fashion Week and attend the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. As Seth Meyers, this year’s host of the CFDA’s, would say, the CDFA Awards are considered the “Oscar’s of fashion”. He’s not wrong. I really explained it like that to my family and friends who had no clue why I was so thrilled to be attending some show titled with a mysterious acronym.

I sat in this ballroom surrounded by major industry leaders just thinking how lucky I am to have gotten to where I am today in just three shorts year. The amount of talent, drive and dedication in that one room held truly inspiring energy. What was even greater than the talent was the support. Even though there were awards to be given out, every person was there to support and celebrate each other’s talent. We’re all aware of the negatively catty stereotype surrounding our industry, but I have never met more uplifting and genuine spirits than those in the creative industries.

Of course, every CFDA Award Show is utterly groundbreaking, but I felt as this year really made an impact above and beyond the ordinary. The Board of Director’s Tribute honored Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem and Janelle Monae’s incredible efforts for women’s rights and equality as a whole, which brought chills to the entire room. Kenneth Cole was also presented with the Swarovski Award for Positive Change for his noteworthy work with HIV and Aids. Upholding the legacy of Calvin Klein, Raf Simons was the first designer to win both Womenswear and Menswear Designer of the Year since Klein himself in 1993. Pat McGrath and Franca Sozzani were also honored for their work driving fashion towards innovative and acceptance for all.

The late Franca Sozzani worked as the editor in chief of Vogue Italia. Throughout her remarkable career, she had pushed the boundaries of fashion media for her time. Her issues of Vogue Italia had featured the first plus-size model on the cover as well as created the infamous July 2008 “All Black” issue. As someone who dreams of working as an editor, I have the utmost respect for the way she presented fashion as life and upheld the highest of standards for her magazine.

Many of the presenters served as an inspiration themselves. The infamous Anna Wintour, fashionista and girl boss Kerry Washington, style icon Nicole Kidman and the legendary Diane von Furstenberg all made appearances to honor the truly indescribable world of fashion.

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A Teen Vogue Weekend

I must admit, I am feeling like one lucky girl. It’s the craziest feeling seeing dreams that seemed so far off start to materialize in front of my eyes. They say hard work pays off, and it’s incredibly true. You can do anything you set your mind to.

I’ve been absolutely loving my time in New York thus far. Every day is a new adventure and new life lesson. Whether it’s a study tour trip to a trade show, taking notes on revolutions in fashion media or putting those skills to the test in my PR internship, I grow as an individual and a professional each day.

This weekend, I had the honor to immerse myself in the world of Teen Vogue for a unique learning experience of its own. My roommate and I attended the Teen Vogue x Urban Outfitters collaboration. The event was an ode to the magazine’s latest love issue. It was hosted by Teen Vogue’s Editor in Chief Elaine Welteroth and Cleo Wade. Both women are inspirations of their own kind that I could write pages upon pages on each. They talked about the importance of love in our society and the beauty of writing as a form of expression. Poets were invited to stage to express their thoughts on their distinctive ideas of love. It was an eye opening and inspiring evening.

I also had the opportunity to host a Teen Vogue event of my own. This past fall, I hosted a Teen Vogue x A Magazine event and was lucky enough to be asked by the Teen Vogue staff to host a round two for their Spring Refresh party. The amazing sponsors provided us with loads of products to sample, and we couldn’t get enough! The girls of Kent State’s NYC Studio were able to share in the fun as we brunched, discussed the future of fashion, and enjoyed the goodies from Teen Vogue.

It’s been such an honor being a part of the IT Girl family. Teen Vogue has held such a special place in my heart from growing up admiring the magazine, attending Teen Vogue Fashion University to watching the magazine grow to be such a driving force in media.

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Teen Vogue x A Magazine Back-to-School Party

Out of the thousands of Teen Vogue IT Girls across the country, I was lucky enough to be chosen to host one of the thirty Teen Vogue Back-to-School events. Being an IT Girl has definitely been an honor. Thus far, I’ve been able to participate in exclusive product trials, be featured as IT Girl of the week, as well as attend Teen Vogue Fashion University, but this has been the cherry on top of a priceless experience. Of course, I chose to share this exciting opportunity with KSU’s Fashion & Lifestyle publication, A Magazine, where I work as the Managing Editor. Our fantastic team put our hard work and dedication together to make this event the best it could possibly be. We had our booth set at KSU’s Black Squirrel Fest which features over 200 organizations. Guests were encouraged to enter raffles by posting on social media with our hashtags, browse through various goodies gifted from Teen Vogue, and ask A Magazine staffers about what it’s like working for A. Kent’s massive student body, especially made up of fashion and media related majors, were the perfect prospects to introduce the latest must-haves from Teen Vogue. A huge thank to Teen Vogue, the amazing sponsors, A Magazine, and everyone who came out to celebrate the start of another incredible year at KSU!

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Arts & Culture: Captain Kidd’s Good Life EP

As much as I love fashion, the arts in general are my biggest passion. Whether it’s acting, film or music, it’s always been something incorporated in my life. Breaking into the creative industries is also one of the most challenging industries to become a success. In my opinion, following up and coming talent is the best way to really appreciate the arts. Young talent holds the heart of pure ambition and passion for their craft.

At Fashion Meets Music Festival, I was thrilled to encounter Captain Kidd’s performance. Their use of classic guitar plus synth has been growing in popularity within the music industry, but they kept it unique to themselves. Being one of the youngest bands at the festival, I was so impressed by their talent and stage presence. They’ve even had the chance to perform at Firefly Music Festival this past summer. With influences like the Arctic Monkeys and Tame Impala, they’re bound to be a huge success.

I had the opportunity to interview bassist, Andrew Gutierrez about their newly released EP Good Life:

1. How has your music evolved since you first started playing together?

When we first started writing music together, we were way more of an “alternative rock” band. Like we were obsessed with guitar bands like Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. Eventually we hit a point where keeping it to just the guitars was kind of limiting us musically, so we made a decision to start bringing in synth parts. Adding those synths is what really helped us progress to our current sound – trippy and danceable – but if you listen closely you’ll hear that we’ve still managed to incorporate guitar parts into every song.

2. What inspired the Good Life?

The songs on this EP were pretty much all inspired by experiences from college – both our own personal experiences and those of our friends. One common theme in some songs is the idea of using partying on the weekends as a means of escaping from your problems. We definitely feel that a lot of college kids could relate to the subject matter.

 

3. Where would you like to see Captain Kidd down the road?

Even though we’re still in school, the band has always been something that we’ve wanted to do as a career. We’d like to get to the point where we can go on tour and put out a full-length album. There’s just nothing that can compare to being able to do music full time.

 

4. What’s something no one knows about Captain Kidd (preconcert rituals, favorite songs, etc.)?

When we first started playing shows, we used to go into the bathroom before our set and! listen to James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” while we were warming up. We all thought the song! was hilarious, and it would kind of loosen us up before we played because we would be! cracking up so much from listening to it. Anyways we definitely don’t do that anymore haha.

 

5. Obviously music is a major stream of personal expression; what are some of your favorite fashion pieces that express your personalities’?
We love pretty much any kind of cool-looking jacket, anything thats both simple and! slick. Nate has this Cleveland Indians letter jacket from 1995 thats probably the coolest out of all! of ours. Seeing Arctic Monkeys walk onstage with leather jackets on during their most recent tour definitely has left an impression on us as well.

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Fashion Meets Music Festival

This past weekend marked the second annual Fashion Meets Music Festival. Arguably the best combination for a perfect weekend, FMMF combines fashion shows with musical performances, pop up shops, and tasty food trucks for the festival-goers. My favorite aspect of the festival is the fact they’re so supportive of up & coming and local talent. Some of Columbus’s best food trucks and pop up shops were in attendance to entertain guests in between sets. I was obsessed with almost everything at The Black Alley’s pop up shop. It’s definitely a must attend event if you’re in the Columbus area.
IMG_6666IMG_6692IMG_6625What would this event be without extremely talented designers? The incredible FMMF staff put together fabulous fashion shows for rising talent to showcase their latest collections. They even hosted a student design competition for fashion students from across the country to compete against each other for the most creative/well done look. Two standout single designer shows were done by Betsy Judd and Bryston Walters. Betsy Judd’s line was all over crisp, clean lines and colors, which is something I love to emulate in my own wardrobe. Bryston Walters also included clean, feminine silhouettes, but incorporated a variety of soft pastels and bold patterns within his designs.

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Besides fashion, my next biggest passion in life is music. FMMF showcased all types of musical talent from local bands to chart topping acts to indie to electronic pop. Aside from the obvious amazing sets by Young The Giant, AWOLNATION and St. Vincent, discovering the lesser known acts was the best part. Hailing from the Cleveland area, Captain Kidd is a made up of a group of OSU college students. Being some of the youngest performers didn’t stop them from keeping up with the best of them at the festival. With influences like Artic Monkeys and Tame Impala, there’s no way that they wouldn’t be amazing. Look out for their new EP coming out this fall! I also started an obsession with Lights and Milo Greene. Lights kept up an upbeat, contagious energy throughout her whole set. There’s no way to not have a good time while listening to Lights. Cali raised, Milo Greene had a laidback vibe perfect for chilling on the festival lawn and enjoying the amenities FMMF has to offer.

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