See you soon, New York

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” Thomas Wolfe’s eloquence with words perfectly explains the magnetism that is New York City. I must admit, it definitely did not take a mere five minutes for New York to have my heart.  The first couple weeks here were filled with too many accidental subway rides to Brooklyn, trekking the wrong way down avenues in the snow and monumental grocery bills. But that didn’t stop me. Some way, somehow, this Chicago girl found her home in the big apple.

Looking back on these last seven months, I can barely even fathom how much I’ve accomplished and learned at my internships, the KSU studio classroom and from the incredible people around me. You can truly feel the creative spirit and ambition in the air that engulfs the city and encourages you to push your boundaries. Throughout those seven months, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented PR professionals in the industry, fulfill my dream of working New York Fashion Week, meet my idol Joe Zee, produce an entire magazine with classmates who turned into friends, (finally) learn the subway system, host an event for Teen Vogue, experience the beauty that is Postmates, attend the CFDA Awards amidst the industry’s top talent, simply enter the Vogue office (trust me, a fashion girl’s dream), write for NYLON’s September issue, create a zine, learn how to brunch like a New Yorker, attend Her Conference and meet some of my best friends.

Coming to New York, I didn’t really have any of my close friends embarking on this adventure with me; but as I’m leaving, I’ve made friendships with some of the most creative, empowered and driven people I’ve ever met. As electrifying as this city is, it’s the people that make it what it is. Every day I felt encouraged to better myself because of my inspiring supervisors, coworkers and classmates.

So, here is my love letter to New York. Thank you for helping shape me into the woman that I’ve always dreamed of becoming. And here’s to my final semester at Kent State: spending it with best friends, creating an incredible issue of A Magazine and living in the moment.

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Empowered women empower women: Her Conference 2017

Empowered women empower women. These words aren’t just a phrase but words to live by. I’ve been lucky enough to have some incredible women in my life, both personal and professional, who have shaped me into the woman I am today. With so much negativity in society, these words are even more powerful and absolutely essential than ever before.

This past weekend, I was honored to be invited to attend Her Conference 2017 in sponsorship with Brit + Co. If you’re not familiar, they’re a media company who truly incorporates this into their foundation. With their platform, their goal is to inspire, educate and entertain women with a creative spirit through content, educational ventures and merchandise which promotes an innovative lifestyle. Founder Brit Morin, an ex- Googler and Apple alum, prides her company on driving the “maker movement”. The site is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in creative career development, taking an online course or simply checking out their adorable new collab with Target.

One of the best parts of working in fashion media is all of the brilliant, strong women I’m surrounded by on a daily basis. You can truly feel the creativity in the air at any given day at the office. Her Conference put students face to face with some of those women who are leading the pack in the industry.

Her Conference hosted various panels throughout the weekend with mavens in senior level positions for “Navigating the Media Industry: How to Work Your Way Up” to those just getting their footing in “A Day in the Life: Entry-Level Editorial Positions” to other panels in social media, marketing, PR and social impact with the inspiring leaders of the Women’s March. The multitude of view points allowed for a well-rounded learning experience, no matter what your desired area of expertise may be. Each of these women personified that “empowered women empower women” spirit. As Lisa Sugar, keynote speaker and found of Pop Sugar, would say, “Work hard, play nice, and build your dream life.”

IMG_6142 IMG_6279 IMG_6137 IMG_6139 FullSizeRender 2This is a sponsored post in partnership with Brit + Co and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own. 

The Truth Behind Trends

As trends come and go, many of us don’t take the time to think just how those trends came to be. Why are we suddenly buying anything and everything in millennial pink? And who decided that denim skirts from our middle school days are socially acceptable again? I briefly mentioned the notable forecasting firm, Doneger, in a previous article (click here to read!), but they are only one of many in the industry who have perfected the art of fashion forecasting.

It’s so much more than simply deciding “fringe is in this season”. Forecasting takes into account our society’s economic status, technological innovations, societal uproars as well as the art, music and fashion that we find beautiful and inspiring at that moment in time.

Every company from retail giants to fashion magazines to homeware brands practice the art of trend forecasting. Quite honestly, it could be considered the basis of the business operation. Companies analyze these macrotrends and apply them to their personal business models to fit their consumer. Without it, editors would not know what’s best to feature in fashion spreads and designers couldn’t produce pieces that are marketable.

Success in utilizing a forecast is in the analyzation and familiarity with your target market. They are called macrotrends for a reason; they’re broad. The key is to take these findings and transform them into something tangible. Every macrotrend can be interpreted in a thousand different ways depending on who this trend is being analyzed for. Do they take risks or do they like innovation in small doses? Are they looking for a comfortable or cutting edge wardrobe?

As an example, I took the recently released Doneger macrotrends for Autumn Winter 2018/2019 (Yes, you read that right. Fashion really does work that far in advance.) and condensed their extensive report into a simple concept mood board and street style inspiration board.

Origins: Say hello to nature for this season. Doneger describes this as “Medieval meets mountain living.” In this trend, you’ll find rich, earthy tones and dreary neutrals. Think thick fabrics, like wool, furs and a focus on sustainability.

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Revival: On the contrary to Origin’s Medieval essence, Revival is the new Renaissance. It’s the appreciation for art, beauty and innovation in a world that can seem so dark. Fashion romances with delicate and art inspired silhouettes as well as features intricacy in details. Revival-DonegerAW18

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Imperial: This trend is where luxury meets power. I can already picture the ultra-fierce women of New York strutting the streets in these bold tones, lavish fabrics and opulent prints. 
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Infusion: This trend quite honestly has a little bit of everything. Doneger literally uses “granny chic” to describe this trend’s whimsical florals and kitschy graphics. It is reminiscent on all things retro- but with a modern twist. This prediction also shows us the oversized silhouettes and bright colors of the 90’s and 80’s aren’t going anywhere.
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My Role at Vignette: Managing Editor

The Kent State studio in New York is the ultimate hub for immersion into the world of fashion media. I have the unparalleled education and internship opportunities here to thank for taking my knowledge to the next level. In our Fashion in the Media course, we delve into all aspects of fashion media from Public Relations to Publishing.

As tradition from the students before us, our final assignment of this course is create a magazine, Vignette. Our professor assigned us each a role based off of our prior assignments. I was lucky enough to be chosen to work as the Managing Editor, and I couldn’t be more excited! With our specific roles in mind, our class came together to collaborate on making our own unique version of Vignette to showcase all we’ve learned this semester.

As Managing Editor, I worked with the team of editors to brainstorm content based off of the media kit other members of our class presented. We kept our reader in mind to create content with our target reader’s likes and aspirations in mind. The mix of prior experience and strong organizational skills made me equipped to ensure deadlines were met and content was up to par. I also acted as Copy Editor to make sure the grammar styles stayed consistent throughout and helped in developing the content for the writers’ voices to be heard to the best of their abilities.

There’s not much I love working on more than magazine publishing, so this was the perfect opportunity to enhance my skillset to be ready to take on an editorial internship this summer. Scroll through the digital version below to see what we’ve come up with. Enjoy!

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I’m E-Hooked on Fashion

With the rapid influx in popularity of digital content, fashion has gone rogue.  Whether you’re seeking timely, quick read articles, where your favorite blogger bought her sunnies or entire magazine issues online, the new technology in fashion has something for you.

As for myself, there’s nothing I love more than holding a beautifully laid out magazine and admiring each glossy page. Texture is an app rising in popularity that gives readers access to over 200 issues of magazines. I admit it would be remarkably convenient to have access to nearly every magazine or have access without having to lug around heavy issues with me all day; however, I don’t think that outweighs the benefits of digesting print content in the way it was intended to be consumed. Print is not meant to be rushed through like digital. I honestly think it’s even downgrading to the hard work that was dedicated to every issue to view it on a tiny iPhone screen. Each department takes weeks and weeks to develop the perfect layout, imagery and forms of journalism for readers to take their time learning from each piece.Read-magazines-on-the-Amazon-Kindle-Fire-tablet

That’s not to say I don’t love digital media. Content that is featured on websites or social media is usually specifically curated for that medium. The editors take into account the average amount of time a reader spends on an article when viewed on a phone and tailor the articles to an appropriate length. The imagery is also chosen and formatted with iPhone/iPad consumption in mind to make it presentable and accessible.

As for apps, they are amazing tools to dive into the world of fashion and make everyone’s lives just a bit easier. I’ve collected a list of my three must have apps for anyone who’s interested in fashion on-the-go:

 

  1. Pinterest

Alright, so this one is definitely a no-brainer. Since apps were merely introduced into our lives, Pinterest has been on the forefront of creativity. My favorite thing about Pinterest is the variety in its uses. Need ideas for summer outfits? Done. Feel the need to plan an imaginary wedding years in advance? You got it. Want to find healthy meals to make before spring break? It’s all there.  COHN-Pinterest

 

  1. LIKEtoKNOW.it

Like to Know it was an app that honestly took me awhile to fully comprehend… I follow a lot of bloggers and just because I liked one of their photos on Instagram didn’t mean I wanted all their outfit info emailed to me..? My inbox is full enough as it is. Maybe that’s not how it actually worked; I still don’t know. BUT, they’ve updated the app, so now you take a screenshot of the Insta then open the app to shop. There’s also a discover page to find other great items from bloggers that you may not follow for extra sources of outfit inspo.liketoknow.2

  1. The Hunt

One of my favorite aspects of The Hunt is the sense of community it creates among fashion lovers. To use the app, you simply post a picture of a piece you’re dying to buy, and members will comment below on where to find the item or something similar. I actually worked as a campus ambassador for The Hunt at Kent State. We hosted events, giveaways, featured our favorite campus looks on the app and encouraged other students to get involved to keep the facet of community consistent.tumblr_n5r59w2fJY1qai0bqo3_1280

The Not-So-Glamourous Reality

Behind the glossy pages, billboards and fashion weeks, a darker reality lies beneath the glamourous exterior. It’s no surprise that back lash has resulted from years and years of abusing this illusion within the industry. These bad behaviors have led to the encouragement of eating disorders, sexual abuse and disregard of labor laws. Of course, it’s understandable that designers want to find a model that will portray their collection in the best light, but that’s no excuse for the consequences that have come of these actions.

Picture Me 516lr4gQfiLis an eye-opening documentary directed by Sara Ziff, a successful veteran model, and her boyfriend, Ole Schell. It starts out by explaining the basics of the industry and shows how Sara started her prosperous career at the age of 18. At first glance, Sara’s life is the epitome of glamour: jet setting to Paris, walking in shows like Chanel, seeing her billboards line the streets and cashing checks a size that some of us may never see in our lives. As time progresses and Sara meets more and more models, their struggles become more apparent. The documentary introduces us to models across the globe who have come face to face with this harsh reality of the modeling industry.

Since this documentary aired in 2009, there definitely have been improvements within the fashion industry as a whole. In 2015, Paris Fashion Week declared that all models must be of a healthy BMI to participate. Fashion weeks across the globe have slowly followed suit. There has also been an increase in diversity, especially in New York. This season of NYFW featured the most models of plus sizes, ages above 50 and transgender. Even 31.5% of models were of color. Designers, like Christian Siriano, Marc Jacobs and Brandon Maxwell, casted models in a variety of ethnicities, ages and sizes. Another trend setter has been Aerie. 56df40e41500002a000b16a1Their #AerieReal campaigns have received much positive recognition from consumers. They include models of all kinds without the use of retouching. Consumers were so adamant about these changes that Aerie saw a 20% increase in sales during its initial launch in 2015. These are feats in the right direction for the fashion industry, but they are only baby steps in the larger scheme.
Sara Ziff has also founded The Model Alliance to help combat these changes. As models do not have access to a union as other performers, such as actors with SAG, The Model Alliance was created as a volunteer-run advocacy group for American models. Their goal is to ensure long lasting change in labor standards, financial transparency, affordable health care and set an industry standard code of conduct. These changes will not only directly benefit the models but create more ethical work environment for all and set a better example to the many who admire the fashion industry. 
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Doneger Presentation: Processing Progress

Without question, Doneger is one of the leading forces in fashion, and David Wolfe is at the forefront. Doneger probably decided why you’re wearing cropped, frayed jeans right now or have the sudden urge to purchase all things millennial pink. It’s a common misconception that Doneger tells retailers what to produce. What they’re really doing is interpreting trends, art, economics, technology, etc. and translating their findings to the language of fashion.

David Wolfe is the head Creative Director of the firm focusing on all things fashion, technology and color. He is actually an Ohio native himself and was more than welcoming to our class as we listened in on one of his notorious presentations titled Processing Progress. His presentation started by including big-picture ideas, like the soon reality of hover cars and pioneering efforts in sustainability, then continuing on to more concrete trends. I can’t spill all of the industry secrets; but I can say that we’ll be seeing a lot more of color, innovative menswear, utility in fashion and no doubt that athleisure is here to stay.

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