Fash·ion
ˈfaSHən/
noun
1.   a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.

 

Fashion – what is it really? According to Webster’s definition above, fashion is just a set of popular trends or behaviors. However, it also opens up a whole world of opportunities–whether it’s to express yourself, make a statement, or gain confidence.

In first grade, I would always find myself paging through magazine subscriptions on my bathroom floor. Mainly Vogue, Elle, or Harper’s Bazaar, with the occasional tabloid magazine or newspaper article. I couldn’t even really understand the words on the pages, but I was fascinated with every aspect of the magazines. The cover, the smell of the pages, and the pretty pictures in between each article all mesmerized me. Of course it was my older sister, knowledgeable about fashion for years, that single-handedly contributed to my perception of fashion designers, trends, and celebrity news at a very young age. From then, I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue working in fashion when I grew up.

As years went by and social media began to dominate my life, I started following fashion bloggers and YouTubers. I began to realize that I had curated my own style based on those I followed, who also filled me with inspiration to grow my own style. Fast-forwarding to college, I strived to make it a point to become involved in the fashion community on campus. I participated in two fashion-related organizations and wrote for the only on-campus fashion, lifestyle, and culture magazine. As a freshman, I landed a virtual internship for a start-up business which aimed to offer fashion resources–mainly alumni contacts and workshop opportunities–to students all over the country, and I was fascinated by the idea but I craved even more.

As sophomore year rolled by, I was on the hunt for a magazine internship. After what seemed like endless applications with no response, I was starting to lose hope for a summer internship. I was enthused by one e-mail I received after countless submissions. I earned the summer internship of my dreams, working for Kate Moodie, previous fashion and beauty editor of Vogue, Elle, Self, and Women’s Health. In 2014, she decided to begin her own digital lifestyle magazine called Mood of Living, which is focused on encouraging conscious, high-quality lifestyles for men and women. I was immediately thrown into the culture and world of fashion. I was given the opportunity to attend press showrooms, collection previews, industry events, New York Men’s Week, and much to my surprise, New York Fashion Week. I felt like all my cards were falling into place. I had the best summer of my life and was able to do what I loved every single day, but there was just one small problem.

The world of fashion is competitive, difficult, and unpaid. Being a small town girl from New Jersey, I found myself commuting every day in all modes of transportation, paying over hundreds of dollars. Yes, I was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend more than five shows at New York Fashion Week, attend private PR viewings, and more. But I also had to pay a leg and an arm to transport myself all over New York. Still, I knew that this was an opportunity that I truly wanted and a choice I made that would help me grow as a person, so I was willing to do anything and everything for this job.

Another obstacle also proved to be difficult about the fashion industry, and it was the cruel and harsh tone pervasive in movies like The Devil Wears Prada – which is actually my favorite movie, might I add. However, my boss, a previous editor at some of the most famous magazines in the industry, would also tell me horror stories about her work-life experiences. It’s one thing to see a movie and feel a sense of inferiority, but it’s another to hear about the harsh experiences of someone as close to you as a mentor.

So, why still pursue it? Why seek it? Why crave learning about it? Despite all the stigmas, I am persistent to land a career in the fashion industry. I acknowledge it will be a difficult journey, but I also know that my passion and motivation will push me forward, allowing me to stand among the top in the future. What am I up to right now? Currently, I have had the amazing opportunity to be a part of Team Abercrombie working as a Brand Agent both on and off campus! I have been able to blend my passions for social media, marketing, and fashion all into one.

Fashion is more to me than just a bunch of clothes on a rack; my experiences in the fashion industry have shaped the person I am today. Strong, independent, and persistent. I know that if given the opportunity, I can change the stigmas associated with fashion into a more vibrant, positive outlook. From seeing Abercrombie’s headquarters in Ohio to experiencing their live partnership at the Made In America festival in Philly, I have really gotten to take my fashion interests to a whole new level. I’m so excited to see where this might lead me and who knows what can unfold next!


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