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Posted by on Oct 25, 2012 | 0 comments

Teen Vogue University graduates another class

I was invited to cover Teen Vogue University last weekend in New York, and if my video camera had not been stolen in Times Square (a first for me!) I’d have better coverage for you. Nevertheless, I’ve pulled the top quips Creative Director Grace Coddington of Vogue Magazine and designer Olivier Theyskens during their packed room presentations. What is Teen Vogue University, you ask? It’s a dream come true for young women and men looking to break into a career in fashion. Teen Vogue University pairs 500+ selected applicants (this year there were 1600 vying for a weekend spot) with industry insiders to discover different paths to creativity. And prep for internship possibilities.

The Teen Vogue Handbook
is a compilation of inspiration and guidelines to refer to once the weekend is over

This crowd isn’t the half of it.  As teens streamed through the lobby, sponsors on each side shared news of new perfume (Bvlgari Jasmine Noir), hair stylists coiffing with Pantene products, a bedding display and so much more.

Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington

  • We all love Balenciaga but he does it best. I look for work that is not derivative of some other work. -Grace Coddington
  • Please don’t come to work in cut off jeans, as does happen. It’s…rude. -Grace Coddington
  • Coddington doesn’t look for a degree or what someone wears. What is important in an intern is the conversation, seeing how the pieces are put together without seeing obvious effort.
  • Grace, who was so shy she didn’t like having photos taken, had first job as accidental nude model.
  • Vidal Sassoon developed his famous 5 point haircut on Grace Coddington during her modeling years.
  • Grace Coddington doesn’t even email!
  • Look for Grace Coddington’s book coming out November 2012.

Coddington’s first cover with Vogue Magazine. It was after a car accident she was asked to come on Vogue staff.  She has been doing her thing for Vogue for 50 years.

  We like to stay positive around here. Everything is a challenge and when you work through it it is rewarding. – Grace Coddington

I loved seeing what everyone was putting together for this event.  These mesh cutout leggings look like the one Nicki Minaj has made famous.


Amy Astley and Olivier Theyskens

  •  Theysken is focused on integrity in design. His perfect black pant started out with him calling girlfriends in Belgium to try on his designs because he wanted to “figure out the mystery” of pants.
  •  That little cut in the back of the jacket, thank you for that. -Amy Astley to Olivier Theyskens
  •  Theyskens was drawing gowns when other kids were doodling firemen and trucks. Knew early on he’d be a designer.
  • Had my strongest successes when my focus was narrow.
  • Q: Are your days long? A: They were longer in Paris when we were unorganized.

Want to break into the industry? Rush when there is the opportunity. Bring something personal. Being a shadow of another designer doesn’t serve anyone. Be your own worst critic. Pull back and narrow down when needed.

Amy Astley is calling out audience members by lables “Over here, Miu Miu booties, so cute.”

One recurring theme mentioned is that people are looking for people who are willing to work.  CLOCK WATCHERS BE GONE. It takes a lot to get a magazine/line/etc out the door in fine shape and on time.  You need to commit or maybe this isn’t the industry for you.

When does Teen Vogue begin preparing for the next class? The day after the current event ends. Sponsors and speakers are secured during the next 12 months . Start planning your applications now.

Teen Vogue turns 10 years old in 2013.

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