the graduate

This weekend I finally attended Teen Vogue Fashion University in my favorite city- New York City. Here is a little summary of what went down


  • Friday my flight got in some time in the afternoon, and I made time to find the Hudson Theater and the Conde Nast Building.
  • That night I had dinner with my mom and had an awesome night just hanging around New York City. (We were observing the vagrants and participating in good ol’ American consumerism- as per the usual)
  • Saturday morning I woke up really early and headed out to the Hudson Theater to register- some of you might know this from my insta-updates (If you are following me on instagram). When I registered they gave me my “swag” bag. (How many of you laughed at the fact that I just said, “swag”? Did I just loose editorial credibility? Swag bags are a real thing…)
  • After I registered I had to wait in crowd while we waited for the wonderful Grace Coddington to arrive. While I waited I got my pinkie nails painted blue for an anti-bullying campaign (it was a cute sentiment)
  • Grace arrived, talked about her career and the small beginnings. We were all in awe (including editor Amy Astley) as Grace talked about her favorite shoots and her pearls of wisdom. She is a lady with many pearls might I add. One of which being a particular answer to a student’s question-

Q: “Grace, what do you look for in interns?”

A: “… If you don’t like cats, you can be a part of my life.”

  • After listening to Grace we were all dismissed to our separate sessions. I left to Dannijo! The walk was decent (I wore unforgiving heels so was fun), it was through a parking garage. Seriously not as bad as one might think.
  • The Dannijo sisters are my idols. It’s easy to see them being friends with Leandra Medine! “How so Monique?”  Lets face the facts- they dress with exquisite sartorial freedom, are always on instagram, have the same sense in humor… they could all be the same person! i’m kidding. I learned a lot about the Dannijo sisters and the roles they play in their company. The sisters have different personalities that complement each other perfectly. It was such an honor to see them “live”, I hope to intern for them one day. Sad Moment: I didn’t get to talk to the Dannijo sisters because other people were hogging them. Womp Womp.
  • After Dannijo was Peter Som. He is such a good speaker. I loved the levity he had, it made the seminar very personal and interesting. He said a few things that I’d like to quote for your reading pleasure:

Peter Som on the Peter Som girl-

” She is an ‘uptown downtown’ kind of girl”

” Romantic at heart with her feet planted on the ground.”

Peter Som’s reasoning for his designs for women-

“Women wanna show off their waist, they wanna show of their boobs” *queue gasps, laughs, and applause by audience*

Besides his designs, Peter talked about the necessity of internships, his formal education, working with brands like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors, also his inspiration Mr. Blass as well his several accomplishments. I was lucky enough to ask him a question and take a picture with him.

  • I scurried on after Peter Som to Creatures of the Wind. Creatures of the Wind is the love child of Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters. There is real integrity behind this couple. Creatures of the Wind has reached success with out looking for it. Shane and Christopher were (aren’t) the marketing type, they aren’t social media junkies either. With that being said, all their success has found them.  In fact, it wasn’t until this years NYFW that they had their first official runway show! Before that they would only do presentations. Shane and Christopher only do two seasons a year because they are extremely conscious of the cost and time required for each collection. They talked about the collaborations they have each season with designers and artists. They recently released their shoe collaboration with Tabitha Simmons. I was lucky enough to talked to them afterwards and mention how much I love their fall 2011 collection and get a quick picture with them!  They are my absolute favorites. Hands down.
  • Creatures of the Wind was my last class in the Conde Nast building. Following CoTW was Phillip Lim in the Hudson Theater. I find the Hudson Theater so big that it lost the personal sense the other seminars had. Phillip Lim had a similar levity to that of Peter Som. He talked about his dream to design the interior of a porsche, skipping college classes for work, going to business school, his seamstress mother, internships, and his design methods.
  • Phillip Lim mentioned his girl to be “steady and strong” and it was his admiration for the everyday woman that won me over. He has an eye for small details that regularly present themselves in hidden places. His speech motivated me to pay attention to colors and shapes and appreciate detail in a new way.
  • The last seminar of the day was the Teen Vogue Editor panel. It was a  huge Q&A and some people asked really interesting questions. At the end I got the chance to talk to Andrew Bevan (my heart was so frail at that point. I was dead tired and nervous, the poorest of combinations) and get a picture with him.  The most memorable moment for me was the following-

“I’m relatable…I like Balenciaga but I also like Taco Bell!”- Andrew Bevan

Me too Andrew, me too.

  • Saturday night is a bit of a blur… I was so tired. But I ate a great dinner at Schnipper’s. For those of you not familiar with Schnipper’s, it is the best sandwich place since the dawn of man. Try that on for size.
  • Sunday morning I woke up a little later than I did saturday and I went to the Hudson Theater. There was only one panel (the digital age panel) and guess what… I GOT FRONT ROW. The funny thing is, there was no fight to the death, heel-to-eye-jabbing, or pepper spray involved. There were two seats in the corner that I spotted whilst strategically seat jumping and I managed to make my way to them (no sudden movements though)
  • After the panel I had a chance to talk to Style Bistro’s Danica Lo. She was incredibly  knowledgable and nice! I talked to her for a while and then got my diploma. And in that moment I became… the graduate. 
  • After graduation I went to a flea market and grabbed lunch. My mom and I then headed back to the hotel to grab our bags and head out.
  • This might be a little irrelevant to TVFU, but I got the nicest driver in New York. He seriously made my day. He drove us through Queens and over the bridge and we all admired the beautiful weather. He was friendly enough too! I don’t know what it was  but it helped make a complete circle. I was happy when I got there and I was happy when I left. I got to the airport, did some studying and stared at the new york skyline from terminal D5 in the La Guardia Airport.

I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity. I really see the fashion editorial world with a new set of eyes. Thank you Teen Vogue and all the sponsors and speakers that participated!


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