Notes from the 6 Train: From Backstage to the Front Row

This has been an amazing two months. I’ve been living in NYC & I’ve already accomplished so much, things only possible through my attendance at FIT. During fashion week sign ups I found out about this program called UCOF (United Colors of Fashion.) While in the program, I was able to attend this free seminar where industry professionals from an array of different fields within the fashion industry. They all offered interesting and helpful insight. There was a seminar in which they needed a model to use for a demonstration. I volunteered and got my hair done for free by a stylist who works fashion week. (Yay!) The following week I helped her backstage at the UCOF fashion show and we got along so well that she offered to my names on the list for a Halloween fashion show/ party she was styling for. I couldn’t go due to classes, but it was a kind gesture. I also made a connection with one the producers of the fashion show, (a field I am interested in) and will, hopefully, be meeting soon to discuss future possibilities.

 

The second photo is of my father and I at the BRAG Gala. The Black Retail Action Group is an organization that is dedicated to the inclusion of African Americans and all people of color in retail and related industries. They award students with scholarship and provide paid summer internships. The summer internships are open to anyone, however, the scholarships are only to students who attend a school with an active chapter ( which we do, here at FIT.) Annually, they hold a gala for the scholarship recipients and honor influential people within the industry. This year the awards were given to Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman, president and chief executive, Alain LaFontant, vice president of business development at Sean John and Iman.

I was fortunate enough to be a scholarship recipient this year and attend the gala. I felt like I was at a ball for black royalty. Everyone was so kind and proud of me, even though they didn’t know my personally. Being around so many successful people of color reminded me why I am working so hard. There are lots of times that being a person of color has made me feel isolated, but going to events like this and remaining involved in organizations such as BRAG are living memorandums for me, and others like me, that we deserve to be here. Going to a school with such talented people is an extraordinary experience, but you have to come in knowing yourself, as not to fall into the pitfalls of imagined insecurities. One must remember that the fabulousness of their classmate, does not make them any less fabulous, talented and smart. I’m learning two different curriculum concurrently here at FIT, the first is academic based and the second is “learning how to thrive in the fashion industry while not losing yourself.” I’ve already learned a few lessons, know your craft, know your worth and be prepared to work.

All things Color, Love & Fashion,

Ayanna L.

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