The Fashion Career Summit hosted by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Cosmopolitan Magazine was held last Saturday at the Hearst Tower. Luckily, I got to volunteer there and it was one of the most exciting events that I’ve ever been to in my three years at FIT. This inspiring day-long conference was about all the different careers within the Fashion Industry and how to get where you want to be. It was broken down into seven sessions such as A Life in Fashion, Career Boot Camp, and others with panelists who are power players from all across the industry. This educational yet fabulous event ended up with a networking reception and make-up application by beauty advisors from Lancôme.
Ashley already shared her experience as an attendee of this event, and you can read more about it here. Now, I’m going to share my VIP backstage pass experience (aka volunteering it’s relative haha) with all of you. To begin with, to work this event you had to be interviewed by the Senior Director of Special Projects at Cosmopolitan Mag. I was really scared and intimidated by the thought of it (because let’s face it we have all watched the Devil Wears Prada), and I was expecting this to be like all the gossip I’ve heard around campus as to how bad it is to work for a fashion magazine. Turns out I was surprisingly wrong, and every single person I worked with that day could’ve not been more amazing and helpful (seriously considering interning there now).
The day of, we were supposed to be in all black (traditionally) with comfortable yet chic shoes. The day started with breakfast (yup this includes volunteers too) and registration. It was followed by panels which I got to attend too (technically I got to be at the event for free) but with the perks that I was allowed at the Green Room, the place all the panelists met before the show. Here I met Cynthia Rowley (with whom I fell in love when she said, there should be less internships and more entry-level jobs in the industry), Isaac Mizrahi, Jimmy Lepore Hagan, Kelly McCauley amongst others.
Silvia Galfo, SVP Marketing Lancome
Jenn Rogien, Costume Designer Girls & Orange is the New Black
Cynthia Rowley, Designer
At noon we had a break for lunch where we had pre-packed lunch boxes for us with three different options (the chocolate chip cookies were to die for). The panels went on after and I got to see them from a flat screen that was placed in a lounge area for volunteers outside the theater (they really treated us tip-top). When the networking reception was amongst us a table with all the desserts you could imagine was set up, including cookies, CRUMBS cupcakes and delicious mini-pies.This was the time to get your make-up done and take a selfie for the opportunity to win a $1,500 career wardrobe.
Jimmy Lepore Hagan, Director of Digital Media at Nanette Lepore
All the ladies and gents there were having a blast because they even had a DJ spinning the best tunes, and you could see business cards flowing from hand to hand.
At the end, everyone got a gift bag (yes, even we did!) full of goodies. I for one, couldn’t wait to open it when I got home. Turns out it was INCREDIBLE! We got an American Eagle Denim shirt or sweater, a $25 Macy’s gift card, a $50 Nanette Lepore gift card, a 15% discount for Cynthia Rowley Eyewear, latest Cosmo Issue, Lancome eyelash curler, mascara and eyeliner and so much more (the event was $35 so I’ll let you do the math).
Necia and Me, FIT representing
Truth is, this event is very much needed all around the world I would say. Everyone that knows me knows how passionate I am about education so being able to attend this event and help in this sector meant a lot to me. I want people to know that there is SO much more in fashion than being a designer or stylist (no offense there), and this event was all about eliminating misconceptions and guiding people through all the careers out there. It was about educating the future leaders in the fashion industry (me included), so keep an eye out for next year. In the meanwhile, check out all the different majors we offer at FIT here.