Editor-in-chief, tough critique and all around fashion queen, THE Anna Wintour descended from the offices of Vogue the other day to deliver some rather harsh advice to fashion students at Central Saint Martins. Hit The Floor briefly discussed her angst about recent celebrity red carpet fashion, and her claim that fashion was starting to loose its edge. It seems that Wintour felt like it was time to have a word with those who have the power to change fashion in the future, the students of today.
Behind those shades and those tight thin lips is a lady who has the power to ignite the entire fashion industry with one simple nod. It may be best to listen to the lady, she has helped the likes of Alexander Wang, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler after all.
Here, we present to you what she had to say, so listen wisely and carefully…
First and foremost, get a job. “Whether it’s working as a designer or working in a restaurant and then doing your own thing in your own time, it’s a reality of life. In the end it’s going to be helpful to you and so many others.”
Secondly, don’t think that starting your own line will guarantee you great success straight away. Those who begin right from the bottom, mostly end up failing. It is better to learn from a successful company who is already up and running.
“I do think there is a tradition in England, that you can do anything with nothing. The only thing I worry a little bit about, going straight from school to starting your own business, is not that many succeed… I personally would advise you to think carefully before you start your own business, and consider possibly working for a designer or a company whose work you admire. It’s not just about one road.”
If you do decide to be as ambitious as to start their own company, always team the responsibility with a partner.
“It’s important to have someone to talk to and discuss everything with and bounce ideas off. I have not seen too many successful designers who’ve managed alone, without their business partner.”
Next, remember that you don’t have to be throwing your money around in order to please her. This will please those creatives who are not as fortunate in the money department. Wintour really is just interested in the creative talent. “Please listen to me when I say: an interesting creative presentation is just as effective as a fashion show. I see people who are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for fashion shows, which I simply don’t think is necessary. A presentation gives us all an opportunity to meet you, rather than to go and sit in some dark room somewhere and wait for you to start, then (have) no time to say ‘hello’, and rush off to the next one.”
Last but not least, it is important to put yourself out there as much as possible.
“We started a fashion fund back in 2001 after 9/11 to support young designers in the States (and) what we’ve done recently is that when they have an application form we also ask for a video. How they present themselves publicly is important. In today’s world you have to interact. You can’t be some difficult, shy person who is not able to look somebody in the face; you have to present yourself. You have to know how to talk about your vision, your focus and what you believe in.” Hear, hear.