Tips To Get Ahead In Fashion

Derek Charles Blasberg is an American journalist, author, and television personality who works extensively in the fashion industry. Since 2016, he has been the host of CNN International’s CNN Style. He sat with the Business of Fashion and here’s the interview.

At the beginning of your career, how did you start networking?

I’ve never liked that word “network.” It makes it sounds like all the relationships I have in the fashion world are professionally strategic, which is kind of offensive. I’ve carved out a family for myself in this business and I’m proud of it. Maybe that should be my first tip for working in fashion: If you don’t have a passion for it, don’t bother.

To be honest, I didn’t know this industry existed until I moved to New York to go to college. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where “high fashion” was the Gap store at the mall and before YouTube hosted millions of hours of style programming for any secret fashion lover to see wherever they were in the world. So, when I got to New York and I discovered this glamorous, creative world I was like, “This is it. Sold!”

If you don’t have a passion for it, don’t bother.

The way it all started for me was with the girl who lived below me in my freshman dorm, my very first friend in the big city, who was a part-time student and part-time model with Elite. She introduced me to her agents, who became friends too, and they commissioned me to write the biographies of all the girls at the agency. That’s where I first met Gisele, Karen Elson, Amber Valleta.

In my sophomore year, I wrote press releases for a fashion PR company. I then interned at W magazine in my junior year and American Vogue in my senior year. After I graduated from New York University in 2004 with two degrees in Journalism and Dramatic Literature, I got a job as an assistant at Vogue. I turned out to be a terrible assistant and was fired from that job a year later, but that’s a whole other story.

Did you follow a golden rule as to how you conducted yourself?

When I was an intern, I overheard a Vogue editor explain the reason she always booked a certain model was because she was, and this is a direct quote, “happy to be here, easy to work with.” That clicked for me. Did I love waking up at 7am on a Saturday to unpack a bunch of trunks that had just come back from a shoot? Well, no. But I did it and I did it with a smile on my face, and the people I was working with were into that. Also, truth be told, coming from Missouri and suddenly being knee-high in couture dresses and diamond earrings wasn’t that hard to smile at.

If I had to add one thing to that golden rule, it would be, “never say no.” Can you make copies? (This was when people still made copies — am I dating myself?) Can you get coffee? Can you come in early tomorrow before you go to class? Do you want to come with us to this market appointment? We’re going for drinks later, if you want to join? Yes, to all of it.

When I was starting out, no assignment was too small: I said yes to writing press releases, blog entries, stories for the magazines they give away for free in the lobbies of buildings on the Upper East Side.

In 2004, the year Anna Wintour launched the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, she asked Jonathan Becker to photograph the awards dinner. The photo editor couldn’t find someone to hold Jonathan’s lights for the portraits and at the last minute he was asked if I could quickly throw on a suit and go do it. Could I? Happy to be here, easy to work with. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez from Proenza Schouler won that night — they brought Parker Posey as their date — and after I finished holding those lights, we all went to a bar called Sway and celebrated. Those two dudes are still two of my best friends.

How much effort do you put into building relationships in the fashion world?

The answer is: a lot. I cannot go to sleep at night if I haven’t gone through my inbox and replied, filed or deleted every single email I received that day. I look at Instagram twice a day — when I wake up and when I go to bed — and I keep scrolling back until I get to where I stopped when I looked at it the time before.

If I say I’ll be somewhere, I show up. I never flake. (I also had perfect attendance from kindergarten through high school, so I’m used to never missing anything.) Does all of this require effort? Of course. But, as my mom told me when I was young, “nothing good is easy and nothing easy is good.”

What are the specific challenges and opportunities in fashion?

Specific challenges would be finding time to do everything you’re supposed to do; making sure you’re presenting your best self both in person and online; being outgoing but not annoying. A few months ago, a friend of mine sent me a resume of a friend’s kid because I was hiring at YouTube. The first thing I did was look at that person’s social networks and I was actually kind of shocked. Their Twitter was full of cuss words; an Instagram full of gratuitous selfies and questionable pictures. I thought to myself, “On what planet would I want to spend time with someone like this?”

If you figure out where and how to create your niche, you’ll never be bored.

Opportunities would be that fashion is a dynamic world of creative geniuses. If you figure out where and how to create your niche, you’ll never be bored! I love my job and the people I’m fortunate enough to work with and call my friends and family.

What’s the worst thing anyone can do in an attempt to grow or utilise their network?

For me, every time you say “network” I think of “friendship” because for the most part, the same rules apply. I don’t like people who are late, don’t tell the truth, don’t do good work, all of that kind of stuff. I’m repelled by people who act overly familiar, don’t know the difference between humour and cruelty. No one wants to work with people they don’t want to be around.

How important have interpersonal skills been to your success, and are there specific moments you could speak to?

The truth is that fashion is a full-time job. Earlier this month, on the first night of New York Fashion Week, I went to a half dozen events. Gucci had an event at their book store in Soho to celebrate a documentary on gender fluidity that they are distributing exclusively on their YouTube channel. Down the street, Michael Kors was launching his new campaign with Bella Hadid, so I popped in there to say hi to both of them. A few blocks way, Alexander Wang, who I met when I was an intern at Vogue, was doing a Chinese New Year party at his shop on Grand Street and I popped into see him.

After that, I hopped in a car to the Lower East Side to see Billie Eilish, one of my favourite YouTube creators, perform at the Garage magazine party. She did four songs and I posted up by the door so when she finished, I could be the first person out of there. From there, I dashed over to Balthazar to meet someone who is about to launch their YouTube channel. When that dinner wrapped up, I headed to my last stop: ZZ’s Clam Bar to see Billie and Takashi Murakami, who art directed Billie’s photographs in Garage magazine, where I also have a column.

My night started at 6:30pm and I was home before 11pm and it was bang bang bang the entire time: I didn’t even stop to have a single drink. But, by the end of the night, I had put in quality time with the host of every single one of those parties. Why? Because I wanted them to know that I was happy to be here and easy to work with.

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In Pictures: Grammys 2019 Winners

Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, “Golden Hour”

Record of the Year (best overall song performance): Childish Gambino, “This Is America”

Song of the Year (recognizing songwriting): Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Ludwig Goransson, “This Is America”

Best new Artist: Dua Lipa Best Music Video: Childish Gambino, “This Is America”

Best Rap Album: Cardi B, “Invasion Of Privacy” Best Rock Album: Greta Van Fleet, “From the Fires”

Best Pop Vocal Album: Ariana Grande, “Sweetener”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, “Shallow”

Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Carters, “Everything Is Love” Best R&B Album: H.E.R., “H.E.R.”

Best Alternative Music Album: Beck, “Colors” Best World Music Album: Soweto Gospel Choir, “Freedom”

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Style Inspiration From The SAG Awards

Awards season is well and truly under way in Hollywood and on Sunday night it was the turn of the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards show, which saw Black Panther take home the top award.

Here are some of the best pictures from the evening, including the red carpet, ceremony and after parties.

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Rihanna To Launch A Fashion Label With LVMH

Conquering the music world is not just enough, Rihanna whose beauty brand, Fenty, was hailed as one of the most innovative brands in recent times is set to launch a fashion line.

Rihanna already has a lingerie line Savage x Fenty and a collaborative effort with Puma under her belt. This would be a walk in the park for the girl who seems to turn everything she touches gold.

LVMH, which is owned by the fashion titan Bernard Arnault, said they could not comment. With her huge fan base and tens of millions of social media followers, Rihanna is one of the most powerful style influencers on the planet. A regular on the front row of fashion shows, and particularly at Dior in Paris, the singer has also proved herself to be a canny creator. As well as her Fenty line she upped sales at Puma when she became its creative director, and has also dipped her toe into lingerie. Her Fenty Beauty operation — which involved a hook-up with LVMH — racked up sales of more than $100 dollars (88 million euros) within weeks of its 2016 launch. WWD said that her planned luxury brand, which will take in ready-to-wear as well as leather goods and accessories, could be launched alongside her ninth album later this year. A new large-scale luxury label — especially one led by a black woman — would be huge development in the fashion world.

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The Fashion Rules You Should Never Follow

Rules are made to be broken, and none more so than those that dictate what we can and cannot wear. It’s 2019 and even though there are times and places that do dictate modesty and formality, our wardrobes are less restricted than ever before. Fashion trends are fun to follow and invite us to take part in the creative vision of fashion designers who continue to challenge, question and reshape the societal aesthetic, but what we wear is all our own. That’s why we are calling time on these instructions that are totally out of date and most definitely out of style.

You cannot wear navy and black together

I’m sorry, what?! Side with the likes of Phoebe Philo and the Olsen twins and trash this outdated ideal pronto. Navy and black is quite simply the chicest colour pairing that can possibly combine. A navy cashmere sweater, smart skinny jeans and black leather loafers makes for an outfit combination packed with ease and elegance that proves the notion of not mixing these shades entirely redundant.

Your bags and shoes must always match

Are you The Queen? No (If you are a very warm welcome to Miss Vogue, Your Majesty.) Bags and shoes no longer need to be matching. It’s not the ’50s, when women invested in a matching set that would be procured to last for all seasons, all occasions and invitations. Now, it’s more realistic and fun to pair chunky trainers with a ladylike clutch, high-heel stilettos with a nylon bumbag. But don’t disregard the allure of a matching set. There is something magic about purposefully pairing a colour-bright shoe with an identical bag – just make it a styling choice and not an everyday rule to dress by.

You should never mix metals

Are you gold or silver? Who cares. Out with the old adage that one must only wear a single metal and in with the new of mixing and matching, piling and layering. Do this and you’ll find the combination of the metals actually complements each piece and will only add magpie appeal to your jewellery favourites.

Source: https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/worst-fashion-advice

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2019 Golden Globes Winners: Complete List

Leading the way at the 76th annual Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday was Universal’s Green Book, which claimed three wins, in the best comedy, best supporting actor and best screenplay categories.

Netflix’s Roma, meanwhile, took home two wins, in the foreign-language and director categories. As did Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which won in the best drama and best actor categories.

On the TV side, FX’s The Americans nabbed a best drama series win and Netflix’s The Kominsky Method won in the best comedy series category.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse claimed the best animated feature win. And FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story won in the limited TV series category.

Warner Bros.’ A Star Is Born won for best original song for “Shallow,” while Universal’s First Man claimed the best original score win. The full winners list is below.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Bohemian Rhapsody (WINNER)

BlacKkKlansman

Black Panther

If Beale Street Could Talk

A Star Is Born

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Glenn Close, The Wife (WINNER)

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Nicole Kidman, Destroyer

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Rosamund Pike, A Private War

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali, Green Book (WINNER)

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam Rockwell, Vice

Source and to see more: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/2019-golden-globes-winners-list-1172257/item/best-performance-by-an-actor-a-supporting-role-any-motion-picture-1165146

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Style By Zenith Exhibitions

Some exhibitors at the maiden edition of the ongoing Lagos “Style by Zenith” Fair say they have recorded high-powered sales pitch at the market, which has attracted over 200 exhibitors.
Excited about the huge sales, the exhibitors commended the organisers of the fair, Zenith Bank and Fashion One, for the well organised business environment.
The exhibitors told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews on Sunday that they had been able to create enough awareness for their products.
To them, the fair has created a veritable platform to showcase their products without financial commitments.
In addition, Point of Sales machines were also given to each of the exhibitors to ensure seamless business transactions, which will be returned at the end of the fair.
NAN reports that the “Style by Zenith” Fair is designed to showcase products of fashion, media, automobile, food, accessories, music and art industry.
An exhibitor, Aisha Adoga, producer of “Hands Hair”, who came from Benin, lauded the bank’s initiative, which she noted had created some business connections for her within Lagos and beyond.
“I am giving it to the organisers of this fair, it is the first one and I pray they are able to continue in subsequent years because this will revive most businesses in Nigeria,” she said.
Another exhibitor, Mosunmola Oladunni, Managing Director, Sweet Look World Concept, offered 20 per cent discount on her products — wigs, hair extensions and makeup products.
Oladunni said: “We are grateful to Zenith Bank for this because we were not charged a dime for exhibiting our products here.
“They prepared the ground and tents ready for us to display our products and sell, it is a rare opportunity and we cannot thank them enough.”
Oladunni, who noted that the fair was well organised, urged the organisers to focus more on advertising the fair in subsequent editions.
She said adequate publicity in both print and television media would attract more visitors to the fair.
She said: “We really thank Zenith Bank and Fashion One for this but I feel they have not created enough publicity due to the turnout; the turnout would have been more than this.”
Also, Seyi Martins, Activation Supervisor with Dangote Group of Companies, expressed excitement over huge sales made since the commencement of the fair.
Martins expressed optimism to make more sales before the end of the fair and appreciated the organiser for such a fantastic opportunity to sell her products.
She said: “I am happy we are able to achieve good sales, we hope to be here again next year.”
Oyindamola Kuye said the organisers of the fair had gone extra mile to give back to the society and their customers by staging the fair.
For June Levi-Oguike, the Managing Director, A’ku Wellness and Beauty Ng, the fair had impacted her business positively as customers now have absolute confidence in associating with such reputable organisations.
Levi-Oguike said: “We are grateful for this because due to the exhibitors’ relationship with the organisers, our customers have built a huge confidence in us.
“Being an exhibitor in this fair has increased my Instagram followers tremendously; this is due to the credibility of the bank.”
NAN reports that the Fair, which commenced on December 29, will end with a musical concert late on December 30.
The musical concert will feature Mayorkun, Wande Coal and others.
The fair has so far attracted biggest players from the food, fashion, media, automobile, accessories, music and arts industries.
NAN.

Source: https://theeagleonline.com.ng/huge-sales-at-maiden-lagos-style-by-zenith-fair-excite-exhibitors/

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Obama’s Annual Favorite Things List Might Interest You

Barack Obama—recently dubbed America’s most admired man, courtesy of an annual Gallup poll—has once again cemented his reputation as our most culturally astute (and certainly most culturally aware) president, sharing his annual list of his favorite literary, cinematic, and musical output from the year, and as we’ve come to expect from the former President, his taste is both wide-ranging and deep, au courant and classic in scope, with books and films that focus on the world’s increasingly divisive sociopolitical issues (Educated, The Broken Ladder, How Democracies Die, Why Liberalism Failed, Leave No Trace, Shoplifters, Burning, An American Marriage, The New Geography of Jobs) and the latest tomes from a rising class of literary lions (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lisa Halliday, Zadie Smith, Tommy Orange, Lauren Groff) as well as some offerings from recently departed purveyors of classics (Denis Johnson, V.S. Naipaul).

Movies like BlacKKKlansman and Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Eighth Grade all make appearances, as does Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider, and the beloved Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor. His musical tastes swing from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Brandi Carlile and Bad Bunny. (If the former president becomes bored with writing his forthcoming book, grassroots organizing and his visits to sick children in local hospitals, we would welcome his contribution to the Vogue culture section, where we’re happy to report our tastes really quite neatly align.)

Click link to continue:
https://www.vogue.com/article/barack-obama-end-of-year-list-2018-books-movies-music

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Recap: Miss Nigeria 2018

Chidinma Aaron on Sunday defeated 12 other finalists to win the 2018 Miss Nigeria beauty pageant crown.

Chidinma Aaron, Winner Miss Nigeria 2018

The contestants were Ntan Nton, Egede Lagele, Thomas Mseve, Ameh Munirah, Otunba Ifunaya, and Shitta Remilekun. Others are Tizhe Usa Miriam, Okudili Odinaka Doris, Agida Stephanie, Ugwu Ijeoma, Aaron Chidinma Leilani, and Dunu Chisom Olivia.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

The final five were Dunu Chisom, Ntan Sharon Nton, Ameh Munirah, Agida Stephanie and Aaron Chidinma Leilani. Dunu Chioma became the first runner-up, while Ameh became the second runner-up.

Ezinne Akudo

Chidinma Aaron who winner of the pageant will take home N3 million, a luxury apartment and an automobile. She takes over the crown from Mildred Ehiguese who won the 2017 edition.

Rita Dominic

 

Image Credits: Bella Naija

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David Lanre Mesan’s Masterclass: Business Strategy Through Partnership

David Messan, a business strategist, and investor held a masterclass in the 360 Creative Hub as part of our Fashion Business Series. The masterclass was an intimate, roundtable of 15 young entrepreneurs.

The topic centered around growing a successful business through partnerships.

He started by talking about the importance of vision and how important it is to have clarity in your business. And in addition to financial capital, the strength of people capital. For one to be able to get the right profit they need the right people.

To sell anything, talk about the benefits of your product. Copy a popular style and when you get customers slowly migrate into your personal style.

For a strategy to manifest, you need to know how to strike: never stop talking about your business, don’t be too humble to be stupid, learn to talk.

When things aren’t going well, learn to take a break and re-strategize but not quit. The customer should influence your strategies and your business model.

Part of a brand strategy is keeping imagery in mind. The brand logo should be simple, relative and memorable.

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