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ZIPPED FALL 2013


FALL 2013

ZIPPED staff

ISSUE 12 |ZIPPED MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL Tina Ferraro Editor-In-Chief

Sarah Schmalbruch Managing Editor

Altan James Creative Director

Amanda Etkind Features Editor

Teresa Sebga Associate Features Editor

Erica Hewins Fashion Director

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Hannah Gessler Natalia Forsey Associate Fashion Editors

Alexa Voss

FEATURES

BRIEFS

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4. Beauty

Resolutions Six must-have products to ring in the New Year with.

6. Glam Rock

Beauty How-To: Lined-Eyes

8. Shoe-icide: Death of the Louboutin?

The Louboutin shoe was once synonymous with pose and elegance, but now reality TV stars like Kim Kardashian are cheapening the famous red sole.

10. In the Raw Minimal effort required.

16. How Supermodels Became Super (Again)

Models strut their stuff on social media.

18. Rebels Without a Cause

Out with the new, in with the old.

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ENDINGS

28. The Young

and the Talented The fashion industry may be a difficult field to break into, but designers like Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, and Jason Wu make it look so easy.

30. Mad About Plaid

The tartan kilt has come a long way since the 16th century.

Copy Editor

Elisabeth Ferrari Research Editor

PHOTO & DESIGN Vania Myers Art Director

Dana Sulit Associate Art Director

Shay Frey Photo Director

Drew Osumi Associate Photo Director

BUSINESS & COMMUNICATIONS Daniela Rodriguez Publisher

Arianna Wright-Diaz Advertising Director

Lindsay Cameron Zach Weiss Public Relations Directors

Carly Yeung Lindsay Cameron Associate Public Relations Directors

Kimberly Coleman Elizabeth Lillie Ilyse Shapiro Social Media Assistants

FACULTY ADVISOR Melissa Chessher


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

I

have a disturbing, slightly debilitating obsession with shoes. I also happen to have extremely weak ankles and poor balance— as my mother always says, 18 years of ballet classes did absolutely nothing for me. The combination of the two typically results in broken high heels and twisted ankles, but it has never stopped me from adding to my shoe collection. This past summer, while I was interning at a magazine in New York City, I was offered a pair of gold Jimmy Choo stilettos. My boss had received the package as a gift and didn’t want them, so obviously I volunteered to give them a home. Giddily, I threw off my sandals and slipped into the strappy shoes. Or tried to. I quickly understood how Cinderella’s stepsisters felt—those shoes must have been made for children. Sometimes expensive shoes aren’t exactly worth the money or the pain (see our analysis of the Louboutin on page 8). This semester, Zipped is bringing it back, ‘90s style. Why not pay tribute to a decade that blessed us with boy bands, supermodels, Full House, and Cher Horowitz? So give our smudgy, grunge-inspired beauty look a try (“Glam Rock,” page 6) or

get inspired by the newest rebels causing a stir in the fashion world (“Rebels Without a Cause,” page 18). Or, if you’re looking to spruce up your winter wardrobe without spending a ton of money, check out this season’s must-have accessories (“In the Raw,” page 10). We’ve got something for you, whatever your style. Enjoy the issue! (And in case you were wondering, yes, I’m still bitter about those shoes.) xo,

Tina

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BEAUTY resolutions RESOLUTIONS beauty

These six New Year’s Eve essentials will have you looking lush, even hours after the ball drops Photographed by Shay Fey

1. A L L T H A T GL I T T E R S

Save the cherry red polish for date night—this New Year’s Eve, give your nails a splash of shimmer with an ultra-luxe glittery polish. We can’t get enough of Essie Nail Top Coat in Set in Stones. Layer this sparkly silver polish on a gold base lacquer for a megawatt manicure. No manicurist required. Tina Ferraro

3. BRON Z E GODDE S S

Add a bit of color to your complexion or get cheekbones like Gisele’s with a dusting of bronzer. We love NARS Bronzing Powder, a translucent bronzer powder with a hint of shimmer. This face-saver is guaranteed to give your skin a warm glow that’s noticeable yet natural. Totally worth the $36 splurge. Sarah Schmalbruch

5. F A K E B A K E

Even though summer is long gone and the sun is nowhere to be seen, you don’t have to give up hope for a bronzed body. A lightweight formula like St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse delivers the perfect tan in less than 60 seconds. An added bonus: you don’t have to subject your skin to sulfates, parabens, or harmful ultraviolet rays. Kiss orange, streaky tans goodbye and say hello to a natural-looking, golden glow. Teresa Sabga

2. L U X E L A S HE S

Coat lashes with a colored mascara before the big night out—we dare you. The brighter, the better! Make sure your eyes stand out in a crowd with Givenchy Noir Couture 4-in-1 Waterproof Mascara in Purple Velvet. Or, for a subtler effect, apply the product over a neutral black or brown mascara. Elisabeth Ferrari

4. S K IN S .O. S .

Dry? Flaky? Wind-chapped? If these describe your skin in the winter, it’s time to invest in a new moisturizer. A daily facial moisturizer or serum infuses skinwith instant hydration to help you battle those bitter winter days. No need to let the cold get the best of your beauty routine—rejuvenate your skin, even in subarctic temperatures, with Olay’s Age Defying Instant Hydration Serum. Alexa Voss

6. L IP S T I C K K I S S E S

Switch up your look with a deep, daring plum lipstick. Anyone can rock this rich hue—the trick is to keep it fuss free. Ditch the liner, dab the lipstick, and top with a gloss for the perfect plum lip. We recommend Chanel Rouge AllureLuminous Intense Lipstick in Envoutante. Amanda Etkind

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G glam

rock

Say goodbye to the smoky eye. Master this heavily lined look in four simple steps. By Tina Ferraro

1. 2. 3. 4.

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Apply a light powder to a fresh face, sweeping the powder across the lids and under the eye to create a blank canvas for your look. With your fingers, smudge a peach-toned shadow on the lids and the inner corner of your eye. Apply a similar hued balm to bare lips. Then, trace a copper-colored eyeliner along the lower lash line. Dab a bit of bronze eyeshadow underneath your bottom lashes. Using a lash-thickening formula, coat the top and bottom lashes with mascara. Repeat the process on the lower lashes, smudging the mascara as you go. The messier, the better—this is no time to be neat.


Photographed by Shay Fey Styled by Tina Ferraro Modeled by McCauly Braun

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SHOE-ICIDE: DEATH of the LOUBOUTIN?

The once classic, elegant brand has ventured into trashy— yet trendier— territory. By Megan French

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wenty years ago, Christian Louboutin watched as his assistant painted her nails a shiny red. He grabbed the bottle and started lacquering the bottom of a pair of heels that he felt “lacked energy,” taking the boring, useless part of a shoe and making it pop. Since that day, the “Chinese red” sole has become Louboutin’s signature style.    Original Louboutins were classic, expensive, and instantly recognizable. “It was a chic idea for a minute,” George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik U.S.A., told the New York Times in 2011. “You wore a red sole, and everyone knew you spent $1,200 or $1,400 for your shoes.” Now many claim that Louboutins are

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beginning to head the way of Manolo Blahniks, which reached their height of popularity during their “Sex and the City” days, but have since lost their luster.    Christian Louboutin is no longer able to claim “sole” ownership of the red sole due to the availability of similar styles that aren’t accompanied by the 4-figure price tag. To avoid “customer confusion,” Louboutin filed court cases against Zara and Yves Saint Laurent in hopes of preventing the companies from producing heels with his signature red bottom. The judge dismissed Louboutin’s case, on the grounds that it was too vague to be considered stolen intellectual property. He offered Louboutin the suggestion of staking the claim to a specific Pantone shade.


Though the Louboutin brand attempts to stay fresh and reinvent itself in order to maintain its “it” shoe status, the resulting designs stray further and further from Louboutin’s identity. New styles like the “Acheval,” a knee-high red and leopard high-heeled boot, and the “Rollerboy Spikes,” pony hair camouflage-print, studded smoking slippers from the Fall/Winter 2013 collection seem more outrageous than authentic.    With the launch of a beauty line this year, expansions into menswear and handbags, and more eclectic shoe designs, Louboutin may be losing its allure. “[The Louboutin brand] is becoming too broad and trying to touch too many people,” says Tara Gillen, who worked in product development at Ralph Lauren for 10 years.    Though many women have made up their minds, men remain divided on the significance of the red sole. Syracuse University student Daniel Silberstein thinks the shoes are oftentimes too “out there” for the average man. “On the premium high end shoes, I think there are a lot classier, more timeless options,” he says. “If I’m going to throw down, I’ll get a pair of Jimmy Choo’s or Miu Miu’s.”    The brand still enjoys success, as evidenced by the fact that it sells more than 600,000 pairs of shoes a year. Items often sell out—but the brand has begun to rake in revenue from a customer base different from its original Upper East Side clientele.    “I don’t necessarily think the people who used to wear Louboutins would buy them anymore,” says Jill McFadden, a personal and commercial stylist based in Los Angeles. “I don’t want to say they’re cheesy because they’re still upper class, but it’s really like wearing the same thing that you can find at Nine West. When they became more trendy, they became more knockoff-able.”    The original Louboutin customer was the epitome of class and elegance. Princess Caroline of Monaco was Louboutin’s first purchaser at his Paris boutique opening in 1991, and her seal of approval allowed the company to skyrocket in popularity. Now, you can find Victoria Beckham rocking a simple nude pump or Kate Moss sporting a timeless strappy heel.    But as Louboutin upped the trend factor, it attracted a new crowd of celebrities. “They’re almost becoming D-list celebrity shoes,” says Gillen. Open a magazine after any big event, and those showcasing Louboutins range from Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton to DJ Pauly D, Gillen says.    Louboutin doesn’t place any advertisements. Nor does it give away freebies to celebrities, but that doesn’t mean celebs don’t exercise their borrowing privileges. “[The Louboutin brand] used to be extremely strict with borrowing, unlike other showrooms that will take any kind of press,” says Syracuse University student Amanda Maldonado, who interned for Louboutin in 2010. “But they’ve become less exclusive on who they let borrow

stuff and pull items for shoots.”    The red bottom will forever look stunning with neutrals and staple wardrobe pieces, but as time continues to progress, the exclusivity and wealth once associated with the signature sole is beginning to wane. “Louboutins became a status symbol, so people were dying to wear them,” Gillen says. “A long time ago, it was important to wear Seven jeans or J Brand, but people moved on.”    Now everyone from Drake to The Game raps about Louboutins. The new, popular movie “The Bling Ring” was based on Vanity Fair’s article, “The Suspects Wore Louboutins,” in which a fame-obsessed teen robbed the homes of Hollywood stars and showed up to court in a pair of 6-inch Louboutin stilettos. This type of product placement can cheapen a brand very quickly. Once celebrities—reality stars, especially—begin exploiting a luxury product, many once-loyal fans move on to the next designer.    But don’t assume the shoes you’re paying top dollar for were designed with comfort in mind. “I hate the whole concept of comfort,” Louboutin once told The New Yorker. “It's like when people say: ‘Well we're not really in love but we're in a comfortable relationship.’ You're abandoning a lot of ideas when you're too into comfort.” Louboutin shoes are not meant to be worn for more than one season—perhaps this is the reason that customers turn to other brands that resist the fast fashion cycle.    “If I’m going to spend $500 or more on shoes, they’re going to be a classic, comfortable pair I’ll wear for a few years, like black pumps I can wear to work,” says Gillen. “I wouldn’t spend the money on a fashionforward shoe. That was Brian Atwood’s niche. It’s interesting that Louboutin is doing it too.”    Louboutin needs a revival a la Burberry in 2010. When the brand’s signature camel check print became so mainstream that it lost its exclusivity with its clientele, Burberry transformed itself. The brand featured plaid less and less on garments, instead focusing on bringing back the classic trench coat and well-made basics in order to reestablish itself as the luxury brand it once was.    Louboutin’s new Nude Collection could be the brand’s chance to reclaim its name. The designer goes back to basics with five styles available in five different shades of nude to match each and every skin tone. The shoes are designed to elongate the leg and could serve as a wardrobe staple. It’s a refreshing alternative to the trendier shoes that comprise a majority of more recent collections.    Silberstein scrolls through Louboutin’s latest men’s collection on his iPhone. As he passes a particularly outrageous pair of shoes, he comments on the $1,795 price tag. “I wouldn’t buy those if they were $17.95.”

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THIS SEASON, MAXIMIZE YOUR WA R D R O B E ' S POTENTIAL WITH MINIMALIST ACCESSORIES. Photographed by Drew Osumi Modeled by Franklin Santos Tina Ferraro Hannah Gessler Natalia Forsey

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Styled by Erica Hewins Hannah Gessler Natalia Forsey


Gold chain necklace, Juicy Couture; Fish skeleton necklace, ASOS.

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Red, black necklaces, H&M; Pink felt hat, Jessica Simpson; Black felt hat, Urban Outfitters.

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Pink evening bag, Forever 21; Scarab necklace, Modeets.com.

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Frilly socks, H&M; Mary Janes, vintage.

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Print backpack, Alviero Martini 1A Classe; Sneakers, Forever 21.

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HOW SUPERMODELS

BECAME SUPER (AGAIN) Models are increasingly turning to outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to launch them to fashion fame. Has social media become the new runway? By Shannon Rosenberg

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rit It Girl Cara Delevigne has found herself busier than ever in the past year. She’s collaborated with Chanel’s legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld. She’s posed with Pharrell for British Vogue. She had a fling with One Direction’s Harry Styles. She separated from—then reunited with—wifey and best friend Rita Ora. And, she snapped a photo of her smooching a similarly studded Sienna Miller at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gala in New York City. The next morning, the 21-year-old model checked her Instagram account to find that the photo had accumulated over 60,000 likes. After spending several decades out of the spotlight, models have found a way back into it, utilizing a tactic that has since launched them to celebrity status: signing up for social media sites. These sites have allowed them to interact directly with fashion-savvy fans. Want to find out what catwalk stars like Cara, or Coco Rocha, or Karlie Kloss are doing? There’s no digging necessary—just pull out your phone, search their names on Instagram and you’ll have a backstage pass to anything and everything the models have been doing. Social media has revolutionized the fashion

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industry for design houses, but more so for brands’ chosen “faces.” Models learned to manipulate the most popular media outlets of our generation, creating their own “brand” in hopes of solidifying their status as a successful model. “Social media gives you a platform that can help you get the exposure you want,” says Professor Harriet Brown, a magazine journalism professor at Syracuse University. “It’s another way to tell an effective story about yourself and engage an audience, which will help further your career.” Whereas aspiring models were unable to showcase their portfolios before the age of the Internet, now social media provides these hopefuls with an outlet to do so. Cameron Russell, an American model who has posed for Vogue and strutted down the runway as a Victoria’s Secret angel, advised young women via her TED Talks not to pursue modeling as a career because for most, it is unattainable. “Saying that you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying that you want to win the Powerball when you grow up. It’s out of your control and it’s awesome, but it’s not a career path,” Russell says. In a field so competitive, one must hope for a miracle or be blessed with a “genetic lottery,” as Russell calls it, to make it in the modeling business. But recent technological trends have transformed the


entire fashion industry, and for many aspiring models, it highlighted social media as a viable strategy for success. The original supermodels of the ‘80s and ‘90s, including Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington, were recognized as international celebrities without any assistance from social media. They fronted magazines and dated rock stars. But their job was to be seen, not heard. Now models have the opportunity to do both. Instead of being just the face of a Lanvin ad, models are expanding their roles and extending the typical shelf life of a model, starring in films—as Rosie HuntingtonWhitely did in “Transformers”—or producing their own television shows—Tyra Banks’ “The Tyra Banks Show” ran for five seasons and Heidi Klum’s “Project Runway” will enjoy a 13th season. Coco Rocha, a Canadian supermodel, says that it is not enough to be just another pretty face. Rocha, who regularly coaches young models, preaches that the key to making it in the current modeling industry is to think of yourself as a company, create your brand, find your personality, and then learn to promote it so people have no doubt about who you are and what you represent. If anyone is qualified to give this advice, it is Coco Rocha. Rocha was first discovered at an Irish dance contest in Vancouver, and has since become internationally known for her runway endeavors, but more so for her following on social media. She has often been referred to as “The Social Media Model,” and The New York Times stated that she is “one of the few models to be known by their first name.” On Instagram alone, Rocha has amassed 566,000 followers to date. Instagram is where she receives the most feedback and interacts most with the public, Rocha says. But that’s not to say she’s slacking on other social media platforms—she has over 2,500 friends and over 426,000 subscribers on Facebook, and more than 644,000 followers on Twitter. “Coco has become a brand of her own, which is what accounts for her longevity,” says Valerie Boster, the bookings editor for Vogue. At 25 years old, Rocha is considered past her prime age of modeling, but because she is so established on social media, brands are reluctant to pass up the opportunity to reach her fan base. “When you walk into a brand and say ‘What about her, what about him?’ They now ask ‘How many followers do they have?’ When you want a spokesperson or face of your brand, you want to know they will sell the brand. Are they connecting, are they relevant, who are they relevant to?” says Ivan Bart, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Models. Modeling agencies have also begun training their contracted models on how to use social media because the model’s fan base can act as an added plus for the agency.

“If you have two great models standing side by side competing for a job, it is the social-media-savvy model that will get the job every time,” says Dr. William Ward, a social media communications professor at Syracuse University. Models are encouraged to reach out to fans and share hobbies besides modeling to promote themselves and appear more personable, allowing them to reach a broader audience. But while social media has proven

“IT’S ANOTHER WAY TO TELL AN EFFECTIVE STORY ABOUT YOURSELF AND ENGAGE AN AUDIENCE, WHICH WILL HELP FURTHER YOUR CAREER.” useful in furthering one’s modeling career, it can also have damaging effects. During the Mercedes-Benz Spring 2013 New York Fashion Week, Jourdan Dunn, a 23-year-old British model, Tweeted about Dior’s decision to cut her from the runway lineup: “Ahahahahahaha I just for canceled from Dior because of my boobs! I <3 fashion #Couture.” Dunn, known for being provocative on social media, received backlash from her modeling agency. While Dunn says she doesn’t regret her openness on social media, she has said that she perhaps shouldn’t have brought attention to Dior. “Social media is all about branding. People will forget about talent, and talk about your Tweets. You have to be careful,” Dunn says. Dunn currently has 281,000 followers on Instagram and over 116,700 followers on Twitter. She Tweets back at followers, and gets from 10,000 to 50,000 likes on an Instagram photo. In the past, models were taught to keep quiet and be void of emotion, Rocha says. This career strategy didn’t allow fans to get to know models. After only two or three years in the limelight, when the fashion industry was done with them, so was the world. “The reason why celebrities sell covers is because they have huge followings,” Rocha says. “But models have that, too. You just have to give us a chance to speak.”

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R ebels WITHOUT A ca u se

Being broke never looked so good Photographed by Altan James Styled by Erica Hewins Hannah Gessler Natalia Forsey

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Modeled by Rachel Moore Alie Grauert Maya Champion Liza Martins Jin Maekawa Chris Jones


FROM LEFT On Rachel: graphic tee, Rodarte; leather top, Zara; pants, vintage, leather shoes, vintage. On Maya: cashmere sweater, BCBG Max Azria; denim overalls, Free People; hat, J. Crew.

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TOP floral jacket, Forever 21; top, Express BOTTOM turtleneck, Zara; top, vintage; denim jeans, Wasteland; boots, Doc Martens; sunglasses, Urban Outfitters

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sweater, vintage; denim jeans, Wasteland; earrings, Forever 21

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sheer blouse, American Apparel; bralette, Urban Outfitters; denim skirt, American Apparel; earrings, Forever 21

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white tee, Dior; overalls, Forever 21; booties, Zara

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top, American Apparel; jacket, Urban Outfitters; skirt, American Apparel; boots, Steve Madden.

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FROM LEFT On Liza: top, American Apparel; jacket, Urban Outfitters; skirt, American Apparel; boots, Steve Madden. On Rachel: Lace slip, Victoria's Secret; plaid flannel, vintage. On Ali: Top, Zara; denim jeans, Topshop; boots, her own. On Maya: Top, by Natalia Forsey; velvet leggings, American Apparel; boots, Doc Martens.

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FROM LEFT On Liza: lace top, Forever 21; denim vest, Urban Outfitters; denim jeans, Wasteland. On Rachel: tan sweater, vintage; black leather skirt, Storets. com; boots, Doc Martens. On Ali: sweater, Storets. com; denim skirt, American Apparel. On Maya: denim jacket, Urban Outfitters; top, Necessary Clothing; floral skirt, vintage.

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THE

YO UN G& THE TALENTED

New fashion designers have been making waves in an industry once ruled by 20th century iconic brands. But the rise to the top isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as easy as it looks. By Diana Pearl

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ominated by long-standing names like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Yves Saint Laurent, the fashion industry has cultivated a reputation for its cutthroat atmosphere. At the helm of these legendary brands sit design powerhouses like Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, and Miuccia Prada, whose successes in the industry have not been challenged in years. Until now. The opportunity for young designers to break into this designer-eat-designer world was once slim to none. Yet some talented few have managed to rise to the height of their established counterpartsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pedestals. Young designers such as Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez

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of Proenza Schouler are some of the most-known names in fashion today. How have these designers earned their status? For some, the key was carving a niche for themselves in the world of fashion. Alexander Wang’s simple yet chic designs allow his work to stand out in an infamously ostentatious industry. “He made his mark by creating clothes that, as he put it, women want to wear,” says fashion critic Robin Givhan. “They were not fanciful or [obnoxiously] designed. But they captured the insouciance of a young woman who knows she is beautiful, popular, and cool and so is freed from the pressure to primp and to preen.” Wang’s method of taking high fashion and stripping it bare is not an uncommon approach for young designers. Noting the evolution of street style, young designers often use everyday fashion to conceptualize their own collections. Others do not simply draw inspiration from the real, but turn to the surreal instead. In their Spring 2014 collections, Prabal Gurung and David Neville and Marcus Wainwright of rag & bone featured collections with a futuristic flair, showcasing translucent PVC raincoats and diaphanous slipdresses. Of course, the designs themselves are only a small piece in the puzzle of fashion success. No matter how great a designer’s creations may be, the industry is long past the point of talent as the sole factor of a designer’s success. Sarah Haspel, a 2013 Syracuse University fashion design graduate who ultimately chose to pursue another path in fashion, claims that the number one way for a young designer to be successful is by having connections within the industry. “You see people who have no talent holding these really high positions of power, and it’s mostly because they knew the right people,” Haspel says. “A lot of times, talent comes second.” Other opportunities exist for young designers who haven’t yet happened to rub elbows with fashion’s finest. Reality shows, like long-running “Project Runway” and the recently cancelled “Fashion Star,” give aspiring designers exposure that will could potentially lead to success, both for the designer and the television program. “Project Runway” offers the winning designer a spread in Marie Claire magazine, $100,000 to start his or her own line, and the chance to sell that line on a top e-commerce site. Designers who don’t walk away with the top prize still have opportunities to meet influential figures in the fashion industry, gain nationwide exposure, and in some cases show their designs at New York Fashion Week. Despite national, and sometimes worldwide exposure, these programs have relatively little success in launching careers in fashion design, says Todd Conover, a fashion design professor at Syracuse University. “‘Project Runway,’ although it’s entertaining to watch, doesn’t have a lot of realistic outcomes.”

However, Conover admits, there are exceptions to every rule and the success of “Project Runway” winner Christian Soriano is evident of that. Off screen, programs like the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue Fashion Fund select three emerging designers as the winner and two runners-up of their prestigious award. Yet the application process is lengthy and demanding. An applicant pool goes through several phases that consist of various applications, portfolio and design reviews, and in-person interviews. The award guarantees both exposure and the ample financial support necessary for building a brand—the winner goes home with approximately $300,000. Past winners of the CFDA’s Fashion Fund, such as 2011 winner Joseph Altuzarra and 2010 runner-up Prabal Gurung, have experienced real success since taking home their prize. Conover attributes this tradition of high achievement to the CFDA’s prominent place in the fashion world. “The CFDA is the fashion industry,” Conover says. “They understand the realities of the business.” In order to stay relevant in one of the fastest-paced industries, designers must constantly captivate an audience even beyond the realm of high fashion. Designers like Jason Wu, the Rodarte sisters, and Philip Lim have all released affordable collections with retail giant Target. By making their designs accessible to the masses, designers are able to engage with an entirely different audience. Connections, prizes, and TV exposure aren’t all that matters. Top fashion design programs do their part to launch their students in the right direction. Conover says that a strong portfolio is pertinent to getting noticed. More than just showcasing their work, he says, a portfolio is a marketing tool. “Without it, there is no entrance into the fashion world,” he says. In hopes of encouraging students to build up their portfolios, Syracuse University recently launched a class dedicated to this cause, and faculty are working to make it part of the fashion design major’s core curriculum. Through senior showcases, students are able to gain the exposure necessary to catch the eyes of buyers, designers, and other fashion insiders. The winners of the CFDA’s 2013 Designer of the Year award, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, had their entire senior thesis project from Parsons School of Design bought by Barneys New York. Syracuse University hosts similar programs for senior design majors. Besides the annual senior fashion show that debuts in the spring on campus, professors select 10 to 12 of their most promising student designers to showcase their collections in New York City for an audience of influential fashion bigwigs. The process can be emotionally tumultuous and physically exhausting, but if fashion design is for you, as Tim Gunn says, you’ll find a way to make it work.

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MAD ABOUT PLAID From hipster street style to the couture collections, plaid-patterned items have claimed their stake in fashion. By Kayla Isaacs

1500’s Traditionally worn by Scottish clansmen, the tartan kilt consisted of crossing vertical and horizontal lines of different colors and sizes against a plain background. The man-skirt soon became synonymous with plaid—the pattern spiraled into stardom when Queen Victoria incorporated elements of the tartan kilt into her wardrobe.

1963 The Beach Boys, the quintessential surfer dude boy band,” brought plaid back into focus when members wore matching blue plaid button downs on their 1963 album cover, “Surfer Girl.”

1979 Originally a TV series based on two brothers and their striking female cousin Daisy, The Dukes of Hazzard gave plaid its country cool feel with frequent shots of Daisy prancing around the farm in her Daisy Dukes and red or blue plaid shirts.

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1980– 1990’s The punk revolution started in the ‘70s, advocating a rebellion against culture, society, and fashion, but soon became trendy when designers—namely Vivienne Westwood—took an interest in the movement. Westwood used tartan in her designs, transforming the once traditional textile into a tough, edgy fabric by mixing it with pins, spikes, and chains.


1995 In 1924, Burberry began lining its trench coats with a plaid pattern in camel, red, black, and white, now known as the Burberry Check. After officially becoming a brand identifier in the ‘60s, the Burberry Check gained notoriety in ’95 when it was featured in Vogue as a printed bikini, inspiring Burberry to produce several more designs with the same signature print.

1999 Britney Spears’ hit song “Baby One More Time” took plaid from punk rock to schoolgirl sexy. In the music video, Spears dons pigtails and a plaid prep-school mini-skirt, topped off with a white button down tied around her waist, marking the start of the ‘Britney’ Halloween costume craze.

2006 When designing his Fall 2006 Ready-toWear collection, “Widows of Colloden,” Alexander McQueen paid homage to his Scottish heritage for the second time in his career. Plaid-draped dresses stood out against a sea of taupe trousers.

1995 Cher Horowitz, a fashion-obsessed teen in the ‘90s film Clueless, isn’t exactly world renowned for her wit and charity—but she is for her iconic ‘90s style. She launched the plaid-on-plaid trend to fame with her yellow tartan miniskirt and blazer, inspiring stylesavvy teenage girls for years to come.

2000’s At the turn of the century, the hipster subculture slowly began to sneak its way into pop culture. A garb typically consisting of Ray-Ban sunglasses, white tees, and skinny jeans, the hipster uniform wouldn’t be complete without its signature plaid flannel.

2013 Since the Met Gala’s Spring 2013 exhibition “PUNK: Chaos to Couture,” the fashion world has been abuzz with Mohawks, studs, and leather. The Gala inspired Chanel’s creative director and head designer Karl Lagerfeld to team up with e-retailer Net-APorter to create “Karl Goes Punk,” a capsule collection rife with plaid trousers, leather moto jackets, and tartan skirts and dresses.

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