Imagine my excitement then, when Teen Vogue came out with a book. I’m pretty sure that Teen Vogue are inundated with hundreds of internship requests a day (because who didn’t want to be Lauren Conrad and Whitney port, right?), and similar questions on how to break into the fashion world. It is because of this that Amy Astley, Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief, created this hand book stating that: "The Teen Vogue Handbook is a dream book, a truly creative book filled with tips on the stylish life from the top people in the industry." A further blurb for the book reads: ‘Live like you work in fashion. A must-read for anybody interested in fashion. From aspiring designers, stylists, editors, and photographers to fashion obsessives who want behind the- scenes secrets about industry stars and tips on how to live a creative life.’
Now, I’ve heard both things good and not so good things about this book, and I can actually see both sides so I wanted to discuss that a little. In essence, the key to this book is a combination of career advice and profiles of just about every every huge fashion icon and every aspect of the fashion industry with interviews that include Marc Jacobs, Bruce Weber, Patrick DeMarchelier, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Pat Mcgrath, alongside assistants and others who are just getting started. It’s truly the perfect mix. Every section of the book is divided into an interview with said industry expert, or up and coming talents, alongside tips and then some product or material essentials for said career path, so for example the ‘editors tool’ section follows the section about how to be a fashion editor and suggests materials from simply a newspaper, to be updated with current affairs, to a passport, laptop and digital camera. Whilst some may seem blindingly obvious, a tip somewhere about baby powder to make shoes slip on better is one I will remember! The back glossary of words in the fashion biz, aka a guide to, ‘talking the talk’ is also kind of nice!
I found myself feeling thoroughly inspired from reading this book as the interviewees are all people I have grown up having so much admiration for, and for me as someone who has kind of created their own way into the fashion world, I too was pleasantly surprised that so many other designers and creative people alike have also stumbled into their creative roles like me. Some see the book as being a teeny bit fluffy, as it does seem to play down the catty politics and superficial glamour that can sometimes be rife in this creative world, but I think that’s actually something very positive. To me the message it asserts throughout; that this is a world in which hard work, ingenuity, and style are rewarded in equal measure, is far, far more inspiring and positive than scaring young, impressionable teens into thinking the fashion world is something out of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ because, come on guys, that is fiction!! Another criticism has been that for some the book steers itself towards an American demographic, due to the detailed book pages covering just about every fashion school in the USA. Well, I wouldn’t let you put that off because honestly the wisdom from those that are the domineering forces in this industry is both timeless and universal.
Overall I feel that for any teenager, or young person who is sitting here reading this, trying to work out how to break into the fashion world (and this also includes you fashion bloggers, no stone is left unturned!) will find both a practical roadmap and a source of inspiration in this hand book.To me, the Teen Vogue handbook is an absolutely incredible resource for anyone already in the fashion industry or trying to break into it. Just be warned this does not TELL you how to get a job, I think people are kind of looking into that too much with this book, and maybe in general, because I can tell you this for sure that there is no right or wrong way to break into the fashion industry. If you dream hard enough, and become open to experiencing your own journey into the creative world then that is how you will do it. Watch the above video as well for confirmation of this. In fact, let me end this post with a quote from Fashion Queen Anna Wintour herself:
“DO YOUR HOMEWORK, GO ONLINE, VISIT EVERY MUSEUM, AND INTERN. YOU JUST NEED TO HAVE A LOVE FOR WHAT YOU’RE DOING. IT’S NOT ABOUT THINKING THAT IT’S THE COOL THING; IT’S ABOUT REALLY BELIEVING IN IT.” ** ANNA WINTOUR**
This book can be found now on Amazon for a mere £6.89 which is just fabulous really.