April 25, 2015

Teen Vogue Fashion University - Oscar PR Girl

The final day of Teen Vogue Fashion University was a short one, featuring only one speaker, but she was by far my absolute favorite and the one that I had been looking forward to all weekend! Erika Bearman, AKA Oscar PR Girl of Oscar de la Renta, delivered the "graduation" speech to all of the Edit/PR/Social majors at TVFU. Bearman is such an inspiration to me and her job is pretty much the epitome of what I would love to do one day as my career! Bearman had worked for Burberry and Dior before ending up at Oscar de la Renta at age 27 where she is now the Senior Vice President of Global Communications. Her words were inspiring and she was incredibly down to earth. During the Q&A session, someone asked about Oscar's passing back in October and how it had affected the company. Her reaction almost brought me to tears. There's a common misconception that the fashion industry is a cold, unemotional, and ruthless one, and at times this is true. However, there's also a very human side to it which blossoms from the relationships and partnerships created within these companies and brands. Bearman and de la Renta were not just colleagues, they were incredibly close friends. To see this very human reaction from someone in such a high power position in the fashion industry was incredibly humbling and everyone in that room shared a few moments remembering Oscar as she told us stories about his personality and professionalism.

Below, I've listed some of my favorite quotes from her talk and from the question and answer session.
"You have to do more than your job. Find yourself something that sets you apart. You aren't just working for your company, you're working for yourself. You are your own advocate."

"I just knew I wanted to like my work. I wanted to enjoy what I was doing."

"I was hungry and I see it in your faces. You have it too. You really want to get out there and do something."

"Luck does find magnetic, special people."

If you want to be successful "say yes to doing things before you think you're ready to do them."

"Don't be so hard on yourself -  it takes a while to understand that someone is always going to be smarter, prettier, thinner... You are enough and you have to accept who you are and love yourself and who you are and share it in the world."

"Whenever you're doing something and you think you're done, think. Did I go the extra mile? Did I do everything that I could have done to the that to the best of my ability? Is there anything else I can do?"

"Every day is a learning process."

I am so happy and honored that I was able to meet and chat with Erika at TVFU! Check her on social media through the links below:
Oscar PR Girl Instagram // Erika Bearman Instagram // Oscar PR Girl Twitter

April 16, 2015

Teen Vogue Fashion University - NYC Day 2

It's time to recap the first full day of Teen Vogue Fashion University activities in NYC!!! 
Friendly disclaimer: I wanted to make sure that I put the time and effort into this post that it truly deserved which is why it's going up so much later than I originally expected! This is what happens when you're a full-time college student who's also running a fashion and lifestyle blog while balancing that with a full weekend of sorority initiations, attempting to get enough sleep, battling a cold, and having 37 pages worth of notes and quotes from an amazing whirlwind TVFU weekend. Thanks for bearing with me and being so patient! I hope you all enjoy this post! :)
Early Saturday morning,  my friend Mary and I got up, ate a massive breakfast, and headed out from our hotel towards the World Trade Center. As we stood in line, we started chatting with the other TVFU "students" (attendees) and the networking just began there!

After getting through the security line, Mary and I split off for our first class lectures since I was in the "Edit/PR/Social" major and she was "Business of Fashion".

When all of us walked into the room for the first talk, there were reversible, faux leather, Express tote bags waiting for us on all of the chairs, which were filled with fun goodies including an Em lip balm, Cinderella movie promo items, Teen Vogue pencils and notepads, as well as other favors! I am in love with the tote bag and have been using it like crazy ever since.

My first speaker was YouTube sensation, Michelle Phan. Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Amy Astley, interviewed Michelle and moderated the Q&A session afterwards. Michelle was so incredibly sweet and she gave off an incredibly calm and relaxed vibe the entire time. Two of my favorite quotes from her talk were:
"If you have vision, determination to do what you love most, DO IT."

"Instagram has changed the (online) space with photos, Twitter has changed it with words."

Here's a recap of the rest of my day:
Brian Phillips and Juliana Ribeiro from Black Frame
"Influence is about changing people's minds and getting them to think a certain way"

After her presentation she shared an "In Summary" slide with us, featuring this information:
- never stop exploring and being inspired
- be consistent and find a unique style
- tell stories only you can tell
- cultivate community
- don't forget to make it Instagrammy

She took a picture of some of the students from her lecture, including me, and put it on her Instagram! Teen Vogue also put up an Instagram of her taking that Instagram, so I was on the Teen Vogue Instagram!!!

-- LUNCH --
{because fashionistas gotta eat}

Teen Vogue Editor's Panel
featuring Amy Astley, Drew Elovitz, Elaine Welteroth, Erin Kaplan, and Dana Mathews
"If you don't want to read the press release, neither will your readers."

Mickey Rapkin - The Author of Pitch Perfect and journalist
"People don't treat you with respect if you don't treat yourself with respect"
"Don't let anyone tell you no... Just do it.... Put in the work."

Mix & Mingle w/ Teen Vogue Staff
All the students had a chance to munch on some snacks and hang out with the Teen Vogue staff at the end of the day. I reconnected with people I'd met earlier in the day and had some great conversations about the talks we'd all gone to as well as learning more about where everyone was from, what they liked to do, etc. This first full day was absolutely exhausting, but it was so worth it! I had an amazing time hearing all of the fabulous speakers and meeting so many inspiring individuals. I can honestly say that this was one of the busiest but most fun days I've ever had. I'm so grateful for the experience and the friendships that formed as a result!

One more Fashion U recap covering our "graduation" speaker Erika Bearman, AKA Oscar PR Girl, will be coming to the blog soon, so keep an eye out for that post!

April 13, 2015

Talk Derby to Me - Dixieland Collection Giveaway

Happy Monday! It's been quite a while since I hosted a giveaway, so I'm very excited to be hosting a one this week with a fun new brand called Dixieland Collection! They make really cute tee shirts, shorts, and tanks that all have a very preppy and southern style to them. I absolutely love this "Talk Derby to Me" tee they sent me because it's super comfy and incredibly appropriate given that the Kentucky Derby is coming up so soon! Check out the Rafflecopter widget below to end to win a tee of your choice from the their website!

What's your favorite item from the Dixieland Collection site?

April 8, 2015

Introducing Brink

Hey lovelies, happy Wednesday! Today, I'm excited to tell you about a project I've been working on this semester as a part of my communications major at Loyola University Chicago! Some of you may have noticed that I've been retweeting an account called @BrinkLUC on Twitter in the last few months... 
Brink is that project!
This semester I've been working with a fantastic team of five other students to write, run, and promote a blog for our Communication and New Media class! It has been such a pleasure working with Tara, Alison, Bre'Anna, Peter, and Grace to create high quality content that we're all proud of. I was truly blessed with incredibly hardworking groupmates and together we have a really well-balanced set of skills which has helped our blog immensely.

Our blog, Brink, is focused on Loyola students who are doing things that are either out of the ordinary or inspirational (#brinkspirational) and highlighting these successes as well as telling our readers how they can get themselves #onthebrink of success. My personal favorite aspect of the whole blog is our #5YearsFromNow hashtag. For this section, we ask each person we feature where they want to be 5 years from now. The responses are always really interesting and it's cool to hear what my fellow Ramblers are interested in doing with their lives and careers in the future!

The year is coming to a close, waaaaay faster than I thought it would, but we still have some more posts going up before we finish up! I'd love it if you'd all go take a peek at the blog and our social media accounts. (I'm our Audience Engagement Coordinator so running all of social media has been one of my main focuses with Brink!) Comment on a post or two, like us on Facebooktweet us, check out our Instagram, take a look at our Youtube channel. Have fun!
What do you think of Brink? Sound off in the comments!

April 5, 2015

April 4, 2015

Five things I learned before 20

{via Instagram}
I'm still in disbelief that yesterday was my 20th birthday! I'm officially two decades old and no longer a teenager. I can honestly say that time really does fly when you're having fun! For today's post, I've compiled five random bits of knowledge and such that I've gathered over the years and wanted to highlight in honor of this milestone

1. Being yourself is highly underrated
One of the best pieces of advice I can ever give is to be yourself. I've been through numerous times in the past where I've let others' opinions of me influence they way I behaved, who I hung out with, what I showed an interest in, etc. These were certainly not my proudest times. However, I am grateful for them because they were lessons and helped me to find the "me" that I am today! During my senior year of high school I really hit my stride in this sense and stopped caring so much about what people thought of me on a surface level. I've found that when I am 100%, organically myself I am so much happier than I ever was when I let others' opinions influence me as much as they used to. Be yourself and do so proudly!

2. Carpe diem
Never take a single day for granted! Have lots of fun during the good times and roll with the punches during the rougher times.

3. Find a reliable "shoe guy"
There is an incredible amount of value in having a trusted shoe repairman you can rely on! I am so happy to have my "shoe guy," Mike. Mike has saved me so much money over the years through fixing some of my favorite sandals (more than once), repairing messed up zippers on bags, and adding anti-slip, weatherproof soles to my boots so they have a prayer of surviving the brutal Chicago winters we always experience. This may seem like an odd thing to feature for this post, but you honestly have no idea how often I've relied on my shoe guy.

4. You won't always have time for absolutely everything you want to do, and that's okay!
I love being busy and having a full plate of things to do, but there is no joy in feeling overwhelmed 24/7. If you're like me and you want to have your feet in everything all at once, but don't want to go crazy, prioritize all your commitments and don't be afraid to say no to something if you don't have the time for it.

5. Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself!
Don't take yourself so seriously! Have fun and be willing to poke fun at yourself from time to time. Laughter is the best medicine for any ailment!

I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone for the numerous birthday wishes and to all of the people who have helped to make the first two decades of my life so incredibly wonderful!

April 1, 2015

April '15 Playlist

Happy April and April Fools' Day! It's my birthday month as well as the last full month of my sophomore year... where did the time go?!? I picked a really wide variety of songs this month, but I think my favorite song would have to be "The Age of Worry." It's short, sweet, and I play it at least twice a day. I love the line of the song that says, "Don't be scared to walk alone. Don't be scared to like it." Happy listening!

March 30, 2015

Stomping Around Soho & TVFU Kickoff - Day 1 Recap

These last two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind! Shortly after returning from Teen Vogue Fashion U, I was immediately swamped with school work and I've been crazy-busy ever since! That being said, my sleep schedule has been all over the place...

I'm so excited to finally have time to tell all of you about my recent trip to NYC! I flew in on a Thursday night with my family friend, Mary, and my friend from school, who's also named Mary. We got in relatively late after our flight being delayed, so we went straight to sleep when we got to the hotel in Manhattan.

The next day, we made plans to grab brunch, shop, and wander around in Soho for a bit before the Teen Vogue kickoff party at Express that evening! We ate at Balthazar for brunch, hit up Ladurée, and stopped in Tibi, Alex and Ani, Mulberry, and a few other shops. We also went to Barneys for a little bit and looked around there before heading back to our hotel to get ready for the kickoff party.
Ladurée (via my snapchat: bowtifullife)
That night, my friend Mary and I cabbed it to Times Square for the kickoff party at Express! After heading inside, we socialized with other Fashion U "students" and members of Teen Vogue's staff. The store was absolutely packed! Teen Vogue had a dj playing, a mocktail bar, and a flash tattoo and faux eyelash station for everyone to enjoy. The entire evening was a blast!
Keep checking back this week for more recaps of my Fashion U experience!