University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Zac Posen"

Posen Shutters His House As the UoF Opens Doors for Future Designers

Fashion times, they are a changin’.

In just the past few weeks alone, once fashion darling Zac Posen has closed his doors and the iconic retailer Barneys has closed its remaining doors, two more signs that fashion design and retail operations as we’ve known them for so many years are in fact yesterday’s news.

To Posen’s credit, he can claim the story many emerging designers have aspired to. With semesters spent at Parsons and Central Saint Martins, a long line of celebs who have worn his gowns on the red carpet and fame as an expert judge on Project Runway, some would claim that Posen’s run in the fashion world is the stuff an emerging designer’s dreams are made of. And truthfully, Posen lasted much longer in a crumbling model than most. He even starred in his own documentary, House of Z, detailing the behind the scenes successes and struggles over the years.

In 2008, when my fellow fashion school graduates and I landed in NYC after graduating from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, several of us were overcome with jealousy when one of us scored an internship with Zac Posen. It was a tough economic time in which fashion companies were laying off employees, and so many of us had given up on the thought of getting a “real job” in fashion and instead were fighting for unpaid internships with the hope that they would lead to paid positions.

Even then, I can remember the bright fashion stars I had in my eyes beginning to dim as I watched my talented classmate drape his heart out for Posen, often leaving our apartment at 6:30 am to make it to the studio by 7:00 am, not to return until well after 7:00 pm (and without pay). When one of my classmate’s creations ended up on Posen’s runway, we thought for sure, this would be his big break. But as was (and may still be) commonplace with companies headed by a singular famous face, my classmate’s “internship” was over once the season was over and Posen’s runway show was complete. Posen was on to the next group of eager “interns.” And my classmate? He was left with crippling student loans to pay and still, no job.

I share this story because it illuminates the reasons why we are finally seeing a real shift in the fashion industry. And why we’ve got to let go of what has been been considered success in the fashion industry in the past (fame, celebrity, elaborate shows season after season) and instead look toward a more sustainable future in fashion for emerging designers. Posen himself (guided by his mother) saw how unsustainable the fame-party-celebrity red carpet style of designing and running a business was back in 2010. Posen’s decision to branch out into collaborations and more affordable mass market options in order to keep the sought after design dream alive was detailed in WSJ. And yet even with this forethought, Posen’s high end business ultimately couldn’t survive.

Fast forward to today and even educators from top fashion schools (in fact, my former director, Simon Ungless at the Academy of Art in San Francisco), have started to question their own fashion programs, wondering if they are in fact preparing their students for what the fashion world holds. Ungless recently suggested that fashion schools are preparing students for an industry that doesn’t exist (read Ungless’ full interview here) and that if students aspire to celebrity as a fashion designer, they should “make a sex tape.”

Aside from the fact that today’s students in traditional fashion design programs are still striving for that final fashion show in hopes of being noticed by industry professionals (which ultimately may happen to a select handful of graduates), the college debt load students are accumulating is real. A single semester at Parsons, including tuition, books, room and board is approximately $60,000 and at FIT, around $45,000. Multiply that by the number of semesters it takes to graduate and we are talking upwards of $200,000 spent on an education that may or may not pay for itself.

And while we will never say “we told ya so,” the University of Fashion was conceived and developed years ago as a direct response to the issues we are seeing today, including:

• the prohibitive high cost of a traditional fashion education
• the lack of jobs/opportunity in the fashion industry to make a high-cost education pay off
• the changing skills/mindset needed to “make it” as a fashion designer in today’s fashion landscape

Maybe Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, et al. have a point—forego college and invest that money in your own start-up. Learn fashion design at UoF, get your technical skills and then use your money to launch and advertise your own brand. Imagine the possibilities when you let go of the idea that you must have a degree from Parsons, an internship with Marc Jacobs and celebrity status as a 20-something designer with a Hadid wearing your brand on Instagram.

There are so many ways for emerging designers to “make it” in the fashion industry of tomorrow, because the industry is yours to create. Instead of aiming for super stardom and spending a fortune on a traditional fashion education, get creative with different ways to break into the fashion industry. Use online resources to create a niche design item and learn how to market yourself via social media. Follow a path that feels authentic and genuine to you and think outside the box. We truly believe designers CAN make a living at what they love through research, social media savvy and creative thought. How about a new young designer pop-up store collective? Already paving a new path forward in the fashion industry? We want to know about it! Inspire others by sharing in the comments below.

75th Annual Golden Globes – More Than Just Another Award Show

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America Ferrera in custom Christian Siriano, Natalie Portman in Dior Haute Couture, Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton and Billie Jean King

America Ferrera in custom Christian Siriano, Natalie Portman in Dior Haute Couture, Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton and Billie Jean King

Hollywood A-listers have long used their fame to promote individual causes, whether political, ethnic or humanitarian. But at this year’s 75th Annual Golden Globes, most all of the attending actors and actresses stood unified in a sea of black (or wore Time’s Up pins). Dressing in black resulted in a powerful solidarity statement, lending support to the ” Time’s Up”  and “Me To” movements and those who so courageously continue to speak out against sexual harassment and female inequality. The  days of watching award shows solely for the fashion are démodé, or are they?  Clothes at award shows are now more important than ever!  Oprah Winfrey’s Cecil B. DeMille AwardAward speech said it all : “a new day is on the horizon!”

From left Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd arrive at the awards

Side by side with Hollywood heavyweights stood female activists such as Monica Ramirez, a campaigner who fights sexual violence against farmworkers and Billie Jean King, the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association, whom Emma Stone portrays in Battle of the Sexes.

Oprah Winfrey  giving her Cecil B DeMille Award

Oprah Winfrey giving her Cecil B DeMille Award speech

While many celebrities dazzled on the stage, the red carpet was filled with fashion drama. Here are some of the biggest trends of the night: (All photos courtesy of Shutterstock).

THE NEW SUIT

Gal Gadot  in Tom Ford

Gal Gadot in Tom Ford

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Monse

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Monse

Alexis Bledel in Oscar de la Renta

Alexis Bledel in Oscar de la Renta

Allison Brie in Vassilis Zoulias

Allison Brie in Vassilis Zoulias

 

 BOWS

Margot Robbie in Gucci

Margot Robbie in Gucci

 

Tracee Ellis Ross in Marc Jacobs

Tracee Ellis Ross in Marc Jacobs

Emilia Clarke in Miu Miu

Emilia Clarke in Miu Miu

 

MIDAS TOUCH

Dakota Johnson in Gucci

Dakota Johnson in Gucci

 

Saoirse Ronan in Atelier Versace

Saoirse Ronan in Atelier Versace
Mary J. Blige in Custom Alberta Ferretti

Mary J. Blige in custom Alberta Ferretti

Kelly Clarkson in Christian Siriano

Kelly Clarkson in Christian Siriano

 

COVERED UP

Elisabeth Moss in Dior Haute Couture

Elisabeth Moss in Dior Haute Couture

Salma Hayek in Balenciaga

Salma Hayek in Balenciaga

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

 

Isabelle Huppert in Chloé

Isabelle Huppert in Chloé

 

PLUNGING NECKLINES

Issa Rae in Prabal Gurung

Issa Rae in Prabal Gurung

Kate Hudson in Valentino Haute Couture

Kate Hudson in Valentino Haute Couture

 

Golden Globes 2018: Every Look on the Red Carpet

COLD SHOULDER

Reese Witherspoon in Zac Posen at the Golden-Globes-2018

Reese Witherspoon in Zac Posen at the Golden-Globes-2018

Tarana Burke and Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Tarana Burke and Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton andBillie Jean King

Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton and Billie Jean King

 

Meryl Streep in custom Vera Wang and Ai Jen Poo

Meryl Streep in custom Vera Wang and Ai Jen Poo

Greta Gerwig in Oscar de la Renta

Greta Gerwig in Oscar de la Renta

 

SHORT

Millie Bobby Brown in Calvin Klein by Appointment and Repossi jewelry

Millie Bobby Brown in Calvin Klein by Appointment and Repossi jewelry

Kendall Jenner in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture

Kendall Jenner in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture

Halle Berry in Zuhair Murad

Halle Berry in Zuhair Murad

Heidi Klum in Ashi Studio

Heidi Klum in Ashi Studio

 

NOT YOUR BASIC TUXEDO

Noah Schnapp in Balmain

Noah Schnapp in Balmain

Golden Globes 2018: Every Look on the Red Carpet

James Franco in Salvatore Ferragamo and Dave Franco in Saint Laurent

James Franco in Salvatore Ferragamo and Dave Franco in Saint Laurent

Nick Jones in Versace

Nick Jonas in Versace

 

Winners of the night included:

MOVIES

Best motion picture, drama: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best motion picture, musical or comedy: “Lady Bird”

Best actress in a motion picture, drama: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best actor in a motion picture, drama: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Best actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy: James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”

Best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy: Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Best supporting actor, any motion picture: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best supporting actress, any motion picture: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Best director: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Best screenplay: Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

TELEVISION

Best television series, drama: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Best television series, musical or comedy: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Best limited series or motion picture made for television:”Big Little Lies”

Best actress in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television: Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”

Best actor in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television: Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”

Best actress in a television series, drama: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Best actor in a television series, drama: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”

Best actress in a television series, musical or comedy: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Best actor in a television series, musical or comedy: Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”

Best supporting actor in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television: Alexander Skarsgård, “Big Little Lies”

Best supporting actress in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television: Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”

TELL US, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE LOOK OF THE NIGHT? AND, SHOULD OPRAH RUN FOR PRESIDENT?