Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Interview with Amy Astley, Editor-in-Chief, Teen Vogue

Teen Vogue's Editor-in-Chief, Amy Astley, will be doing a book signing in our Times Square store on Tuesday, July 12th from 6pm-8pm. Amy's book, The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider's Guide to Careers in Fashion, offers an inside view into the fashion industry. It provides interviews, stories, and a behind the scenes look into the worlds of design, modeling, photography, and more. Anyone who wants to learn how to break into the industry should definitely pick up Amy's book, and if you're in New York City, you can get it signed! Teen Vogue editors will also be in attendance. To kick-off the event, we interviewed Amy to get some answers to our burning questions.

What personality traits do you think are most important for someone wanting to work in the fashion industry?
AA: Passion — a mad passion for fashion! You have to have that burning, core desire to be around clothes.

What is the most important piece of advice you have for aspiring fashionistas?
AA: Take assistant level jobs cheerfully and soak up every bit of information you can. If you are good, you will be noticed!

How can someone who wants to work in fashion stand out from the crowd?
AA: Do EVERYTHING really, really well. People will notice. Also, look great! Our business is about expressing yourself through clothing and beauty. Be gorgeous, be odd, be special, be unique, be out-there. Be yourself. Don’t try to look like someone else or who you think you are meant to emulate. Truly express yourself visually -- this too will be noticed. I want to understand what someone is thinking when I look at them. I like to see a lot of creativity, individuality.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career, and what did you learn from it?
AA: My biggest mistake shall go unmentioned — my motto is learn from your mistakes but don’t draw attention to them!

What drew you to work in the fashion industry?
AA: I am very visually driven. I am always pursuing beauty. Fashion is a very good fit for me.

What is your favorite (and least favorite) thing about working in fashion?
AA: My favorite thing about working in the magazine industry is meeting my fantastic readers. Young people really thrill and inspire me. Working in fashion suits me — it is very fast paced, always changing. Least favorite thing about working in fashion? You always feel sick of your wardrobe since you are seeing so many great new ideas months before they are available to buy.

What can someone do while they are in school to prepare for a career in fashion?
AA: Educate yourself. Watch tons of films and look at photography, art. Working in fashion is so much about a visual language of references. Look at old films and new. Go to museums, try to look at designer clothing up close in the best stores in your area. Learn about fabric and cutting. Read fashion books – there are so many. I love it when I meet a young person who has really delved into the history of fashion.

If you weren’t working in fashion, what would you be doing?
AA: I wanted very much to be a professional ballet dancer when I was younger. Maybe I would work in that field — like I said, I am always pursuing beauty, and ballet is the most beautiful thing on earth!

What’s next for you and Teen Vogue?
AA: Teen Vogue is always evolving — gotta keep it cool!

We thank Amy for taking the time to speak with us, and we encourage all of you to meet her at the book signing on July 12th at 6pm in our Times Square store. RSVP HERE.