I am two weeks and one course in to my certificate in Fashion Industry Essentials with Teen Vogue & Parsons School of Design and I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned. But I will try, anyway! For someone who has always been interested in fashion, I’m surprised at how much more there is to it than what you see and what youthink you know. It’s an amazing feeling to be excited about what you’re studying, and after these two weeks, I’m very inspired and optimistic about my future in the fashion industry.
The first course is about Unlocking Visual Style. It asks you to look at fashion and see the story, the culture, and the history that has influenced it. It’s all about the bigger picture. I find myself looking at iconic fashion trends that I have always loved, even something as simple as stripes, and seeing the real world relevance behind these trends. I have really been blown away by the content, the creative assignments, the career skills, and the fashion experts I’ve experienced so far in the course.
The lessons are unexpectedly interactive, and they include class discussions that allow you to connect with people, ask questions, and learn from others. It’s a great addition to the online course, as it really makes you feel like you are a part of something. I follow some of my classmates on Instagram and Pinterest, and it’s just another way of getting inspiration from like-minded people. As fashion lovers, we’re all naturally very creative and visual but our different backgrounds and experiences evoke different opinions — I love meeting and hearing from my classmates from all over the U.S. and the world.
So far, I’ve done six short assignments, but it’s nothing like the homework you’re used to getting at school. The lessons help you learn how to identify, develop, and create your visual style, which has made me more aware of the visual style I have already created for myself in my daily life. This can be seen on my blog, my Instagram account, in what I wear, and in how I have decorated my apartment. I’ve always loved fashion, but the course has really helped me identify my own style and realize I can use it as an asset to further my career in the fashion industry.
Plus, at the end of the course, the assignments will serve as a fashion portfolio that effectively showcase my visual style, which will help when I’m applying for jobs.
The top five things I’ve learned (so far!):
- Manage your time appropriately: After the first week, I realized I was spending a lot of time getting through the lessons, purely because I found the topics so interesting! I decided it was necessary to schedule my time on the course, so that I would progress through the lessons, assignments, and career development at a steady pace and complete it on time. Two weeks can creep up on you very quickly so it’s important to stay on top of it.
- If you’re going to go far, go far with the help of others: Being able to connect with the class by asking questions and following their progress on the course has really helped me take more from the course.
- Develop your visual style in everything you do: This course has opened my eyes to how important it is to have a defined visual style. I’ve learned that my social media activity, my shopping habits, my endless surfing the web, and all the time I’ve spent delving into fashion magazine after fashion magazine over the past few years hasn’t been a waste of time. It has been more than just a hobby — I’ve been creating my visual style.
- Work hard: When I first heard about this course, I felt like it was a dream come true, but as the saying goes “Dreams don’t work, unless you do.” There’s a lot of great content in the course and you will take from it what you put in.
- Believe in yourself (and your style): For me, one of the most interesting aspects of this experience has been being able to share my opinion on the fashion lessons and also to hear the opinions of others. Be true to your own taste and have fun with it!
After completing the first course, I couldn’t be more excited for the next eight weeks ahead. I have already learned so much; I feel like I am looking at fashion and trends with a new set of eyes. My own visual style has definitely become more defined and I can see a career path in fashion in the future for myself.
Photos by Edelle Kenny @edellecarmelkenny