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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

#17intheCity – Seventeen Fashion Experience

#17intheCity - Seventeen Fashion Experience 1

Greetings fashionistas, friends and fam,

Our Seventeen Fashion Experience began with a wonderful night on the town where we shared a family-style dinner at Dos Caminos in the legendary Times Square. We spent dinner chatting with all our new friends and definitely took advantage of gaining a few new followers on Insta, of course!

The next day, was our first official day and our first visit to the Hearst Tower! As we walked up, you could hear the ouuus and ahhhs of each of the girls as they looked up at the beautiful modern architecture of the building. We began with a tour of the tower and a visit to the Good Housekeeping floor. We then headed into the Hearst Theatre where the Seventeen publishing editors introduced themselves and lead a panel Q&A discussion. The editors asked the participants for their opinions to help shape future issues of the magazine. The girls also gained some insight on research, making connections, having the guts to reach out, and the power of a “thank you” note. They also chatted with some of the professionals to get the inside scoop on everything from dealing with celebrity clients to ways of gaining opportunities in the fashion industry. Donna Kalajian, Publishing Director for Cosmopolitan magazine, talked to the girls about the power of passion, persistence as well the importance of prep-work. Donna also emphasized that the girls are already “on the right track” by being a part of the Seventeen Fashion Experience.

Despite the crazy weather this evening, it did not stop us!! Pizza was on the way and we took this opportunity to get to know everyone a little better while watching one of our personal favs, Gossip Girl.  Following our movie sesh, we ventured off to the Chelsea Pier to spend the rest of our night bowling at one of the city’s cool bowling lounges.

Day three started back at the Hearst Tower with small group meetings with the editors of art and photo, beauty, fashion and features.  The girls spoke more intimately with each of the editors and did everything from checking out the beauty and fashion closets to sharing their “embarrassing moments” and opinions that may be included in issues to come. The participant also gave feedback on future covers and were given a sneak peek as to what is being included in upcoming months; their opinions were greatly valued by each of the editors. Next up was the meeting with the digital media team who, not only shared their energy, but also revealed some celeb gossip and how they find reliable information to include on the seventeen.com and its social media channels. The panel inspired the girls by revealing their varied backgrounds and how they ended up in their “dream job” with Seventeen magazine. The editors advised the girls that demonstrating their passion, working extremely hard at internships and following-up with people you meet is key in the fashion industry. They also provided the girls with insider tips on how to build their social following, how to be featured in the magazine and their most memorable moments interviewing celebs (aka a casual lunch with Taylor Swift… SAY WHAT?!). To finish the day off, we took a trip up to Top of The Rock where we all had the best view of the city.

The next day began with a trip to Chinese Laundry where we met Bob Goldman, CEO of Chinese Laundry, and learned about trend forecasting. We took a look at some of the new collections and created a mood board using existing trend books created by Chinese Laundry. This process consisted of using the shoe as inspiration to establish a brand name for the participants’ selected collection and determining the target market of their buyers. Lastly, the executives at Chinese Laundry surprised us with a SUPER SNEAK PEEK of the company’s new logo that has not yet hit stores… most people in the company hadn’t seen it yet!  As if this wasn’t cool enough, we then visited the JC Penney design studio in SOHO where we met with Maren Hartman, Divisional Director of Women’s Trend, as well as Contemporary Fashion Designer, Ra’mon-Laurence, from Project Runway Season 6. The girls could not contain their enthusiasm! Hartman shared ways in which they forecast trends and advised the girls that “the only person who’s going to make anything happen for you is YOU”. By this she meant that they must be confident in their abilities, take action, be passionate, and “be bold, not afraid”! Our busy day continued with a trip to the American Eagle showroom for a press preview. It was absolutely stunning seeing their new December/January collection that they had pitched to buyers and magazine editors earlier that day. The women all shared their experiences interning/working with the company along with what they do in regards to Public Relations in American Eagle’s head office. To end a whirlwind of a day, we headed to Times Square and everyone had time to explore the famous area and have dinner.  “The Ride” then toured us across New York City in the most glamorous way possible: as we drove around in a theatre-style bus, we were greeted by a tap dancing business woman, ballerina and ballerino in Columbus circle and even celebrated New Years Eve in Times Square! It was finally time for bed as the girls rushed in with absolute excitement from the incredible day we had!


The following morning we were greeted with some fresh NYC bagels (shout-out to DKC for hooking us up #blessed).  Not only did they provide great bagels, but DKC taught us a lot about Public Relation.  A panel of executives at the firm lead a PR101 session, teaching us everything from how to land a new client, to running a red carpet in the middle of winter, to planning product launch events, to how best to react in a crisis. We learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes work that is not-so-glam but critical to the industry. They also shared some insider celeb stories about their partnerships with celebrity endorsers like Rihanna, Jessica Simpson and Ciara. To close off an incredible session, each of the girls received a pair of classic Keds as part of the brand’s 100th birthday and designed their own shoes (what could be more fun?!). We then headed to Cotton Inc. where we learned about the importance of cotton in today’s world along with the different advertising and marketing campaigns they’ve recently launched, like the Denim Recycling program.  We also learned about their partnership with blogger Jacey Duprie and even skyped with the Damsel in Dior (SAY WHAAAAT?!) during the session to ask her questions for insight from an influencer in the industry.  She advised the girls to take as many different internships as possible and emphasized the importance of taking YOU time to recharge and be your best and most passionate self. Our visit also included the cutest candy bar with specially-made, DENIM-INSPIRED cookies (that were not only delicious but def instagrammable, I might add)!! The girls then experimented with future trends on their style boards as the “Trend Forecasters”. To finish off a great day, we headed over to Chelsea Market where we had a relaxing dinner, exquisite Doughnuttery desserts and a fun time at the trendy flea market.

It’s been an unexplainable week to say the least. The girls have truly been living the dream with Seventeen in New York City (#17intheCity). We are LOVING each and every moment in the city that never sleeps.


Seventeen Gal

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