Brown Bag speaker shares fashion industry insights

By Gwenneth Peralta
Correspondent

Caroline Vazzana works in the fashion industry, but she goes by many titles.

The 25-year-old New Yorker discussed how small actions can lead to big outcomes in her Brown Bag presentation, “Brand and Social Media in the Digital World,” on Nov. 10.

As a fashion writer and editor, stylist, social influencer and creative consultant, Vazzana is a busy young woman.

Vazzana always looked up to major fashion designers like Betsey Johnson. As an adult, Vazzana got the chance to not only to interview Johnson, but to work alongside her and become friends.

After networking and forming connections in the fashion industry, Vazzana was asked to style two people for the annual MTV Video Music Awards when she was 20 years old. To someone with a big dream, but no real-world styling experience, this was huge opportunity.

“It was one of those things that you kind of can’t believe someone’s asking you to do something like this,” Vazzana said.

Vazzana was making a name for herself, despite the minimal experience she had at this point in her career. Vazzana credits part of this success to social media.

As her senior year at Albright College was coming to an end, Vazzana had to look for a full-time job. Social media became a large part of how she branded herself in the application process.

“I don’t like filling out a job application,” Vazzana said. “It feels like it’s just going into a black hole or portal, where you might never hear anything.”

A social media platform like Instagram seemed to be better option for her, since she could express herself professionally through pictures captioned with her thoughts. She used social media to reach out to various magazines, editors and directors.

Vazzana explained how she started out as a fashion assistant in New York City for Teen Vogue magazine after reaching out to the publication several times. Even though she was offered a marketing position instead of an editorial position, she was still willing to take the job at Teen Vogue.

“I’ll take anything,” Vazzana said. “I’ll literally mop the floors if they let me.”

After discussing her job struggle, Vazzana gave some advice to the audience.

“No is never a final answer,” Vazzana said. “No just means ‘not right now.’”

Vazzana enjoys being her own boss despite encountering difficulties. (Emily Lo / Staff Photographer)

Vazzana eventually wanted to be her own boss after working hard for other people dur ing her time as a freelance fashion writer.

“I was one of those people that never liked to do one thing for too long,” Vazzana said.

Vazzana’s book, “Making It in Manhattan,” will be released in August. The book is based on a website she established during her flourishing career.

“It’s really been fun this year to see the site grow and evolve and become its own thing,” Vazzana said.

While Vazzana enjoys being her own boss, she acknowledges that it does have its difficulties.

“I’m always constantly working,” Vazzana said. “It’s a little hard to turn the switch off.”

Despite having a hectic schedule, Vazzana is optimistic about her future.

“My mindset is ‘do it while you’re young,’” Vazzana said. “Build your empire that you want to build and then turn around later and thank yourself.”