Calynn Lawrence is a 21 year old TV Host and Published Fashion/Beauty/Entertainment Writer with over 6 years of industry experience. Her newly published ebook "Memoirs of a Fashion Industry Fighter" has already moved hundreds of copies in just a few weeks! She is also the Founder of the Fresh Faces Project which is a non profit campaign that focuses on giving young talent in the fashion and artistic industry free exposure on her website and her social media. She currently has a collective following of about 35 thousand across the board and her list of partnered businesses is quite extensive ranging from all walks of the creative industry.
- Fashion industry is often associated with glamour and media exposure! What is your perspective?
I feel that the fashion industry certainly has its bits of glamour and papparazzi. However, I believe that sometimes onlookers only see a certain visual that is put before them without knowing the grind work behind it. For example, much of my job now is spent on the red carpet, going to events as VIP Media. Thus, it is often that the VIP's will be treated quite well with front row seats at Fashion Week, free food and drinks, care gifts from the designers etc.
But, I still have not forgotten what it's like to be on the other side working tirelessly recruiting people, dressing models, scouring to find the other shoe that Model Ryan lost etc because that's how I began. And, I still do this for friends who may need some help with their shows now and then. I go into depth about this in my book, especially in my interning days.
I think that is why so many people don't take me seriously as a businesswoman because they feel like I am no more than a nuance socialite, when in fact I work harder than many of them may know.
- What are the main skills required for a successful career in fashion?
I feel that there are a couple of skills that prove to be rudimentary to being successful in fashion. One of them is the fact that you must be very diligent. Because it is such a competitive industry, you need to have immense drive in order to reach your goals. Also, I believe that having an artistic side is fundamental because fashion is an art. Unless you have creative nature then I feel like your ability to truly delve into fashion is negated. Lastly, you need to be studious and willing to learn. It is salient for you to know the history, present and future of all things fashion.
- What would be your advice for a young girl interested in a career in fashion? Good looking is enough?
No. Good looks are certainly not enough if you are trying to really get somewhere in your career. Even with modeling, many of them are beautiful but they endure such heavy training and long rehearsals, photo shoots, speaking engagements etc. Their hours tend to be very long. Plus, it rewires them to practically kill themselves in the gym and eating extremely healthy to stay at the smallest measurements.That is why they need to have a rooted passion for what they do because honestly modeling is a lot less glitzy than most imagine.
My advice for a young girl interested in pursuing a fashion career is to start as young as possible. If you know that you want to work in fashion as a young teen, start looking into classes or internships that you could take in the fashion industry. This will give you hands on experience to narrow the scope of what it is that you want to pursue in fashion. Quite frankly, I feel that if I had not started as a Nordstrom Intern at 15 that I would not be anywhere near where I am now.
- What does fashion mean to you?
"Fashion" to me means a myriad of things. I thing "fashion" is the collective embodiment of many aspects of life. Just to name a few. Fashion is art in psychology because of the crafty garment construction and strategic use of colors and patterns to evoke emotion, style and set demeanor. Fashion is trend in the fact that it is ever-changing based upon the wants of the consumer. Fashion is a shining beacon of zeal for some who make it their lives. Fashion is a melting pot for so many different things that I find it hard to denominate into a singular definition.
- What are your lessons learned from a career in fashion?
There are so many lessons that I have learned while working in fashion and I'm not even going to give too much depth. All I will say is that each one has to be ready for many humbling experiences, disappointments and failures in their stride to a prosperous career. That's not to sound defeatist in the sense that everyone is bound to fall flat. But, it is meant to prepare you to look at failures as a learning curve and a strengthening encounter as opposed to an automatic sign that you aren't fit for the industry.
- What are your professional plans for 2017?
I have very many plans. I will be going to NYFW at Gotham Hall with The Society, I have been nominated for a Chicago Oscar (hopefully I'll win), I plan on really amplifying the fresh Faces Project etc. I am going to be a powerhouse this year and I can't wait to make it happen. :)
CALYNN M LAWRENCE
PURCHASE BOOK: http://fashionthunderclap.blogspot.com/2016/11/i-just-published-my-first-real-novel.html
THE FRESH FACES PROJECT: http://fashionthunderclap.blogspot.com/2016/12/how-you-can-contribute-to-fresh-faces.html
Photos: Personal archive of Calynn M. Lawrene