Exclusive Interview: Author Caroline Vazzana Talks NYFW, Career Advice, And Her Fashion Journey: Part Two

Attention fashion students! We have a new textbook for you. Caroline Vazzana, a New York fashion blogger, stylist, and creative director, has written the ultimate guide to navigating the fashion world. Making It In Manhattan follows Vazzana through her fashion journey in New York, from discovering her love of styling to her college internships to her very first fashion week and more. All the while, Vazzana shares tips and tricks she’s learned along the way to help young fashionistas make it in the industry. She agreed to give TheTalko the inside scoop about her inspirations, proudest moments, and fondest memories. Read part two of the exclusive interview below.

TheTalko (TT): Your book tells the story of a very determined and independent young woman maneuvering her way through the fashion world in New York. If there were points in your journey where you weren't quite sure how to proceed, who did you turn to for advice?

Caroline Vazzana (CV): I think for sure there are times in anyone’s career where you aren’t sure where to go or what to do or which avenue to go down. I think a big time for me was trying to decide if I wanted to leave my full-time job or not because it’s a big leap of faith. I turned to my mom. I spoke to her a lot about what she thought and felt. I spoke to coworkers and peers of mine, people who were already in the influencer realm. I spoke to a lot of bloggers.

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I’m a very curious person; I ask a lot of questions, so I tried to turn to as many people as possible in my field to ask them, “How did you establish yourself? How did you grow as an influencer? How did you make money? How did you do any of this?” So, I tried my best to ask my peers for advice as well as close people in my family who know me better than anyone.

TT: You share stories and lessons from several fashion weeks in Making It In Manhattan. Do you have anything to share from the recent New York Fashion Week?

CV: I love fashion week. I think it’s so magical. But this fashion week was really special because I got to do a partnership with Tadashi Shoji, a brand which I’ve been going to for years. I got to bring one of my followers to the show with me and we both got to be dressed by the brand and sit front row together and everything. She had never been to fashion week ever before. It was really so special because in the book I wrote about my very first fashion week so getting to take someone to their first fashion week and giving that first magical and amazing experience that I talk about was great.

(Via: Caroline Vazzana)

It was funny, because since she had read the book, she said she was thinking about what I had written while waiting for the show to start and she could, like, hear my voice the entire time talking about the first fashion week experience, which was so special to me because that was the whole point of me writing the book. I wanted to inspire the next generation, inspire my followers, so to have her say she could hear my voice telling her what to do and not to do just made me so happy. Seeing her face at her very first show was such a great experience.

TT: You mentioned in Making It In Manhattan that you are "still striving toward your end goals in the fashion industry." What are those end goals?

CV: I would say just to keep growing the brand. I think I definitely still have a lot to learn. I’m learning every single day. Learning how to build a brand and write a book was really fun for me to do, so I think just continuing growing the Making It In Manhattan brand, the voice, and just establishing myself in the industry as this fun style person who you can turn to for fashion advice or career advice. Maybe speaking at conferences or on panels and definitely writing a second book for sure and growing the Making It In Manhattan community.

TT: What inspired you to write Making It In Manhattan? What do you hope readers gain from the book?

CV: I was inspired to write Making It In Manhattan after I left my job at Teen Vogue and started at InStyle. I was thinking about all the amazing, funny experiences that have happened to me and stories where I was like, “Wow, if my younger self could hear this right now, she’d be jaw-dropped. So I just started writing them down because I didn’t want to forget them and then soon enough I had so many stories that I let my friend read them. She was like, “Yeah, I think this could be a book.”

So I thought about how cool it would be to compile all of these stories and to give them to my followers so they could learn from it and have a guide that I didn’t have. I was learning as I was going along, and I didn’t know anyone when I was starting out, so being a voice for people so they don’t make the mistakes I’ve made was kind of the point of it.

What I hope people take away from it is, really you can achieve anything if you work hard at it and love it. I think loving it is so important because it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a lot of long nights, running around the city carrying garment bags, maybe in the snow. It’s going to be hard work but it’s so worth it and so exciting. I’m just teaching my followers that really no dream is too big, as cliché as that sounds, and that anything is possible, and that you should just be nice to people. I talk in my book about how crazy situations will happen, but you have to put your best foot forward because you never know who you’re going to run into.

I also just want to spread positivity in the industry. I always say the fashion industry seems so, “You can’t sit with us,” so I wanted the book to be like, “No, you can sit with us, let’s talk about this.” I wanted it to be written like a journal and really approachable. I wanted it to be a fun, nontraditional take on career advice.

Pick up a copy of Vazzana’s book, Making It In Manhattan, today for even more anecdotes and advice!

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