On Sunday, March 25, 826 Valencia held one of our Adult Writers’ Seminars, this time to discuss the ins-and-outs of fashion writing and the secrets of getting your foot in the door of this traditionally exclusive industry. The mood was like a high-end runway show; one-by-one, sharply dressed urbanites filled 826 Valencia’s writing lab, clad in mixed prints, shift dresses, and accessories galore.
Our esteemed panel included Lauren Goodman (Vogue, Fashion Director of Domino), Gina Pell (Splendora.com and Joyus.com), Lorraine Sanders (SfIndieFashion.com, SF Chronicle), Laura Vrcek (ModCloth.com), and Katie Hintz-Zambrano (Refinery 29) alongside our very own moderator Tim Ratanapreukskul, a longtime friend and veteran of 826 Valencia, who designs under the name Subject-Object. We’d like to thank our panel of style writers who donated their time and expertise, helping 826 raise nearly $2,000, all of which will allow us to continue to offer free educational programs to students in the Bay Area.
“What is fashion writing?” moderator Ratanapreukskul asked. “Is the landscape shifting from print to digital media? And as journalists, where do our responsibilities lie?” Our panelists answered these questions and more, playing off one another’s dexterity and poise. “We’re trying to engage with the girl on multiple levels. Does she cook? Where does she go out to eat? Where does she go with her friends? I think representing a brand encapsulates all of that,” said Vrcek. The conversation moved from topics like the necessity of branding one’s self in the age of blogging and individual style to how quality content can be preserved as we shift towards immediacy (i.e. the rise of concise and well written “ten-second articles”).
Our well-informed audience didn’t shy away from hard-hitting questions about ethnic, age, and gender diversity within the fashion industry. Another interesting element of the evening was learning about the backgrounds of some our audience members; a software engineer, an attorney, bloggers, and magazine interns were among those in attendance. Not only did that speak to the mass appeal of fashion writing, but it also suggests what tomorrow’s fashion writing world may look like. It’s without a doubt that many attendees left with goodies to think about and a fresh perspective on the fashion industry and writing process.
826 would like to extend a warm thanks to our wonderful panelists and moderator for their generosity and brilliance, as well as a great thank you to our audience members for their open enthusiasm. Your support goes towards the young writers of 826 Valencia who might one day follow in your footsteps and become awe-inspiring journalists of their own.
Stay tuned for our next Adult Writer’s Seminar! We’ll look forward to seeing you there.