Friday, June 7, 2013

Confessions of a Fashion Student- Kristen Mullins on Juggling Life, Trends, and Personal style

Ever wondered how it felt to be a fashion student? During my time as an aspiring fashion journalist, I have come across many people with differing opinions on the topic. Some think it to be an extremely glamorous time of a students life, with cocktails being sipped every weekend while studying dress up for classes. Then, there have been those who have a more realist view of the lifestyle, involving a students head in a book and living in a 24 hour competitive environment. In way's, both are truthful interpretations. There is a certain aura of chicness when studying to go into the fashion industry, but it is also a lot of work and VERY competitive. If the fashion students are serious about getting ahead of everyone else, experience wise, they spend most of their time as a Harmione Granger then a Kim Kardashian. That's why it is vital to stay a head of the 5th Avenue curve then fall behind. With that being said, don't forget that dividing one's time equally between school, work, and play is the best decision anyone can make while studying a career that requires constant multitasking. In the long run, it will save your life and job like a a sexy lifeguard in an episode of Baywatch. If not, you will just drown among a sea of wannabees fashion visionary's, instead of actually being one.

That is why, while going on my own journey as a style based college student, I got a second opinion on how it is to be one, from Deans List student at the New York fashion university  LIM, Kristen Mullins. Mullins is not only a honor roll receiver, but is also a member of the international business honor society, Delta Mu Delta. She tells me the dirty little secrets about her time as a current fashion student and what she does to handle it all.  Okay so they are a little more interesting than dirty. This isn't Pretty Little Liars afterall, except for the awesome ensembles of course.

Fashion is one of the most iconic industries in world. Why and when did you decide you wanted to be a part of the bustling environment of style?  Did anyone inspire you, besides Carrie Bradshaw and her Manolos of course?

Kristen: I was very young when I decided that I wanted to pursue my dreams in the fashion industry. In the second grade, I read the book The Hundred Dresses. It became my all time favorite book and I related to the main character, Wanda. She wore the same blue dress every day and her class mates made fun of her constantly. She then told them that she had hundreds of dresses but she really didn't. To fit in, she drew one hundred different dresses and showed them to the girls in her class. They were all in awe of her talent and dresses. This is where my love for drawing kicked in. I have been drawing dresses since I was 7 years old and I knew that I had a strong passion for the fashion industry.

Now that you are a student attending a fashion based University, you are so close to accomplishing your dreams. Of course, like most careers in the industry, it isn’t easy. How do you keep a positive attitude about your future goals, while you are presently swamped with papers, tests, and other tedious assignments…and let's not forget men and parties? What is your key to multitasking it all? 

Kristen: It gets really difficult sometimes. This industry is so competitive and there is always someone who wants the same things as you do. I try to differentiate myself when pursuing job opportunities and internships. However, if you do not get one job it is easy to get discouraged. I stay positive by staying busy. Having one up on the latest news, trends, and celebrities can really set you apart from others. You can never be to educated about the fashion world! I have learned, since high school, that the harder you work at things, the better results you will see. I grew up multitasking with school, sports, social life, and time for myself, so I became a very good scheduler! And everyone knows you can't have a normal life without a social life. I make time for relationships and partying when it is necessary. A girl's best relationship is the one with herself!

Speaking of relationships with one's self, what is your ultimate goal for yourself, pertaining to your career? Where do you want to work and why? 

Kristen: My ultimate dream job would be a visual merchandiser. I love the visual aspect of the fashion industry because it allows and embraces creativity. Whether at retail level or corporate level, I would wake up every day wanting to go to work. Every day is a different experience when working in visual merchandising. I was a Visual Merchandising and Display intern at Anthropologie last fall, and it was so much fun. There is so much room for ideas and perspectives to be considered and analyzed. I would love to work at Ralph Lauren because of their amazing window displays. They are always able to tell a story with their displays that captivate customers every season. I would want to be working for a company that creates a lifestyle just like Ralph Lauren does. Being able to work in an imaginative environment with a team of visionaries sounds like a dream to me.

It's definitely a gift that you have a dream and the motivation to pursue it.  Do you think that it is possible for anyone to one day experience their stylish dreams, being that the industry can be so rough to break through? 

Kristen: Absolutely! It is very possible for anyone to pursue the dreams of their choice. Although, like any dream it comes with hard work and responsibility. I would not be where I am right now if it wasn't for following my dreams and not letting anything stand in my way. Through dedication to my schoolwork and tireless hours of learning the ins and outs of the fashion industry, I was able to make my way from an inner city community to the affluent city of Manhattan.

Is there one attribute that you, as a student and future style maven, believe to be vital for those trying to have successful career in the field?

Kristen:The one attribute that I think is essential for students who wish for a successful future, is focus. If you are not focused it is hard to make it in this industry. Between competition and the fight for the highest GPA, students can struggle if they let things get the best of them. To go far, focus is the key to success.

Besides focus, environment must play a key role as well. For instance, you go to school in the Fashion capitol of the United States. Does being surrounded by all that fashion daily, help when persevering?

Mullins attending the Delta Mu Delta induction ceremony
Kristen: The best thing about going to a fashion school is definitely the New York City atmosphere. Living in NYC is the most phenomenal opportunity I ever had. The constant frenzy of fashion, celebrities, and art is mind blowing. I have had the best experiences living there and I am grateful for all that has come my way.  My school, LIM College, was and is the reason for all my success and recent endeavors. The amount of events, jobs, and internships they provide for us students is really convenient. However, it is up to us to network and make something out of the opportunities they give us.

Let’s get to the good stuff. You are a young student with of course educational and career based goals. What about personal life though? Are you a party girl at heart and man admirer or have you chosen to put your future career first and everything else aside? 

Kristen: I have always been a determined person. I grew up in a single parent home dealing with a lot of unfortunate circumstances throughout my childhood. Going through hardships has made me the strong and independent woman I am today. I am thankful I was able to persevere through the dilemmas I was up against because it instilled a motivation in me. So, I would say I am more educational and career based goal seeker because I am determined to be successful. I would do anything for my career and I am able to filter the important and not so important things in my life. I mean in every movie, TV show, and reality show you see fashionistas having to put their personal life on hold for their dreams. The Devil Wears Prada is a perfect example! I knew what I was getting into and I don't mind being left out of partying and relationships. But of course, who wouldn't want a guy to complain about their boss to? I know that everything will fall into place once I have my most important goals completed first!

Well said. Style is very thrilling, so who wouldn't want to make it their whole world? It surrounds us every day.  That’s why personal style is always a must.  Are there any current trends that you are obsessed with or are you more of a trendsetter yourself? 

Kristen: I am obsessed with any new trends. Recently, I have been into asymmetrical skirts and silhouettes because they are the new twist on modern shapes. I love when designers push the limit for structure on dresses and clothing because you can imagine so much with the cut of a garment. I am always the first person to try something new and outlandish than my friends. That is why I love fashion. One day I can be bohemian chic and the next day I can be edgy. I also try to add something that is constant to my personal style so I don't necessarily dress like everyone else. I like taking risks and being bold. That is my way of making  my wardrobe do the talking for my personality.

Are there also any trends that you can’t stand and wish would just disappear already? If you are thinking sagging pants I totally agree! 

Kristen: Sagging pants should never be acceptable in any atmosphere! However, another trend I am seeing is the cartoon print. Don't get me wrong I am all for Pop Art, but the cartoon print on clothes is getting really gaudy. A lot of stores are now incorporating the print into their collections, but I do not see how that could be flattering on anyone! Prints are already hard to pull off as it is and by placing comic strips on them, it is just adding more fuel to the fire!

What about guys? What kind of style do you feel is most flattering for men?  

Kristen: I love guys that put effort into their style. There comes a time where guys become men and they should start thinking more about how they dress. I think it is so easy for a guy to throw on a pair of jeans and white t-shirt that actually fit their body shape. Add a blazer, a flannel, or a cardigan to dress up or down their look and they're set to go!

What do you suggest every guy should definitely own and wear?

Kristen: The best thing for a guy to enhance their style is his shoes. From sneakers to Cole Haan's, you can really understand a guy's style by their choice of shoe. My advice for men is to buy clothes that fit or are tailored because it really does help in their appearance. I am a sucker for a man who is trendy and knows what looks good on him.

I totally agree! Now, I like to end all my interviews with an inspirational quote. Do you have one that you created yourself or do you live by another? 

Kristen: I live my life by the quote "What is for you, will not pass you." This encourages me to not stress on the small things in life because what is meant to be, no matter a job opportunity, a relationship, or your own happiness, will happen in the future the way it is intended to. I refuse to dwell on the past!

Keeping Up With Kristen
 Twitter- @kristen_mullins
 Facebook- Kristen Marie Mullins


   Full Photo Credit for Princess Jasmine Photo- http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Princess_Jasmine

No comments:

Post a Comment