Saturday, November 29, 2014

Something to Read: The Teen Vogue Handbook

Though I've debatably aged out of the Teen Vogue readership demographic, I'm still a sucker for its content. I have a long history with the miniature-sized mag. It's the first one that truly turned me on to my love for anything fashiony and editorial, and I swear it has nothing (something) to do with The Hills. 

Here's some proof. When I was in 7th grade, I laboriously sketched ideas for a Teen Vogue tshirt design contest only to find out that my submission never made it into consideration because I had failed to put enough postage on the package containing my final design (the envelope was returned to sender, aka me. Brutal). I got my first whiff of a personal scent when I received a sample-size tube of J'adore Dior from Teen Vogue It Girls, of which I wore too much and thought was pronounced dye-or. My favorite pastime of collaging would be a fruitless hobby if it weren't for the pages of mix-and-matched prints and sayings like "best summer ever" found in Teen Vogue. And then there was the time in 11th grade when, in search of seats to a sold out Jonas Brothers tour, I wrote to the magazine and asked if I could cover one of the concerts as a member of the press. They never responded so I bought overpriced tickets on eBay.


And here's where I admit that as an avid fan of Laguna Beach and all of its spin-offs (Newport Harbor was rudely underrated), I became enthralled with the idea of the seemingly glamorous job of pushing samples down LA streets and writing emails on glossy Mac desktop computers cultivated by Teen Vogue's participation on The Hills. I wanted to work in fashion, and Teen Vogue was fashion, so I went to its website and devoured its career content. I learned that then-beauty editor Eva Chen went to Johns Hopkins and that most of its interns were city students fulfilling academic credit. I enrolled in Saturday sewing and draping classes at FIT because I found out that aspiring fashion design students needed to have something called portfolios. I wasn't sure what I wanted to be or do, but I knew it had something to do with fashion, and Teen Vogue's website helped educate me on the different paths of getting there.

I stopped trying to correspond with the magazine after my failed attempt to secure a JoBros press pass but it must've realized its career content was helping suburban high schoolers like me. In 2009, the first Teen Vogue Handbook, an all-encompassing guide to working in fashion, was published. I had found my way to the liberal arts by then but the book still quenched my thirst for anything fashion industry-related.


On Friday, an updated version of the book came out with all new content. Though it's meant as a career guide, it's a good read even if you don't harbor industry ambitions. It features interviews with designers, editors, photographers, bloggers, and anyone else who can confidently say they've made it in fashion. Like, how did Marc Jacobs get his start? Or what does a model scout do? The day in the life of a YouTube beauty star? It's all in there.

So... go buy now!!! It's like a giant Teen Vogue and comes with a one-year subscription to the magazine, which, on a parting note, is the gift that keeps on giving if you're into collaging (seriously, I've made like 20 collages in the past ten years using its pages.)

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