Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Conversation with Derek Lam & Jenna Lyons At My Old College

My former flame invited me to hear two of fashion's best and brightest from the class of, well, let's just say, way back speak. This is their story (insert Law & Order music)

When did you realize that fashion was the career for you?
Jenna: I was a really tall and gawky kid back in high school so my clothes never fit. I took home economics to alter my horribly fitting clothes and never turned back...

Derek: I kind of grew up around fashion. My mother made wedding dresses and worked in a factory. It all kind of rubbed off on me.

What were you both like in college, during those beloved school days?
I was already studying at Otis; Parsons' West Coast campus, so when I transferred to the New York location I was an L.A. girl, in the 1980s, enough said, but Derek was chic from the get go!

D: I merely arrived in custom made Comme Des Garcons and worked really hard.

Any words of advice for incoming and present students?
The bar at Parsons is set very, very high, so you have to make it happen. But the thing is, anyone can make it happen!

Internships are very important, how did you make the most of them?
Internships really broaden your mind and are your chance to really learn new things. "I wish I knew more than wovens". There is so much more to fashion, especially nowadays; accessories, leather, shoes, etc.

D: "When I have interns I move them around". I shuffle them from public relations to sales to sales to design.

On the Parsons reputation?
J: I nearly had a panic attack upon seeing the building. My first thoughts were, do I have my 25 sketches for homework?

D: Ditto...

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