This was a three-part interactive seminar that showcased famous leaders within the fashion industry, like Rebecca Minkoff and Marie Claire’s new Editor in Chief Aya Kanai. This event also showcased social media influencers, Apphia Castillo, Shelcy Joseph, Igee Okafor, Sophie Sumner, and Luke Ditella. These fashion names discussed their careers and shared bits of wisdom for aspiring designers, editors, and influencers.
The three days began with a discussion on the Rebecca Minkoff brand. Leonard Choong, VP of Accessories and Shoes; Daniela Bocresion, Chief Commercial Officer; Victoria Garcia, Social Media Manager; Melissa Rich, Account Director at Wetherly Group; and Eboni Chase, Account Director at Wetherly Group joined Minkoff herself and spoke about their involvement with the brand.
To view the session, click here.
Popular Social Media Influencers
The third session focused on social media influencers. During “The Age of Influence,” panelists broke down many narratives surrounding the job description of influencers.
To view the session, click here.
Marie Claire’s Aya Kanai
This discussion was noteworthy for me as I am a fashion media student at LIM. It was so great to hear about Aya’s journey through her fashion media career and the various companies she’s worked with. Aya briefly discussed her college career and how immersed she was in her studies. While being a Visual Arts major does not come up in her day to day career life, she notes the work ethic and critical thinking she developed in college as something that’s helped her in her media career.
As an NYC native, she had been surrounded by fashion and always loved it. In college, she began her career in fashion media by interning at New York Magazine. There, she worked on a set of photoshoots and in-office faxing and writing clothing credits. Through this job, she got connected with the soon-to-be Features Editor at Vogue and landed a job as a fashion assistant at Teen Vogue when it was a newer publication. As a fashion assistant, she worked with brands and sourced accessories for shoots. This meant working on the shoots themselves and also attending many brand events.
Aya mentioned she attended a sock brand event and ended up meeting someone that was working at Nylon. They hit it off and had an impromptu interview, leading Aya to work at Nylon. Aya worked her way through various skills and positions at the publication until she went on to work for Shop Bop, an online boutique acquired by Amazon in 2006. “Working for an e-commerce brand was like a mini-business school,” Aya says. It required knowledge of the business mindset in conjunction with media and marketing skills.
While she loved her Shop Bop job, she was eventually offered the Fashion Editor position with Hearst magazines, where she would go on to work on Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. Through this change, she realized how important taking big opportunities is, even if you’re comfortable where you are. This part of her career opened doors to her working in the entertainment space on the show Project Runway: Junior. Aya was very busy during this time but she loved it.
In November 2019, Aya was hired as Editor in Chief of Marie Claire. She never thought she would have such a top position in this fashion media field, but she is grateful. Being Editor in Chief allowed her to reshape the narrative of this leadership role. Aya says, “The days of an Editor in Chief being so high up on a pedestal and untouchable is such a dated concept— that’s not my personality.” Aya hand-selects new members of the team and she takes part in meetings to ensure a collaborative workspace at Marie Claire. Leading this print, digital, and interactive magazine through a pandemic has been challenging, but her team has made it work and has developed efficient processes that will be used with future issues.
To view the session with Aya, click here.
Aya is an inspiration to me and many others aspiring to work in fashion media. Through the Fashion Link event, she was able to share how connections, taking risks, and craving to learn more and work on more can lead to success in this industry.
I’m proud that LIM College was part of such a great event. It is amazing to see what these talented people have achieved and what can be learned from them. This event was especially enriching to students who joined the virtual conversations. We are excited to continue working with The Daily on more events like this.