In May 2016, I took a leap of faith and enrolled in the Teen Vogue — Parsons School Design fashion course. I had this gut feeling that told me that I needed to head that direction, as I have been a fashion enthusiast for quite sometime.
The course is taught by Teen Vogue editors and top faculty members from Parsons at the New School, New York. It has been a learning journey for me. I learned a lot of hands-on stuff, from fashion design to production to photography to marketing and PR.
These include Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, international fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, Calvin Klein designer Francesca Sammaritano and Patrick Michael Hughes, faculty member at Parsons — The New School.
The one-year-long course gave me access to a wealth of resources from the Teen Vogue team; they are the leaders in fashion. As the sister magazine to the Vogue, Teen Vogue has established its mark as a go-to magazine in terms of fashion, politics and current affairs.
I feel honoured to be part of a group of amazing alumni who have passed through the school, although studying for degrees.
One of the most influential people at Conde Nast, the parent company of Teen Vogue had this to say about the course:
“I am always so encouraged by the number of young people I meet who express an interest in pursuing careers in fashion. Among them are the next Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, and Tori Burch—this program will give students the real-world knowledge and training to be successful.”
Anna Wintour, Artistic Director of Condé Nast and Editor in Chief of Vogue
As if that is not enough, Rihanna has just been given a honorary degree from Parsons School of Design.
“Parsons is proud to present Rihanna with this honor, as she has inspired millions through her powerful music and distinct style,” said Joel Towers, the school’s executive dean, in a statement. “She has championed our recent alumni on a number of occasions by wearing their designs. She is also creating important philanthropic programs, which support communities by fostering effective education, health, and emergency response programs around the world through her Clara Lionel Foundation.”
“It’s such a thrill to know that a design school as prestigious as Parsons School of Design would present me with this honor,” Rihanna said in the statement. “I consistently find creative and exciting designs coming from Parsons alumni, so I feel a deep connection to the school.” (She’s worn pieces by several recent grads, including Matthew Adams Dolan and Melody Ya Jun Lin.) “But I am especially grateful that Parsons would recognize me for the work I’ve done in regards to philanthropy.”
It’s not the only laurel she’s gotten recently for her charity work: Harvard named her its Humanitarian of the Year last month, an award she accepted with an immortal ponytail flick.
Going back to my journey at Parsons School of Design, I did a lot of practical activities, including designing my signature handbag, conceptualizing and carrying out several editorial and commercial shoots. I also got an adorable certificate!
I am so sad that I missed a trip to New York in January due to financial issues. I was to visit the Conde Nast Offices for the Teen Vogue Experience. I hope to do so next year!
All the same, I am grateful for the opportunity!