Fashion Insiders Share Their Path to Success

Fashion insiders share their path to success by Chrissy Rutherford

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Aliza Licht, SVP Global Communications

“I received a toy sewing machine from my Grandma Hilda for my fourth birthday. She wasn’t a designer by trade, but rather by passion, sewing my mother her own custom-designed frocks. My use of the sewing-machine was far less impressive, sewing tissues together to make a very fragile, spot-clean-only look for Barbie.”

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Edguardo Osorio, Founder of Aquazurra Shoes

“I started working in fashion when I was 14 years old, but I knew I wanted to be in fashion since much earlier. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been interested in art, and in creating things, people and spaces more beautiful. I’ve always had a fascination with shoes. I remember admiring my mother’s shoe closet when I was little – and  I grew up around women – my mother had 4 sisters and they always took me shopping with them. I’ve always very much enjoyed the company of women and it was very interesting to me how shoes could change a woman. When you hear high heels, you have to stand straight, pushing your chest out as well as your behind. When you walk in heels, if you know how to, every move becomes more sensual, more elegant.”

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Jennifer Fisher, Founder of Jennifer Fisher Jewellery

“My grandfather was a silversmith and I would sit outside in his workshop with him most nights before dinner. He would come over every afternoon after playing Polo, and watching him work would always make me think, ‘what I would make if I could…’, but the true moment was just before graduating college. I studied business with a marketing emphasis and a fine art minor at USC. I was interning on the ad side at a magazine in Los Angeles and would see the racks roll down the hall for shoots and was jealous on a daily basis – I ultimately knew I was working in the wrong department. I left that after a few weeks and then interned under Jeanne Yang (who was amazing and inspiring) and Luis Barajas (the founder of Flaunt magazine) at Detour magazine before graduating college. I then worked as a freelance stylist for over 12 years in Los Angeles in TV and advertising.

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Justin OShea, Buying Director of MyTheresa.com

“I never thought that fashion was something I would get involved in. It’s not exactly the most masculine of professions for an Australian dude to pursue. My mum bought all my clothes until I was 18 which consisted mostly of Billabong board shorts and band t-shirts (Metallica, her least favorite). So needless to say, fashion wasn’t my forte.”

However, as I got older, became less of a little redneck, and moved to a city that had traffic lights, I soon saw that there was more to life than just flip flops.The day I arrived in Perth, Western Australia, was the start of a new me. This doesn’t mean that I started making dresses and styling my girlfriends, but it just felt nice to be in a town that you wouldn’t get beaten up for wearing something apart from Quicksilver. Anyway, after a couple of years of working in a mate’s sport store, and a stint in Amsterdam doing the same, I came to the realisation that I had to move to London. I had no job, home or career possibilities, but I just knew that it seemed pretty cool working in retail and that maybe I would find what I was looking for there.

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Luiz Mattos, IMG Models Manager

“I had absolutely no idea I wanted to work in fashion or as a model manager.  My sister was modelling while I was attending law school—I got approached by the owner of her agency who offered me a job and asked for some legal advice. He also saw me trying to sell some tickets I had gotten for the music festival Rock in Rio, but couldn’t go due to my finals. He thought I was a good sales person. I never answered yes or no regarding the job offer. He called me and said, ‘you never got back to me so I’m assuming it is a yes. See you on Monday.’ I was intrigued by the industry and his boldness. So, I gave it a try and fell in love with it. The moment I realise I truly could not see myself doing anything else, was my first fashion week in New York. It was just fantastic and I will never forget it. I love the creative process that we are part of and working with visionaries – it is so inspiring and humbling to see how it all works and comes together in the end.”

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Nicole Fritton, Fashion Market & Accessories Director of Harper’s BAZAAR

“The fall of my junior year in college, I called my older brother for career advice. I was studying finance and didn’t think I was on the right track. While he was sharing his brotherly wisdom and urging me to follow my dreams, I got distracted by the new issue of Harper’s BAZAAR  that had arrived in the mail. I immediately started reading it, and he found out what took my attention so completely away from our conversation he said, “You should work there!”

It was my eureka moment. I began my quest for an internship at BAZAAR and after much persistence secured a summer internship starting after my final exams finished that May. The summer at BAZAAR was the ultimate decision maker for me. I knew I had found exactly what I wanted to pursue. Thank you Billy!

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Tina Craig, Founder of Snob Essentials 

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