Name: Elysia Mann
Hometown: Newtown Square, Pa.
If there is any girl in Penn State that encompasses all that is fashion, it is Elysia Mann. Not only is she a previous Her Campus Penn State Woman of Style (a great honor, to say the least), but she is also Valley Magazine’s fashion editor, an intern for Fashionista.com and this year’s fashion show captain for Penn State Homecoming. Impressed yet? Wait until you hear about her past experiences. Elysia has worked with weardrobe.com, Alloy, teen.com, Stylesight, Full Picture PR, Modelinia, Nicole Miller and Style Coalition. So what could possibly be next for an ambitious girl like this? Nothing less than the Marie Claire Front Row Challenge, coming to our very own Happy Valley on Thursday, Oct. 27.
HC: What is the Marie Claire Front Row Challenge?
Elysia: It is a national contest launched by Marie Claire, LOFT and Rimmel London in an effort to reach the college market, the next generation of working women. The nationwide search collected hundreds of applications, and four girls were chosen, including lucky me! We will all organize and execute a fashion show, and the contest will end with a judging panel, including Marie Claire editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, LOFT Style Director Alia Ahmed-Yahia and vice-president of marketing for Rimmel London, Rick Goldberg. The winner will receive an internship with all three companies participating.
HC: How did you first hear about the Marie Claire Front Row Challenge?
Elysia: Several of my friends had informed me about the contest and urged me to apply, thinking it would be an awesome event for State College. They figured I would enjoy putting it together, and I agreed. The Penn State community could use a bit more style, and I wanted to be the girl to bring it here.
HC: What have you done to get to be one of the four finalists?
Elysia: I filled out a lengthy application which included taking daily outfit photos for five days and writing a couple of brief essays, submitted my resume and crossed my fingers. I'm grateful for my past experiences that helped me stand out in the application processes.
HC: What type of work have you been doing as part of the Challenge? Give us an insider’s look into what goes on behind the scenes of putting a fashion show together.
Elysia: After I found out I was a finalist, we planned a 2-day adventure in NYC to nail down the main details of the fashion show; styling the 14 looks from LOFT's fall and holiday collections and creating the makeup looks with Rimmel London products. Once that was finished, it was time to secure a venue, scout my models and promote the event to the university and State College community. Since August, I've been spending most of my time organizing details of the show, collecting and communicating with models, and marketing the event through as many channels as possible. Front Row Challenge has been my full-time job this semester.
HC: What type of fashion can we expect to see at the show?
Elysia: The show will transmit a fun, happy, wearable vibe. The audience should expect my personal style to be displayed through the LOFT fall collections; tons of layers and juxtaposition of textures, cool and muted color palettes, and sharp silhouettes.
HC: Who will be modeling the clothes?
Elysia: I've honed a group of enthusiastic students with style and a powerful strut to star in my show. The girls are diverse and all very involved at Penn State. I'm psyched to watch them bring all the work I've been doing over the past three months to life.??
HC: You got to meet the prestigious judges and the other finalists. What was that like?
Elysia: A blast! Spending time with three other girls with similar passions as me is simply inspiring. I wish I could attend their fashion shows and show my support. Chatting with staffers from Marie Claire, Rimmel London & LOFT was a wonderful chance to get a view into their daily lives working with such cool brands. Their enthusiasm for my fashion show was so fantastic.
HC: What does winning this contest mean to you?
Elysia: It means three fabulous opportunities. As you may notice, I'm all about taking advantage of any opportunity that's presented to me. I see this as a way for me to further myself even more than I have in the past, and expand my network to the beauty, print media, and corporate fashion brand industries.
HC: What is your dream job?
Elysia: I want to be the online image and voice of a strong and powerful fashion brand. Brand image is absolutely crucial, especially now that social media allows for so much accessibility. Just thinking about how much has happened in the past four years since I began my adventure in the blogosphere, I can only imagine where I will end up after graduation. I'm pumped to find out!
The Marie Claire Front Row Challenge will take place in only four colleges nationwide and thanks to Elysia, Penn State is one of them. There are over 250 guests expected at the event and if you want to be one of those lucky ones, then make sure to RSVP in time to FrontRowChallengePS@hearst.com.
For those of you who are worried about transportation, there will be buses waiting at the State College bus terminal at 152 N. Atherton Street, bringing all attendees to the Sozo Institute of the Art (1224 N. Atherton St.), which will be transformed to look like it is straight out of New York Fashion Week. Now THAT’S something we don’t normally see in State College!
For more information on the event go to: http://www.hercampus.com/school/psu/marie-claire-front-row-challenge-fashion-show
To learn more about Elysia go to the Marie Claire website: http://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/trends/frc-elysia-mann
Or, check out her personal style blog: http://www.fashionfille.com/