Modista MODIvation Conference: Recap

On March 17th, Her Campus Kent State attended Modista’s MODIvation Conference. While at the conference we were able to hear from a panel of industry professionals spanning from Fashion Blogger Audree Kate to Celebrity Stylist Andrew Gelwicks. 

The day began with the keynote speaker, Professor Connie Marsh, talking to all the attendees about her “nomadic” fashion career as she calls it. Her biggest advice to all the students in attendance as to “just say yes”, a notion most speakers touched upon. She said that often times she would just learned on the job so that she was able to advance in her positions. Connie has lived in a variety of major cities throughout the United States such as Chicago, St. Louis and Denver.

Some advice from Connie:

1. “Do your homework”

  • Be an expert of that company.

  • Try to know all that you can in your field. 

2. “Be insatiably curious”

  • Both in and out of the fashion industry; make sure you're well rounded.

  • Always keep up with what’s going on around the world.

3. “You are your own advocate”

  • Be persistent and get back in there!

4. “Think ‘outside the box’”

  • You were not hired to stick to the “status quo.”

Following Connie’s introduction, the panelists were asked some general questions about their roles and how they have gotten to their current jobs.

My most notable moments:

From Fashion Blogger, Audree Lopez when asked about advice to her younger self:

  • “Hearing ‘no’ is not a negative thing, turn it into a fire.”

From America’s Next Top Model Cycle 8 Winner, Jaslene Gonzalez on some mistakes she’s learned from:

  • “Remember your contacts,” and “make long term relationships not short term.”

From Marie Claire, Jenae Green, on how she’s advocating for and within the fashion industry:

  • “Highlighting people of color in the industry,” and “sharing her knowledge.”

From The Pattern Makers, Gwyn Strang, on mistakes people make when entering the industry:

  • “Be aggressive without being pushy.”

From Celebrity Stylists, Andrew Gelwick, on how he got to where he is:

  • “Showing enthusiasm that I wanted that job and would work harder.”

After all panelists gave us some background on their lives and careers, we divided into mini break-out sessions to hear some more in-depth advice into their roles in the fashion industry.

I was able to attend break out sessions with Audree Lopez, Jenae Green and Andrew Gelwicks. Within Audree’s session we touched more upon blogging and building your own unique brand. Audree gave great information on how she started at a university that had no fashion in their curriculum and how she pushed through that and started her own fashion club there for like minded students.

When speaking with Jenae one of the best things she said to me was, “knowing why you want the role you’re applying for” and to remember “people hire people they want to spend all day with.” These are amazing things to keep in mind when preparing for a job or internship interview.

With Andrew we spoke about how he works with fresh and emerging artists, actors and models; and how important it is to recognize that “they are a brand” and you need to dress them accordingly to something that will reflect positively not just on you as a stylist, but also on them and what they believe in.

Overall I would say the Modista MODIvation Conference was an amazing success and I feel as though everyone who attended left gaining such valuable knowledge that is applicable to not just work but also everyday life. I’m already counting down the days until next year’s conference and so should you!