How She Got There: Elshane '06, Celebrity Fashion Stylist and Fashion Blogger

Name: Elshane

Year Graduated: 2006

Major: Journalism, Highest Honors

Website: http://elshanesworld.com/

Twitter: @elshanesworld

Instagram: @elshanesworld

Job Title and Description: Celebrity Fashion Stylist and Fashion Blogger.

Favorite Lehigh memory: Saturday Morning Cocktails + Tailgating and meeting my husband in Greek Life!

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

My job is the opposite of “typical”! One day I could be backstage outfitting an entire musical performance at the American Music Awards, and the next be at a fashion blogger conference speaking on a panel to my peers. The only constant about my career is that I am my own boss and it’s up to me every single day to continue to grow my business and never fall behind on work. My husband (whom I met at Lehigh) always jokes, “it’s up to you to put pants on in the morning!” Meaning, in order to work for yourself, you’ve got to be motivated enough each day to never waste a moment of time.

What is the best part of your job?

There are a lot of perks of being in the fashion industry. First there’s the free clothing. That’s a no brainer! That never gets old. Then there’s the incredible situations I find myself in, from New York Fashion Week to being on a commercial set with Hollywood’s A-list to actually being thrown into a scene of a movie I’m working on (Sex and The City…can you spy me)?! There are many stories that come from those experiences… stories that I can’t wait to tell my daughter one day.

 

What’s something you’ve learned about the industry that you are in that wish you knew when you were just starting out?

Humble confidence drives success. Does that even make sense? Over-confidence can be a major turn-off, and humility can leave you high and dry in this cut-throat industry. But a balance of the two? Now that’s a recipe for success.

Do you have any advice for young women looking to get into your industry who are just starting out?

Internships are key! Start interning as young as possible. I landed my dream job fresh out of Lehigh (in Public Relations for Diane von Furstenberg in NYC), beating out hundreds of applicants because of my strong internship experience throughout college. I also spent my spring breaks and winter breaks interning, as well, which not only showed my dedication to those companies, but also an increased level of drive and passion to add to my resume.

What do you look for when considering hiring someone or working with someone?

I look for that same drive and passion. I look for a smile that never escapes a face. I work in an exhausting business—fashion is not always fun. There is a ton of heavy lifting, blood, sweat, and tears. Literally! I do all of my work with a smile and a positive attitude and I expect my team to follow suit. No one wants to re-hire a Grinch!

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?

Diane von Furstenberg, my mentor and first boss. I handled her Public Relations my first five years out of college in NYC. She taught me the power of being a strong woman.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

“Fear is not an option.” DVF constantly reminded me of this. It was a quote her mother instilled in her after her mother survived the Holocaust. When you think about the gravity of where that quote comes from, everything else in life is all flowers and butterflies, no matter what. It’s just clothing, after all!

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

I’ve learned to separate business etiquette from personal etiquette. In my personal life, I’m a confident, no nonsense kind of chick. I learned that in business when I work with celebrities, sometimes I have to push that aside and… KISS THEIR A$$ES. Sad but true.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

Hard work pays off. Success is never handed to you. And you have to ask for everything! Every promotion, job, and opportunity I’ve received is only because I walked through those doors and asked for it. Okay, demanded it.