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Alicia Chew, Fashionista & Blogger

This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Alicia Chew, a fashion blogger at River City Chic, and one of our campuses very own Campus Celebrities! Alicia’s blog is featured in the Her Campus Blogger Network, and the RVA Fashion Blogger community. She’s also a leader of the College Fashionista website at VCU. Alicia’s insight in the fashion industry and her blog are taking Richmond by storm, and we can only expect more great things from her after she graduates in May!

Alicia Chew

photography by Pamela Gomez


Mass Comm, with a focus on Public Relations


What do you want to do as a career?
I hope to break into the fashion PR industry. I did a few internships in New York City before I came to VCU.

What is your dream location?
Ideally, I want to move back to DC. When I got out of high school, I made it a big point to get out of Virginia. Originally I went to school in Philly, then NYC for the internships, and now I’m in Richmond.  I love the DC area so much, I would love to go back.  However, I am glad that I got a chance to get out.

What did you do at your fashion internships?
I was mostly in the background. I helped organize fashion week. I helped with where the venue was, the guest list, actually casting models, etc. We also did day-to- day track when our clients are mentioned in the media, but it’ mostly really behind the scenes.

My first internship was with Michael Kors. The college I used to go to called Drexel, had a mandatory internship program, where I just submitted my resume and I ended up getting called for an interview. I was hired two hours after! It was nuts!

Did you see him around? (Michael Kors)
I saw him all the time!  I rode the elevator with him a few times. He was a cool guy.  I talked to him once in an elevator, he was like ‘hey how ya doing?’  I was trying to keep everything calm, and I kept it cool!

The second place where I had my internship was at a place called Blackframe which is a fashion public relations firm.  Some of the clients included Nike, Band of Outsiders, Rodarte. Natalie Portman wore some of Rodarte’s stuff, like the dress she wore at the Academy Awards.  They also created the costumes in the film Black Swan.

I worked three different fashion shows, and it was nuts. I saw Kanye West at one backstage. He’s really short in person. I don’t think he was taller than me and I’m 5’7!

When I went back to volunteer for Blackframe, I saw Mandy Moore right in front of me at the Band of Outsiders fashion show.  She’s like really pretty in real life, she’s so gorgeous.

What is the fashion industry like?
It wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, I know that so many people think that the fashion industry is so glamorous, but it is a tough industry to break into and you have to be smart.  You need quick on your feet and you need to be really innovative, so think outside of the box! They (Employers) would just give me something, and say ‘go to this address’, and you needed to figure out what subway line to take, where to go, etc. There was a time where I would go to a building and it would take me a day and half to find the right entrance, to sign in, etc.  I know some people think, ‘oh fashion industry, it’s so easy,’ but you have to have sense to do this kind of job. 

Were the employers tough on you guys?
They’re not going to baby you. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. You just need to take what they give you with a grain a life.  You need to have tough skin.  It’s real-life fashion PR.  They do end up appreciating what you do though.

What exactly do you do for Her Campus?
I have my own personal blog. I’m part of the Her Campus Blogger Network. It’s a cool community of girls, where we are given opportunities from Her Campus, sponsorships can be given to certain posts, and bloggers share ideas and inspirations with one another.

Do your parents support you?
Oh yeah. I was really surprised.  I was thinking of switching to Political Science as my major, and my mom was like absolutely not. She let someone convince her to not do what she wanted back in the day, and she regrets it to this day. She has been there with me to this day, 100%, no matter how far-fetched my ideas were.  She is the reason I am here today.  She is a cool lady, I want everyone to meet my mom!

What are your dreams for the future?
I hope to land a job in fashion PR, then 10-15 years down the road, I’m really interested in starting my own PR firm. I would also like to teach one day, to help people get into the industry. There are so many people who are hoping to break into this crazy industry, so it’s cool when you have someone who knows what they’re talking about, and they can help guide you.

One of the cool things about Richmond is it has its own fashion scene. I kind of dabbled in this scene where, I met a few bloggers and I went to a few meet-ups. I was able to help out with Richmond Fashion Week, so it’s really cool I could experience this city’s fashion scene. It’s a big deal and it’s pretty awesome!

photography by Pamela Gomez

Monica Hunasikatti is currently a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an African American Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies double major. When she’s not doing her school work, assisting in crushing the patriarchy, or wishing she could speak French, she is reading good literary works, browsing Tumblr, and shopping.
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