Asian American designers share experiences with fans

Successful fashion designers, including Chinese American designers Jason Wu, Alexander Wang and Peter Som, appeared at Times Square on Oct. 22, to share the stories behind their achievement, drawing an audience of young people who dream of working in fashion–many of whom came to the city from out-of-state to see their idols.

The event, Teen Vogue’s “Fashion University 2011” atttracted many leading designers, including Betsey Johnson, Michael Kors and Jessica Simpson. It hosted a three-day session for fashion dreamers to communicate with these industry leaders. The designers talked not only about project ideas, but also the difficulties behind their success.

Jason Wu, a 26-year-old designer who became famous after Michelle Obama wore his design at her husband’s inauguration, emphasized that “there is no shortcut to success.” Passion, hard work, persistence and detail are the components of success, Wu said, adding, it all starts with an internship.

From elegant evening dress to street punk, from plastic shoes to nail polish, Wu has started to enter more fields. To choose among new opportunities, Wu said he will sit down, seriously consider and assess all the choices. To retain a creative mindset, he suggested that young people travel frequently and read.

Another designer, Peter Som, famous for his fresh style, told the audience that being natural, balanced and never giving up is his philosophy. Working in the highly competitive fashion industry, Som said that designers do not simply create a single line of clothing but also create a new world. Learning how to keep that balance is the key to success.

Lulu Tong, 18, came from Canada especially for the event. She said that she fell in love with fashion when she was 6, and is trying to persuade her parents to let her study fashion design in New York.

Xuexian Li, 17, from Los Angeles, is a big fan of Jason Wu’s. Wu’s punk style and unique life experience have motivated her to become a designer. Li said she wants to work with haute fashion design.

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