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Anna Wintour Told Fashion Students To Skip Runway Shows, Let Their Personality Shine

Jun 18, 2014 11:03 AM EDT
Anna Wintour
(Photo : Getty Images/Astrid Stawiarz)

Aspiring fashion designers can never get too much career advice, especially when the words of wisdom are coming from an industry expert like Anna Wintour.

On Friday, the Vogue editor-in-chief was interviewed by Vogue's new international editor, Suzy Menkes, in front of students at London's Central Saint Martins. The editrix offered these young designers advice about how to be successful and debunked some myths about the fashion industry.

In the interview, Wintour downplayed the importance of fashion shows and noted that presentations, which are much less expensive to organize, can be just as effective.

"I see people who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on fashion shows, which I simply don't think is necessary," she said.

Rather than focusing on flashy shows, Wintour said designers need to have a personality and be able to show if off properly.

"In today's world, you have to interact. You have to present yourself. You have to know how to talk about your vision, your focus and what you believe in."

Wintour also acknowledged the importance of collections for the transitional seasons like resort and pre-fall, which are getting a lot more attention from the industry now than in the past.

"The basic truth of the matter is that 80 percent of what sells in stores are the mid-season collections. Don't ignore it because it's gonna be something that helps you pay the bills."

Before starting their own business, Wintour encouraged the Central Saint Martins students to go work from a designer they admire in order to learn the business from a professional. Wintour also suggested finding a business partner to handle the financial side of things.

"It's unusual, in my experience, for a creative designer to also be good at understanding facts and figures. It's important to have someone to talk to and discuss everything with and bounce ideas off. I have not seen too many successful designers who've managed alone, without their business partner," she said. 

What do you think of the career advice Wintour gave these Central Saint Martins students during her interview with Menkes on Friday? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. 

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