5 Things We Learned at Teen Vogue Fashion U

alexander wang amy astley teen vogue u
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Class act: Alexander Wang with Teen Vogue Editor in Chief, Amy Astley.

Class is in session!

Teen Vogue held its annual Fashion U in New York City, bringing young people the world over to Times Square for “classes” from the illustrious likes of Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Betsey Johnson, Rebecca Minkoff, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (who gave us the most exciting dish of the day: they're opening a store!), and many, many more—all kicked off with a keynote speech from Michael Kors.

Gathering in the Hudson Theatre at the Millenium Hotel and various locations in the Condé Nast building nearby, students (who had to apply to the program) got fashion career advice and heard hilarious and touching stories from their style icons.

FashionEtc sat in on seminars with Kors, Wang, and the Proenza boys—and we learned a few things ourselves. (First off, it pays to stay awake in school ... )

1. PS1 fanatics, your time has come: a Proenza Schouler store is in the works. “We found a space that we’re really excited about and are working with a badass architect,” Hernandez said. And though the New York store will be a go-to for Proenza’s ready-to-wear and covetable accessories, they’ll be giving it a twist as well. “It’s got to have some artistic merit,” he said.

2. Michael Kors has a roster of past interns that reads like a veritable who’s who of fashion. Derek Lam, Peter Som, and Lazaro Hernandez all worked for the fashion giant before hitting it big on their own. Alex Wang, on the other hand, interned at Marc Jacobs and, appropriately enough, Teen Vogue—where fashion director Gloria Baume gave the not-so-lowly intern his big break.

3. Michael Kors spent his high school prom night at Studio 54. “I think it was the third night it was open,” Kors reminisced. And the party didn’t stop when he started college. “The dorms at FIT were a little outrageous in the last ‘70s!” he laughed.

4. Though all the speakers stressed the importance of education to the mostly high school-age students, Kors and Wang in fact dropped out of college (FIT and Parsons, respectively). "I wasn't provoked enough by what I was learning in class," Wang said, so he created a small collection of knitwear and started shopping it around at trade shows. Kors, meanwhile, worked in a Fifth Avenue boutique before his designs were discovered by Bergdorf Goodman's Dawn Mello.

5. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez started their company after realizing that interviewing for jobs together with one portfolio just wasn’t going to work. “What were they going to do, hire both of us for one job and pay us both?” Hernandez laughed. After one such interview at Narciso Rodriguez, they realized they better stick together. “That was the day we decided to start our own business,” McCollough said. Added Hernandez, “We didn’t really have a choice!”

In related news, check out where wannabe models go to learn the tricks of the trade.