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Random and Funny Insights From Jason Wu, Betsey Johnson, Proenza Schouler, and More at Teen Vogue’s Fashion University

This past weekend, Teen Vogue held their annual weekend of "Fashion U" classes, with over 30 designers — including Alexander Wang, Chris Benz, and Betsey Johnson — and other industry professionals offering guidance, advice, and their stories of success to would-be fashion worker bees. (All of whom, needless to say, were dressed far nicer than the average university professor attending a 9:45 a.m. class on a Saturday morning.) While most of the day's worth of lectures actually focused on useful advice — like the ins and outs of internships and how to get started in the business — there was also plenty of fun, non sequitur insight to be had. Here's a selection of observations:

• When Michael Kors throws a party in Paris, he flies in cocktail sauce. That's because, you see, "you can't get good shrimp cocktail in France."

• Also a fan of good shrimp cocktail: Betsey Johnson. She doesn't do lunch (not enough time) but will stop at various points in the day for a quick shrimpy nibble.

• You can still wear a good bag "on a fat day" and feel okay about yourself. (Phew.)

Jason Wu will always tell women he sees wearing his clothes that they look nice. "It might get me arrested, but I feel like it's my job."

Alexander Wang would love to design a phone, fragrances, housewares, and beauty products. Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Amy Astley would buy it all.

• Amy is also "a crazy freak" for Proenza Schouler.

• Speaking of, it's entirely possible to slip up when introducing the Proenza Schouler designers and refer to Lazaro as Lazarus. (Of course, if you're friends with him, he's just Laz anyway.)

Betsey Johnson never wants to make anything more expensive than a round-trip flight to Puerto Rico.

• Betsey's fingers are too big to work a BlackBerry, but that's okay, because a psychic once told her never to go near anything electronic.

• According to the Proenza boys, Tim Gunn as a teacher "wasn't anything like that guy on TV." He was just a regular Parsons design school dean.

• Business cards need to stand out. As in, made of wood with laser-cut letters.

Proenza Schouler now "care less about what the critics [have to say] and more about the kids on blogs ... their responses are pure, and instinctual."

• More than half of Proenza's annual revenues come from sales of their pre-collections. They look at pre-fall and resort as the new RTW, and view their spring/fall collections as opportunities to experiment with higher-end designs and ideas.

• And this was a question asked during the Proenza lecture: "Like, what were you speaking about, like, in Washington? Was it, like, against Chinatown?" (They said no.)

• Better still, someone asked Betsey Johnson if she had any advice for would-be "designers who can't sew."

• You can attend Fashion University even if you're a toddler. And then you can cry loudly in the back of the lecture hall.

• Other Fashion U attendees include Wisconsinites, Virginians, and folks from Barbados, Mexico, Colombia, even Australia. All are encouraged to move to NYC.

• Wildly colored hair will help you as an intern. Amy Astley's favorite past Teen Vogue intern was "a guy with bright-blue hair." And for Jack and Lazaro of Proenza Schouler, it was a green-haired girl.

• If dyed hair is a bit much, hats are also helpful: Michael Kors hired a Swedish intern because she wore cute knit beanies.

• Poor Gisele once arrived for a Céline runway show with terrible food poisoning, but managed to recuperate by taking a nap under a table backstage.

• It's okay to dance to Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" in the breaks between lectures, but it's better to just shimmy in your seat than to take over the aisle.

Jason Wu would quite like to be a pastry chef.

• You can't fake camel. This is important!

Photo: Courtesy of Teen Vogue

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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