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Every Fashionistah Needs Her “Kelly Cutrone”

Mama Wolf tells it like it is. Little lamb, if you can't hack it, we'll just feed you to the coyotes.

Recently, I read If You Have To Cry, Go Outside, the autobiographical fashion and business book by Kelly Cutrone.  Watching her on MTV’s The Hills or The City, many people often lament that they would hate to have such a tough boss.  But I have a lot of respect for Kelly because I myself, as an impressionable, young fashionistah, had my own version of a ‘Kelly Cutrone,’ a hard as nails, no nonsense successful fashion boss that mentored me and took me under her wing.  There are so many fashion wannabes (“Look at me! Look at me! ooh I chipped a nail”) show ponies (of the generational wealth, entitled Olivia Palermo variety) and back-handed, bitchy cutters (“You look really nice.  Is that last season Chanel?”), that when someone hardworking, smart and authentic comes along, it’s a breath of fresh air.  I totally get it. 

She had such faith in me, she would often ask, “What do you want?”  I would tell her and the next day I would have an interview and a referral.  She would sing my praises to anyone who would listen.  And when I was ready to leave the nest of her office, she took me to dinner and told me, “I am waiting for you to rule the world.”  World domination, of course, is still a work in progress. 

The ‘Kelly Cutrone’s of the world want you to succeed but only if you have passion, are willing to work for it and are open to learning.  Fashion is a tough industry so you better grow a thick skin.  Your twenties are about taking the time to learn from industry professionals, cull your attitude, your style and your work ethic.  I highlyx3 recommend Cutrone’s book for any aspiring fashionistah who is still discovering who are they and who they want to be.  And for the jaded fashionistah to help you remember what it’s all about.

Never go to a meeting without a notebook and a pen. Take your glasses if you want to channel Lisa Loeb/or look more studious. For creative types, Moleskine Storyboard Notebook.

Do not show up to intern in your precious Giuseppe Zanotti platforms! a) Impractical for schlepping b) costs more than your boss' rent

Ferragamo, Ferragamo, Ferragamo. Learn the difference between between Fendi, Gucci, Missoni, Bottega by reading a book or magazine. Pronounce it properly.

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