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Good Advice Never Gets Old

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She famously interned for Teen Vogue in 2005 and 2006 during theHills, and in October last year the magazine asked Lauren Conrad to give their readers some insight into her fashion career.

Hills2City are not sure how we missed this article, but considering Lauren’s achievements think it’s a great article for anyone interested in the fashion industry to read!

What inspired you to work in fashion?
It’s what I wanted to do for as long as I can remember. My father was an architect and my neighbor who used to watch me after school was an artist, so I grew up in a very creative environment.

What was your day-to-day like as an intern in Teen Vogue‘s West Coast office?
It was pretty typical of any internship. It was less about the work and more about being exposed to the industry and the inner workings of a magazine. I really loved the shoots, and I still do to this day. With Kohl’s, I get to participate in the creative in a more direct way. Back then I was just sitting back and observing, but now I get to be a part of it and I think it’s so much fun, the process of putting it all together.

Do you remember any specific shoots you worked on?
Sure! We did a shoot with Whitney Port’s little sister and Colton Haynes. That’s when I met him—he was so little and handsome! It was in a garden and there were flowers in their hair. It was very romantic. I loved it.

What was the most valuable thing you learned at Teen Vogue?
I think the most valuable thing was that it really exposed me to the timeline of fashion for the first time. I had learned about production and how to flat sketch in school—you know, the basics—but I hadn’t really learned about how far out things are done.

Much was made of you turning down the opportunity to go to Paris. In hindsight, what do you make of that decision?
I was young, and I think your mistakes sort of mold you. It was important for me to make that one. After that, I definitely made it a point to not let others get in the way of what I wanted to do. Whether it’s a relationship or your family or friends, the people close to you should encourage you to work towards your dreams. That was an important lesson for me to learn. And also, just always go to Paris! Always!

How did your experience at the magazine prepare you for the next steps in your career?
One of the first things I learned at Teen Vogue was that you have to develop a thick skin. This is an industry built on personal opinions.

The majority of reality stars aren’t able to extend their careers beyond the lifespan of their shows. How have you managed to build such a successful brand and career for yourself?
I don’t know what the real reason is. I’ve always just worked really hard and focused on what I wanted to do, and I think I’ve been really fortunate.

You also seem to live a pretty sane and normal life. How have you been able to achieve this in the wake of such a great level of exposure and celebrity?
I have very good people in my life, which always helps. I wanted to do big things, and the rest of it wasn’t important to me. The glitz and the glam can become very attractive, and, you know, it’s fun every once in a while. But if it was gone tomorrow, I don’t think I would be too disappointed.

That said, how do you think your celebrity has helped as you’ve built your career?
I think it’s helped me in every way possible. It’s given me a platform. It’s allowed me the best marketing tool ever. It’s made countless introductions. The only negative is something that’s typical when you’re involved in the entertainment industry and are trying to cross over into another industry: You have to prove yourself for a while. But it encourages you to work even harder!

You juggle several different fashion lines and projects. How do you balance it all?
To be honest, I don’t really have a typical day-to-day. I travel a lot. I’m in New York almost every month now for Kohl’s. I’m doing something different every day, which I love. It’s nearly impossible to get bored if you do things that way! I’m not the type of person who was built for a desk job, so it works.

Tell us about the LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s collection. How has it grown since you first started it?
The line is very fashion-forward, and I think the quality is amazing for the price. I’m a fan of high-low dressing, and these pieces are very easy to mix with designer items. It’s definitely got a girly element, but it’s evolved so much from where we started. The biggest growth I’ve seen is the expansion of the line into different categories, which is really exciting. It started off as just clothes, and now we’re in accessories and home.

And what about your other fashion line, Paper Crown?
Paper Crown hasn’t changed much since we started, which is exactly what I wanted. I love that this is a specialty line. It’s three of us in an office most days—every design is from me. With Kohl’s I’m liaising with multiple teams, and with Paper Crown it’s me lugging fabric rolls around. It’s my happy place. The girl who runs the company is one of my best friends from childhood. I can just walk in, take off my shoes, and it’s a comfortable, laidback vibe.

Do you have any interns?
We just added a fourth, but she hasn’t started yet. I love my interns. They’re so much cooler than me. A lot of times I’ll ask their opinion when we’re trying to decide on something like, “Would you wear this?” It’s good!

Do you design for yourself or do you have a muse in mind when you’re designing?
I almost always want to wear everything I design. The only thing I have to keep in mind is that I dress a very specific way for my body, and it’s important to remember there are lots of different body types. You have to do all different silhouettes.

How do you approach each new collection?
It’s starts off with inspiration. It’s funny because there’s usually a story behind every collection, and by the time it makes it to stores, nobody even knows about it. You can’t tell because it’s been so developed and there are only select pieces available. I also usually look back at the last couple seasons and see which pieces were strong and try to learn from that. Then it goes into development. We go to the big fabric shows downtown. Most of the collection is produced in downtown L.A., which is nice because we can go see it right away.

Design is obviously only one part of creating a collection. What else goes into it?
Once it’s designed, you have to sell it, which is very important. There’s a lot of marketing involved. Whether it’s doing a cover or planning to add to a boutique, we’re constantly working on marketing and sales and developing relationships with different people, deciding where we want the line to be. It’s funny, once the line is finished and you’re set with samples, you kind of exhale, and then you’re like, “We’re only halfway done, let’s keep going.”

Tell us about XO Eco, your line of on-the-go bags.
I partnered with a company called Blue Avocado a couple years ago for a collection of reusable bags—everything from makeup cases to shopping bags to casserole pie carriers. It’s run by three very smart women, and I saw endless potential. We work with a fabric called Repreve, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s amazing what you can do with recycled fabrics now. I do everything I can to live a green lifestyle, but when you can do it without compromise, that’s always ideal.

You just launched The Little Market. Tell us about that.
I launched The Little Market with my friend Hannah Taylor Skvarla. It sells fair trade products made by artisan groups that employ women, and we’re focusing on countries where women don’t necessarily have the same rights or opportunities as men. We’re starting with India, Nepal, Peru, and Bolivia. Our goal is to add four countries every year, and to actually go and visit the groups in these countries. Hannah does a lot of work with human rights organizations, so she’s really well-educated about the issues. She and I have been traveling together for years. When we go to different countries, our favorite thing to do is go to marketplaces because you find these amazing things you just can’t find anywhere else. So we came up with the idea as a way to combine two things we love—hunting for unique items and supporting the women who make them.

What advice would you give to aspiring designers or entrepreneurs?
Be prepared to work very hard and do something that you love.

What’s your favorite part of your job, and what’s the hardest?
The hardest part is balance—making sure you devote time to the people in your life as well as your projects. The best part is all of it! It’s getting to do something you enjoy.

Do you have any favorite trends for fall? What are you currently obsessed with?
I really love the menswear trend. It used to be a tougher look, but it’s gotten more sleek this season with all the tuxedo details. I’ve done a couple tuxedo-inspired jackets for both of my lines. I really like them paired with an ultra-feminine piece or with a simpler outfit. They just sort of elevate it. I’m also a big fan of leather. I’m a year-round leather person, but it’s more respectable once fall comes around, so I always get excited.

Whitney’s Officially In The NYFW Club

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GraziaUK/WhitneyPort

We’re so proud of Whitney Port!  From her humble beginnings as Lauren Conrad’s work-buddy at Teen Vogue to a starring role in her own reality show theCity, and now a growing fashion line, no-one would have predicted Whitney’s success, but we sure are enjoying it.

Whitney spoke to Grazia UK magazine last week, after her Whitney Eve Fall/Winter 2012 collection premiered at New York Fashion Week.

Backstage, I asked her how it felt to be in the NYFW club and among such great company.

“Really weird and surreal,” she said. “But really, really cool.”

Scary?

“Yeah, definitely scary!” Port confirmed with a nervous giggle and a quick flick of her frankly amazing blonde mane. But the nerves aren’t going anywhere yet, she explained. “I feel that the really scary part is now when you’ve done it and you’re waiting to hear what everybody has to say, but I’m just trying to tell myself that it doesn’t matter, that it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks!”

Whitney needn’t fret – the collection was a fun, varied and extremely wearable addition to what is becoming a rather successful brand. Inspired by an antique kaleidoscope she found in her grandmother’s attic, Port showed graphic prints, tailored trousers and the occasional oh-so-very-now peplum, as well as little touches of sequin bling for the young city girl that she clearly aims for.

Soon, she’ll have the chance to pick up a few new fans from this side of the pond as she undertakes another February first – a six-week stay in London filming her new role as a judge on Britain And Ireland’s Next Top Model alongside Elle Macpherson, Julien Macdonald and Tyson Beckford.

“I’m coming out there the last week of February,” she told me. “I’m really excited! I love London but I’ve never really got the chance to actually be out there for an extended period of time, it’s exciting.”

Exciting, yes, but has she picked a judging strategy as yet – is she good cop or bad cop?

“I think that I see myself more as the nice, easy going, accepting kind of judge,” she said. “I don’t see myself being too hard on the people. I mean, I do have a side of being brutally honest but I don’t know that I’ll be able to actually be like that.”

Perhaps she’s been taking tips on brutal honesty from her famously direct mentor, fellow The Hills/The Cityalumni and America’s Next Top Model judge, Kelly Cutrone. Clearly the two are still close and work well together – Cutrone’s company People’s Revolution produced Whitney’s show, so one would assume it’s an important relationship.

“Very important,” Port confirmed. “I mean, Kelly has really nurtured me and taken care of me and shown me the way and she’s helped me get to where I am right now so I have an infinite amount of thanks for her.”

Whitney also posted some cool behind-the-scenes photos from the show on her website, sharing her gratefulness with her team and her fans, saying ” I can’t believe it’s already over! I’m so proud of the entire Whitney Eve team. Thank you to everyone who made this possible! xoxo, Whit.”

Whitney Comes Full Circle at Teen Vogue

#Fashion

Celebuzz

Can you remember when Whitney Port first graced our television screens? She was the perky blond intern at Teen Vogue who offered a sympathetic ear to Lauren Conrad’s neverending woes. Little did we know Whitney was about to become a star in her own right. After staring in her own reality show and establishing a successful clothing line, Whitney has returned to her humble roots. She attended the Teen Vogue Fashion University Kick-Off event in New York City on Saturday, October 22. Whitney sat on the Teen Vogue panel offering advice to fashion students who want to make a name for themselves in the industry.

Whitney took to her website to write about meeting one of her fashion inspirations at the event, “I also got to meet Betsey Johnson, which was really cool. I grew up wearing her clothes and to actually meet her and be a speaker at the same event doesn’t even seem like something that would have ever happened in my lifetime. What an amazing day!”

Whitney wore a blue Matthew Williamson blouse and skirt along with Camilla Skovgaard shoes.

The Best and The Worst of 2011 Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party

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Gossip Center

The hottest young celebrities came out to party in style at Teen Vogue’s 9th annual Young Hollywood Party held at Paramount Studios in Hollywood on Friday, September 23.

The star studded event had a packed red carpet. Among the stars were 90210 actress’ Shenae Grimes and Jessica Lowndes, True Grit cutie Hailee Steinfeld, Twilight actor Jackson Rathbone, Emily OsmentAimee Teegarden, JoJo and Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland.

Surprisingly both of our candidates for best and worst dressed belong to the hit TV show 90210.

We love Jessica Lowndes outfit. She looks gorgeous in this polka dot ballerina dress. The fitted bodice paired with the tiered bottom is adorable and she picked the perfect braided hair style to match. She finished off the look cleanly with fiery red lip stick. Jessica means business and she looks elegant and beautiful without going over the top.

On the other hand, her cast mate Shenae Grimes might need to take some styling tips from her friend. Shenae looks as if she was going as Lady Gaga to a costume party. The full leather dress does nothing for her great body and the all black ensemble is a little much for a red carpet event even if it is youth inspired. Shenae’s shoes are great and super trendy but she should have gone with a different dress.

Lily Collins Keeps Things Low Key At The Flea Market

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Gossip Center

Lily Collins was out at a West Hollywood flea market with her mom this Monday, September 5.

Although she is the daughter of 80’s music legend Phil Collins, and the girlfriend of Taylor Lautner, Lily is quite new to Hollywood.  Her sense of style seem to reflect this, especially if this off duty look is anything to go by.

Lily does look sweet and natural, but the high waisted floral maxi skirt does her no favors.  Perhaps she’s in the same vein as Shenae Grimes, who despite a recent internship at Teen Vogue, honestly doesn’t care about fashion or the Hollywood scene.

Only time will tell we suppose.  Give it a year or so and Lily might either be styled within an inch of her life or keeping it real with her own brand of Cali style.

Hills2City’s Look Of The Week

#Fashion

Gossip Center

Whitney is this week’s Look of the Week, for her outfit to the Los Angeles premiere of The Change-Up on Monday, August 1.

Whitney wore a chocolate brown maxi dress with a halterneck, and accessorized with a pair of gold sandals and a black leather and gold belt.  This dress is pure grecian goddess mixed with 1970’s glamour.  Whitney has played up the trend with her flowing, blonde waves.

This outfit is a great example of why we love Whitney Port.  She has never been afraid to take a chance – first of all with her fashion and one-liners with Lauren at Teen Vogue, and then when she moved across the country to start a new life in New York.

Over the years Whitney’s style hasn’t evolved so much as become even more a part of who she is. Outfits like this one show that Whitney has really come into her own and isn’t afraid to be herself.

What Lauren Conrad Has In Common with Bieber

#Fashion

Lauren Conrad strikes us as a girl who doesn’t forget where she came from, and she proved this recently by talking to Teen Vogue.  As all Hills fans know, Lauren’s first internship was at Teen Vogue, where she not only met good friend Whitney, but she also got great experience the fashion industry.

Lauren spoke to Teen Vogue about her current collection for Paper Crown, and when asked to describe the 2011 Fall collection, she replied, “Feminine, a modern take on classic style. Understatedly elegant, effortless, and lovely.”

Teen Vogue also wanted to know if Lauren designed Paper Crown with her own tastes in mind. “My inspirations are translated in different ways throughout the process. We do keep our various customers in mind, but I make sure each style is true to my vision and brand. I usually end up slipping into every piece after the fit model during fittings, and sneaking samples as soon as I am able to. I wouldn’t include a piece in my collection that I wouldn’t wear personally. Besides, half the fun of designing is getting to wear the clothing!”

She also talks about how Paper Crown is different from her previous work, saying,  “Paper Crown is different from what I have done in the past because I was able to enter into the line with the experience I obtained in the previous years spent in the industry. Paper Crown is really a passion project. I created the line because I’m in love with the process of design, and I wanted to have my own contemporary collection that allowed me to follow my own rules and be creative. The pieces are current with a classic feel—investments that will last throughout the seasons. I have had many missteps along the way, but I learned from each of them and the next time I didn’t make the same mistake. I am still learning. Everything from design, sales, and production through partnering with our retailers, I am constantly learning things about this industry.”

Teen Vogue ended by asking the question that all Hills fans want to know, is Lauren returning to reality TV? Lauren answered firmly, with a sense of humor, saying, “As of now, I have no plans to return to television. That being said, I have learned to never say never (yes, I did just intentionally quote Justin Bieber).”

Lauren’s Favorite Five Fashion Looks

Facebook

In Lauren’s recent collaboration with Allure, she not only took over their facebook page for a week to answer hair & makeup Q&A’s, but also revealed her own five personal favorite looks.

Referring to the outfit above, Lauren said, “It’s from the MTV Movie Awards in 2009—this dress was originally a tent dress, and we completely altered the silhouette to make it fitted. Not very many people liked this look, but I was trying something new and I stand by it. I don’t take chances as much as I should on the red carpet, but I had fun with this look. I wore a shrunken leather jacket with it that evening and felt very rock and roll.”

This is definitely not a very ‘Lauren Conrad‘ look that we’re used to seeing.  But we were among the people who did like it.  After all, we love risks and she finally took one.  Most of all, we love Lauren’s awareness of her style.

Lauren continues, “Here, I’m at Teen Vogue’s 8th Annual Young Hollywood Party in 2010. I get very self-conscious in shorts, so for me to wear them on the red carpet was a big deal. I like this look because I felt sophisticated without looking too mature.”

It’s well known that this is one of our favorite LC looks, and one that gave her some added fashion clout.

Lauren wore this blue dress to the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, and reveals something personal about her look, saying, “I was upset this day because I had put on a couple pounds, and I felt chubby. So I decided to wear two pairs of Spanx under my dress, which was from my own line. Joke was on me. I had to leave early because I could barely breathe and felt like I was going to pass out.  It’s funny now, because looking at the pictures, I look fine. Not sure what I was stressing about.”

She was definitely crazy thinking she’d put on weight, because we can’t see an extra pound on the girl.  But everyone has their “fat” days, so we can relate. Lately the one-shoulder dress has become a staple Kardashian look, so it’s nice to see Lauren wearing it first.

This is another MTV event, this time for MTV Hosts The Hills Season 4 Finale.  Series 4 was really the last series that Lauren was actually into, which is reflected in her fashion choice of a sassy mini dress.

Lauren explains, saying, “I was freeeeeezing this night. We were outside for almost an hour and there was snow on the ground. Phillip Lim is my favorite designer and I thought this dress was so fun! Also, I wore a faux bob that night to change things up.”

This is a beautiful, carefree look on Lauren, especially when you compare it to Audrina’s look of a full length burgundy gown, which is really more suited to a prom.

Lauren explains look #4, saying, “This is from when I was on The Late Show with David Letterman back in 2009. I liked this little Topshop dress because the sequins were almost matte, so it didn’t look too glitzy. I bought the dress earlier that day and did my own makeup.”

We love the fact she did her own hair, makeup and styling, so it probably saved her a lot of money.  We’re not quite so sure on the matte sequins though, they look pretty glitzy in this photo.

Lauren’s Fashion Evolution

In lieu of Lauren’s show Fiercely Fashionable, fans can console themselves with her fashion collections for Kohl’s and Paper Crown.  We think having seen Lauren begin her fashion studies on Laguna Beach and theHills, followed by her stints at Teen Vogue and People’s Revolution, it feels natural to see her style, taste and career evolving.

Fashion blogger Sarah Sudar chatted with Lauren about her own personal style and the Spring 2011 collection for Kohl’s.

SS:  Where do you find inspiration for designing your fashion collections?

LC: I want my designs to be representative of my personal style and incorporate things that I find beautiful, like flowing fabrics and feminine floral prints. I work to create pieces that can stand alone or be mixed and matched to complement a number of different looks, allowing anyone who wears the clothes to enhance their wardrobes each season without having to sacrifice style for savings.

SS: What is your favorite piece in the Spring 2011 collection?

LC: I recently expanded my apparel collection to include shoes, jewelry and  other accessories, so my favorite accessory is the Zander platform sandal.  The wooden platform detail is very reminiscent of the ‘70s and the neutral color allows them to work with a variety of outlets.

SS: Even though I am sure you can shop among the best designers, do you wear pieces from your own collections for Kohl’s?

LC: Absolutely! Being able to wear the styles I create is one of the best parts of being a designer. The look of the LC Lauren Conrad collection is representative of what I want to wear each season.

SS: Like me, you were also born in the 1980s.  What is one look that you sported then that would get you on a worst dressed list now?

LC:  Those parachute pants that MC Hammer wore. Those were not the most flattering.

SS: If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

LC: Dresses. I love them because they are so versatile and can easily be dressed-up or down by adding the right accessories.

The Week That Was

For those of you who missed even a second of Hills2City last week, here’s a handy review. Let’s begin!

Whitney never wanted to become famous. [Read It]

Lauren reveals Paper Crown at this year’s Coterie. [Read It/Read It]

Olivia is featured in both Crash Magazine and Hola Magazine. [Read It/Read It]

Here’s the real scoop about why Whitney fell on Good Morning America while interning at Teen Vogue. [Read It]

Three of Lo’s lucky fans get a sleepover with her. [Read It]

Olivia graces the shows at London Fashion Week. [Read It/Read It/Read It/Read It]

Whitney and Lo give us their Dating Do’s and Don’ts. [Read It]

Olivia won’t give out her fashion secrets. [Read It]

Lauren dishes out her hair hits and misses. [Read It]

Heidi is not welcome in her former plastic surgeon’s home. [Read It]

Lauren knows Whitney doesn’t have a problem with her now-cancelled show. [Read It]

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