Linda Brownlee (on the left) & Aoife Wasser
So week I was sent a press release invite thing from the Dublin Contemporary. Over the past three years of running the blog I've gotten my fair share of press releases, (its very exciting at first, but once you have Black & Decker telling you about their latest range of power tools, the magic kinda wares off). That was until I read the email from the Dublin Contemporary, inviting me to The Art of Fashion, a conversation with Aoife Wasser & Linda Brownlee. The more I read the more fascinated I became, so I decided to get the train to Dublin, and hear what Aoife had to say.
Held in the intimate setting of the Dublin Contemporary, I have to say it was one of the most fascinating, and somewhat inspirational, hour that I've recently spent. Hearing Aoife talk passionately about her previous projects, was a great reminder that hard work and perseverance can lead to great things.
Having studied Visual Communications in Dublin, Aoife found herself in New York City for a Summer, and like any other recent graduate she figured that an internship would be the next step in beginning her career. So like the smart girl that she is, she simply picked up the phone book, and rang the person that she wanted to work with most, that would be famed designer, David Carson. From Carson's studio she made her way to Visionaire, the luxury, and highly coveted, arts and fashion publication, as well as other publications and advertising agency. For the following six years she oversaw the art direction of Visionaire, V Magazine, V Man and V Agency and worked on several special collaborations with renowned luxury brands, celebrities, fashion icons and photographic legends. In 2008, she became Creative Director of Teen Vogue, being nominated for an ASME award for General Excellence and won three categories of SPD awards along the way.
Its easy to see why she has become the successful woman that she is. In the brief hour that we spend in her company, she is charming and funny, and instantly likeable. Casually dressed in jeans and a shirt, she is the embodiment of New York easy chic. She talks about applying to Teen Vogue and the interview with Anna Wintour that followed, and anyone that has Mario Testino as their reference on their CV is pretty amazing in my book.
This year saw her leave Teen Vogue, to start her own creative agency, offering advertising, branding, and consultancy for the fashion, luxury and media industries. Along with her new venture, Aoife is working on publications for Rizzoli publishing house, as well as lecturing in Parson's School of Design.
At the end of the presentation there was a short Q&A, and I was lucky enough to be able to ask Aoife a question, and a pretty simple one too. I asked what advice she had for someone starting off their design career. Her reply was to simply intern, to assist, and to learn as much on the job experience as possible. She also said something important, which was "apply to the places where you would like to work, the place that you think is doing the best work". This is something I never thought of before, foolishly enough, I figured I would apply everywhere and hope someone would take me on, but, just as Aoife looked up David Carson in the phonebook, I too have decided to start with the best. Because, who better to learn from?
A brief collection of some of the Project that Aoife was involved with