Feb 27th, 2019, 05:58 AM

Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni's Visit To AUP

By Isala Gray
Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni's headshot as a young adult. Image credit: Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni
Tips for future fashion journalists from fashion journalist and author Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni.

On February 12, 2019, Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, Paris-based British fashion journalist and book author, spoke to students in this semester's Fashion Journalism Practicum led by Professor Madeleine Czigler. Her focus was about her time in the industry and everything she's learned over the years while working with Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine, Karl Lagerfeld and Andy Warhol among many others.

Touting her most recent book “After Andy: Adventures in Warhol Land,” Fraser-Cavassoni spoke on the values of hard work and curiosity as a driving force behind the craft of journalism and many other future ventures for young students. She was inspirational, recalling her life's events through pictures and stories. The ongoing theme throughout her visit to AUP was curiosity, hard work, and the value of close friendships. 


From left to right: Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni and Andy Warhol at Regine's in London. Image Credit: Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni

Curiosity 

“Curiosity has to be key if you want to work in journalism,” she said to the class. Fraser-Cavassoni was raised in a very academic household and born with social and cultural capital. Her father was British politician Hugh Fraser and her mother was author Antonia Fraser, who later went on to marry Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Harold Pinter. 

Fraser-Cavassoni discussed her friends such as Karl LagerfeldAndy Warhol and Christian Louboutin among many others, as well as her very accomplished family members. In her mind, curiosity is what linked all of them. She always knew when someone was going to be successful because they were motivated by discovery.

Keeping curious is a good tip for anyone in any profession, but especially important when it comes to journalism. Curiosity is the driving force behind this line of work.


Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni with a hat designed by Karl Lagerfeld, with Laure de Gramont (left). Image Credit: Natasha Fraser

Work Ethic 

When discussing the drive behind her personal work ethic, Fraser-Cavassoni recalls her mother paying her and her siblings to write in their diary daily. The act of working for her money was instilled in her from that moment. "The secret to anything is not talent, it's work," she said. 

She also recalls her short time working for Andy Warhol and his constant fear of running out of money. She said he always said that he "had to keep the lights on." She recalls Warhol mixing paints with interns and then, minutes later, targeting rich people in clubs to sell his $50,000 portraits.  

Fraser-Cavassoni also touched on the point of new journalists, especially fashion journalists, feeling uncomfortable or nervous about putting themselves out there when asking for interviews or quotes. She said that, "I've always felt when I haven't tried, I've let myself down [...] If you want someone's quote, keep going after them. If you really want something from them, you keep on them." It is common sense that hard work builds your success as well as character, but she also recommended working to diluting the bad moments in life. 

Friendships

Fraser-Cavassoni said being an experienced journalist, people always ask her for tips to get into the fashion industry. Her major tip was to "make friends who are going through what you're going through."

She stressed remaining loyal to those same people you grew with. As an example, she mentioned Christian Louboutin, whom she described as extremely loyal to all of his friends. In this digital age, there's terrible isolation and it is great to have a group where you can share and compare notes of the trade. 


Pierre Passebon (left), Christian Louboutin (middle), Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni (right) playing with wigs. Image credit: Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni.

She also recommends listening to people with more experience. However, as young people, we have to simultaneously be the eyes for our future publications. We have to always stay present, and as the next generation entering into the journalism field, it is our job to introduce a new fresh eye into fashion journalism. Natasha says, "when a fashion magazine is good- it's an intimate experience [...] something you just can't put down." 

Staying curious, current, and passionate about your career is the best way to advance yourself in this small-yet-overpopulated line of work of fashion journalism. But we also must constantly socialize and create our personal brands while doing so. To do so, students say they have to enjoy what they're doing and have fun because it's important to make connections and friendships while on assignment. Students in this semester's Fashion Journalism Practicum are now understanding, more than ever, the values of curiosity, hard work and the art of networking.