Kelly Cutrone, fashion publicist and reality television personality, shared her fashion industry insights with students this week during a lively conversation with fashion celebrity and PhilaU Trustee Carson Kressley.
During talks to several hundred current and prospective fashion design, fashion merchandising and management, and textile design students, Cutrone and Kressley painted an exciting and rewarding picture of working in fashion, while noting the necessity of hard work, focus and getting as much experience as possible.
Cutrone is known for her roles on “America’s Next Top Model,” “The Hills,” and her own reality show, “Kell on Earth.” Cutrone, who started her New York-based public relations firm, People’s Revolution, in 1995, told the students, “If you are serious about getting into the fashion industry, it has been–besides my child–the greatest gift in my life.”
Kressley, who became a break-out star on the Bravo series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” conducted the informal interview with his friend Cutrone. Fashion “can be a very dramatic business,” Kressley said, “but I think about all of the really fun, exciting things that come into it.”
The pair spoke at two sessions on campus Oct. 27 for both current and prospective students and their families, sharing their insights and reassuring students and parents that there are plenty of job opportunities in the fashion industry.
“If you are serious about getting into the fashion industry, go for it wholeheartedly,“ advised Cutrone, who started her career as a psychiatric nurse and went on to represent fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Jeremy Scott. She also authored the New York Times best-seller “If You Have To Cry, Go Outside.”
“There is so much room for everyone,” Cutrone told the students. “And if you choose to do it, you will learn a lot, can earn a great deal of money and have an awesome time.”
In front of a packed room of prospective students and parents in Tuttleman Auditorium, Cutrone and Kressley joked that they would love to be the ones attending PhilaU. Kressley, who has visited campus many times, also tempted Cutrone with talk of “chicken finger Thursdays” in the dining halls.
But on a more serious note, Cutrone said, “I did not have the privilege that you guys have, which is the concept of Nexus Learning,” referring to PhilaU’s signature learning approach based on active, collaborative, real-world and infused with the liberal arts.
PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. welcomed Cutrone and prospective students to campus, telling them that PhilaU is a great place “to turn that passion into a profession.”
PhilaU fashion programs were recently ranked among the best in the world by Business of Fashion, and also ranked in the top 50 internationally by Fashionista. Graduates go on to careers at top companies, such as Nannette Lepore, Tommy Hilfiger, Urban Outfitters, PVH Corp. and Vogue Magazine.