The City

Posted on Tuesday, 31 March 2015

You see New York in films, TV, books, everywhere! It's basically a film set, lol.

But seeing it in real life was surreal! Everyone should take a trip to NYC in their lifetime if possible. Here are my 'touristy' photos from the trip:

First stop - Grand Central Station: who knew a station could be so architecturally stunning? And have an Apple Store?!
Friday: Central Park

Sunday: Washington Square Park
Somewhat of an OOTD? Was dressing purely for practicality was FREEZING!
SoHo architecture

Trendy artwork in TriBeCa

View of the Empire State Building from the High Line
Saying goodbye to NYC one last time...view of the Manhattan skyline en route to JFK

So that's it, my trip to NYC in two (maybe three, if you count NYC travel essentials) blog-posts.

So sad that it's over, but so grateful that it happened :')

However, I still feel like there's so much more of the City to see! Damn, I still haven't even seen all of London, my hometown. (Yes it's that big!)

I'm sure I'll be back in New York one day though, when the time is right.

Teen Vogue Fashion University 2015

Posted on Thursday, 26 March 2015

Hello all! I'm back from America!

I ideally would've liked to publish this post earlier but unfortunately my laptop broke the weekend I got back from America :( Damn those Microsoft computers!

Alas, have no fear! I'm currently writing this from my Mum's Macbook (and finishing it off in the local library) and am here to tell you all about TVFU!

So it all began on Thursday afternoon when I arrived at my Lower Manhattan hotel. As soon as we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, as cringey as it sounds, I felt the City's energy! The buzz. The excitement.

View of Lower Manhattan
Friday began with a day of sightseeing, accompanied by Mum. I plan to share the sightseeing photos in a separate 'photo diary' post - STAY TUNED! We visited Times Square in the afternoon to be greeted by this:

Express billboard in Times Square
Express, the popular high street, was hosting the TVFU kick-off party. For me, seeing the billboard that afternoon, was the official start to TVFU! It was surreal to see the significance of the event in NYC,  the sponsors involved, and I was part of it :')

Fast forward a few hours (more sightseeing, eating, changing etcc..), then the party began! There was a photobooth where you could take cute photos and videos, cocktails, a flash tattoo parlour and more:

Havin' fun with new friends at the Photobooth
Posing with the April issue of Teen Vogue

Meeting the beauty editor of Teen Vogue - Elaine Welteroth
It was also the first time that I was able to meet some of the other students in person. We were interacting months prior to the event on a Facebook group so it was great to finally match an actual person to an online persona!

Saturday is where the real action began. I'm not gonna lie though, the jet lag was real! But I wasn't gonna let that stop me from enjoying the event. After fueling up on obligatory coffee at Starbucks, the lectures began:

After battling the winds that morning (it was raining and dreary), I made it to One World Trade Center!! I was in the 'Editorial/PR/Social' major and I saw a variety of speakers including Michelle Phan, Brian Phillips and Juliana Ribeiro from Black Frame PR, Aliza Licht (@dknyprgirl), Erika Bearman (@oscarprgirl), the Teen Vogue editors and more!

First talk of the day - Michelle Phan
Each speaker's story was different but the same in a way? All of them had worked incredibly hard to get to where they were but luck was involved, once they put the hard work in. Many of the lessons that I've personally learnt over the past two years (see my Mid Gap-Year Reflections post) were reinforced in the talks.

A talk from the art and fashion Instagram team leader - Kristen Joy Watts
Freebies from the talk
Obligatory Insta-photo with the Condé Nast sign
You may have heard this story before but Michelle Phan, probably the most successful beauty YouTuber of all time, was rejected from her dream job at the Lancome makeup counter when she first started her YouTube videos in 2007. And guess what, she was made a official video make-up artist for the brand in 2010! Amazing how life works!

Bomb views from the World Trade Center
Sunday - last talk of TVFU by Erika Bearman
Erika Bearman (PR manager of Oscar de la Renta) and Aliza Licht (PR manager of DKNY) have been incredibly successful but they both, sort of, fell into fashion. It's almost like fashion found them? Aliza Licht, for example, did a pre-med degree and was fully focused on becoming a doctor for a long time, until one day she realised it wasn't for her and pursued fashion instead.

Graduation certificate received on Sunday
So all in all it was an amazing weekend! After being subscribed to the magazine for 3 years, it seemed like a natural progression, but it was still surreal to be there after being selected out of 3500 applicants :') I will forever be grateful!

Until the next post,

P.S Apologies once again that the post is up so late, my laptop is still in the repair shop...thank goodness for computer access at the library though :') 

NYC Prepping & Packing!

Posted on Wednesday, 11 March 2015

So, for the past week, I've been mainly getting ready to go to NYC for the Teen Vogue Fashion University!

Packing can be long, especially when you want to look good and stay warm at the same time - a combination which I find difficult...

However, aside from clothes, I also picked up a few extra bits and bobs for my stay in the city:

Experimenting with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

I've known about this camera for ages, but never got my hands on one...until now! Seeing as I'm into photography, I thought, why not shoot through a different medium to save the moment? I also used my friend's Instax camera during a Photography trip to Amsterdam in my last year of school. The photos turned out pretty cool (example on the right) and I've been obsessed since. Stay tuned on my Instagram for more Polaroids pics during the trip :)

Business Cards

Teen Vogue Fashion University is a huge opportunity for networking/making contacts in the fashion industry! So in order for people to remember my face and name, I created some dope business cards on I used an image from the Berlin Zalando photoshoot, combined with my signature logo and contact details.

NYC DK Tourist Guide

I obviously need to make the most of the City and be a tourist! I bought this guide ages ago with some ol' book vouchers and it's detailed, informative and contains beautiful images. Alongside Trip Advisor, I'll be using the book to guide me around the City when I'm not at TVFU.

So there it is, 3 essentials for the trip! And let's not forget my trusty Nikon D3100 which I'll be shooting with as well.

 I'll also be going to an exotic location afterwards for a bit of sun! Stay tuned for the blog-posts towards the end of next week when I get back! In the mean time, follow me on social media (@beccacofie) for LIVE photos/coverage of the trip!

Mid-Gap Year Reflections: Who said anything in life came easy?

Posted on Tuesday, 3 March 2015

It's safe to say that taking a gap year was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

The things I've been able to do, the people I've been able to meet, the memories I've been able to make.

But no, it didn't come easy. It doesn't happen overnight.

I feel that all the experiences prior to now were preparation for this gap year.

Hard-work: I spent the last two years of school looking for a part-time job during my studies for a bit of extra cash. I wrote many cover letters, got a few interviews, but no job, despite searching on and off for two years.

Looking back on it now, balancing my studies with a part-time job on the side wouldn't have been possible, especially if I wanted to get into university! But all the cover-letter writing, the interview practice prepared me for the variety of internships/opportunities/and a part-time job (finally!) that I've been partaking in my gap year.

The common thread through all of this, is that I didn't give up. 

Despite not obtaining a part-time job during school, I continued to search, hustle and grind, and finally got what I wanted - when the time was right, and the time was now

Mom jeans: Topshop
Courage: In a way, you could say my gap year began back in February 2014. I mentioned briefly on the blog that I turned up to LFW in February 2014 (not September), uninvited, to do a street style shoot for my Photography studies in school. (Check out the photos here)

What kind of person turns up to LFW uninvited to ask random people to model for them for a school project? 

The ones who want the results.

It sounds crazy, and of course I was scared to go 'cause I didn't know what to expect! But I went anyway because the desire to gain the results was greater than the fear.

And I got more than what I wanted. I obviously did street style, but I also met a fashion blogger, now good friend, Edita Lozovska from Pret-A-Reporter, who got me into a show - in the photographers' pit in fact. And of course, we can't forget how I snuck into many shows because of Edita in September 2014 LFW, went to Berlin because of Edita in October and had amazing opportunities because of the one time in February 2014 where I defied logic.

Crazy, huh?

Top (it's actually a dress but I tucked it in): Missguided
Persistence: During my final year of school, I applied to some international universities (as well as UK ones). Despite my hardwork, I didn't get into a single international one (I only got into UK universities). Obviously, it was for a reason, considering the things that have happened on this gap year! I was in Starbucks 2 months ago, and a candidate was being interviewed for one of the international universities I applied to. I thought to myself, that's funny, that was me, last year!

And in that exact moment, I received an email from Teen Vogue. I'd been accepted to the Teen Vogue Fashion University (read more here) - a weekend of seminars from industry pros including Michelle Phan, Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff and Leandra Medine from The Man Repeller.

Belt: Vintage
That exact moment was proof that when one door closes, another one opens. 

Shoes: Reebok Classics
I thought I would reflect on my experiences (for which I'm incredibly grateful) and thus inspire, motivate and encourage anyone out there on a journey. I could go on and on but I don't want to bore you! So just to summarise:
  • Never give up
  • Work hard
  • Feel the fear but do it anyway
  • Everything happens for a reason
Until next time,

P.S. I will be documenting the Teen Vogue Fashion University, which takes place next week, on the blog/my social media (linked above). Stay tuned for more :-)

Photography/modelling/creative direction: Rebecca Cofie