BELLA is introducing a new take on your typical fashion feature by showcasing up-and-coming designers and emerging brands. Kicking off this feature, our first designer is…me! My name is Anna Hutchinson and I am student at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. I am working on my final semester at Jefferson and am so very excited to dive right into this amazing industry post-graduation!
I would describe my design aesthetic as ever-changing. I don’t believe I have a distinct artistic vision, but I love to keep people on their toes for each coming collection. I design men, women, and occasionally even children, because having the opportunity to work with various ages and genders allows me to stay updated on all current trends.
When I design, I am always driven toward fabrics that make the silhouettes speak for themselves. For this collection, I was inspired by people’s relationships and interactions in relation to the way waves from the ocean form and crash. I am continuously connecting each collection with a personal story, because that is what truly inspires me. In addition, I am drawn to creating sleek pieces that can be interchangeable in one’s wardrobe.
As you can see in the top on Caroline, I love mixing fabrics with different levels of surface texture, creating bold statement pieces. My final senior collection will be showcased in Thomas Jefferson University’s Annual Fashion Show. I invite you to follow my work on Instagram @A.HutchinsonDesigns. I am excited to begin this new slice of fashion for BELLA, and for the inspirational collaboration working with author and influencer Caroline Vazzana, who will be highlighting the new designers in each coming issue.
Can you tell us about yourself and give some background on how you got started?
I am a fashion and beauty influencer, stylist, fashion editor, author, and founder of Making It in Manhattan. I started my career by working in editorial—I worked at Teen Vogue and also InStyle. A little over three years ago, I went out on my own to become my own boss. I started writing my book, “Making It in Manhattan,” when I was still working at InStyle, I just had this idea that I wanted to give back to the next generation in fashion and write an all-encompassing guidebook about how to make it in the industry. Through the process of writing that book and signing with a literary agent, she advised me to start a website called Making it in Manhattan, and that’s how I indirectly started a blog and began to grow a following.
How would you define your style?
I sometimes joke that I am a super chic art teacher! I’m just very eclectic and colorful, and I love vintage shopping. I’d like to say I am really never afraid to try out new trends. One of my biggest mottos is to not look like anybody else, and to just always be a unique individual. Part of my style is always having fun…fashion should always be fun. You can’t take yourself too seriously, especially if you’re in a pink tutu and Manolos!
How does it feel to have that instant connection with fame and really grow your brand?
It’s been a wild ride! I never intended to be an influencer, that wasn’t really my goal from the start. I just wanted to write this book and I have always had this eclectic, fun sense of style, so just to be able to show that is really great. Writing the career advice on my site is great, too—it’s a very searchable topic and very relatable toward this generation. People will look up things like, “How to get an internship,” and my website pops up. A lot of people are clicking through and visiting my Instagram. I feel very thankful and blessed to get to share my voice and my style with such an incredible community of people. It’s kind of like one of those dream jobs!
That’s awesome! What do you feel is the best part about being involved within the industry?
For my job in particular, I just love the creativity of it all. I get to work with so many incredible brands, people, and photographers, and I get to work on cool projects. It’s always so exciting, so creative, and there are no rules—you just get to really try a little bit of everything! You can be styling, writing, or creative directing…I just love being able to work with up and coming brands and designers and also have that ability to collaborate with cool people every single day. I feel like I am finding a new designer every single day.
As you know, BELLA’s tagline is “Beauty Defined by You.” How would you define beauty?
Beauty is definitely within. I think the most beautiful people are the kindest people, the people who make me laugh uncontrollably, and the people who are just so uniquely themselves. Those are the people who I find the most beautiful and just so confident. They can walk into a room and own it, no matter what. I think that is true beauty.
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