Personal Labels: A Parsons Student’s Train of Thought

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do in the long run with my life, which should not be a surprise given that I am in my second year of college. Yes, I’ve always known that I would work in fashion, and perhaps as an editor, but with all that has changed since 1996 (my birth year), the industry’s direction feels uncertain, and so does the career path I’ve been following since age 12. So, what am I now, and what will I be?

Typically, I don’t use IHeartParsons as a vessel in which to spill my inner thoughts, but I’m hoping those of you applying/getting into schools could read and maybe feel like you’re not alone.

If I know one thing about myself, it’s that I work well with definition. Knowing what something means, or perhaps philosophizing about what it’s supposed to mean, gives me great comfort. This might also be the reason why I’m contented by labels; not stereotypes, but names that provide that definition I love so much. You could think of it as how we name runway trends.

What does this have to do with my life goals? Well, at first I labeled myself stylist, then editor, then publicist – but the last is only because that’s what I happen to be doing this semester. Then I thought others would probably label me “intern,” because that is after all what I actually do at the places I’ve worked so far. But I don’t want to think of myself as “just another intern,” it feels patronizing in a way. It’s true, I’m not technically a stylist or an editor or a publicist yet, but I think any of us are worthy to be called as such.

Still at a loss for my personal label, I went to the Museum at FIT with fellow intern, Lauren to view The Women of Harper’s Bazaar (March 1-April 2, 2016). This exhibition chronicled the collaborative work of Carmel Snow, Diana Vreeland, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe from 1936-1958. Reading the display descriptions, I saw the one thing that triggered this post – the curator had described Vreeland as a “visual narrator.” Literally, everything.

Vreeland was more than an editor, more than a stylist, and arguably more than human. She was a commentator of culture who expressed her views through fashion and photography. Walking home, the idea of being a visual narrator stirred through my mind, and when I sat down at my desk in my room, I discovered my label.

How does one make this official? Let’s just say my Instagram bio got a new addition that afternoon.

I’m not sure that this conclusion even relates back to the thoughts I provoked in the first few paragraphs, but try to think of this as a public train of thought, rather than an academic piece, planned so strategically it might give you a headache.

Also, please contribute to this conversation in the comments! Do you think it’s brazen of me to declare this label onto myself? Would you also call yourself a visual narrator? Discuss away.

About Jeffrey Roy Jr.

My name is Jeffrey and I am a Strategic Design and Management student at Parsons School of Design. When I am not posting on Twitter or Instagram, you can often find me perusing the newsstand at Barnes & Noble.

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