At the beginning of the month I traveled to Los Angeles, California to attend the third Teen Vogue Summit! This two day conference was focused on career advancement, achievement and advice. Not only did I give you all an inside scoop via Instagram Stories, but I also captured pictures and quotes to show you even more of what was discussed during this sunny Cali weekend!
Friday: The first day of the #teenvoguesummit!
Now I’m not a coffee drinker but man did I need some this day as I did not get much sleep! I woke up around 7am to get ready for day one. I enjoyed some nice breakfast at the hotel and caught my first Uber of the day. My first stop was LA’s Instagram offices! As PATTERN’s Social Media Manager, I was pumped to not only see what Instagram looked like in real life, but to pick the brains of those that worked there.
There were four women on the panel, Influencer Alex Michael May, Instagram’s Emerging Talent Partnerships Mitzi and Besidone, and Instagram’s Entertainment Partnerships Claudine. Through telling us about how they got to where they are today, inspirational quotes came pouring out. Claudine particularly inspired me as she gave advice of saying yes to everything that comes your way and to not be afraid to fail.
Fail harder! If you make a mistake, pick yourself up. Know that it’s ok to fail. Don’t be afraid to pivot, Claudine said.
What she meant by “don’t be afraid to pivot” is don’t be afraid if life is taking you in a different direction than you had planned. Life is not about having your path set in stone. It’s about enjoying the ride and living through new experiences and challenges. She could speak to this as she used to be a producer for Ryan Seacrest when he was up and coming. She interned for him and was supposed to be his producer for him for only five weeks, but that turned into 15 years!
After the panel, we had a tour of their Insta-worthy offices! Instagram is owned by Facebook, with their headquarters located in San Francisco. That being said, the LA offices were a bit small, but still very cute! From an Instagram wall, to a hidden tunnel underneath the staircase, there was plenty to see! They even had two IGTV filming studios and we were able to preview one of the videos they were filming.
Once my tour ended, I hopped in another Uber and road to my next stop: Levi’s! Now we didn’t just visit any Levi’s store, we visited the Haus of Strauss! This house is used for private events, celebrity fittings, and parties! We all received a Levi’s denim jacket that we could customize with chain stitching, patches, pins and graffiti. I had my name embroidered on the front to match Vera Papisova’s, Teen Vogue’s Features Editor, jacket. She was excited that we had matching jackets that we took a cute photo! #twins
Saturday: The second day of the #teenvoguesummit!
Unlike the day before, I got plenty of sleep and was up early in the morning for day two! I got ready and Ubered to 72andSunny, an advertising agency in LA that lent their space for Teen Vogue to use. After checking in, I received a swag bag filled with so many goodies from PINK, Google, Lola, Bare Minerals and more. I made my way over to the food trucks for breakfast where I ordered the yummiest breakfast sandwich. The line for check in took so long that after I got my food, I ran to the main stage as the summit was starting!
Storm Reid was the host and came on stage to introduce the first keynote speaker. The room clapped as Model and Actress Cara Delevingne took the stage to introduce Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21. This is a list Teen Vogue produces every year promoting 21 people under the age of 21 who are killing the game. This year they didn’t just focus on celebrities but also politicians, activists and creators who are making a change in this world! Deja Foxx, acitivist and organizer, Tia Adeol, designer, Maame Biney, first African-American Olympic speed skater, and Lily Madigan, first trans women officer in Labor Party, joined Cara on stage for a discussion on life and self-improvement.
Pursue your passions but don’t do it for anyone else but yourself, Cara said.
Tia agreed and followed it up by saying “Be yourself. Don’t get distracted and surround yourself by people you love.”
After this, we were released to go to our first breakout session. Of course mine related to social media and was titled Social Cues: A Social Media Discussion. Nicolette Mason moderated the panel and social media stars Patrick Starrr, Jenn Im, Claudia Sulewski and Eva Gutowski spoke on the panel. I thought this would be a panel on how to improve your social media but instead it was more of a discussion on how social media has effected these four people’s careers. A lot of these social media stars are a team of one, which makes it difficult to get everything done, but somehow they manage it!
I had followed Claudia for years and appreciated what she had to say about the topic. “One reason people go online is to share and connect with people who have gone through the same thing,” Claudia said. “Empowering women to speak up is something I promote. Putting yourself in uncomfortable situations helps you learn so much about yourself.”
Jen also had some words on how to be more of a positive person. “If you start taking care of yourself, you’ll see these positive changes around you.”
Patrick was the comedian of the group and noted that “Misery loves company, but happy loves happy.” He also added that “Karma’s a bitch, and I’m that bitch!”
After this panel ended, we had a lunch break and then all met together at the main stage for another keynote speaker. This session was titled Fearless, Fierce, and Fabulous with Serena Williams and Naomi Wadler where my big takeaway was from Serena who said
The success of one woman could be the inspiration to another!
The second and final breakout panel was next talking about diversity in Hollywood. The panelists included Lana Condor, Indya Moore and Storm Reid. Hollywood hasn’t always included diversity or portrayed it in the correct way. The ladies on this panel had something to say and demand change. It was so interesting hearing them speak about this and it really opened my eyes to all that needs to change not only in our culture but in Hollywood! As Indya said,
We don’t exist in the minds of these [Hollywood] creators and that’s daunting. I couldn’t wait around for someone to believe in me. I had to believe in myself.
Lana said she didn’t think she could have a career in acting because she didn’t grow up seeing people like her represented on screen. With her new movie, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix, Lana said being an Asian-American lead who falls in love “shouldn’t be groundbreaking. It should already be happening.”
The Teen Vogue Summit was not only a dream come true for me to attend, it taught me a lot and allowed me to network with people in person that I might not meet otherwise. It was very cool to see people of all ages interested in these topics at the event. I definitely left California with a new perspective and some really good connections!