By Camryn McLen
When I first started my journey at the Cronkite School and Arizona State University in the fall of 2021, I was a transfer student who had come from two different community colleges and another university. I knew absolutely nobody and knew absolutely nothing about ASU. I had even gone into my journey with imposter syndrome, which I’m actually still trying to shed.
I knew that I couldn’t go my whole ASU journey without getting out of my comfort zone and joining some kind of club. That’s when I remembered a club I had heard of over the summer – the fashion journalism club, which is now commonly known as The Chic Daily.
When I looked into the club I was instantly intrigued because at Cronkite there wasn’t a fashion, lifestyle or entertainment track to go down. A lot of emphasis is put on hard news, investigative journalism and sports journalism. My dream was to write for a fashion or lifestyle magazine like Elle, Cosmopolitan or Vogue, courtesy of the movie 13 Going on 30, so I figured the fashion journalism club was right up my alley.
A couple of weeks into the semester I decided to muster up the courage to email the president at the time, Lauren Lippert, and ask if and how I could join the club. From the moment she answered me she was the kindest, most welcoming person I had ever met.
At my first club meeting, I obviously didn’t know anyone so I sat off to the side somewhat by myself. I was nervous because it seemed like everyone had friends in the club already, but luckily there was one member who talked to me and also made me feel welcome.
That meeting also happened to be a desk meeting, which meant people were pitching stories for the magazine and digital publication. I found myself gravitating toward the digital publication side where I pitched two stories, which was shocking for me because I was extremely shy and couldn’t believe I even spoke up in the first place.
Those two articles were Fashion at the 2021 VMAs and NYFW: MOSCHINO Spring/Summer 2022 “Ladies Who Lunch.”
I remember the day my articles were published, Sept. 14, I actually felt proud of myself and it didn’t hurt that the editors at the time, Ashlyn Robinette and Morgan Cole, thought I was very good at writing. That also helped diminish a little part of my imposter syndrome considering I had never written anything fashion journalism-related before.
Since it was fashion month at the time, I pitched another story to focus on another runway show at Paris Fashion Week. I remember not knowing whether or not the editors wanted me to write about an in-person fashion show or a digital one since runway shows were just starting to emerge again after the pandemic.
At the end of a meeting, I decided to ask Lauren to clarify for me and I was beyond nervous. Because I was such a shy person, talking to anyone I didn’t know very well gave me anxiety but Lauren crushed all that with one comment. I asked which type of show she wanted me to write about and she suggested I write about both. I could tell she could see the nervousness and panic on my face, and her exact words were, “You’re killing it.”
To some, it may seem like a simple comment, but when it came from Lauren it actually made me feel like I was good enough. Though I had only been in the club for a few weeks, Lauren had already inspired me. Her leadership and personality in general made me believe that I could make it in the fashion journalism industry. After every meeting, I left feeling confident and seeing the glass half full.
Though I told her before she graduated that semester how much she meant to me and how much she inspired me, I still don’t think that she realizes how big of an impact she made on me and many others in the club. I can genuinely say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without her leadership and encouragement.
From then on, it started becoming easier for me to pitch story ideas and I kept looking forward to writing more and more stories for the digital publication.
As my Cronkite journey continued, around spring 2022, I started getting more involved in public relations. There was another member in the club who specialized in PR, and he taught me how to create media alerts and press releases for the charity fashion shows the Chic often puts together.
The following semester, fall 2022, the president at the time decided to try out a new role on the executive team that focused on community and media outreach. This would be my first time on the executive team which was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. When I joined the Chic Daily, I never thought that I would end up taking an executive position, something that’s really out of my comfort zone.
Throughout my role as the PR/community/outreach coordinator, I was able to reach out and get press passes for our club members to report on fashion shows and I was also able to organize a magazine launch party for our spring 2023 issue. I figured I would have this role until the end of my time at ASU, but it wasn’t until the end of the spring 2023 semester that the president of the club, Alexia Hill, asked me to be her vice president.
This seemed a little scary to me because I didn’t think I possessed the qualities a VP would have, but I knew that if I had Alexia then everything would be okay. I happily accepted the position and am currently the VP of the Chic Daily.
However, this is my first and last semester as the VP, because I’m finally graduating this December. It’s bittersweet because I’m excited to finally graduate, but I don’t want to leave the Chic. A part of me feels like, what do I even do after the Chic?
It’s clear that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t joined the club back in August 2021. I wouldn’t have had half of the experiences or connections I’ve had without the club. I wouldn’t have been able to attend fashion shows or go to fancy galas and parties if it hadn’t been for my connection with the Chic.
The Chic Daily has been a huge part of not only my journalism/public relations career and journey, but it’s been a huge part of my life. As I write this, it still doesn’t feel real that I’ll be leaving. Honestly, I don’t want to. I’ve met some of the greatest people in this club and I’m so grateful for everyone I have met during my time in it.
Thank you to The Chic Daily and everyone who has been a part of it. I can genuinely say that it’s been my favorite part of my college career and if I could be a part of it forever, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so.
Thank you to the editors who made me believe that I was good enough for the fashion journalism industry and thank you to Lauren who was the first person who inspired me and made me feel like I belonged in that industry.
This feels like a goodbye, but I don’t want it to be. So I’ll make it more of a see you later.
With much love and appreciation,