Meet the girl who’s making it Manhattan: bright, bubbly and boldly-herself Caroline Vazzana!
After racking up nearly 180,000 followers on her colorful kaleidoscope of an Instagram page, the 26-year-old creative director, editor, stylist and longtime friend of TigerBeat (who styled our cover photoshoot with JoJo Siwa back in 2017!) debuted her first-ever book last week, “Making It In Manhattan,” the beginner’s guide to surviving and thriving in the world of fashion.
In the brand-new page-turner, Caroline pulls back the curtain on the city that never sleeps and lends young readers tips and tricks to landing their dream job. Want the inside scoop? We caught up with the friendly fashionista for the 411 on everything from what to wear on your internship interview to what she wishes she’d known as a teenager and more!
“If my 15-year-old self could see me now, she would not believe it. This is everything I dreamed of my entire life.”
~ Going inside my closet today on @theselect7 💕🎀🛍it was so fun playing dress up with my vintage @oscardelarenta dress, and of course no look is complete without a tiara! Swipe through for an inside look into my my world and don’t miss the full story now on theselect7.com! Also, I teamed up with The Select 7 to gift one lucky follower a signed copy of my book so head over to their page and find the picture with my signature blue Manolos for all the details on how to enter #MakingitinManhattan 🎊👗👠👙👑👛👒👡👢👓🎒📸 @daphneyoureephotography ~
What was your inspiration behind “Making It In Manhattan”?
Caroline: I wrote the book as a way to give back to those who want to work in New York City, or to work in the fashion industry, and want to follow their dreams, but have absolutely no place to start. The industry is this fun, magical, amazing place where with hard work and determination, anything is possible. I’m some random girl who had no connections whatsoever, but had these huge dreams.
Is there an overall message behind it? What do you want readers to take away?
Caroline: Always keep your dreams in a special place. Never let anyone derail you from your dreams. Always keep it close to your heart! You might get off your path for a while, or go down a different road, but always keep it with you because that’s what life’s about. It’s about following your dreams!
Has fashion always been a big part of your life?
Caroline: Fashion is just something that’s like been in my blood since day one…From the time that I was 10-years-old, I knew I wanted to be in a creative space…I wanted to be an artist, I loved painting. Then when I was 14, “Project Runway” came out and every girl in America with a pair of scissors and fabric thought they wanted to be a fashion designer, me included. Then finally, when I went to college, I went in for fashion design.
What does style mean to you?
Caroline: Style is who I am. I mean, it’s a part of my soul! It sounds very corny, but for me, putting an outfit together every day is like putting together a piece of artwork. I feel like fashion is the way I fully can express myself. A lot of my followers don’t know me at all, have never spoken to me, but because of the crazy colors I wear, they know that I’m very approachable, and fun, and funny, and happy!
Do you have any advice for staying stylish on a budget?
Caroline: No amount of money can buy style! It’s about having fun and looking for a few key items. It’s important to have your basic staples: your black dress, your white t-shirt, your high waisted denim, maybe a white pair of sneakers. Then, throw in like a couple of statement items: a funky bag, a crazy colorful pair of shoes, one crazy necklace. Then you can easily mix and match!
What’s the key to pulling off crazy colors and prints?
Caroline: Confidence! I think being young, there’s pressure to be cool, or to fit in. Why fit in when you can be the girl in the bright pink dress standing out with a tiara on? I would always rather be that girl. Just own it! Be your truest, most authentic self. Rather than changing yourself to make those kinds of people like you, if you just be yourself, you’ll find the right people who really love you.
~ Wishing the happiest of birthdays to one of my biggest idols, inspirations, and friends @betseyjohnson 💞💋💗🎂💓🍾as many of you know Betsey has had a huge impact on my career, so I’m so excited to share that she wrote an endorsement for my upcoming book, “this book is a treasure of solid, smart, supportive, and sassy stuff…” you’ll have to wait until August 21st to read her full quote! Preorder your copy of Making it in Manhattan now, link in bio #MakingitinManhattan #BetseyBabe #HappyBirthday 🎉‼️📚🎀💘~
In the book, you talk about your middle school art teacher begin a creative role model for you. Was there anyone else who also inspired you?
Caroline: So many women in my life! My mom, my grandma, both of my grandmas always inspired me to be myself. My mom never told me, “That doesn’t match,” Or, “That looks weird.” She’d just be like, “Wow, you put that together yourself? It looks great.” For one of my birthdays when she was in her 80’s, my grandma drove herself to the mall and walked around Macy’s to buy me a pair of Betsy Johnson earrings. My grandma, unfortunately, never got to see me become friends with Betsy Johnson, but I just say, “Oh, my God, if she could see me now.” It’s things like that that really made me want to be the best I could be for her and for anyone who really impacted me along the way.
What has surprised you the most about the fashion industry?
Caroline: The industry can feel very ‘you can’t sit with us,’ but my book is ‘you can sit with us.’ Come sit with me, talk to me, read this, let’s be friends. I think it’s just been so surprising that so many of these designers [Betsey Johnson, Christian Siriano, Nicole Miller…etc] were so willing to write these endorsements for the book. When it came around time to writing the endorsements, all of them were more than happy to do it!
What are some mistakes you’ve made? Any industry don’ts?
Caroline: Don’t forget to bring your resume to an interview like I did! It was my first-ever internship interview, at Vogue of all places! And I forgot my resume.
What should someone wear to their first-ever interview?
Caroline: It’s always important to do your research on the company because you’d obviously dress differently if you were interviewing at Calvin Klein or if you’re interviewing at Betsey Johnson. Do your research but then always add your flare into it.
Did you learn anything about yourself while writing this book?
Caroline: I learned that I can write a book! I doubted myself a little bit…but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be!
What’s next for you? Can you see yourself writing a second book?
Caroline: This book is definitely the beginning of my career. It follows how I got into fashion, landing my first internships, so it’s really really the beginning stages of everything. The book doesn’t even touch on me like quitting my full-time job and starting my own site. This book is really a general guidebook, the beginner’s guide. I can’t tell too much, but there’s a whole chunk of my life after the book that isn’t included!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Caroline: It so crazy because this was such a goal for me, writing this book. And establishing myself as this voice and this style influencer. I guess the next stage is just seeing where the book takes me. I would love to continue to write and I would love to write a second book. I’d love to continue to be this voice for young girls everywhere who are hoping to follow their dreams!