If you’re attending a fashion school, you can only hope that the designated mentor is Sissy Vian, a renowned stylist and current creative fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar Italia. Some up-and-coming stylists’ wishes came true when Vian launched her mentorship programme, “The Milk of Dreams”, at Istituto Marangoni Milano a few days ago.
Sissy Vian introducing her mentorship programme, “The Milk of Dreams”, at Istituto Marangoni Milano
As Istituto Marangoni Milano Director of Education Diana Murek said when welcoming us, Sissy Vian will mentor the Fashion Styling Master’s students who will have the unique opportunity to work with her in the coming months.
So, upon her introduction by our Fashion Styling Programme Leader Michela Guasco, Sissy Vian immediately grasped our attention with her inspirational storytelling spanning her 30+ year career, leaving us all consumed with ambition and desire.
Sissy Vian will mentor the Fashion Styling Master’s students at Istituto Marangoni Milano
From fashion assistant at Vogue Italia to Harper’s Bazaar Italia’s creative fashion director: Sissy Vian’s career in a nutshell
From working as a fashion assistant at Vogue Italia under the creative direction of Franca Sozzani in the ‘90s to working with the younger generation of stylists and photographers during her time at Flair Magazine, all the way to collaborating with Vogue Japan as assistant editor at large, Sissy Vian has indeed seen it all.
Istituto Marangoni students attending the launch of Sissy Vian's mentorship programme
All of us in attendance were eager to have our many questions answered. Yet, Sissy Vian’s talk was so coherent and exceptionally detailed that, unbeknownst to her, she answered all of our queries before we could even ask. Sissy Vian also devoted a large portion of her talk to doling out constructive advice for young professionals hoping to break into the fashion industry.
Most of the significant guidance Sissy Vian was willing to relay to us regarded the ample ways we must seek inspiration, stressing the importance of always “thinking outside the box” and staying true to your perspective and creative interpretation.
Sissy Vian wowed Istituto Marangoni Milano's talents with her inspiring storytelling spanning her 30+ year career
“You are supposed to learn to think as an individual, not as part of a group. Use your background to create something unique” – Sissy Vian, Stylist and Creative Fashion Director at Harper’s Bazaar Italia
The only way to create an impact is by diversifying your research. The job of a stylist is unique to everyone and requires a lot of individual thinking, and Sissy Vian detailed that we must first and foremost have our own dream in order to make others dream. You must contextualise your work with your individuality, whether that means infusing your personality, culture or background into your creations.
“Question yourself, re-invent yourself, and challenge your point of view to create something different” – Sissy Vian, Stylist and Creative Fashion Director at Harper’s Bazaar Italia
Discussing her styling process, inspired by strange and non-conventionally-beautiful odd things, mentor Sissy Vian impressed Istituto Marangoni Milano Fashion Styling Master’s students joining her mentorship programme “The Milk of Dreams”
Sissy Vian’s styling process is finding inspiration everywhere: the streets, cinema, literature, travelling, and people, taking these thoughts and ideas and reworking them into her own creative language. She stressed that much of her inspiration emerges from intrigue and stimulation, specifically from strange and odd things that may not appear traditionally “beautiful” to the untrained eye; it is through finding that beauty and extracting it that one can truly create something extraordinary.
Discussing her styling process, mentor Sissy Vian impressed Istituto Marangoni Milano Fashion Styling Master’s students
Once Sissy Vian’s talk was over, having lasted much longer than anticipated due to the high volume of questions, the excited voices and commotion from the spectators filled the atmosphere. One could overhear comments and praise on Sissy Vian’s eloquence, humility and effortlessly chic style. Speaking for all those in attendance, I can confidently say that we all left this talk with motivation and guidance to embark on our future in the fashion industry.