14: An Update / by LaQuann Dawson

Today marks my official first day of summer break. Somehow all of my finals ended up being on the same day and now I am done until the end of August. You guys, it has been such a long semester you have no idea how relieved I am right now. I have learned so much, met some great professors and now for the summer...I am headed to New York.

Hoodie - Ivy Park (topshop.com) - photo by me

I worked my ass off the past 6 months and I've been applying for fashion internships since the end of November. I applied and applied and interviewed several times and I have officially committed somewhere and cannot wait to start (in 8 days). This is a big risk for me to take financially but I've done the math, I've weighed the pros and cons and I am doing this. I will be working with a company called TKO Evolution working as a (paid) fashion design intern working on fashion illustrations, flats, understanding construction and learning a lot about the business and the fashion industry first hand. I'll be staying with my good friend Nelly (nellym.com). Wish me luck and send good vibes, I'll need it.

I really would like to collaborate with other creatives throughout my time in New York this summer, if anyone is interested in linking up please do reach out. I will be freelancing, drawing, hopefully sewing and I will have my camera with me everywhere I go. I've been laying out my money as responsibly as I can, returning clothes I can't afford, cooking more than I eat out and working my ass off at work. I am actively looking for other work (as in another job) as well, applying as I see openings where I could fit. Just for safety money, you know?

This next thing is freshly in the works but I am also planning on doing independent research for a course at school. I expressed (in essay form) to my professor my disdain toward a course I took this semester at its neglect toward the many contributions to fashion from African and African American people. My professor respectfully responded saying she "appreciates and validates" my perspective and in short, she invited me to do an independent research with her to aid to the class's development. If all goes well, this summer I will be heavily researching black contributions to fashion and this information will be added to the course for the next time the course is taught. If anyone knows of specific books I could look into, people to talk to, museums, etc. I welcome the aid.

This summer is not going to be easy for me but I've been trying to do this for a year and a half and while I will not be graduating for another three years, I have realized that skipping out on huge opportunities and being safe will not help me grow as an individual and it will do nothing for my career. After hearing advise from family, friends, my boss, coworkers, my amazing professors this semester and listening to my own gut, I am understanding that I need to do things that will make me happy and advance myself as a brand and person so that my future will be brighter. The best things in life are not easy anyway, right?

Hoodie - Ivy Park (topshop.com) - photo by me

Hoodie - Ivy Park (topshop.com) - photo by me

Hoodie - Ivy Park (topshop.com) - photo by me

And more importantly than basically any of this (I joke)...I am going to see Beyonce at the end of the month and Afro Punk at the end of the summer. As if my year wasn't already going well having gone to and working my first fashion week, seeing Kanye, starting my blog and getting so much amazing support with it. I've learned so much and I have become so inspired by people around me, I've gotten some great portfolio pieces, met a lot of great people, all in just the first half of the year I've grown so much and I can't wait for the rest to come.

I cannot say enough times how appreciative and grateful I am for anyone out there who is supporting me, reading my blog and rooting for me. It means a lot and please wish me luck this summer with work and research and hopefully some great collaborations! This post has just been a big sigh of relief at the end of the semester and me looking forward to the next chapter of life. 

Thank you again and say lit,

- Lackwhen.