A Q&A With Faran Krentcil ’99: Tips and Stories From Editor at Large of Elle.com

Why do you like fashion?
I like fashion because I think that it’s really exciting to have a creative feel that’s also based on commerce and one of the most interesting things to me about fashion is that no matter how exciting or how much attention it gets on the runway, it only counts if people buy it and wear it. And so that means that ultimately, it lies in the hands of American women, not just the tastemakers and the creators, and that in itself is incredibly exciting.

How did you get into fashion?
When I was in school, I loved fashion. I never was that girl who showed up to class in pajamas… I also loved being able to interview people that I really admired, or people that I wanted to get to know better and find out about them. Then when I was in college, I loved the people in the newspaper staff and I jumped right in as a freshman, and by the time I was a senior, a lot of the stuff I was writing was about fashion, because nobody else on campus was doing it… My stuff was noticed by some editors in New York, and I guess they thought it was pretty funny so I started interning with them, and that’s how it really happened.

How would you describe your fashion?
I would say my fashion is… a really great black skinny jean with a leather jacket and a pair of heels and giant sweater, and that’s what I’ll wear all day. Or it’s a mini skirt and a sweatshirt and a pea coat. And I swear to you – and anyone who knows me will confirm this – these are the exact same things that I wore when I was in school. Although I also did the dress-over-pants thing – which I’m not sure I can recommend now – I will say that when you’re walking from class to class in 20-degree weather, the dress over pants is the only thing that works. So I give you all a free pass.

What is your favorite article of clothing?
I think the greatest thing about a really, really sharp coat is that you can be wearing ripped jeans and a sweatshirt but if you put on a beautifully tailored coat, all of a sudden you look so cool and very knowing… I am a big fan of a gorgeous, gorgeous coat. In fact, I have more coats than probably anything else and when I go to Europe for fashion week, literally it’s ripped jeans, black boots, sweatshirts, and or giant moth-eaten sweaters that I’ve probably had since I went to Andover, and then gorgeous, gorgeous designer coats. And I’ll do it with a sneaker or like a heel. I also think though that you need to know your own body and what you’re actually going to wear… You shouldn’t worry about what other people wear, you should just worry that if something fits you really well, that’s a good indication that you should invest in that.

What was your most memorable celebrity encounter?
I guess the funniest thing that has ever happened to me with a celebrity was when Olivia Wilde was on the cover of Nylon. We had gone to school together… She was in my DramaLab when I was a Senior… Then, you know, she becomes a movie star, which is super and she’s wonderful and then she gets booked for a Nylon cover. Then I showed up at her photo shoot and we couldn’t stop laughing, because it’s like your friend from DramaLab! And she’s on the cover for a magazine and she’s posing, and [I’m] making stupid faces at her, and literally it was surreal and so cool, but my editor ended up kicking me out because we couldn’t stop laughing and he’s like, “Get out of here, what are you doing?” because when you’ve been friends with somebody for that long, like of course you’re going to be cracking up as soon as there’s a photographer and makeup artist, and it’s crazy!

What advice do you have for students aspiring to be a part of the fashion industry?
I would say in high school, don’t worry about it. There’s always going to be people like, “I’m 15, and I have an internship at Vogue Siberia,” and you’re like “Okay, that’s great.” If you have the connections somewhere and you can do it, great – but I don’t think you should worry about it. I think that, honestly, high school is the time to develop your writing skills and discipline. So I would work on being the best writer possible. I would work on the basics… I would read anything you can get your hands on, whether it’s related to fashion or related to politics. I would study, I would go on Elle.com and Vogue Runway and Dazed and Confused and learn what you like… I’ll tell you that honestly, I don’t get jobs because I look cool. I get jobs because I turn in [an article] and it doesn’t have to be edited. You get jobs in fashion because you make other people’s jobs easier, and that starts with the foundation.