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Tyler Says See Ya Later, Alligators

I'm hittin' the dusty ol' #content trail.
Long live the Water Cooler Selfie™!!!

Long live the Water Cooler Selfie™!!!

During my senior year of college, when I was a fashion-obsessed, part-time substitute teacher living in Gainesville, Florida, I discovered an up-and-coming site called Fashionista. I'm talking the O.G. Fashionista: A one-woman show run by Faran Krentcil which published blind items and hand-scanned magazine tear-outs with Post-It note haikus slapped on the front. (Since lost to the shifting sands of the internet, but I swear, I could probably replicate the handwriting, I remember them so clearly.)

I became a dedicated reader right away. I connected with the familiar tone of the site, and felt like the editors were my friends talking to me about fashion over brunch. By the time I was pursuing a master's degree, writing my thesis on French fashion and globalization, I was such an avid reader of Fashionista that I had the publishing schedule memorized and would check back every time there was a new story. 

When Leah let me parlay my borderline-incessant commenting into an internship, and then a job as editorial assistant, I really could not believe my luck. My byline was running in the same place as so many people I'd looked up to for years! I felt like I was being admitted into a very special, very cool sorority. 

Over a decade later, Fashionista has become so much more to me. Since 2019, I've had the extreme privilege of leading up the same site that helped foster my love of fashion, and our little office has been the most consistent thing in my life since I moved to New York 10 years ago. (For the most part, anyway: I did leave once already, only to come back shortly after.) I quite literally would not be here — in NYC or in the industry — if it weren't for Fashionista.

This job has taken me across the globe. I've been lucky enough to sit front row at fashion shows in Paris and familiarize myself with the local fashion industry in Sydney. I've sat down at elaborate dinners and sipped on drinks at parties where I have quite literally left wondering, "Who the hell let me in there?!" I've seen some truly unforgettable runways: Tom Ford's gritty subway showKarl Lagerfeld's final, moving collection for Chanel; more than one Thom Browne show that made me cry and/or laugh (sometimes both); an Alessandro Michele for Gucci show that made me believe in the magic of fashion; an Off-White show that was downright electric with Virgil Abloh's energy.

I also photobombed a not-insignificant number of famous people from my second and third row seats while at these shows.

Through my work, I've turned interviewees into friends and friends into interviewees, and I've spoken to personal heroes I never dreamed I'd even be in the same room with, let alone interview for my job. (And they all lived up to the hype, thankfully!)

I very often can't believe I got paid to write some of the things I did for this site. I was allowed, nearly completely unchecked, to openly fangirl over Harry Styles and Dakota Johnson. I wrote about "Gossip Girl" (both the O.G. and GG 2.0) so often that I frankly think I qualify as an expert on the topic now. (I mean, I completed an investigative report on the state of belts on the show!) I did red carpet write ups that were so unhinged, I can't believe anyone hit "publish" on them

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Only at Fashionista.

Only at Fashionista.

But I have always told people that we have the best readers here at Fashionista, and it's true — not just because I myself am a lifelong reader, but because we're lucky enough to have an audience that's very much engaged in the issues affecting the industry today. You guys wanted to talk about canceling Victoria's Secret, to dive deep into Dolce & Gabbana's comeback, to work on making the industry a better place for those with eating disorders. You always wanted to hear from the people who were fighting for those important changes in the fashion industry. I've been able to write op-eds about championing American talent and diversifying who gets featured in street-style galleries, and known they would connect with people.

Still, as many have said before me, the absolute best part of being at Fashionista has been the people I get to work with every day. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside some of the smartest, kindest and funniest people — not just in fashion, but period. The people I've shared office space with have pushed me to be a better writer and a sharper thinker. It's a cliché, but it truly has felt like a family; I cannot believe how lucky I am to have made lifelong friends out of coworkers. My fashion vocabulary is now so thick with weird inside jokes made up from our late-afternoon Slack convos and end-of-fashion-month exhausted giddiness that I'm genuinely worried I won't make sense to people outside our team.

The last few years have been (please excuse my French) fucking weird: When we left our office in March 2020, I thought we'd only be gone for a couple of weeks. Instead, I went over two years without seeing most of my co-workers IRL. But there is absolutely no one else I'd rather be in the #content trenches with during such a strange time; we pushed through everything together, as a team, and knowing that we had each other's backs helped make the craziness feel a little bit more bearable. This is such a special place, and I work with such special people.

Because of this, leaving my little Fashionista nest is far from easy, but my time here as editor-in-chief is coming to a close. I'm not going too far; I'll be trying my hand at the world of freelancing, so hopefully you'll still see me here from time to time. And Fashionista is in good hands, of course: I'm so excited to see Dhani take over as editor-in-chief, with Ana, Steph and Liza helping lead a whole new team of people into Fashionista's next era. I can't wait to keep being the site's number one fan.

In the meantime, if you wanna say hi — or tell me, finally, once and for all, what on G*d's green earth Kate Hudson was doing with a wrench at the 2016 Met Gala!!! — you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and (sigh, yes, attempting to keep up with the #youths) TikTok

Love you forever, Fashionista!!

Homepage photo: Courtesy of Tyler McCall

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