Matthew Yarborough G’17

MA in Global Communications (Fashion Track)

Matthew Yarborough G’17

What were some highlights of your AUP experience? 

I came upon AUP when searching online for international master's programs. I didn't necessarily want to go a fashion school, so when I saw the course description for the MAGC program’s Fashion Track, I felt that it aligned well with my interests and goals. I have fond memories of my time at AUP; the school and program offer many unique opportunities. For example, one guest lecturer, fashion journalist and author Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, arranged for a private visit to the atelier and apartments of the Maison Schiaparelli. I also thoroughly enjoyed Renate Stauss' Sustainable Fashion course; it really opened my eyes to the industry’s underbelly, but at the same time gave me hope by showing me ways in which people are taking action toward a better future. 

What advice would you offer AUP students hoping to work in fashion? 

The fashion industry is all about connections. So make them! I can honestly say, if it were not for the connections I made at AUP, I would not be where I am today. The guest lecturer I mentioned above introduced me to my current boss! Also, get engaged. Don't be afraid to reach out. And always be kind. Take any opportunity that is offered to you, because you never know who you might meet and where it might lead. And be prepared to work hard! Not everyone is built for this industry, but you will find out very quickly whether you have what it takes to make it in an agency.  

What are some of the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry today? 

For me, one of the industry's big PR challenges is how to navigate the changing dynamic between print and digital media. For some, print media, such as magazines and newspapers, are as relevant as ever, while for others, the focus is on digital. We're seeing many institutional publications closing their print editions and shifting into the digital space, and many new publications launching digitally first, with print playing a secondary or supporting role. The key thing as industry professionals is to identify where clients best fit in this shifting media landscape, so we can help them amplify their stories to the best of our ability.