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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Author and former editor Kate Betts lectures at SMU

Kate Betts book, Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. Photo credit: Pinterest
Kate Betts’ book, “Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.” Photo credit: Pinterest

Kate Betts, an American fashion journalist, shared with SMU students about her dream of Paris and how it led to her career.

“If you have a wish for something at a young age, you have to nourish it and continually make an effort to nurture it,” said Betts.

Betts gave a lecture in Umphrey Lee Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m. The room was filled with mainly girls and a few boys. She spoke openly about her career and memories.

Betts graduated from Princeton University and moved to Paris, where she wanted to become a foreign correspondent. However, she got a job at WWD and started climbing her way to the top of the Paris fashion world.

Five years later she moved to New York, where she worked for Vogue. She later became the editor of Harper’s Bazaar and then the editor of Time magazine.

In 2011, she switched from editor to author when she released her book “Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.” In 2015, she released her memoir, “My Paris Dream.


Betts shared how she had dreamed of Paris from a young age.

“I had this idea, this dream, and I was pretty serious about holding on to it,” said Betts.

Betts encouraged the audience to continue to go after their dreams no matter what hesitations they had. She shared the phrase “just go there,” which she claims played a very important role in her career. She encouraged anyone who wants to be a journalist to take that phrase to heart.

“You can’t just write about something just from reading about it on Google or hearing something about it. You have to go there and experience it and create your own impressions and opinions about it,” said Betts.

Sophomore Molly Smith felt that this was the main takeaway from Betts’ speech.

“I think that actually experiencing something is crucial, not only to journalism, but to any career, so I’m glad she emphasized that,” said Smith.

Betts believes this way of thinking is especially important to fashion journalism.

“I urge people to look at fashion in the context of where you are, not just fashion for fashion’s sake, but what it says about the person who is wearing it,” said Betts.

Betts took this advice to heart when she went to Yves Saint Laurent’s studio in Paris. She said this is where she learned that fashion was truly an expression of people’s lives.

“That’s where I realized what I wanted to become. I wanted to become a fashion journalist,” said Betts.

Betts talked about how by visiting many designers, she finally figured out what real style is.

“They were consistence, they told the same story over and over again and that’s really what style is,” said Betts.

Sophomore Hayden Hickingbotham loved hearing Betts talk about the designers and her take on them.

“It was so interesting to hear talk about fashion like true art,” said Hickingbotham.

Betts left the audience with a quote from her book. She spoke about how you have to constantly nourish your dreams and stay connected to them.

“Paris has always stayed close to me and I have continually felt nourished by it,” said Betts.

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