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Anna Wintour is one tough woman to break, but can you blame her?

As the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue and the artistic director of all publications under Conde Nast, she has a lot on her plate. But during the small window of time she gets a day, Anna decided to drop a little bit of knowledge to some aspiring fashion designers and students at London’s Central Saint Martins. And for the woman who inspired The Devil Wears Prada, she doesn’t go easy. But given her track record of guiding designers like Alexander Wang into fame, it’s best that we all listen up close. Here’s what we got from her tough love advice:

Success doesn’t come overnight, and not without hard work. Go get a job.

“Go get a job. Whether it’s working as a designer or working in a restaurant and then doing your own thing in your own time, it’s a reality of life. In the end it’s going to be helpful to you and so many others. The basic truth of the matter is that 80% of what sells in the stores are the mid-season collections: resort and pre-fall. So when you’re ready, don’t ignore it, because it’s going to be something that will help you pay the bills.”

Don’t be scared. Toughen up. Anna Wintour might be hidden behind her black shades and traditional haircut, but she isn’t afraid to put herself out there and command her voice to be heard.

“How they present themselves publicly is important. In today’s world you have to interact. You can’t be some difficult, shy person who is not able to look somebody in the face; you have to present yourself. You have to know how to talk about your vision, your focus and what you believe in.”

Most fashion lines don’t succeed. While there are exceptions to this rule, where someone straight from school manages to create a successful fashion line, those instances are few and far between.

“The only thing I worry a little bit about, going straight from school to starting your own business, is not that many succeed… I personally would advise you to think carefully before you start your own business, and consider possibly working for a designer or a company whose work you admire.”

The “buddy system” still applies. It might be cool to get all the praise for the business, but it’s unlikely you can manage a brand alone.

“It’s important to have someone to talk to and discuss everything with and bounce ideas off. I have not seen too many successful designers who’ve managed alone, without their business partner.”

And finally, don’t do it for the ‘Gram.’ The number of Twitter followers and Instagram likes does not equate to a successful, money-making business.

“It’s possible in today’s world to be instantly famous, whether it’s through Instagram or whatever platform it may be, but it’s a very different matter to be successful financially and in the long-term.”

SOURCE: Dazed | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram

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