Pratt Institute Panel
Credit: Courtesy Pratt Institute

Looking to make your mark on the world of fashion? Then Pratt Institute's Women of Influence in the Business of Style event was the place to be. Top industry figures such as Tracy Reese, Maria Cornejo, and Melisa Goldie of Calvin Klein dished on fashion's greatest influencers and how their businesses rose to success. To top things off, InStyle's own Fashion News Director Eric Wilson moderated the conversation.

So, what qualities make a fashion influencer successful? We took plenty of notes! Here's what they each had to say.

Tracy Reese

"I would say patience is important, especially in our industry. Where we want everything tomorrow and I think having patience with yourself is important especially when it comes to having a very harsh schedule and it always doesn’t come on time. I think it’s important to have patience and communication is everything. My team understands my process and they know it’s not easy. So you shouldn’t be looking for grandeur and success the next day. It’s about being able to do it today, the next year, and 10 years from now."

Maria Cornejo

"I keep saying we have to be more confident. I think it’s hard because as a women you're constantly questioning yourself. My father taught me to do what you want. You never have to get married. You never have to have children. Just do what you want and that gave me some confidence. But we’re constantly questioning ourselves and are very aware of every little thing, but I think as women we need to block out the noise and be confident in what we do."

Melisa Goldie

"Three things: you have to be resilient, you have to of course have talent, and unstoppable drive. I’ve been at Calvin Klein for 15 years, but the company has been through several changes in that time period and you have be able to evolve and move with the way the brand or business is moving or evne with what is happening outside of the company. So, it’s resilience, talent, and drive."

Eric Wilson

"Humility. I think we put a little too much focus on ego in this business and I think it's really important to step back and look at yourself from someone else' perspective and try to be a little bit more compassionate about how you interact with everyone."