5th Day of Fashion Camp


Thursday, Mood Board Activity


We began making our mood boards for the presentation of our products the next day. We settled on making a gender-neutral dress. The dress would be made from a simple patterned fabric like stripes. The dress would have a drawstring attached to make it longer or shorter. We all agreed and loved the idea. We began making the mood board for the brand. The brand was called U. We had magazines and art supplies to bring our mood board to life. The top portion of the board had black and white pictures, the middle had neutral-toned pictures, and the bottom had colorful pictures. We cut the pictures out of magazines and categorized them by their color group. We chose  LGBTQ, racially diverse, and disabled models that we found in magazines. We cut them out and put them on the board. Amelia and Lauren created a U made out of colorful beads. We hot glued the beads down at the very last minute with the help of Derek, our councilor. 


It took us three hours to finish it. We then went to the cafeteria for dinner.

Karaoke Night


There was a karaoke night by the pool. Aylin and Keythlin promised we would sing together as a trio. Liam was on stage singing Leaves by Miguel. We headed to the stage and they both got cold feet. 


I got Joelle, Elizabeth, and Averie to go on stage with me. We sang Party in the U.S. by Miley Cyrus. It was so fun. We had a great time. 


After I got off stage, Aylin and Keythlin were ready to sing together. We headed back to the stage and the man told us he was not accepting any more people because the pool was about to close. Aylin headed back to the room and I went to the football field. 


Briana and I had a great time, we went around talking to random people. We met a guy from Vegas named Chris, a guy from Kazakhstan named Yuriy, and a guy from Guatemala named Fabian. We also had to help Elizabeth find her missing phone lol. Eventually, she found it after we used Find My iPhone.


I headed to the dorm after they blew the whistle for curfew. 


Friday, June 28


The next morning we headed to the confidence and public speaking session. We got on the golf carts and went to the Fieldhouse. 


We sat in the room. An IMG mental conditioning coach named Taylor Stutzman came in and spoke to us. IMG has physical and mental conditioning for their athletes.


Stutzman began by telling us a story that happened in ancient China. A farmer’s horse ran away. The farmer’s neighbor gave condolences to the farmer for the loss of his horse. The farmer responded, “Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” The horse returned to the farmer and brought seven other wild horses. The neighbor comes back and congratulates the farmer on getting his horses back and seven more horses. The farmer responds, “Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” The farmer’s son gets on one of the wild horses and falls and breaks his leg. The neighbor comes back over and tells the farmer he feels bad that his son broke his leg on the horse. The farmer responds, “Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” The next day, the emperor sends soldiers to collect men for the war. The farmer’s son cannot participate because he is injured. Everyone that was enlisted in the war died. After the war, the neighbor comes over and says, “That’s such good news your son didn’t have to go.” The farmer responds, “Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” 


 “Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” 

-Taylor Stutzman 


Stutzman believes life is too complicated to constantly categorize our fortunes and misfortunes as good or bad. We cannot predict the consequences of good or bad things that happen to us. “When we think of things as really good or really bad rather than this just is sometimes it’s really hard to maintain our confidence,” Stutzman stated. 

“This just is”

-Taylor Stutzman 


Stutzman offered us a pill for confidence. He asked us if it could make us confident for five hours, how many people would want to take it? Basically, the whole room raised their hands. He told us there is no pill for confidence.


“Feeling confident is overrated,” he stated. He believes nothing can make you feel confident. He continued, “You don’t have to feel confident to act confident.”

“You don’t have to feel confident to act confident.”

-Taylor Stutzman 


Stutzman told us all to think of a karaoke song that we would want to sing, right now, in front of everybody. He gave us three minutes, then after the time was up, he would pick four people to sing. 


Three minutes passed and he told us it was just a joke. He did not want anyone to sing. He did that because he knew we would all feel uncomfortable. 

Stutzman quoted Mark Twain. 

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

-Mark Twain


Stutzman asked us what our immediate response was to him asking us to sing. “We tell ourselves a lot of things that aren’t true,” he stated. He continued, “If that made you super nervous, probably the first thing you told yourself was, ‘This is going to be awful…’ like you’ve already lived through it.’ Mark Twain believed we tell ourselves bad things and then we feel like we have already lived through them. “We create our own fear,” Stutzman stated.

“We create our own fear,”

-Taylor Stutzman 


“We tell ourselves a lot of things that aren’t true,” 

-Taylor Stutzman 


Stutzman asked us the difference between fear and danger. Madison said, “Fear is something we create and danger is real.” Stutzman agreed. Stutzman told us that our brains have a difficult time telling the difference between fear and danger. He explained that when humans first evolved, we had a part of our brain called the limbic. The limbic kept us safe in the times when early humans had to fend for themselves in the wild. Now, the limbic is not used as much. Before presentations, our brains still send the danger response from the limbic. “‘You’re going to die,’ essentially is what your brain is saying. Even though you’re not.” Stutzman stated. 


Stutzman began an activity where he asked volunteers to come and close their hands over a mousetrap and let it go without getting snapped. The girls let the traps go, but they didn’t go off. After some girls did it, he told them that the mouse traps he gave them were fake. He said rationally, he would never give them mouse traps because they could get hurt. He said that their brains convinced them the mouse traps were real, overriding the logic and reason part of their mind. He stated, “A lot of times what we do is we set our own mousetrap by telling ourselves a bunch of things that aren’t true.”  Stutzman continued, “One of the keys to confidence… is learning to overcome some of these fears that you’ve created.” 

“One of the keys to confidence… is learning to overcome some of these fears that you’ve created.” 

-Taylor Stutzman 


“No one’s afraid to fail, we’re afraid of what people might think about us if we do,” Stutzman added. 

“No one’s afraid to fail, we’re afraid of what people might think about us if we do,”

-Taylor Stutzman 


“We make a lot of assumptions of what people are thinking about us,” Stutzman explained. Stutzman predicted we would be nervous before we presented our brands later that day. “You’re gonna have all these thoughts popping up in your head, but you don’t have to listen to them,” Stutzman advised. “Good news is this is something we create so it’s something we can manage. Bad news is, it’s something you’re probably going to do for the rest of your life,” he professed. 


Stutzman gave us three strategies. He believes the power of perspective is the first. He showed us optical illusions. 

Optical Illusion

This image can be two faces or a vase, depending on the perspective. 


He believes both perspectives are different but valid. He showed us several pictures and videos that changed depending on perspective. 


He told us about a man named Alex Honnold. Honnold is a free-solo climber. He climbs without ropes and if he falls he dies. Honnold just starred in a documentary called Free Solo about free-solo climbing. Stutzman knows that most of us believe free solo-climbing is dumb and dangerous. Stutzman agreed with us, but he believes there is another perspective.


Stutzman played some of the documentary, Free Solo. Honnold explained he had been wanting to do free-solo climbing for a long time. Eventually, he knew he would regret it if he never tried. Honnold said, “Steadily broaden your comfort zone over time. Basically consistently do things that are slightly harder for you in the right direction. Not necessarily that are partially toward that goal, but keep broadening yourself until eventually, it’s possible.” Honnold explained that as he kept training the consequences remained really high, death, but the risk was low. 

Alex Honnold

Stutzman explained risk versus consequence. Stutzman added that our brain also struggles with the difference between nerves and being excited. “Public speaking is the number one fear above anything. Above spiders and heights,” Stutzman shared. “There’s some people that would rather die than do public speaking,” he added. 



“Public speaking is the number one fear above anything. Above spiders and heights.”

-Taylor Stutzman 


Stutzman knew that later in the day before we presented, we would have a choice on the perspective we choose. “Am I excited or am I afraid? That’s gonna be your choice on your perspective. It might not change this feeling, but it will change the perspective.” he added. 


“There’s not a thought anybody could think about you that makes you less talented,” he professed.


“There’s not a thought anybody could think about you that makes you less talented.”

-Taylor Stutzman 

Fear and danger are apart of human nature. “That just means your human,” he added. 


“The second key of confidence is what you tell yourself,” Stutzman explained. “Who do you talk to the most in the world? Yourself,” he continued. He believes you are the most important person you talk to. “You start to believe the things you repeat to yourself,” he professed. We think about many things every day.  “Depending on which study you look at, between 50,000 -80,000 thoughts pass through our minds every day,” he estimated. “You can’t control what comes into your mind, but what you can control are the things you repeat to yourself,” he added. Stutzman believes our thoughts control our confidence. “About 98% of those thoughts that pass through our minds, are the same thoughts we had the day before,” he explained. “Imagine the power we have in the things we tell ourselves because we repeat them day after day,” he imagined. “75-80% of our human thoughts can be considered unhelpful,” he explained. “The first thing that pops into our minds is usually what could go wrong,” he continued. 

“You start to believe the things you repeat to yourself.”

-Taylor Stutzman 


“You can’t control what comes into your mind, but what you can control are the things you repeat to yourself.” 

-Taylor Stutzman 


“About 98% of those thoughts that pass through our minds, are the same thoughts we had the day before.”

-Taylor Stutzman 


He showed us another video of a man blindfolded. The man reached his hand in a box and had to pet what was in it. There was a teddy bear in the box. The man kept reaching in and getting scared to touch it. He kept yelling, “Ew it’s slimy, Is it a snake?” He told himself so many things that he convinced himself that there was something dangerous in the box. He took his blindfold off and saw it was just a teddy bear. When he was blindfolded, the man kept screaming that the teddy bear was a snake, so he eventually believed it was. Rationally, his friends would never put a snake in a box for him to possibly be bitten. Our rational minds our overridden by our fears. “There’s a lot of power to the things that you tell yourself, so you can choose to put some really powerful things in your mind,” Stutzman added. After you get bad thoughts, repeat positive and uplifting things. Stutzman explained, “The core of self-confidence is self-compassion.” He asked, “Are the things you’re telling yourself kind?” He asked, “Would you be friends with the voice in your head?” The voice in your head should be a hypeman. He told us to think about people we look up to and how if they make a mistake we do not immediately stop liking them. We need to give ourselves the same allowance and understanding we give for other people’s mistakes. “Be your own hero,” he advised. “I don’t mean in an arrogant way, there’s a difference between arrogance and confidence,” he explained. “If I’m arrogant, I have to compare myself to someone else,” he continued. For instance, if a person constantly says they are better than someone else, that is arrogance. Confidence is believing and encouraging other people while believing in yourself. He asked, “If you wouldn’t say this to someone else, why would you say it about yourself?”

“The core of self-confidence is self-compassion.”

-Taylor Stutzman 

“Are the things you’re telling yourself kind?”

-Taylor Stutzman 

“Would you be friends with the voice in your head?”

-Taylor Stutzman 

“If you wouldn’t say this to someone else, why would you say it about yourself?”

-Taylor Stutzman 

“If I’m arrogant, I have to compare myself to someone else,”

-Taylor Stutzman 


He encouraged us to create an affirmation or a power phrase to repeat to ourselves. It does not have to make sense to anyone but yourself. It can be, “I’m awesome.” It is important to have mantras. 


I unknowingly, repeat many affirmations to myself. 


Stutzman emphasized the importance of having a notebook when someone is talking to you. It is important to write down what people tell you and be “willing to learn.” 


Stutzman shared his favorite quote, “If you are unwilling to learn, nobody can help you.” 


Stutzman wishes he could make everyone at IMG Academy to take notes. He believes they do not retain anything if they do not take notes. He has many students who enjoy his lectures, but they forget them the next day. 


How we look and our body language are important to our confidence. When we are afraid, we made ourselves small. The armadillo pose or fetal position is an important pose for when you are cold or being attacked. The position protects vital organs. He encouraged us to make ourselves big to feel powerful. This is also known as the power pose. I learned about it in my IB Theory of Knowledge class. He referenced that when Olympians win a race, they extend their arms. He also noted that blind people in the Paralympics also make themselves bigger when they win a race. So making yourself bigger is not a learned behavior, but innate to human nature. “When you’re safe and excited, you make yourself big,” he added.

Power Poses

I have been using the power pose for a couple of years now since I learned about it in class. Holding out your arms and spreading your legs sends the brain endorphins that make you feel powerful. At school, we would hold power poses for a few seconds before a presentation to make ourselves more confident. We would also, stand tall during the presentation.


He showed us a scene from Hansel & Zoolander. They had a walk-off where they used power poses throughout. 

The link below is a great Ted Talk to watch on power poses


To sum everything up, the three keys of confidence are 


Perspective- I’m ready


Say it- Affirmations, Mantras


Act it- power pose


A note to Taylor Stutzman,


I really enjoyed your lesson on confidence. I have never struggled with confidence, but many girls I met that week were and I think your words helped them with their presentation later that day. I also picked up some cool new skills to continue being confident and was reminded of ones I already know and love like the power pose.



Sasha Yates


Shortly after, we did our presentations. My group did phenomenally. Watch our presentation below.


We went to lunch


When we returned we found out who won.


We did not win, but Derek said, “You’re all winners in my eyes.” So that was a win for me. Keythlin’s group won, group three. I also believe if one of us wins, we all win. I was happy for her. I loved her group’s idea. 


Gigi Hadid & Luiz Mattos


Next, we all waited on Gigi Hadid and Luiz Mattos to come. We sat in the summit room, the room we had been in all week. Aylin and I had got seats near the front. They started coming around and demanding we give them our phones. I found this very problematic. I did not feel comfortable giving my phone to strangers in a bucket. I ended up putting my phone in a chair that remained in my sight. Most of the girls were annoyed with the fact we could not record the session and take pictures like we had done in other sessions. 


Hadid and Mattos walked in. They sat on stage and Hadid began interviewing Mattos. 


Luiz Mattos is Hadid’s manager. Mattos is Brazillian. He went to law school and became a lawyer. He had little experience in the modeling world. His sister was a model. He moved to New York in 1995 and worked for a modeling agency. He had a bad experience at his first agency. All of the employees, including himself, left the agency and went to another one. Eventually, the same agency he left, asked him to come back. He returned to rebuild the company from the ground up. 


Hadid mentioned that Mattos’ favorite thing to do is go after illegally used photos of Hadid. Since Mattos is a lawyer, he enjoys going after people who have used pictures of his models illegally. Hadid sends him pictures all of the time that have been used illegally. 

Gigi Hadid & Luiz Mattos

Mattos gave some tips for being a good agent


  • Be detail-oriented
  • Protect the client
  • Consider all possibilities (good/bad)
  • Have empathy
  • Expect a lot of rejection 


He believes it is important to “be there” for the models as much as possible. Compassion and drive are important aspects of being successful. 


He explained, “I don’t take on girls I don’t have a passion for.” Mattos believes it is important to feel passionate about his models so he can represent them in the best way possible. 


Hadid explained in the first two years she took every single job she could get. “After two years, I was exhausted,” she explained. Mattos helped Hadid find her passion for modeling again and represented her in the best way possible.


Hadid described Mattos as “the GPS” of her life. 


Mattos’ favorite discovery story was when he was inside a restaurant in New York City fifteen years ago. He saw a girl sitting in front of the restaurant. He asked her to stand up. She was beautiful and he offered her a job as a model. Mattos gave her a place to stay, food, and a haircut. She went from making nothing to 2,000-3,000 dollars a day. She became a successful model afterward. Now, she’s married with two kids. Mattos walked her down the aisle two weeks prior because both of her parents are deceased. 


When Hadid and Mattos work together, he gives her jobs and they talk through them to figure out what is best for her. 


When Hadid was first starting out, Mattos had to get her in touch with photographers and people to give her a chance in the modeling world. They faced an abundance of rejection. Now the same people who doubted Hadid are the same people begging to work with her. Mattos said, “They didn’t believe in you in the beginning and they’re not getting you now.” 


Mattos is normally on set when Hadid works. Hadid normally does Paris fashion week by herself. Hadid has strict commitments with her endorsement deals. While on set, Mattos makes sure she is not given any make up or products that interfere with her commitments. She cannot be photographed near certain brands or it breaches her contract. 


Mattos and Hadid strategize together. Here are their tips:


  • ContractsThey both believe it is important to review contracts and make sure you agree with everything in them
  • LongevityMake sure you’re doing everything in the best interest of yourself. Make sure you chose deals that will be profitable.
  • Plan
  • Authentic JobsOnly do work that is sustainable and will benefit you in the long run.


Hadid remembered Mattos saying, “I want you to get Prada.” Hadid responded, “I’m not.” She got to walk in Prada’s show. Hadid thanked Mattos for always supporting her. 


Mattos favorite part of his job is working with amazing people. He stressed that we should be fearless and professional when going after what we want. 


Mattos remembered a shoot him and Hadid did in Brazil. It was 100 degrees outside and Hadid was wearing a fur coat. They were shooting in an abandoned hospital. Mattos eventually stepped in because he was sweating in light clothing, therefore, he knew Hadid was having a hard time. Hadid said she was fine and continued to do the whole shoot. That day, Mattos realized how strong Hadid is and admires her for it. Hadid did not complain once. He also admires that she says hello to everyone on set. 


On the topic of model management, Mattos believes an agent needs to have passion. They also have to be persistent and unstoppable. He stated, “One day those people are gonna call you back and you say no. You can do anything.” It is important to maintain respect and professionalism. In Mattos’ 23 years of experience, he has learned that kindness and resilience goes a long way. 


Hadid came to Ivan Bart, President of IMG Models, and told him she felt alone and needed a father figure. She got rid of her old manager and Mattos became her new one. 


Someone asked how Hadid does not lose herself in the modeling industry. Hadid always tells Mattos, her manager, if she does not like something or is uncomfortable. “If you’re saying what you feel is right, you’re never a bitch,” Hadid added. She also believes the way you say no has to be respectful.


Hadid feels people respect Mattos because he has given respect from the beginning. 


Someone asked Mattos advice on how to be a modeling scout. Mattos believes it is important to find an internship and work your way up. Mattos reflected on how rewarding it is to discover someone and then they become successful. 


Hadid shared her struggle with trying to become a model. She dealt with Thyroid issues. She was also muscular because she played volleyball. She met with over ten agencies that wanted her to lose weight or be less muscular. Hadid liked her body. Her mom would not let her sign until she was 18. Her body changed and she became less muscular with age. She did not sign until she found IMG. IMG said, “We will find a career that fits you, not the other way around.” She has dealt with people on the internet who have said she is “too big” or “too small.” She advised, “ Take it with a grain of salt.” Hadid also quoted Bette Midler. She believes you have to take the good with the bad and vice versa. 


Hadid believes it is important to take time to figure out who you are as a person. 


Someone asked the main thing Mattos looks for in a model. Mattos simply answered, “They have something special.” His models need something that gives them star quality. 


Someone else asked how Mattos has dealt with the lack of representation for Latinos. Mattos shared a story where he worked for a racist. She would constantly cut him down. He continued to fight and work hard. Eventually, she quit for unrelated reasons. A few years later, he is looking for an assistant and she showed up for the interview. This shows that there is room in the fashion business for all people and to always be resilient. 


Someone else asked how has having a background in law helped Mattos. He said it is the “perfect combination” and helps him exponentially. Right now, Hadid is dealing with a paparazzi suing her for posting a picture he took of her. Mattos is able to help her with that. There was another time where Hadid was picked up by a car impersonating to be her bodyguard. It was supposed to be a prank, but it scared her immensely. Since the “prank”, she has expanded her security. There are somethings Hadid cannot avoid like the paparazzi knowing where she lives. 


Hadid has also learned from things she did earlier in her career. She feels many models make the mistakes early on like wearing real fur or signing bad contracts that stunt the growth of their career. 


Someone asked if Hadid ever gets nervous to post on her social media. Hadid works with many brands and now she has certain guidelines of how she posts when she advertises products. She writes all her captions herself and never allows people to feed her words. Overall, she posts how she wants. 


Another person asked how to get connections.


Their connections came from Harper’s Bazaar, the late Karl Lagerfield, and earning trust from people. 


I walked up to the stage and Gigi gave me a big hug. Before I could remind her that she put me on her Instagram story, she told me she remembered who I was. She told me, “I heard you’d been serving looks all week.” I smiled. I had heard many good things about her all week and they were all true. She truly is a vision. I also met Luiz. Luiz was just as wonderful as Gigi. Luiz also knew who I was and he told me he was rooting for me to get the scholarship. He also said he had been looking forward to meeting me. It was an incredible experience and I could see why they were both successful. Gigi and Luiz are both truly genuine people and it was a pleasure to meet them. Even with all of their success, they are still humble and I love them for that. 

Me talking to Luiz Mattos

A letter to Luis,


It was such a pleasure to meet you. Your story inspired me to be myself unapologetically. It also inspired me to go after as many things as I want to in life and not be confined to just law or fashion. You have a beautiful ora that radiates through you. You truly touched me.




Sasha Yates


A letter to Gigi,


Gigi you changed my life. When you put me on your Instagram story I was in disbelief and I still am. I was going through many things at that time and you inviting me to camp reminded me to never give up. To hear you have struggled with being accepted by the world shocked me. I have dealt with similar experiences and it brought me solace to know I was not the only one. No matter who, everyone deals with something. You truly are a vision.




Sasha Yates


It started raining so hard. I met a few adults that had been around the whole week. I talked to Alex Cruz. He had been diligently taking pictures and photos of us all week. I voiced my appreciation and learned about him. He told me he is a photographer for IMG. I got to learn a little bit about him. I enjoyed our talk.


I also got to talk to Nicole Beatty. She had also been there all week. She was a counselor for another group. I got to talk to her and she told me her story and how she got where she is. I enjoyed talking to her as well. 


I also talked to Jibran. Jibran was one of my favorites. He works for IMG and he coordinated my flight and made sure I was okay the whole week. 


It started raining so hard. IMG got a bus for us instead of a golf cart to get back to dinner.


Luckily I brought an umbrella and a rain hat because as stated previously, I WAS NOT GETTING MY HAIR WET. 


All of the councilors were coming to the dance that night.


At dinner, Jeni Rose, David Cunningham, Derek Walker, and some other people were eating dinner in the cafeteria. I walked over to their table and I asked them to save me a dance for the party later that night. 


After dinner, we got ready for the dance party. I wore an all-gold outfit and I was ready to dance. I got out there and had a fabulous time. 


I danced and everyone was shook that I can dance. The dance was for all the IMG kids, including the fashion girls. The little kids could not come though. 

Me dancing

The Cupid shuffle came on and there was this guy struggling. I helped him learn it. 


The DJ asked who was the best girl dancer and everyone screamed my name. I headed to the booth and he asked, “What’s your name Miss Gold?” 

“Sasha,” I responded. He found the best boy dancer, a boy I had befriended earlier that week, V. 

V and I in the dance battle

Everyone cleared the way and we had a dance battle. V started doing flips and eventually, it turned into a gymnastics match of us just doing tricks. Then the DJ said let me turn on something Sasha can dance to. He played Twerk by the City Girls. As you suspected, I turned up. I saw almost all the athletes I met that week. I got to dance with Carly and Serena. I also danced with Josh and JC. I bumped into Derek my camp counselor and he asked, “What can’t you do?” We both laughed. Everyone was so impressed that I could dance. Keythlin changed into something she could dance in and she came back. We danced the night away. By the end of the night, I danced with everyone. It was so hot and my hair blew up, but it was the last so I didn’t care. 

I am surprised Kayla, Averie, Joelle, and I didn’t lose our voices. 


Here are all the videos of me dancing 

If you have any videos of me dancing from that night please send them to me


They called for curfew and we all headed back to the dorms. I saw the guy I taught the cupid shuffle from earlier. I asked him where he was from and what his name was. His name was Omar and he was from Egypt. Y’all I met an Egyptian, a whole Pharoah. All of the boys started laughing. Then I started asking the other guys where they were from and they were from everywhere. I got to exchange contacts with everyone. I headed back to the dorm. I gave everyone goodbye hugs because we were all leaving in the morning. 

Click here to watch the video from that day

I flew home the next day.


Dear Everyone at Camp,


I’m so glad I got to meet every single one of you. Thank you for being nice to me and accepting me who I am. I made friends that week that I know I’ll have forever. I wish you all the best of luck in whatever you pursue in life. No matter where we all end up, I’ll never forget y’all.


Keep in touch,


Sasha C. Yates

Last Words,


Overall, I enjoyed my trip to fashion camp! It was worth it! If you’re thinking about going I hope my series has given you some clarity. I tried to give the most detailed account possible. 


I will be writing this Thursday about getting ready for college! 


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