Meet Beloit’s next fashion critic-turned-TV personality
Gatter Tran’22 wants the world to know his name, and judging by his current trajectory, it won’t take long.
The Hanoi, Vietnam, native has set his sights on a career in the American fashion industry, with plans to move from the Midwest to a metropolitan city in the northeast like New York or Boston — wherever he finds his first gig. He aims to work his way up from positions in content creation or digital marketing to become a creative director. With skills he’s gained through his time at Beloit, he feels prepared and excited for wherever life takes him next.
Gatter’s passion for fashion began much earlier than his Beloit years.
“Growing up watching Project Runway or America’s Next Top Model, I’ve always been fascinated with how creative and lively the fashion industry is,” he says. “At Beloit, I think I really started expanding my interest in fashion in my sophomore year. I remember taking a journalism class with my advisor, media studies and English professor Shawn Gillen, and I wrote a piece about the collapse of Victoria’s Secret. He really liked it and he told me during our advising meeting, ‘I think you have a strong sense of writing in terms of fashion. You should pursue that.’”
Gatter next took a fashion history course with a professor of costume design and costume shop manager Shelby Wilkin, where he learned about specific fashion terms and historic trends. His senior year, an advanced TV production class with Jonathon Kelley gave Gatter the chance to share his fashion knowledge (and good taste) with the college community.
He produced “In the Mode” in the TV studio at the Center for Entrepreneurship (CELEB), with the help of student crewmates from his intro-level broadcasting course. The show’s five under-20-minute episodes feature a different student co-host. And he accomplished it all in less than half a semester — even more impressively, his last semester before graduating.
“I spent one week contextualizing the show, how many episodes it was going to have, and the topics for each episode,” Gatter says of the whirlwind production process. “It took me two days to figure out the name and logo. Mode is the French word for ‘fashion,’ and to me everything in French sounds so fancy when it comes to fashion. At the beginning of each episode, I ask my cohost what they’re ‘in the mode’ for, so it’s also a kind of wordplay for ‘in the mood.’”
The title isn’t the only tongue-in-cheek aspect of Gatter’s show. Each episode focuses on a fashion principle, from color to patterns and prints. The co-hosts exchange fun facts and fashion tricks, their personal fashion inspirations, and more than a few laughs. (The final episode focuses on capsule wardrobes and concludes with a blooper reel.)
“In the Mode” also features a second segment with Gatter asking his fellow students to explain their outfit choices on camera.
“I wanted the show to not just be conversational, but also entertaining,” he says. That’s a lesson he learned outside the classroom — namely at an internship at Vietnam Television in summer 2020. There, Gatter wrote news articles and learned the ins and outs of video editing. While he was home in the early months of the pandemic, he also began creating fashion advice content on his YouTube channel.
“What I did with the channel was different,” he explains. ”The shooting style was a vlog style. ‘In the Mode’ was more professional, with two hosts. The content is related, but the delivery is different. It was fun; I like putting myself out there. Now, when I look back at my first YouTube video, I can see how far I’ve come in terms of style evolution. There’s some outfits from that first video that I’d never wear again!”
The series of videos inspired “In the Mode,” which he says he couldn’t have dreamed of making without Beloit’s support.
“I could never do it without the resources available to me at Beloit: CELEB, students from the intro broadcasting class. Everyone has been so helpful and accommodating during this journey,” he says.