ALUM – Alyssa Brascia AMD ‘22 doing big things in New York City

By Clara Toot

Today, she’s living in the ‘Big Apple’ interviewing Dame Pat McGrath, revered as one of the most influential makeup artists in the world by Vogue, and getting the inside scoop from Harry Styles’ “Don’t Worry Darling” makeup artist. However, just a few years ago, Alyssa Brascia, AMD ‘22, was contemplating what career she wanted to pick, doing so right here at Iowa State University, in the department of apparel, events, and hospitality management. 

Brascia has worked as a staff shopping writer for PEOPLE magazine since her graduation in May 2022. Brascia covers all things fashion and beauty. From ranking the latest Makeup By Mario foundations to providing affordable options to shop celebrity looks for less, Brascia has quickly immersed herself in the New York fashion and beauty scene. 

Most recently, Brascia had the chance to attend New York Fashion Week shows and backstages. She has been attending NYFW since September of 2022. 

“We’re in this space to make sure we are up to date with everything that is going on,” said Brascia. “Luckily there are shows attached that we get to attend and have fun doing it!” 

Why Iowa State? 

Brascia enrolled in Iowa State in the fall of 2018. After visiting multiple universities across the United States, Brascia fell in love with Iowa State because of the strength of both the fashion and journalism programs.  

“When I first entered the design studio, I just got the feeling,” Brascia said. “I remember thinking to myself ‘Oh my God, I need to be here.’” 

Brascia also spoke about the caliber of the fashion program, especially the professional coursework completed in her classes.  

“I treated each project like a portfolio builder. The professors did a great job preparing us for various different industries within fashion,” she said. “The AMD program played a huge part in helping me channel my creativity and apply it to my other studies, like my journalism minor.” 

New Opportunities 

In 2022, Brascia won the college-by-college pitch-off competition, which encourages student entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas. Brascia placed first in the competition, winning a cash prize of $5,000 for her new business idea, What to Wear. Brascia combined her passion for fashion and journalism into this new venture. 

During Brascia’s first year, she studied fashion design with a minor in journalism. Looking for a way to combine these two passions, she eventually switched her concentration to fashion communications, once the department offered it in 2020. Right when COVID-19 hit, Brascia took it upon herself to begin searching for online internships. She landed an editorial internship at that time, which was a great way for Brascia to combine her major and minor. While she eventually landed in a communications-focused role post-grad, Brascia is optimistic about exploring the opportunities that the fashion and beauty industries provide. 

“I originally thought I wanted to be a designer, I loved (sketching) things like eveningwear and wearable street style–I just loved the design aspect,” she said. “I could someday see myself working in a creative role like that–I’m still figuring out my journey.” 

Although Brascia was involved in The Fashion Show for two years, Brascia attributes much of her interest in her current career field to the four years she spent participating in Trend Magazine. 

“I got the chance to see many sides of the fashion industry from my involvement with Trend. First, I was on the editorial side where I was writing fashion beauty articles. Then, I was directing and doing photo shoots, applying makeup as well,” she said. “Seeing each side of the process helped me figure out where I wanted to land in my career–and that was in fashion journalism.” 

Prior to accepting an offer to write for People full-time, Brascia worked as an E-Commerce Editorial apprentice at DotDash Meredith’s Des Moines campus. DotDash Meredith offers an annual apprenticeship program, providing selected students with real-world experience working in the magazine industry. Brascia worked with brands like InStyle, Real Simple and People and was the second Iowa State student from the AMD program to ever participate in this specific apprenticeship program. Brascia completed various tasks such as pitching stories, writing articles, updating on-site publishing and more. Following Brascia’s graduation from Iowa State in May 2022, People, a DotDash Meredith brand, hired Brascia full time. Given the choice to stay at the Des Moines location or transfer to the New York office, Brascia chose to relocate to New York City.  

Since moving to the city, Brascia has embraced her new lifestyle while staying close to her roots through the people she’s met. 

“I’m shocked at the amount of Iowa State alumni I’ve met in industry circles here in New York,” Brascia said. “Cyclones pop up in most unexpected places but they’re always doing well. It’s so great.” 

To learn more about Brascia and her journey, visit 

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