Vogue Education Presents: Tom Rasmussen

Tom Rasmussen Head shot

The Condé Nast College were delighted to welcome alumnus, Tom Rasmussen, to speak about their glittering career as part of Vogue Education Presents

Rasmussen has secured the kind of career most fashion school graduates can only dream of. Today, they have many impressive achievements to speak of, including being a Vogue columnist, book author, and an actual musician with an album out. Speaking to the Condé Nast College students, Tom lifts the lid on how it all came to be. 


About Tom Rasmussen

Growing up in Lancaster,  in Lancaster – an area of the UK, most definitely not known for its fashion scene, Tom notes that he’s always had an incredible drive to work in fashion, humorously recalling a weekly ritual,  “I’d go to church with my grandma every Sunday, who was a legend. And we’d go to the corner shop afterwards, and everyone would get penny sweets, and I would get Vogue.”

Body Building album cover shot by Tim Walker
Body Building album cover shot by Tim Walker


As their interest developed over the years, Tom set their sights on New York to pursue a career in fashion runway production. Setting off with just £1000 in their bank account, Tom found a harsh work environment with a difficult boss whilst working in fashion runway production. Sticking it out for less than a year, they made their way back to the UK, settling in London. 


“I was gay and I was young, and I was in a working class Northern town. I guess I was just looking for something  wonderful and fashion is quite democratic in its ability to let you fantasise.” Tom Rasmussen


Tom spoke about what makes fashion an inclusive industry, noting that although there are about 15 men running the whole industry at the very top, elsewhere “fashion is run by women, and gays” which enabled them to feel like there was a place for them.

The Vogue Fashion Diploma that changed it all…

With undoubted talent, Tom landed a scholarship the year-long
Vogue Fashion Diploma at Condé Nast College. Upon completing this, they started writing for Dazed&Confused, I-D, Wonderland, The Guardian, and The Independent.  At twenty-four Tom was appointed digital editor of LOVE Magazine – Katie Grand’s flagship Conde Nast title – before leaving to publish their first book Diary of a Drag Queen with Penguin (UK) and FSG (USA) under the drag name – Crystal Rasmussen. 

Diary of a Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen


Tom Rasmussen Industry Talk

During the talk, Tom spoke about the importance American philosopher, Judith Butler, has had on providing the lexicon of language with regards to being non-binary and how this gender expression is at the heart of all Tom’s writing and music.

Tom also spoke about the importance of knowing your own mind, and knowing when to speak up. They spoke about the importance of using your “heart, gut and brain” when it comes to making decisions, and also the importance of knowing your worth, stating the importance of creating a portfolio of writing that reflects where you want to end up. They encouraged students to take a job working in bars or cafes if it means they can build up a portfolio of meaningful work in their spare time, and putting value on your skills and abilities.


From Fashion Writer to Screenwriter, Author & Musician


Career highlights for Tom include being profiled in The Observer and the New Yorker and winning a British Fashion Award in 2019 — where they were named one of the 100 most influential young voices in fashion.  Since then, Tom has changed lanes: a screenwriter, author, and musician — they have just come off tour with Self Esteem, launching their first album Body Building with cover images shot by Tim Walker.  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tom Rasmussen (@tomrasmussen)

Tom is finishing their first musical, an adaptation of David Nichols’ book, and Playtone/HBO’s movie, Starter For Ten which opens at Bristol Old Vic in Spring 2024. They have television projects in development with STV, South of The River Pictures, and Teen Club. 


Tom still keeps one foot in fashion, where they are currently American and British Vogue’s sex and relationships columnist.