By Kristen McCleary
Haute Fashion and NUPRSSA collaborated this past Wednesday, February 29th, to host a Fashion Co-op Panel, assembling fellow Huskies who have co-oped in the fashion industry. Fashionistas and fashionistos alike braved the stormy, snowy weather outside to make their way to West Village, where they got the opportunity to hear horror stories, inspirational tales, and the daily life of a girl trying to make her way through the maze that is the fashion industry. Read about their experiences!
Marian Daniells: Marie Claire
Marian, who worked as the features intern at the fashion magazine Marie Claire, had a few obstacles but gave a real picture of how tough and how rewarding the magazine industry can be. Even while struggling with a difficult management situation and working very long hours, Marian got some clips—must if you want to work in journalism—and made great contacts—a must for fashion. While she did benefit from the experience, she wasn’t sure it was something she would try again. She made it clear that it was no easy task, and those who want to apply should be ready for hard work and long hours.
Kerry, part of the executive board of NUPRSSA, dove in head first and took on a co-op and a part-time job in the fashion PR industry; one at fashion veteran Elizabeth Arden and another at RICHPR, a boutique PR firm. Kerry said that the hardest part for her was realizing that you can’t always finish a task in a day—that you can only do as much as you can and as long as you get one thing done, it’s okay to leave another for the next day. She stressed the importance of working hard and doing your best and just taking it one day at a time. She described the nightmarish days after Elizabeth Taylor died, whose perfume is marketed under Elizabeth Arden’s name. The phone was ringing off the hook and Kerry and her fellow interns did their best to handle all of the press. In a fast-paced world like fashion PR, she said, you never know what’s coming next.
Teresa Rodriguez: Chanel
Teresa took on the risk of working in high fashion and came to realize how it’s not so big and bad after all. Working as the only full-time intern at the beauty and fashion giant, Teresa said it was long days full of what seemed like never-ending work. Unsurprised by the amount of work, she said that her biggest shock was how nice everyone was. She was expecting bosses who were there to make her life miserable, but instead found that everyone she worked for was kind, helpful and grateful for the work she was doing; they even presented her with a Chanel bag at the end of her six months. The contacts and experience—and the bag, she noted—made it all worth it.
Bianca Gracie: The Globe Showroom
Bianca, president of Haute Fashion, co-oped at the Globe Showroom, a company started in 2005 that highlights young designers, assisting them in sales, marketing, product development and consultation, and acts as a platform for them to start their careers. Bianca enjoyed her co-op, saying it was a great experience where she made great contacts and got to see every facet of the fashion industry. She and Teresa agreed that much of the work is packing, un-packing, re-packing and the like, but the rewarding work made up for the tedious parts. While she made it clear that it was no easy task, she still had a great time, and even scored a job as a social media consultant with the Showroom after her co-op was over.
Jo gave a glowing description of working at Rue La La, explaining how she felt completely accepted, and how her ideas were listened to and even put into action on occasion. She worked on the marketing end, but had the opportunity to attend office events, plan parties, and meet great people. She told the story of how she met with Rue La La’s CEO, Ben Fischman, and how he encouraged her to follow her dream of inspiring people by starting her own business. Jo said that working for Rue La La was an experience that changed her life, and encouraged others to strongly consider it as a co-op.
Did you attend this event? What did you think? Let us know about other types of events you’d like to see!