By Valerie Butler
Photos by Fashion & Retail Society
On Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Fashion & Retail Society hosted a Fashion Co-op Panel to give everyone a chance to learn more about co-op and internship opportunities in the fashion industry from fellow NU students. The panel included Ariella Sharf, Neela Asaadi, Ashley Brescia, Dylan Abraham and Denisse Paulino.
Ariella Sharf | Psychology major
Ariella created her own co-op at Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s ready-to-wear company, The Row. Ariella worked for the Director of Sales there and described the experience as being very business-oriented. One of her most memorable experiences was when the Olsen twins walked into the showroom on her first day…and every day after that.
She has also gained experience working in retail since the age of sixteen and at Donnie Charm, a contemporary scarf line, where she was able to be hands-on in her individual projects. Currently, Ariella continues to build her own company called Heads Up for Charity. Heads Up for Charity, “raises money and awareness for several causes around the world” and is Ariella’s way of changing the world through her philanthropic endeavors.
“Fashion emphasizes doing what you are told. It’s a domino effect, everything works in tandem.”
Neela Asaad | Graphic Design major
As a result of being one of six interns at RueLaLa, Neela learned the importance of finding a little bit of something you love in every task. One of her favorite things about interning at RueLala was the experience and cheap purchases she gained from the sample sales. Neela recalls seeing a $500 dollar dress for no more than twenty dollars and, “purchasing absurd things for one or two dollars”. During her co-op experience she even had the chance to shadow the creative director of Milk Studios, and developed a sense of urgency and learned time really is money.
“There are so many people working toward to the same goal. As an entry level worker enjoy every project you are a part of, because they contribute to your ultimate goal in the end.”
Ashley Brescia | Marketing major, Communications minor
Ashley has started her journey in the fashion industry at Calypso St. Barth for her high school senior project. She continued to gain experience at her co-op with WS corporate marketing and Stride Rite, where she planned and worked to bring their fashion shows to life. In the future Ashley sees herself working for L’Oreal New York, because it is the “perfect mix of being in a fashion-type industry and marketing”. Here she will be able to use the contacts she made with retailers and experience planning events to good use.
“Find pieces of your passion in every job. You must go out and get what you want in order to make each opportunity your own.”
Dylan Abraham | Business major, Communications minor
Dylan was no stranger to being the only man on the panel, as he was usually the only one in most of his meetings. He recalls the particularly memorable experience when Steve Madden felt inclined to introduce himself to the only other man in the room and eventually forgot his name and simply called him Tyler.
In high school Dylan began actively working towards a career in fashion at August Accessories and has gone on to do both a domestic and abroad co-op for TJX. As a buyer for the company, Dylan worked with representatives from Coach, Nine West, Michael Kors and prepped showrooms for New York City Market Week.
“Be open to learning and asking for help. On my first day on the job I had no idea what I was doing, but I fostered new relationships by being able to speak up and say that I needed help.”
Denisse Paulino | 2nd year graduate student
Denisse, unlike the other panelists is not a Northeastern University undergrad. She received her undergraduate degree at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, or MassArt, and has taken advantage of fashion opportunities while studying there.
Following matriculation at MassArt, Denisse continued her studies at Northeastern where she went on to win the Husky Startup Challenge. This “Shark Tank” inspired organization is run by Northeastern to help establish small businesses through, “a series of bootcamps, workshops, networking events and a final Demo Day”.
Currently, Denisse works for an art consultancy company in Downtown Boston, while running her newly established business, Trunkbook.
“Leverage your skill set; learn when to ease up on certain skills in order to be perceived as the most valuable player.”