black fashion designer, education, Fashion, food

The Fashion Internship

I went from sweating out javascript to merchandising racks of frocks. It’s been quite a summer.

I got fired from my retail job at the end of May (just before finally coming off of probation and becoming a union member, so… it was either a major loss or just dodging a bullet). Luckily I had taken that Visual Merchandising class at F.I.T, so I decided to just start looking for those types of jobs instead of immediately settling for another no win position. I would go on Indeed every day, and send out resumes. The first thing I got was an internship at a fashion showroom.

Good place to start.

The first week was super sweaty and I kept forgetting that where the bathroom was (practically right in front of me ) and kept going to the bathroom at Port Authority at lunch. No, I can’t explain why I’m like this. My duties included updating excel sheets of sales leads, separating excel sheets by sales person and territory, and cold calling/emailing businesses in the territories to set up road visits or showroom appointments. I picked up lunches, steamed clothing and dropped off packages. I merchandised racks (from lightest to darkest. Try this in your closet, it looks so organized). I learned how to do social media cross referential searches for new clients. I found out about Joor, a site that helps you make linesheets for merchandise.

While I was technically working for free, interns got a $15 daily lunch budget, and I finally gave Sweetgreen a try. And Dig Inn. And my job was near legendary discount store Jack’s where they are selling Epic provisions for dirt cheap. And when I got home I started just making salads, like this easy steak salad (sear the steak while putting your greens and veggies in a cute bowl, make a vinaigrette, assemble).

Once I had to work with another intern to clear out a storage closet. We sorted through boxes of leftover merch from past clients, sorted through mannequin parts, re-merchandised racks of backstocked garments, organized shelves and closets, and took a field trip to the Goodwill in Tribeca to donate clothing and the suitcases that we brought them there in. This is how I ended up going to Milk Bar. Those were the two sweatiest, most miserable days of my summer… but there were benefits from it; my boss gave us a ton of free stuff.

I got this sweet little Erin Dana Prince Street minaudiere ($80), and these awesome Riuvadets sandals from Spain, that are sold at Opening Ceremony for $105. Yay! Because I love presents.

I made sure to dress up a little, and worked in my own upcycled items into my wardrobe. LOVE this Old Navy jersey jumpsuit with attached belt ($45). It’s a lifesaver on mornings when you spent too much time adjusting your wig and makeup.

The internship was supposed to last three months, but I stayed a month.I learned a lot and I also put on 5 pounds from sitting so much. I ended up getting a job, and also a visual merchandising job offer. I would have stayed longer, but they got a little Devil Wears Prada on me and I was getting annoyed. I would still recommend doing an internship, because it helps prepare you for the career you want and it helps give you fresh experience and new references if you’re trying to change career titles.

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK