Tomorrow is the first day of September and that makes me think of so many things – back to school, birthday month, and fashion month! Why fashion month? Because while you have likely heard of fashion week there are actually four fashion weeks back to back; New York, London, Milan, and Paris making it stretch nearly the entire month of September! How do I know this? Luckily over the last eight years of Sparkles and Shoes I’ve been lucky enough to attend three of the four; New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, and Milan Fashion Week! While I live in Europe I am going to try very hard to also attend Paris fashion week to round it out. However, like every event it seems in the last few months fashion week this year will be going virtual.
The other reason I know a bit about this is because before I even wrote a blog I spent a summer as a fashion intern. While my university major was business I have always been fascinated by the fashion industry and spent a summer interning at a fashion holding company in New York City. I had very grand ideas of what this would be and yes a few days word like that – like helping accessorize models on photo shoots, but most of it was more like the Devil Wears Prada. I say that, but I did not have a horrible boss, or some of the hours that Anne Hathaway’s character did, but the tasks were very similar. At the time the company I interned for, The Jones Group, owned a number of the top fashion brands across apparel and footwear and my intern summer I spent a lot of time on Jessica Simpson, Brian Atwood, and Anne Klein.
But what did this actually entail? I became intimately familiar with the different courier services in New York as we sent shoes and clothes to magazines and photo shoots all over the tri-state area. A fun fact, when I say shoes it depends what it was for. For magazines we only sent one shoe (usually the right) in a size six for a PR shot or flat lay but we sent both pairs of shoes in a size 9 for a model photo shoot (the average model size). I also did a whole host of errands outside the building – there was a lot getting coffee, running to to Mood to get fabric (where the OG designers went in Project Runway), and escorting people from the lobby.
The shoe closet when I was a Fashion Intern
A pair of Brian Atwood sample heels
I also learned there is a ton more that goes on for a photo shoot besides the shoot day – one of the most consuming is the model casting calls. My intern role was essentially attendance, marking which agency the models were from and then what my bosses thought of them. Thinking back, this is just when electronic portfolios were becoming a thing and the top models were showing up with their photos on an iPad instead of printed and laminated binders. After we picked out the models we would have to brief the hair and make up people for the vision behind the shoot and also lay out every outfit on a mannequin so it could be properly styled head to toe to ensure each luck was perfect.
I remember one of my most embarrassing days was trying to dress a mannequin in a very tight fall blazer and not being able to get the jacket sleeves onto the arms. As one of the only interns not coming from a fashion school or a design background it seems I was one of the only people to not know that not only do mannequin arms come off but the hands are also detachable to make dressing them easier. Whoops! And the day of the shoot, as much as all of my Nigel Barker dreams wanted to come to life, I spent a great deal of the day steaming clothes to make sure they were absolutely perfect for the shoot.
Just a fraction of the fabric at Mood (source)
It was definitely an interesting summer but also made me realize that was not quite the industry I wanted to be in but I’m glad I did it for a summer instead of as a career and then having to switch as if you do not love it you are sure to burn out. what else would you want to know about a summer fashion internship?