Saturday, February 21, 2009

personal happenings of Fashion Week

So, if you follow fashion, even the slightest, you would know that one of the two most sacred weeks of the year in New York City (America's fashion capital and headquarters) just came to a close. Yes, I'm talking about Fashion Week. There is so much build up to this week that occurs once in September previewing Spring fashion and once in February previewing fall. People travel from all over the world to attend runway shows, line representations and fashion events in one weeks time to see what designers have decided will be the leading trends and influences for the season to come. Last semester I jumped at the opportunity to dress models for Texas designer Abbie Ferrin's show sponsored by Elle Magazine and attended the Brian Reyes's tent event. Besides that, I really didn't do much for fashion week but watch the industry professionals around me run around like crazy people to attend as much as they possibly could.

Currently I am interning for Archetype Showroom, as mentioned in a previous post. Archetype represents many independent designers (men's wear, women's wear and accessories) for both showroom sales and PR. Some of these lines include men's brands: Corpus, bblessing and April77; women's brands: Hangst, Freemont, and Kaylee Tankus. We also carry footwear like 80%20 and Tristain Blair and jewelry by lines like Surface to Air and Digby & Iona. The way it typically works in the industry is a designer displays their line every season in a showroom. A store's representative, professionally known as a buyer, makes an appointment at the showroom to review the line and decide if it is the right merchandise for them to sell at their store. Archetype handle all the showroom sales for the designers that sign with the company and we also handle the press for the them. This means sending samples of each line to various magazines to get coverage in shoots, holding events and parties for industry professionals to view the collections and assuring we have representation during fashion week.

This semester, I approached fashion week in a different light. I realized as a college student studying fashion, this is the most amazing networking opportunity I might ever have. Therefore I threw myself at the mercy of the fashion gods and decided to not try to attend shows but volunteer and network as much as possible. I worked overtime at the showroom, helped at the Corpus representation event in the Bowery Hotel, and emailed past contacts to see if they needed any help during the week to prep for their shows. Last Saturday I help designer Brittany Pham of Freemont prepare her collection for women's market week. I edited her line sheets, steamed her clothing and sent out samples to Canada.
A photo of the final line up after the Corpus presentation
Sunday, I volunteered at the Brian Reyes showroom prepping clothing for his runway event at Bryant Park. I even fit Niia, an upcoming singer who was featured in Wycleff Jean's "Sweetest Girl" song who was attending the show and performing at the after party. Monday was the day of our Corpus event which involved me stuffing give-away bags, refining the guest list, steaming clothing, dressing models, and greeting guests at the door to confirm they were on the list. My most favorite guest in attendance, celebrity stylist Robert Verdi, was down to earth, polite and well dressed.
Niia (in white) during her fitting @ Brian Reyes
Tuesday morning brought about another fashion challenge; my first phone interview. Chicago designer Maria Pinto (most recently known for dressing power women like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey) had responded to an email which I sent out over winter break expressing interest in working for her this summer. My strong point in the "job search" process is the interview. It is my opportunity to really sell myself and let the company know what I can bring to the table. But up to this point, these have always been face to face opportunities. The phone is totally different. You can't tell how someone is responding to what you are saying, you can't dress to impress and you can't look that person in the eye to show them your sincerity. As nervous as I was for the interview, it went great. I'll find out by the end of next week if Maria feels I'm a good match for her Chicago studio and I am keeping my fingers crossed. It would be amazing to work in a creative atmosphere close to home this summer, especially for someone who is really taking off and has such an eye for fit, embellishment and sexy femininity as Maria.

The last exciting thing to happen had nothing really to do with fashion. Above Archetype is a recording studio. Thursday after moving a bunch of clothing racks onto a Uhaul truck outside, Mary J Blige reentered the building with me heading up to the recording studio. I obvious freaked out and made pointless conversation with her about the weather, but needless to say a good celeb moment for me.

I think I am going to start doing more posts regarding fashion from here on out. quick posts.
things i think are cool and happening. talk soon everybody.

peace out from nyc
shana b.

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