(The view from Milk Studios, 8th floor)
It's absolutely wonderful but, at the same time so unforgiving. After completing an internship that looks wonderful on my resume but, left me emotionally drained and a feeling under appreciated I have been desperately seeking a paid position. I have only been looking very hard for about a month now. I've had interviews every other week, sometimes multiple interviews. During winter break from about the December 19th-January 5th the fashion industry seems to shut down so that cut out a huge amount of time in my hunt.
I cut a lucky break in the first week of January when a Facebook friend whom I've never actually met asked me if I was interested in freelancing for Lanvin the 10th-15th. I eagerly said yes since it was paid. Working as a freelancing sales assistant for Lanvin was exactly what I needed. As a PR intern working for a large agency you are so disconnected from the brands and the culture behind the brands that goes into creating a RTW (ready to wear) collection. The account executives just see you as the eager, young girl-boy who is going to archive their 102+ piece fall collection for 5 hours and then run across the city to pick up some matte black envelopes, make a stop at the magazine store for an issue of a magazine that the store said they had on the phone but really doesn't, and then stop by the cute french bakery to pick up some pastries for an office party that you aren't invited to because, you have to finish doing 15 large returns in the next 30 minuets or you are going to get home an hour and a half late for the 5th time this week. Don't get me wrong, I love working as a PR intern, it can be an absolute headache and when you finish a task or do something right a thank you or smile can be in short supply but not getting told to re-do the project is the ultimate sign. It means you did it right, and if you can stick out this internship you are a step closer to being an account executive yourself.
But being at Lanvin reminded me why I switched my major. The very first day of my 6 days with them involved the Women's Wear Market Director breaking down the 96 piece collection and giving a State of The Union address on the state of the fashion industry. It was inspiring and so insightful. I couldn't help but quickly type away notes on my iPhone. I felt like I was listening to something meaningful for once. Someone was laying down the truth and I was learning. I haven't been learning about anything fashion related since I left the classroom last spring. I then spent the week working with a very nice freelance sales rep and meeting with our daily buyer appointments. Hearing what the buyers like and dislike about the collection as well as their methods for buying for their customers was very informative. It was everything we learned about in the classroom about buying put into action. Except with a lot more cursing, Hermes bangle wearing ladies, and sassy gay men nit picking the collection. It's good to know my friends will get even sassier with age.
All in all I am slowly coming out of my rut. While I haven't yet secured a long term paying job and haven't even been paid for my freelancing work yet, I have high hopes. And at least hope that my inspiring week can hold me out for awhile longer.