Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stop to Smell the Roses

As the summer winds down and I begin to wrap up my co-op at Nicole Miller, I thought it would be nice to "stop and smell the roses" so to speak.  I have just a few short weeks left before I begin my rigorous athletics schedule and take on the responsibilities of being a Senior in the D&M program.  It's hard to wrap my head around how I have to return to class as I feel as though I have been out of school for way more than just six months.  Time flies at Drexel but the amount that I have been able to accomplish during my time on co-op has shown me how much I have learned and still need to learn before I graduate.  A full course load awaits me but I am better prepared to take on such tasks with the experience that I have gained at Nicole Miller.  The multitasking, communicating and organizational skills that I have developed will carry me through my last year at Drexel.  I am very fortunate to have been mentored by such an amazing team and am looking forward to the success that they achieve in the near future.  Keep an eye for Nicole Miller Philadelphia and Mary K. Dougherty & Associates as they fashionably forge forward in their bright futures.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Working Woman

   As Drexel's summer quarter comes to a close this late Thursday night--or early Friday morning--of finals week, more than just the summer quarter is coming to a close in my life.  Tomorrow is my last day at Loft until the New Year.  Not only is this the end of a period in my life, but it is also the beginning of a new one.

   Due to studying abroad in Florence beginning this Monday, I am taking a leave of absence from Loft until January.  While I am beyond excited and lucky to embark on new experiences and get a break from my work, I am also slightly devastated.  As much stress Loft may induce, I love my job an extreme amount.  It is my escape, my passion, and my home away from home.  It provides me a balance in life by keeping me busy, focused, and on task.  

   Working in general has been a major part of who I am for six years.  Having a job since the age of 14, years before any of my peers, I was quick to learn responsibility, financial skills, and other crucial skills involved in holding a job.  It has made me the well-rounded person with a strong drive and work ethic that I am today.  Although these past six years have ingrained these qualities in me, it makes me nervous to think of not having a job.  Will I have a successful balanced life in Italy?  Will I get bored?  Will I run out of money?  All of these, I realize, are absurd fears to have.  I am going to be living in Florence for four months, experiencing the traveling of my dreams!  I am beyond fortunate to get an experience like this while getting a break from working in the first time since I began high school.

   Other apprehensions include my relationship with my Loft team.  Over the past year, I have found myself shocked at the close relationships I have built with my coworkers.  In addition, the past year has provided a great and fast turnover in team members.  Two managers left abruptly with little to no notice, sales associates graduated from college and moved on, and others left for separate reasons.  This past summer has provided an especially great loss in coworkers, leaving us extremely understaffed.  So while I am adding to one more missing team member beginning Sunday, my managers are in the midst of building almost an entirely new team.  My manager even bluntly stated to me today, "you will have an entirely new team to work with when you return."

   So as I approach my final shift for four months tomorrow, I have a great deal to reflect upon: my amazing past year as a team member at Loft, the wonderful relationships I have built, and finally a break from having a job, something I am sure I will convince myself to be a wonderful thing as soon as I land in Italy.

Spring/Summer Co-op 2014

The past sixth month has consisted of two amazing experiences that have shaped my future goals. I have learned what I want to do and what I definitely do not want to apply my Drexel University Design and Merchandising degree to. I have identified stregnths and weaknesses that have allowed me to become a better employee. Our D&M curriculum is an essential prerequiste to surviving a co-op in the fashion industry. I have applied the learned knowledge on a daily basis during both job opportunities.
Taking the Communications route, I was a Marketing and Public Relations intern in order to further gain experience on the media aspect of the industry. Some days, I loved my jobs and other days I was contemplating if this was my path. I am still figuring out exactly where I will be after graduation. In the meantime, I am very excited to start Fall term in the Urban Center.
See everyone soon!

Labor Day Weekend

For most people who live in Monmouth County, New Jersey like myself, LDW is the day to soak up as much beach as possible for it is the last day of the season. The weather held out this long weekend to give the loyal beach club members a gorgeous last day. I, however, sweat through three shirts while working the annual Labor Day Pier Village Sidewalk Sale. This past weekend was my personal nightmare. As a sales associate during this bargain hunter's dream, I have to wheel seven overly stocked racks into the sun and watch women and children dig through every item to find the perfect match for their "2 for $15" sale. Then I have to try and maintain some kind of order amongst the hundreds of plastic hangers holding last season's crop tops.
Turns out, my part time retail job is way more demanding than my big PR internship. I am enjoying the new responsibilities that my managers have put of my plate such as manning the register. Although the sidewalk sale is the most exhausting weekend, I do not mind being outside people watching for twelve hours. It is comical to watch woman in bathing suits try on pieces on the sidewalk. At 6 O'clock sharp on Monday, we lowered the final sale price of everything on the sidewalk to one dollar. This is when the real entertainment starts. We ended up selling every single summer item we had in inventory.
In addition to selling items from our sale, this attention to our inside new Fall pieces gave us a head start for the Fall sales goal. The intricate way this  boutique is merchandised, makes it hard for customers to walk by without stopping and shopping.
I know I can cross retail off my career list but for a part time job, it is worth it. And now that summer is over and the busiest season is another year away.
Ready for Fall 2014!

Celebrity/VIP Intern for the day

At Krupp Group, there is a total of twenty rotating interns in the office everyday. Amongst us are Media interns, Jewelry interns, Accessories interns, Fashion interns (me) and VIP interns.
Today at the NYFW show, I was in the Celebrity/VIP category. They definitely do not know that I am the biggest #fangirl when it comes to the rich and famous. Unfortunately for me but  fortunately for KG, this was a smaller show and there were not any A-Listers. But I did see Zosia Mamet or as I refer her as Shoshana from the HBO series, Girls.
Specifically, I was in charge of making sure DJ Chelsea Leyland had her black Suburban when she decided it was time to leave. Prior to assisting the semi-famous personnel, I taped numbered cards down to benches for these oblivious people to neglect. But that is just the intern duties that come along with the territory. I am ready for the day where I make the decisions and voice the final say.
Paying dues for now! 

First Taste and I want the whole Krupp Cake

That is what they refer to the Krupp Group employees as...does that make me a Mini Krupp Cake?

Today, I experienced my first presentation of a Spring 2015 collection. Officially, I was the Fashion Intern for Krupp Group. My job was not all that exciting but it was amazing to watch the production process into the finished product. I was in charge of a sliding door and had to show people an alternate route backstage. This presentation took place in a studio style apartment turned design house. The door I was in charge of was an entrance into the kitchen that had frosted sliding glass doors. This ultra modern kitchen was turned into backstage for the show. Through that glass door, there were models, dressers, make up artists, hair stylists, photographers, etc. Extremely crowded and loud. This action is my favorite part of New York Fashion Week. I love watching backstage exclusives and now I am asked to experience it. Live. 
A unique part of this presentation (and my favorite part) was a sketch artist set up with an easel creating party favors for each guest. She did an amazing job two dimensionally representing each girl for an hour straight. I was curious to know whether she was hired by the designer regularly or just for the big unveiling of the new collection.
Prior to the presentation, the new look-book was shot which cut their preparations for the Spring Collection in half. Soon after today's productive morning, Krupp Group will receive their line-sheets and then pieces. As soon as we record inventory, my supervisors can offer the pieces for editorial pulls. Fashion Public Relations covers all bases. The process fascinates me and an added perk, I know all of the upcoming covers of every major magazine coming soon: Fall 2014.
I have a packed Fashion Week ahead. Stay tuned. 

New York Fashion Week

This is the very week Krupp Group has been focused on since I stepped into their sleek office three months ago. Prepping clients, fittings, and set mapping has been on the agenda everyday in order to make these shows perfect. I have learned that the smallest details, such as organizing and finger spacing the showroom racks, are just as important as ensuring the represented celebs have their complete looks. It is an extremely high paced environment and any hiccup can potentially ruin a million dollar show. I have witnessed meltdowns but at the end of the day, everyone wants a successful show, everyone has the same end goal.
In Design and Merchandising Seminar, we studied office culture and work environment, the employees of KG are a unit come show time. Everyone on the team has a balance of work separated from play. The office provides a treat everyday of fashion week to make sure there is a special break amongst the craziness.