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Fast Fashion In A Fast City: My Journey As A Design Intern

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Alexandra
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Published on June 27, 2014

In New York, you need to know a lot of things:  how to swipe a MetroCard (I’ve yet to master the public art), what your privacy rights as a tenant are, and even more so, where to find the best happy hours for YPs— young professionals. You can look high and low, though if you’re like me and prefer a decent place to sit and a certain ambiance filled with likeminded fashion, media, and finance kids, sometimes you’re just going to have to suck it up and dish out $20 for a cranberry and vodka. The added bonus is that you’re young, hot, and carrying a bag that’s not even out yet. That black AmEx will come sooner or later, maybe when you’ve learned to fold your towels in three neat folds like Mum showed you or make your own dinner instead of ordering Seamless. Regardless, you’re living the ultimate: you’re bright-eyed, posh, and broke.

Four weeks have gone by since I’ve arrived in New York. When recalling back everything I’ve done, everyone I’ve met, and everything I’ve heard, I can compare the past month to being on a road trip with Zach Galifianakis. Only in New York can you wake up one bright Saturday morning, swallows chirping by your pre-war windows with Lorde and Lana del Rey serenading you via MacBook Pro and take note of BeautyConNY via Joe Zee’s Twitter. Yes, you got that right: I went to that BeautyConNY event and met the Joe Zee—newly departed ELLE Creative Director/ recently inducted Editor in Chief of Yahoo Fashion, TV host/star, and all-around FASHION KING of 21st century American dress.

“Let’s take a selfie! No, let’s take TWO!” Mr. Zee said, grabbing me, bubbly and flattered, since he was my number one must-meet-or-die icon in this life. We took two selfies and I instantly uploaded them to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. IT. WAS. AWESOME. It would be rude of me not to mention that I was also able to snag a one-on-one chat with ELLE’s Beauty and Fitness Director Emily Dougherty and Associate Features Editor Seth Plattner, where on both counts, we laid out my professional path as an up and coming editorial Madonna in New York.

Zeroing in on my design internship with Pour La Victoire, the people and the events—not to mention beaucoup de shoes and handbags—have been equally moving on a tectonic level. As an intern, my assignments and interactions are never limited to the design department. The studio houses two other brands—I like to think of them as sister brands—and we work literally a foot apart from each other in the studio. That means that exposure to other designers is regular and I am able to expand my assisting role from one designer to another, and from one brand to another, all in a given week! The sales team—the people who pitch to buyers like Piperlime, Nordstrom, and Henri Bendel—are also constantly talking shop with the designers. Every person in the studio has a job to do, and it’s fascinating how each one unites with the department over to deliver a final product to the masses. See this gorgeous product wall that the Pour La Victoire sales team landed at Henri Bendel! An #Insta-worthy coup for the PLV team, right!?

In fashion, there are so many characters in a creative space. Where one creative may be living a rock and roll lifestyle with a vocabulary as colorful as Sharon Osbourne, another may be an Instagram queen with a gift for laying down Mindy Lahiri witticisms. You just never know what you’re going to get when you walk into an innovative environment, and that’s truly where the fun can be had. Designs may be scrapped, mistakes can be made (look here), people may get pissed off at one other, but at the end of the day, we all belong to the same team with the same goal: embrace women in our heels!

Over the next several weeks, I’m looking forward to learning about how Pour La Victoire manages itself as a successful high end brand, and even more so, expanding my role so that I can walk away with knowledge about designing footwear, selling to buyers, and evolving social media channels.

Alexandra

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