I have spent the better part of my final semester at Temple University at a niche and high-end Fashion company based in Philadelphia.
What I have learned from this experience:
- No matter where you work deadlines are everything
- E-mail communication is harder than you think
- The fashion industry is just as, if not more fast paced as/than advertising
- I cannot wait to work in a large agency
I’ll explain…the fashion industry works super fast, what your wearing is already ugly and four seasons behind. You have to predict the future and think about what colors, trends, silhouettes, hats, shoes and models will be in style. Because the industry moves so quickly everything needs to be on time for the company to function. I design line sheets, which are used directly to get sales. What I am doing keeps the company going. So if I am late with my designs then, everything falls behind. The company can lose money and then, everything is pushed back again. For me, this translates well to my experience in agencies.
E-mail is key. I was taught that every e-mail you get, respond to it. You need to be in constant communication with the office and the clients, and they need to know your response to everything you do. In addition, keep the formatting and spacing the same throughout the e-mails so they can be read efficiently and quickly. It may seem silly to respond to a confirmation e-mail, but you can never be too sure. There is a point when confirming you received a confirmation of a confirmation e-mail is too much, but talking to your supervisors to understand each company’s communication style (each company has a distinct one) works.
In my few months of serving as an intern for this company, I have seen three separate collections go to New York and then go out of style. I have done line sheets and designs that three hours later are useless and out of style. The industry changes so fast and you have to constantly be on your toes to decide what is going to work and what is not. Just like in agency work, your idea needs needs to be clear.
With all of this experience, and having worked in various other kinds of roles, in the past I know that large agency is the life for me. I yearn to be a small part of a large system and have my expertise and my focus that I get to define and work on daily. I find that in small companies you need to be a jack of all trades. This experience has given me a great idea about how small companies work. In addition, I’ve learned that I prefer to be hyper focused in my role and part of a larger company.