Every year, Sydney-based collage The Fashion Institute, travels to New York City with a selection of lucky students, to go and experience what working in one of the world's biggest fashion capitals is really like during fashion week. The students are slotted in with different companies throughout New York Fashion Week—from Australian designers to public relations firms, and publications.
The result? Hands-on experience you'd struggle to land, without the backing of the collage. Interning is a vital step to landing a role in the fashion industry. No matter what role you wish to pursue, whether it's in publishing, public relations, or design, interning is the best way to get your foot in the door. Many notable designers interned before making the leap to launch their own labels (for example, Ashley Olsen interned at Zac Posen), and fashion editors almost always climb the ranks from intern (me included!).
Keen to hear what it's like to intern during one of the biggest events on the global fashion calendar? We asked Talia Phillips, student at The Fashion Institute, to give us a rundown on what it was really like. Read on!
Where Did You Intern?
"After successfully interning at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia through my studies with The Fashion Institute, my networking skills paid off, as I was exclusively selected to assist the team behind the fashion week guest lists—Fashion GPS—at New York Fashion Week. As part of TFI’s international workplace training program, I was able to intern with a number of different businesses during a four week period, including Launchmetrics (the company behind Fashion GPS), a global software-as-a-service company that specialises in the luxury fashion and beauty industries."
What did you do?
"As part of my placement within the team, I was provided with hands-on experience assisting with the company’s digital event management software, to support PR teams lead the front of house operations i.e. the guest list! The way it works, is each person attending the show, is given a pass with a barcode, which we scan upon entry to ensure only we’re only seating people who are invited to the shows."
But what was it really like?
"I was thrown in the deep end from the moment I met with the team. I was briefed on my way to professionally check in an array of guests including top media, VIP’s, and of course the celebrities. On a daily basis I was b rushing shoulders with the likes of Kylie Jenner, Paris Hilton, Olivia Palermo, Whitney Port, Rita Ora, and Anna Wintour (names that you’d never see at fashion week in Australia!). And as you could imagine, with high profile guests, comes the security, entourage, and paparazzi—it was quite a circus."
"It was insightful to watch the production of New York Fashion Week come together. Until you experience it first hand, you will never be able to fully describe how fast-paced and exciting it is. There are countless shows every single day, all across New York City. The experience has absolutely changed my views and ideas of a career in fashion, and I’m really excited to put my skills to force in the working environment here in Australia."