By Margretta Sowah
Your fashionable mission, should you choose to accept, is to become the head in which brand [x], for all intents and exploitation purposes, shall rest its fair-weathered and creative crown upon. The duties include: a new wardrobe that you cannot afford and a slew of technical verbatim like Prêt-à-Porter and Piqué. To counteract any stereotype of the “fashion woman”, let me break down the criteria for success and give you a repertoire of small talk topics and fashionable idioms. This post stems from a fun spirit and little life experience… surely that’s worth a bit of tongue-in-cheek.
1. You will be subject to piles of fabulous clothing,
which you will have to organize by color, collection or personal preference. Resist the urge to throw yourself into a sample size and instagram your look. Remember that is not an indication of your worth but rather your time management skills. #wardrobegoals
2. You will be a coffee/latte expert.
Chai. Soy latte… it is no secret that interns are beverage connoisseurs with coffee-runs being a rite of passage in almost any industry. Having prior knowledge as a barista will definitely come in handy when taking orders for the staff. If you can carry half a dozen coffees in one go while juggling your notes and that dress you were asked to pick up, even better. Moments like this show untapped potential… with the smell of coffee being the fuel to carry on for the rest of the day (or at least the next few hours).
3. You might get to go for a Champagne run.
If that happens I suggest you purchase the bottle(s), wait outside the building – preferably in an alley or behind a bin – and take several sips before walking it. If they ask what happened to the bottle just say you were attacked by a homeless man who demanded a few swigs of the Champs. Not only will your supervisors praise you for such a selfless act, they may even palm off ‘exciting research opportunity’ for you! Putting others before yourself always pays off.
4. Observations will be your best friend, along with your intuition.
Having the privilege of being in the midst of such talented and creative people allows you access to confidential information. Forget about your ex, this is where your stalking and spy skills come into play. Keep a sharp eye on your surroundings – who is coming in? Going out? Doing what? Seeing who? Smelling how? – Yes, even smells paint a picture. (Please note this does not include anything illegal or unethical).
5. Be ready to sell yourself…
and by that I mean sell your talents. No one likes a Nancy-know-it-all but no one respects a Silent-Sam either. Have a pitch in your back pocket of your greatest assets – professional assets, of course. Putting your boobs on blast will not get you to Fashion Week. Starting with, “Well, if you ask me…” shows your listening skills and proactive attitude.
6. Your Cocktail/Spirit/Wine game should be on point.
Partying is a huge part of the Fashion schedule – though we call it ‘work parties’ but really it should be called, ‘any excuse to get sh*tfaced.’ I advise you take a cocktail course and study up on the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Sémillon. Both look the same, taste relatively similar but are not to be confused at a work party. Stick to colourful, mixed spirits – stay away from anything clear before dinner and remind yourself that Beer is as attractive as a Burberry’s suede boot in the middle of summer. Bottoms up!
Having these things in mind will definitely prepare you for the weeks of character building menial jobs. No matter how far along the journey you are, rest assured all your dreams can come true when preparation meets opportunity… I think they call that luck. Of course, not all things on this list will happen – especially the Champagne run, though I did intern for a company where we drank every Friday… that’s what happens when you allow yourself to conform to the ways of this business. You gain industry experience while finding your tipsy way home… oh, and you get to use the word ‘Haute Couture’ without sounding like a plebe. Not a bad gig.
*Please note no one was injured or fired in the process of gathering research for this post. I do not endorse bad outfits or behavior.