What is a design intern, you ask? Hell if I know, but that is what my job is and I am going to talk about it.
I have been lucky enough to intern at Rachel Comey. A small but exponentially growing apparel company based in NYC. I can't write a blog post without a list so here we go:
1. Everyone is incredibly nice. I feel supported and valued, which is important when you are an unpaid intern who crossed the country for the opportunity...
2. I get to interact with a few different people in the company who manage different parts. For example, I help our in-house pattern maker copy and cut patterns and sew muslin samples. I'm not sitting and pattern making, but I have learned tons about creating production patterns, how cut tickets work, what they mean etc.
3. I research a bit here and there based on new ideas that are brainstormed for the SS14 collection. Whether it be design and sewing techniques for sequin or denim, creating mood boards for the collection, or researching new styles to be applied to a basic t-shirt design. I honestly really enjoy being able to do that kind of research. You get to explore new ideas and refine your taste and aesthetic all the while learning about constructing fashion.
4. Going on errands to midtown, the Garment District/Fashion District/...Hell. After about a month I know it at the back of my hand, but shit, it's inconvenient. Because of the people. All the people everywhere. Stopping and going and risking their lives in the streets and not speaking English, and aggressively honking their horns...and I could go on, lets stop there. BUT. Being a New York based company, all of our factories are in midtown. This means that almost everyday for the first few weeks I got to basically go on a tour of the fashion capital and witness the heart of it all. The working men and women who make it possible for designers to run their businesses the way they do. Where patterns and markers hang from the ceilings, shelves of fabric rolls stacked from floor to ceiling and wall to wall.
5. Yes, I am still an intern- bottom of the totem pole in this industry. But I feel I have gained so much more experience where I am at than if I tried going for a big name internship. I'm not stuck at a desk waiting for UPS to come, or staring at sales spreadsheets all day, or organizing a closet that needs to be organized a million times over in one day. I get to do something different every day and that is what I really appreciate about my opportunity. I get to observe first hand how every step in design and production of a collection works, which I think is the most valuable part of my internship.
I work seven days a week; 4 at my internship, and 3 at Nili Lotan. I was able to spend my first month here with weekends to explore, but found more employment because well, I'M BROKE. And I honestly enjoy working retail, so I don't mind it. Keeps me busy. Anyways, I know I didn't go super into detail about anything but it's an update!
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