Diving into Show Production

 

Two sophomores get a jumpstart into their careers

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When is it too early to start looking into internships? The answer is NEVER. Katlan Henderson and Chanell Portis are sophomores in the Merchandising program at UNT and have begun their interning experience NOW by working for Rhonda Sargent Chambers Show Productions as paid interns. They have both gained an abundance of skills from working with RSC that they plan to use in their future fashion careers.

A common question I’ve found that many students have about internships, is where you look to find the internships themselves. How did you find out about interning for RSC? What was the process like?

Katlan: It wasn’t really a traditional process of getting an internship. In this case I didn’t have to seek out this internship. I had volunteered for RSC numerous times and built a professional relationship with Rhonda and her team. One day I woke up and checked my email and she had offered me a spring internship with her! In this case the previous work and time I had put in with her benefitted me most. I worked her events as a volunteer for about a year before I was offered the position as an intern.

Chanell: I started as a volunteer for Rhonda, I heard about my first opportunity after getting an email because I was a member of Merchandising Inc. After working multiple shows and staying in contact with her, she offered me a position on her team. I worked hard as a volunteer and she was able to see how hard and diligently I worked.

 

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What are common tasks you do when assisting RSC?

K: My responsibilities vary depending on the event. Rhonda has allowed me to work front of house and back of house so tasks often differ. Common responsibilities with every event are usually pre-dressing and fitting models, organizing their rack, checking models in, dressing models during actual show time, taping shoes, tagging clothing, steaming clothing, etc.

C: I usually show up hours ahead of the show to help prep-garment racks, organize clothing, accessories, and shoes. My tasks can change depending on the event and the volunteers that Rhonda has working that day. Since I have worked with her team many times before, I am given more responsibility to do more difficult tasks. I have personally assisted her and worked front-of-house managing guests, organized models, and a commonly help dress and change models during the show.

 

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Can you describe a memorable moment or experience that you’ve had while working with RSC?

K: My favorite memory working with RSC is when I worked the Versace Show. Versace as a brand has always been a favorite of mine and I’m a huge Donatella fan. Being up close, touching and seeing all of the details in her designs before the show was amazing. That show was also the first time I really got to be laid back and talk personally with Rhonda. It was the first show that she gave me the chance to prove myself at the front of house and back of house. Afterwards, she stuck around and chatted with Chanell and I. We took selfies and she video-taped us pretending to go down the Versace runway after the show was over; it was great!

C: I have had many incredible and memorable experiences when working with RSC productions. Around May of last year I had worked the DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Against Aids) fashion show. The theme was cirque, so there were grandiose costumes, painted dancers, animals, drag queens, clowns, and so much more. I was also able to meet and create relationships with a few models that I still talk to today.

Another memorable moment was when I was invited to work the Dallas Versace show. It was wonderful to see the beautiful clothes I had seen on the Fashion Week runway and be a part of something so special! All in all, I have been able to create and strengthen friendships and connections, which is something so incredibly special to me.

How do you think this job will benefit you once you graduate and enter the workforce?

K: The main skill I’ve gained from working with RSC is how to have incredible attention to detail and work swiftly at the same time. The pace of fashion shows is incredibly fast and you have to be able to keep up. There’s a strategy to everything that’s done backstage and I think the best skill that working with her gives you is the ability to think on your feet. Sometimes, things go wrong and you have a split second to figure out how to fix it so that the people watching on the other side of the wall don’t know anything is wrong. The ability to work with people efficiently is something Rhonda and her team do very well and subconsciously teach the rest of us.

C: Working in the production side of fashion shows is nothing like many would believe it to be. It is an enormous amount of work. I was able to learn to communicate with various personalities, plan and organize apparel, keep track of inventory, manage guests and models, and style looks. I believe that with these skills, a future employer will see my ability to learn quickly, my diligence with performing tasks, and my knowledge to further help my career.

 

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Would you recommend doing an internship (assuming it wasn’t a requirement to graduate) to a student wanting to enter the fashion industry?

K: Yes, I definitely would. I feel that it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before you decide that you want to do this particular job as a career. I’ve always wanted a career, not a job, so I want to be certain that I enjoy what I do. Doing numerous internships helps you figure out exactly what niche I fit into, what doesn’t work for me and what does. My advice to anyone wondering if they should do more than their required internship is to definitely try everything you can make time for.

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C: Yes! I would highly recommend that students pursuing any career in fashion, should do an internship. An internship allows you to gain invaluable experience, make connections and fully develop the skills and knowledge within a certain field. School can only teach you so much, it is the hands-on experience that will truly push you further. Anyone can go to school, but it takes a person with passion and drive to make their dream a reality.

The skills that Katlan and Chanell have learned while interning for RSC will be incredibly beneficial in the future when it comes time for them to enter the workforce. By taking the initiative to take part in such a fast-paced position, they’re setting themselves apart from other applicants in their field of interest. While your classes give important knowledge on different aspects of the interest, the experience you gain will benefit you the most, as it has for them.

 

Follow Katlan Henderson and Chanell Portis on Instagram @kae.mechele and @chanellportis

Words by Raeleigh Hall

Edit by Reilly Farris and Maia Wilson

Images from Katlan Henderson and Chanell Portis

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PaperCity Magazine: A Texas Gem

If fashion imitates art, and art imitates life, then fashion journalism imitates both.  

PaperCity magazine covers fashion, interiors, the arts, culture, and society in a uniquely beautiful way.  I sat down with the magazine’s Dallas publisher, Briana Buxbaum, and discussed what it’s like working at a magazine with a genuine style as unique as Texas.

Could you explain to our readers what your role is at PaperCity?

Magazines are created with several departments: editorial, creative and art, production, and the publishing/sales department. In my role, I oversee the business side of the Dallas magazine. All are equally important as we couldn’t exist without the other vital components. While there is certainly a sense of “church and state” between editorial and sales, there’s also a very symbiotic relationship between the two and each month we work to produce one cohesive unit.

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What is your favorite part about working for PaperCity?

The problem solving of it and being a consultant to our clients. Our partners want to leverage our brand and we are able to serve their needs. We have so many platforms that allow for us to create robust packages and the partners that come to us. Being able to consult and help someone follow through with a vision is so rewarding. I really enjoy both the creative and business side of our magazine. Our main pillars are fashion, art, home design and social and as a result, we’re involved in so many creative and inspiring projects. But, I also enjoy being able to employ the logical and analytical part of my brain as we problem solve different scenarios. We’re often tasked to creatively meet client’s objectives, and I love the challenge of working to meet their needs in the best way possible using our different platforms.

Can you tell me how you got to where you are today?

I have been with PaperCity for almost 5 years.  I started in the Houston office as an Account Executive and then two years ago I moved to Dallas to take this position.

I attended Arizona State University where I studied print and broadcast journalism. After graduating, I worked at a TV station in Phoenix as an Associate Producer. After a year in a TV newsroom, I switched to corporate event planning and did that for four years in Scottsdale where my main client was the Four Seasons Resort.  I then moved to Houston and while job searching, I knew that I wanted to return to the media world. I reached out to Monica Bickers, who is now the Group Publisher for PaperCity, for an informational interview and that eventually turned into a sales position.  I moved my way up in the company, eventually moving to Dallas to take this role. This position allows me to draw and build from all of my past work experiences which is very fulfilling.

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Tell me a little bit about the magazine itself. How did it start, how has it evolved into what it is today?

Holly Moore and a business partner owned a PR company, but they didn’t have a wonderful local luxury outlet to feature their clients so they created The Paper. It was in a broadsheet format for years, and it was unique in the fact that it was a luxury publication in this format. Spreads could be removed and opened to almost poster size. In September of 2016, we launched the perfect bound format, which is our current design.

How has PaperCity been able to stay relevant and successful given the current fast paced digital world that fashion is becoming?

Papercity is in its 23rd year and we have longevity and long standing roots in both cities. We understand the strength of each city and the importance of highlighting all of the unique people, events and places that make Houston and Dallas so dynamic.

I think that people still love to hold a beautiful magazine in their hands and see products in an artful way. When we launched our new format we paid very special attention to making sure our readers have an elevated print experience. We also have many different outlets including digital, which our brands and partners expect. We may have a reader that opens our editorial newsletter weekly, sees web articles on their Facebook feed, or remains a cover to cover print reader.

We also redesigned our website, so that it’s very much PC in brand, but isn’t a replication of the magazine and has a great amount of unique web content. You have to support print with strong digital content. But the print also enriches the digital and overall brand.

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From a publishing standpoint, how would you define the Texas readerr?

The Texas reader is so unique. Houston and Dallas have some small town qualities, but are also large cities with luxury consumers. PaperCity does a wonderful job of speaking to this Texas reader with the right mix of local, while also keeping an eye on our place in a larger landscape. I’m not from Texas, and I’ve always found this dynamic fascinating. The social and philanthropic events are so important to these cities and you have to speak to all of that in an elevated and chic way.

You spoke on the philanthropic events and social gatherings that PaperCity is involved with. Could you expand on those? Who are some of the charities you partner with and to what extent are you involved with them?

Yes, charity sponsorships are an important part of the DNA of PaperCity magazine. We’re able to use our platforms to provide exposure for worthy events, so that their causes are shared with our 270,000 readers. There are so many notable charities and events but a few that come to mind are MTV RE:DEFINE, which benefits HIV and AIDS prevention and education through the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s events, Cattle Baron’s Ball, Soluna Festival with Dallas Symphony… the list goes on and on with so many great partners.  

Do you have any advice for our readers who are aspiring to be successful in journalism, or any part of the fashion industry?

There are a great variety of jobs in these industries. I’d suggest interning as much as possible in different capacities to gauge your interests. I’d also suggest simply asking for a few minutes of time from someone who has a job you think you may be interested in. Buy them a cup of coffee and ask as many thoughtful questions as you can about the ins and outs of their day; the challenges and the highlights; the growth potential. Some of the greatest connections I’ve made, that eventually led to jobs, have been from asking for an informational interview.

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What do you think is the most influential thing in fashion today?

I think that there is such a speed to everything. There is such a drastic speed to everything in our world; that is the greatest influence. How do we stay true to the core of these brands? Women now love to mix both high and low. I think that is such a refreshing change of things.

PaperCity magazine boasts refined taste, style, and a long standing tradition of excellence. After speaking to Briana, I can see how the publication has become so incredibly successful for the past 23 years. I encourage anyone with an interest in fashion journalism, or the fashion industry in general to pick up a copy of Papercity. The beautiful images, compelling articles, and unique attitude of the magazine will be sure to impress anyone looking for inspiration or a good read.

Words by Miles Cantrell

Edited by Reilly Farris, Carolina Gonzalez, and Maia Wilson

Images courtesy of PaperCity Magazine Covers

Visit Papercitymag.com and follow on Instagram @papermagazine

The Ethics Behind What You Wear

Going to India and Interning- All While A Freshmen

Breaking the generally accepted stigma that freshman can’t find meaningful internships, Navya Kaur, gives us the inside scoop on what it’s like to shadow and work for an amazing mentor her freshman year of college. Her first internship, did what every internship should do, giving her the motivation to continue on her journey towards her dream career in fashion and not let go of who she is. She is an inspirational trendsetter that is going to show the world that it’s not hard to be stylish and socially aware of the current ethical problems the fashion industry faces.   

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Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I am a double Merchandising and Digital Retailing major with a minor in Business. I am a sophomore. My biggest dream in life is to own my company and I really want to become an ethical fashion retailer because I think we tend to forget about the importance of sustainability and making sure that we are putting the people that work at big corporations have a viable place to work. It is important to make sure the environment is safe and healthy. Ideally I’d like to start working with third world countries and work with the artists there. I would like to bring their craft back here and sell it because the stuff they do is beautiful and I think it’s so underrated. Eventually, I want to have my own company doing this or become a fashion journalist. My other passion is writing and I actually have a blog that I work on all the time. In my free time, I’m looking at Vogue magazines and working on my blog.

What is your blog about?

I noticed that a lot of fashion bloggers have these beautiful pictures, but they don’t have any good copy to go with it. I was trying to find a good balance between having really good pictures and having meaningful copy to go with it. Whatever is going on with me personally or in the world I talk about that. I’m trying to work on a piece right now about the current political situation and I’m wearing like red, blue, and white. I just really enjoy writing about things that matter and tying that into fashion.

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What started your interest in blogging?

I was fixated on fashion, but my other passion is writing. It was really difficult because I couldn’t decide between the two. So for awhile I thought I wanted a journalism degree and I was really involved in the Journalism department in high school. I was editor-in-chief of the yearbook. Leaving high school, I didn’t want to give that up completely, so I thought having a blog in college would keep me on my toes and I still practice writing. I thought, not only will I have my degree, but I also have this blog because I really care about this. Ideally I would have a business and I would still get to write every day. Blogging is a really good way for me to project. I think that a lot of people just dismiss fashion as being a very materialistic and shallow world, which it can be, but I also think that it has a lot of meaning because what you wear shapes how you act and the situations you’re in. It just really says a lot about your environment and who you are as a person. I like to write about that and talk about what I am wearing and why it’s significant. I like to write about what’s going on in the world.    

Where did you hear about your internship?

It was my first semester at college and I was in Ms. Zorola’s Intro to Merchandising class. I really wanted to make the most of my college experience, so this woman named Marissa Heyl came in to talk to us about her company called Symbology. She works with artists in India and creates fashion apparel. It’s different than others because it’s very trendy and that’s exactly what I wanted to do. She came in as a guest speaker and afterwards I was really interested in talking with her about NuView. I was a writer at that point and I wanted to interview her. I wanted to ask her what it was like to have a fashion startup because it’s just so competitive. So I got her information and her contact. I did a phone interview with her and while we were talking we just really hit it off because we had the same beliefs and values on how important sustainability and ethical fashion are. Throughout the year, I just did a lot of different projects with her. I created a line sheet for her, attended a fashion show, and went to market with her to model her clothes. So by the time May rolled around she offered me an internship.    

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Any great experiences from your internship?

The coolest thing was that I was actually in India for six weeks this past summer for a family wedding and Marissa’s production facilities were actually only thirty minutes away from where I was staying and she had her spring collection being produced at that time. So I actually got to go where the production was happening and talk to the artists and interview them. I got to really see the process first hand and it was such a cool experience. I got to talk to the woman who was in charge of it and we talked about the design for her next tunic top. We talked about what the placement would be and what colors we would use. I got to see the fabrics she was using and whether the shades and quality were going to be right. Really just being in India and seeing the production first hand was so amazing because I got to see all this work that I was doing here in Grapevine, Texas come to life.

What did you learn from your internship?

Work ethic is so important because I remember that one of the biggest reasons she even offered me an internship as a Freshman in college is because I have personally been raised that if I make a commitment and there is a deadline I keep within that deadline and make sure not to disappoint someone who is relying on me. I think the most important thing you can do, whether it’s with your personally life, your job, or with school, is to just make sure that you really have that great work ethic. Follow those deadlines and put in your all. Just really do the best you can because people really do appreciate that. Even if you mess up they see that you are trying your hardest and that’s enough.

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What were some of your proudest moments from the internship?

Honestly, the entire internship I was just so filled with pride. I don’t know how it happened, but this awesome opportunity just fell into my lap, which combined fashion with these super important social issues that are so important to me. I had this awesome internship opportunity for me to spend my summer days just working with clothes and these awesome people that have the same mission that I do and making an impact on these tiny villages in India. It was so fulfilling. So really I don’t think I could pinpoint one moment it was just so gratifying and satisfying to have the whole experience in general.

Do you have any advice for someone looking for an internship or starting one?

You really don’t know where your opportunity is going to come from. You have to look in the weirdest places. Networking is so important because you build these relationships and that’s where the opportunities arise. I literally spoke to Marissa once after class and we had one interview and this amazing relationship came out of it and I had this great opportunity. I am still in touch with her. She is coming to one of my meetings for a business organization I’m a part of and she’s going to be a guest speaker. I know that throughout my career as I progress I’m going to have this person that can vouch for me and say that I can do a good job and that’s so encouraging. You can’t just go to class and think that it’s enough. To really make the most of this experience you really have to go out of your way to find these opportunities and make the most of it and meet as many people as you can. At first it can be really difficult to push yourself to talk to people, but once you do you feel really good about it.

Anything interesting you want to add?

For my blog for sure, I definitely intend on keeping it and if something comes out of it that’s amazing. For me it’s really more of a hobby and an outlet for me to get my thoughts out. I really enjoy writing and I hope someday that my career leads me to a place where I can be in fashion and writing. As far as my internship, I am totally a proponent for ethical fashion and making sure that we are treating employers justly and being socially conscious. It’s so important to know the consequence of what you’re buying. This internship was really helpful because it gave me the confidence because I know that other people care about these issues which means that I can further my career in this. I definitely intend on keeping ethical fashion and sustainability at the forefront of what I do. It was definitely beneficial for my career because I have a better hold on it.    

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Is ethical awareness in fashion something that you practice in your personal life?

I try really hard to stay away from Forever21, H&M, and similar stores. I’ve actually started buying a lot of my clothes from India because I go there and I have family that visit so often. A lot of those clothes are handmade and you know exactly where they are coming from. You’re helping families in need. I just love the ethical and tribal look of Indian clothes. I also get a lot of my clothes from Buffalo Exchange in Dallas. I recognize that it’s a struggle because if you’re shopping ethically the price is raised and as a college kid you can’t really afford that. But I think just taking small steps everyday to just google where your clothes come from is good. For example: What are Forever 21’s factory regulations? Even if you can’t actively act on that in your everyday life and drop like three hundred dollars on a vegan leather purse, at least try to understand the consequences for where you’re shopping and what you’re doing. I’m trying, it’s a process and I think that as we, as a society become more aware of it, it will be easier to shop ethically.

Navya is definitely not your average college student. She stands out among a sea of students and wants everyone to understand that college is a once in a lifetime experience that you must take advantage of fully. Her passion and honesty is inspiring and uplifting. To read more about Navya’s internship and travels check out her blog and Instagram.

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Visit Navya’s blog, thewitchclique.com and follow her on instagram @navyakaur.

Words by Rikki Willingham

Edit by Carolina Gonzalez and Maia Wilson

Photos from Navya

What Brought Her Fame

A North Texas alumni & designer shares her success story

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Shirin Askari is a Fashion Designer and UNT alum with a passion like none other. She started designing from a very young age, and has since been a contestant on Project Runway. More recently, she began her own collection called “ASKARI.” Her collections are sold online and in over 175 boutiques, and focus on designing for women of all body types at an affordable price.

What path led you to become the successful designer you are now?

When I was about to graduate from UNT, I had broken my knee, so I had to spend my last few months of college on crutches. By the end of the year, I had wanted to go to Italy, but I had to cancel my trip because of my injury, so I ended up just at home searching online for jobs. One of my professors actually e-mailed me about auditions for Project Runway. I hadn’t planned on auditioning, but I really had nothing better to do. I turned in a video, and got on the show a few months after graduation! After that, I decided to move to New York for a while to “strike while the iron was hot”, and learn everything I didn’t learn in school. I went back to Dallas to launch my first collection, and that’s really how it all started. After doing a higher-end line for about five years, I decided to do what I really wanted, which was to make women’s clothing at a better price point.

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Resort 2016 Show at the Indigo Angency Showroom

Was there ever a time you doubted working in the fashion industry?

Of course! Anyone who has been in the fashion industry knows that it can be brutal and defeating. You have to work so hard. It’s 2% glamorous and 98% hard work, and it’s a really hard business because it’s so subjective. You have to grow a very thick skin. You need to really love it, or else you’ll just be miserable.

What are some ways you find inspiration for new collections?

It really depends on the season. A lot of times I’m inspired by art, and architecture. I go to museums and take inspiration for my prints. I like my prints to be abstract, and like paintings – what you’re wearing is a piece of art.

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Askari in the studio with her team planning next season’s launch

How would you describe your target consumer?

Women that are the ages between 25 and 45 is usually our target customer, but it is a very broad range of customers because I have such a broad range of styles that fit many body shapes. There are pieces that work for an 18 year old, and pieces that work for a 60 year old. It makes a contemporary statement at a more moderate price point.

What type of traits do you think a person must have to be successful in the fashion industry?

You would need to be an extremely hard worker who goes above and beyond what you’re asked to do, because you have to be open and willing to learn all the aspects of the industry.

What advice would you give to a UNT student who hasn’t found success in the fashion industry yet, but wants to?

Don’t be afraid to learn all the aspects of the industry. Explore the industry and be willing to work hard to learn everything you can. Maybe you’ll fall in love with something else! Maybe you’ll find your place in a different part of the industry that you never thought you wanted to do. You’ll never know until you try. Most people when they graduate from school want to go from A-Z, but it doesn’t work that way. Just enjoy the journey and learn as much as you can!

What would you say was the turning point for your career?

When I was finally able to launch the line I’m doing now it was a really proud moment for me because I had spent so much time wanting to do it, and everything is made locally, and at the price-point I wanted. It was a huge step for me, but all the little successes that got me there almost mean more because they are what made me the person I am today.

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Pictured (from Right to Left): Shirin, Her Business partner, David, and Davids wife who is a breast cancer surviror. In October, Askari donated a percentage of all her orders to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The Indigo Agency showroom held a “Pink Party” to help bring awareness and fundraise even more for the cause.

 

How do you hope to move forward with “Askari”?

Our goal for this next year is to expand our number of accounts. We just got a rep in Atlanta, so we’re broadening to that territory, and we now also have a rep in L.A. It’s exciting because we sell so differently in different regions.

Shirin Askari and the “ASKARI” collection are expanding rapidly to more regions and consumers, and rightfully so. It was an honor to be able to talk with her more in depth about the success she’s had in the fashion industry, and about her beautiful collections. It will be exciting to see what her future brings, and watch her journey unfold as she continues to make UNT proud!

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See Shirin Askari’s collection at askaricollection.com. And follow her on social media @askaricollection.

Words by Reilly Farris

Edit by Carolina Gonzalez and Taylar Gomez

Photos from Shirin Askari

10 Questions with Subrina

From Intern to Full-time this Alum took NYC by Storm

Every month NuView will be asking a UNT alum 10 questions about what its like living and working in the “real world.” As the starter of NuView we thought it would be appropriate to have is Subrina Hossain as our first alum!

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First day of Subrina’s Ross internship, now turning into a full-time job

UNT Fashion Merchandising Alum,  Former Merchandising Inc. President  of ‘14-’15, AND founder of NuView, Subrina Hossain answered the top 10 questions our writers had about her working at Ross as a Junior Accessories buyer and moving to New York City.

  1. Is being a buyer for handbags completely different from apparel, or are the trends and research generally the same? In other words, how easy is it to expand from buying in apparel to doing something like accessories or cosmetics?

You’ll find that most retailers will move buyers from area to area, so that they can be versatile and adaptable because a good buyer can buy anything. The necessary skill set to be a buyer is the same regardless of what area you buy, you just have to learn the ins and outs of another business using those same skills. I interned in the juniors dresses department but now I’m in junior handbags. I had to learn an entirely new business, what the vendors are like, what my price points are, what kinds of trends my customer likes, but I still use the same negotiation and relationship building skills and I still go competitive shopping and study my customer.

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Posing with Girl Boss, Sophia Amaruso at the Nasty Galaxy Book signing

  1. When starting with a new company, whether it be an internship or a new job position, what is the biggest challenge you have to overcome, and what tactics do you have for becoming comfortable in a new professional setting?

My biggest challenge has always been self-doubt. There was always a little voice in my head that tried to convince me that I’d fail, maybe I wouldn’t fit in with the company culture, maybe I wouldn’t understand the job, maybe my coworkers wouldn’t like me, maybe maybe maybe. Maybe take all of that negative energy and use it as motivation to prove your own self wrong. I recently went to Sophia Amaruso’s Nasty Galaxy book signing. If you don’t know, she’s the founder of NastyGal and author of a book I’m sure we all have on our night stands, Girl Boss. An audience member asked Sophia how she overcomes self doubt and with a little laugh she said “you don’t, you manage it. Remind yourself why you’re worth it.”

  1. What classes or experiences from UNT have helped most in your current role at Ross?

It wasn’t until the retail math class that I actually became a fan of math.  Buyers use retail math on a daily basis in the office and during appointments with vendors. We also design a lot of our own handbags so the product development class comes in handy. Experience wise, Merchandising Inc. (if I haven’t said it enough) really helped prepare me for my role because I enhanced my soft skills such as networking, leadership skills, and time management, amongst others.

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Subrina with  Ross accessories team

  1. What advice do you have for someone looking to become a buyer? How should they prepare?

Don’t just do the one internship you have to for your degree; take part in as many internships and job shadowings that you can because you will learn something new in all of them and add to your tool-box of skills. Having any sort of sales and customer service experience is also important. A lot of people overlook sales floor experience but having in-store experience helps you put the pieces together better when you get to the corporate side. I interned in stores for Marshalls and Ross; without those experiences I wouldn’t have gotten such a good understanding of the off-price customer. Take on roles and projects that challenge you, if you are comfortable you’re not growing.

5. What are your least and most favorite aspects of your job? One of the best things about buying is that one day is not the same as the next and this keeps things exciting and new. The spontaneity of the job and likely possibility that your outlook calendar will change at least five times in the day keeps you on your toes and forces you to be adaptable. I also love that buying is a combination of fashion and business. It’s the best of both worlds. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there’s not one thing I don’t like about it. Some days are tougher than others, maybe something didn’t go my way or I didn’t get a deal I wanted but the good thing is there’s always tomorrow.

  1. For someone looking to move to NYC, what can be expected? Do you have any advice on how to ease the transition of acclimating to life in New York?

I experienced a lot of change in my life all at the same time; I interned as an ASM (assistant store manager) at Ross that summer, officially graduated ten weeks later, then packed my bags and moved to New York two weeks after that, and started my job two days after I moved. I expected everything to quickly fall into place at the same time. I learned the difficult way that life doesn’t work like that. New York City is known to be exciting and fun, but it’s also overwhelming and scary. The most important and helpful thing you can do is give yourself time to adjust. Once you’re here, you’re in for life. I had very high expectations of myself and what my life would be like, but Friends is just a scripted tv show and unplanned adventure is so much more thrilling. Living in New York is like buying, in the sense that not one day is like another and life is always spontaneous and exciting. Embrace this chaos with open arms.

  1. What is something that you learned from being in Merchandising Inc that still helps you today?

Merchandising Inc. helped me get out of my introverted shell and turned me into a people person.  In this industry, you have to be outgoing and charismatic. Building and maintaining relationships is one of the most important aspects of this job. I have to know how to schmooze with vendors and keep positive relationships with them, because ultimately that will help me get the deals and goods I want, while also keeping the vendors happy because it should be a mutually beneficial partnership.

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Subrina’s desk through the lens of snapchat

  1. Name something that you always keep on your desk at work?

A baby succulent and pictures of my family and friends.  

  1. If you had to go to do everything all over again, what would you do differently?

I wish I had spent less time being anxious and more time enjoying the time I was in.

  1. In your experience, what are some attributes of individuals who are most successful?

Employers want passionate people and they can read whether or not you have passion or simply interest in the first five minutes of an interview. If you’re just interested in this industry, it’s not enough; you wouldn’t spend your life with someone you’re only interested in, but someone you are passionate about. That’s how you should feel about your career. Passion fuels your fire because you wake up every morning looking forward to your job. You spend years of your life fighting to land your dream job but just because you have it doesn’t mean you should stop fighting for your career; never lose that fire.

Words by Subrina Hussain and NV Career Editors & Writers

Edit by Maia Wilson

Photos from Subrina Hussain

Ashley Does Anthropologie

A UNT Senior gets a styling education in Philadelphia.

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Ashley Nudge is a senior pursuing a Merchandising and Digital Retailing double major at UNT. Last summer, she landed a competitive spot as a stylist intern for Anthropologie in Philadelphia. From that experience, Ashley has a lot of wisdom about styling as a career and how to be sure you get the internship of your dreams.

Q: What was the application and interview process like for getting the internship?

A: For the styling position you have to put together a trend board and submit your resume. Then you go on to the video interview, which was terrifying, and really awkward. I thought I had ruined it after that. But I passed that round, and after that I had to fly out to Philadelphia and do an in-person interview with the two full-time stylists with Anthropologie.

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As an intern, what did you do on a typical day?

To be honest, my job was very repetitive but I enjoyed it because the company was a good culture fit for me. On a daily basis I was doing the role of assistant stylist, so I was supporting the full-time stylists. On shooting days, my job was to make sure each outfit was in the fitting room for the model, and enter in all the product information from the outfits for the website.

Did anything about being an intern for Anthropologie really surprise you?

I knew when I applied that Urban Inc. is a very laid-back company, but I was really surprised by just how casual they were. The things they said to each other were really funny and shocking, but that’s what makes the company so great, is that you can be who you are and say what you want and it’s okay.

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What advice would you give to students looking for an internship?

You have to know yourself. That’s why I think organizations like Merch Inc. are really beneficial to be a part of, because you get exposed to so many different careers. If you’re a “yes person” and you go to everything, eventually you will figure out what you’re passionate about, and once you know that you can determine what type of internship you should pursue.

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I saw on your website you had to create a lookbook at your internship. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

At Urban Inc., you do an intern project. But since Urban Inc. is all about creativity, they basically told us to do whatever we wanted. Since I was in Philadelphia, it just made sense for me to do a “what to wear, where” type of lookbook. It showcased outfits that would be appropriate to wear to different locations in Philadelphia.

Was there a defining moment for you during your internship?

The moment I got really interested in styling, was when I was helping assisting at a photoshoot, and I just fell in love with the whole studio environment. When I walked into the studio the first day at Urban Inc. it was just like that. Just that moment of realizing styling what I’m meant to do was really fulfilling.

Did you get to implement your personal style at all in your internship?

You would think because I was doing a styling internship I would get to style but I didn’t. They have to get through 30 outfits in one day, and that doesn’t sound like a lot but it is. Looking back, I understand why they didn’t let us because I’m not as fast at dressing the model –  it really is a skill.

Did you have any obstacles you had to overcome during the internship?

The initial obstacle was having a job that was so repetitive. It was really frustrating at first, because you go to an internship expecting to learn so much, especially at a top-notch company like Anthropologie. I just needed to process it and realize I had an important role and was supporting my teammates, and once I got that through my head it was easier.

photo5 Ashley will be graduating in May of 2017, and will be looking to work as a stylist either at Anthropologie or another company that suits her. She also plans to expand as much as possible with her website, “The Ashley Edit.” Interviewing her was a fantastic and eye-opening experience, and I know she’ll bring great creativity and passion to the fashion industry.

Find Ashley on Instagram @theashleyedit and visit her blog theashleyedit.com

Words by Reilly Farris

Edit by Taylar Gomez and Carolina Gonzales

Photos from Ashley Nudge

Graphic Design by Kathryn Washington

That’s So Vintage…

The perfect internship for a vintage girl

 

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Jessica Heard, a senior Merchandising major, had no idea that when she walked into her favorite local vintage shop, Circa 77, she would be offered an internship. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to land your dream internship. Jess is one of the lucky ones. Her unique personality and style can’t go unseen which is why she was the perfect person for the job when she was hired to help manage the small Denton vintage shop on The Square. She has a bright future ahead of her and had great advice for those interested in obtaining an intern or looking to flourish at their current intern position.

Did you have any experience in fashion prior to attending UNT?

“I took some classes in high school that were career classes centered around Fashion Merchandising. But I just love clothes in general!”   

What do you like most about fashion merchandising?

“I think it’s cool that there is a job, if you want to go into buying, that you could be a professional shopper. There is also a lot of opportunities available for fashion merchandising majors that I never knew about. It was really interesting to learn about all the things you could do in merchandising.”

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Jessica stands out front of Circa 77, where she had the opportunity to intern for a unique store full of a wide array of vintage collections.

Where did you intern?

“I had an internship with this vintage store in the square and I would rearrange the store, and help with buying. If someone came in the store and they wanted to consign I would help decide if the piece would fit our store’s brand and if the item was good or worth buying from the customer. It was fun! I got to help people decide and chose what they wanted or gave people ideas and advice. If they came in the store needing something I would go find what they were looking for.”

Where did you hear about the internship? What led you to them?

‘Well, I just went in the store because I always liked the store prior to getting an internship and I just asked her if she needed help around the store or anything and then she told me that she was looking for an intern!”

What did you learn from your internship?

“Social Media is really important. Especially nowadays companies are really focused on social media. It’s really important that you have a Facebook and Instagram and that you are doing things within the social media world for your company. I helped out with the shop’s Instagram account and Facebook posts.”

Did interning at Circa 77 change your style in anyway?

“Everything I wear is comfortable, but I also have vintage flair! Especially after working at Circa 77! I definitely have a lot of vintage in my closet.”

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Jessica with owner Janie Shoto, who she worked under while interning at Circa 77

Any interest pertaining to fashion outside of your major?

“Oh yeah! I really like photography. I have a photography business. I am merchandising major, but I am not sure if it’s exactly what I want to do right after I graduate, maybe more so later in life. I really like real estate. I love everything about real estate and I am going to work on getting my real estate license.”

Anything interesting you want to add or any advice for people looking for internships?

“Make sure whatever you decide to do that you are with a company that you like and that the company is a good fit for you.”

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Jessica wearing a pink Lame 1980’s Victor Costa gown, while lounging in a blue velvet 1950’s wingback chair.

Jess provides inspiration to those wanting their fashion careers to be a job that they wake up loving to go to and not just settling for unhappiness. She has a diverse background in more than just fashion and has great advice for those wishing to be the best at whatever they choose in life.

Words by Rikki Willingham

Photos by Chloe Gonzalez

Edit by Taylar Gomez and Carolina Gonzalez

Captions by Jacqui Simses

Click below for more photos from the shoot.