A Fly on the Wall in Fashion

I think that every girl dreams of working in fashion at least once.  If you close your eyes while I tell you my story, you will see it is not exactly as you imagined it.  It’s even better.

I am now at Wilhelmina Models (which I will go into in depth about in a later post), but it all started at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen Magazines.  I blogged about the beginnings of my internship in the accessory closet here.  To be honest, when I first started I wasn’t sure how I was going to make a full semester there.  I missed my friends back in Arizona, who seemed to be drifting apart without me, as if I was the missing link.

It had been a long time since I was last in NYC, and with the long hours at work, it can be a very lonely city.  With the limited amount of space in the accessory closet, I was surrounded by girls who eventually became my family.  We drove each other crazy at first, though, of course.

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I felt completely lost when I stepped foot in the accessory closet for the first time. There were shoes and bags that I couldn’t afford everywhere I looked. Linda, my boss, approached me first- she was just as friendly as when I interviewed.  I can still hear her reciting “that’s amazing,” to every response as she questioned me.

I was the new girl though, and I definitely felt like that for some time.  Ana turned to me in my first 15 minutes of being there and said, “Are you going to help me with this or not?”  I had no idea what I was doing, but I love her to death now for saying that.

Fashion is a game of sink or swim.  There is no training course or manual, like the Nike commercial: you just do it.  While “you are doing it” you probably want to leave your heels at home. (It really isn’t as glamorous as Anne Hathaway makes it seem!) To be successful you need to get everything done, and quickly.

As an accessory intern/ freelancer you are responsible for checking in and taking care of everything that comes into and out of the closet. Every now and then you end up on set, steaming dresses and helping celebrities get dressed, as well.  My experience at Cosmo was very fulfilling because I also did social media for the editors, as well as personally assisted one of the editors.

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Photo for Aya Kanai’s social media

They say people in fashion are mean.  They are only mean if you don’t do your job.  Being a part of a fashion closet is like being a part of a human body.  It only works when the heart pumps the blood, and the veins do it’s job to carry the blood over.  You also need the lungs, the bones, and everything else.

When one of the assistants ran, we all ran together, we all packed together, we merchandised together, and we all laughed together.  They were my lungs, and our goal was oxygen.  It was stressful, but it was all worth it when I opened up the magazine and saw my name in the mass head, and the earrings that I chose were on Michelle Obama, in our First Lady issue.   It was absolutely worth it.

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