August 22, 2006

A Fashion Internship I

Bee was right on the mark when she said that summer internships were all the rage nowadays, I don't think I know one person who is simply enjoying the summer, travelling and just bumming around. In fact, most of her article was pretty accurate and its heartening to know that even Bee and her friends go through the same thing as us mere mortals do in a summer internship.

Anyway, this summer quite unexpectedly I found myself doing yet another fashion internship at the regional office of a well known french brand, working with communications, retail and wholesale. Basically the other side to what I was doing last year. Surprisingly the Asia Pacific office of this french brand is only managed by 6 girls, albeit very amazing ones, in a little office they affectionately call the "shoebox." But despite the small scale, so many things were going on at once that I don't even know where to start!

Communications: They deal with everything that has to do with the public: advertisements, events and the press. They are responsible for putting advertisements in magazines, billboards, renovating stores and even on bus stops, making sure that everything perfectly represents the brand. Unaligned posters and chopped off products are not tolerated. They also organise and oversee events all over Asia, squeezing their collective creative juices together to create a smashing event and ensuring that all goes smoothly. They keep impeccable relationships with the press, lending out press samples to be shot and all. (Hence a charming personality and a wide network of friends is a major plus) In addition, they keep records of magazine appearances their products make and calculate the advertising value of it. This involves many hours pouring over fashion magazines, playing spot wally in the sea of fashion. I did a LOT of this, and believe me- not as fun as it looks. I developed a temporary fash-mag-phobia afterwards. Communications is definitely a very all around interactive job.

Retail: This Involved the management of the local stores. They are responsible for buying clothes in Paris for the local stores (hence they need to know their customers and have good taste), keeping track of what is bought, delivered and sold (i.e. lots of cross checking of data involved-trust me, they are eye blurring) and analysing what works in each location for future buying reference. On top of all this, they are also responsible for the operation of the stores, hiring people, customer relations and the construction of new stores. And when dealing with customers, a LOT of patience is required. I once witnessed a 1 hour long tirade from a customer dealt with patience and virtue. Oh and they also have to keep up with the prices of competitors, which involves a lot of cold calling and ones alter ego (which I have perfected). A very on the market job.

Wholesale: Before the clothes get to the customers, they are first wholesaled directly from the brand headquarters to various outlets. These outlets include the brand's stores, department stores and mix brand outlets. Wholesalers are responsible for this selling in between. These sellings take part in the Paris showroom or they may have samples of the clothes shipped to their location and have their own regional showroom. The selling process may take as short as 2 hours to as long as 6 hours depending on the buyers of each stores- some buyers can be very particular and thorough. Other times, they field emails from clients on topics such as delivery and prices etc, do market walk throughs with clients to see how their products are selling and plan for expansions.

Wow, that was very long. So you see, a LOT is involved before clothes make it to the store even after it has been made. But overall, fashion merchandising is very similar to other forms of merchandising, all the work involved are essentially the same, except one is dealing with fashion instead- which I guess is a whole lot funner if one likes to look at pretty things!


Blogger Frapp said...

I doubt I have any good fashion offices near me...but still, how old to you have to be to get an internship?

8/22/2006 5:46 AM  
Blogger z_phyr said...

hiya, how did you get the internship? did you write in or or did you get it through connections?
i'm really keen to get into the fashion industry. i've been doing marketing communications for 2 years now, in consumer and b2b capacities. I'm already 25, I'm afraid if I hold on any longer, I'll be too old to get a foothold into fashion. altho i'm holding a great job now in managerial position.
I don't mind working in Hong Kong too, with my not-very-fluent Cantonese. :)
do give me some hints! cheers.

8/22/2006 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds cool. Internships are definitely the way forward in terms of getting a foothold within the fashion world.

Oh by the way z_phyr - you're never too old if you're determined enough.

8/22/2006 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a good one! i definitely still wanna be in the fashion industry (working on it) haha, most DEF in the communications dept, i luv dealing with the press!


8/23/2006 4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats SO cool! when im older i def. want an internship at a place in the fashion buisiness.

haha. i've been traveling and bumming around all summer, with pretty much nothing else.

but, then again, i'm only 14.

8/24/2006 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did you get that internship? Im 14 (almost 15) and im searching right now for some, but none that I find. Can you please help me?

9/02/2006 8:35 AM  
Blogger april said...

i realy would like a fashion intership and im 16 right now and by when i graduate i would like to have a job or a internship do i get one of those two??? is there anyway u guys can help me???

11/24/2007 11:38 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would love to get a fashion internship, but im unsure of how.

I'm only 15 at the moment so I'll be looking for one next year in the summer '09.

Also I've done many of my own designs, know any place in which I can send them to?


8/22/2008 1:20 AM  
Blogger tk said...

Dear anabe, I'm not sure what age you would like to start getting on your feet to managing your time to work on your goal, but first i'll give you some advice about your drawings, your identity comes first meaning you should quickly
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still your drawings and put their labels, names they want and get rich from.
Do it before it's too late.
also put your drawings in a safe place where no one can find them and copy your work. Your work is private like your life, you should
protect it.I did the same for my drawings. If you want to talk more of where i found the resources call- tk @9809859395 or

12/12/2008 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently a 15 year old student, and i am into modeling, designing my own clothes, and learning more about the fashion indusrty. I really would like to learn more to help persue my career and i think being a fashion Intern would be a wonderful job for me. I dont mind working for free. If anyone can help provide me with information email me at;

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11/05/2009 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im 14 and looking to start an internship. I know that sounds a little young, but I saw a video of girl who said her first fashion internship was at 14. Besides I dont want to be looked at by my age, but by my determination, talent, and what I can bring to the table. I would appreciate it if someone could please help me look for an internship in LA or Seattle. It takes a while to get an internship, and I want to start now, so that I have one in the next couple of years or so.
Thank you.

1/26/2010 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can try THEFASHIONINTERN.COM. They always post good internships and that is where I found mine :)

8/11/2010 4:42 AM  
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