Retail/Fashion Interns See Stars at New York Fashion Week
Posted October 9th, 2017

From debut shows in St. Louis to major productions in the Big Apple, our Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising students have been taking their talents nation-wide. Last month, two students landed amazing opportunities with huge designers at New York Fashion week. We caught up with second-year student, Chinara Thomas, and recent graduate, Breonna Williams, to see what it’s like in the fashion fast lane.

How did you land this amazing internship opportunity?
Chinara: It came from a small, two-day internship with Navia Vision for a Karlie Kloss and Express show
Breonna: Our hard work paid off fast! The day of the Express show, we were offered the New York Fashion Week internship working for Navia Vision and celebrity stylist Karla Welch. 

What shows/designers did you work for and what were your responsibilities?
Chinara: We worked the Veronica Beard and Marchesa shows. For Veronica Beard we were both back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house production. We were pretty much a part of everything: setting up and breaking down, loading and unloading the truck, directing people where to go and assuring that the show ran smoothly.
Breonna: The Marchesa show was a whole new ball game. I was the check-in person for models, hair & makeup personnel, and the designer’s entourage. I even got to meet Zac Posen!
Chinara: I was exclusively back-of-the-house at Marchesa, which meant loading and unloading the truck, directing models and dressers, taping the floor, helping with model line-up, assisting with the show run-through and directing people where they could and couldn't go. 

How did it compare to your responsibilities at shows here in St. Louis?
Breonna: In many of the runways I’ve done in St. Louis, I’ve built the show from the ground up: coordinating designers, models, and hair & makeup, and even setting up lighting.
Chinara: The responsibilities at Fashion Week were pretty much the same but on a grander scale. Not saying any of the shows I've done here weren't important, but New York Fashion Week is like the top of the top, crème de la crème. There was so much riding on everything being perfect, and so many more factors that played a vital role and really require you to bring your “A-game.”

What kind of networking opportunities were there?
Chinara: The networking connections were endless—from the fellow interns to the staff at Navia Vision. We also participated in a fashion networking event called Fashion Mingle. The event was full of designers, fashion show producers, models, singers, you name it! They had a panel discussion, live performance and a photo op. 

What was your favorite moment?
Breonna: Actually being in the room with Zac Posen and meeting so many different fashion leaders was amazing!
Chinara: It was a toss-up between seeing the Gucci Ghost exhibit at Milk Studios and catching a pop up shop of Chicago's own DBM brand and getting some merchandise.

Any takeaways for current students who might be looking to land similar opportunities?
Chinara: I would say always take pride in yourself and your work ethic. No matter how small the job or opportunity, it might just take you to the next level.
Breonna: Always have a positive attitude, be confident, and never give up on your dreams. Always volunteer for every event, because you never know what’s next or who’s watching.