The Intern Diaries: Fashion Design

This past winter, I interned at a clothing company in NYC as a design intern. Although ultimately I probably won’t be working in design, I learned a ton about designing for a mass brand. Here’s a glimpse into my average day:

7:00am: My alarm goes off and I’m immediately questioning why I chose to intern this winter. It’s barely even light outside. Ugh.

7:15am: I finally roll out of bed and decide on a pair of colored jeans and a neutral colored sweater, even though I know my office is probably going to be boiling hot and I’ll be moving around for most of the day.

7:35am: Makeup and hair.

8:00am: After devouring a bowl of oatmeal in under 5 minutes, I hop in the car and head to Starbucks. There’s no way I’m making it to 6pm without at least one venti iced coffee.

8:35am: Train’s here. I snag a seat and put on my sunglasses and headphones so that I look as unapproachable as possible.

9:09am: The train pulls into Penn and I navigate through the mass of commuters to get to the street.

9:25am: I get into the office, put down my stuff and make my rounds to find out if there’s anything anyone needs me to do. No one does, so I head to an overflowing bag of fabric swatches and order forms that need to be sorted into binders. This is my least favorite responsibility.

9:45am: Someone needs a few pieces of art to be put together, so I head to the back and start snipping, lining up, and taping giant leopard print and aztec patterns together.

10:45am: As I was putting together art, samples that need to be studded have piled up on a chair. Although I’m putting on each stud with a tweezer and glue (since it’s just a sample), I have input on where each one goes so I’m in my creative glory.

11:30am: A few new samples come in that need to be pin ticketed (AKA labeled according to the cut of the shirt and the design on it), so my studding is going to have to wait.

11:35am: One of the other interns who has been here for months is a pin ticketing pro, so I play assistant to her as she looks up style numbers on an a series of Excel spreadsheets and in an Artwork binder. After this is done, we’ll have to take quick pictures of each item.

12:15pm: Finally done tagging, photographing and organizing the new samples. I head back to studding.

12:45pm: One of my bosses asks me to pitch colors for a shirt she designed. This means I’ll be going through Pantone books, choosing colors that match the design and compliment each other, and getting them approved by my boss before tacking them down to the art.

1:20pm: I finally find the colors that seem to fit the art and go to get them approved.

1:25pm: The tan I chose is a little too red, so I’ll have to re-pitch that one, but the rest are fine. I’ll swap them after lunch though.

1:30pm: Lunch time, and thank goodness because I’m starving.

2:15pm: After lunch, I head back into the Pantone book to find a new tan. It gets approved, so I paste it down and make copies for the office’s records.

2:45pm: A bunch of new fabrics come in, so it’s our job to swatch them, photocopy them and file them. I grab a pair of fabric scissors and start snipping.

3:20pm: My boss asks me to begin making boards of all the new fabrics she brought back  from her trip in China, so I begin sorting them into categories like animal print, foil, lurex, neons and stripes.

4:45pm: After sorting through dozens of fabrics, I start placing them onto foam boards so that they all fit and still look aesthetically appealing.

5:45pm: Most of the boards are laid out, so I pile them up so that I can get approval on them tomorrow.

5:47pm: The other interns and I clean up both of our work spaces, hang up any stray samples, and file away any extra fabric.

6:00pm: I’m out the door and start heading to Penn Station to make my 6:27pm train and hope that I get there in time to get a seat.

How did you spend your winter break? Have you ever interned in fashion design? Let us know in a comment! 

One thought on “The Intern Diaries: Fashion Design

  1. Life of An Intern’s Mom….
    Make money to pay for my daughter’s Blackberry so that her alarm can wake her up each day to make it on time to her unpaid internship.
    Make sure to buy her daughter’s favorite oatmeal at Trader Joe’s so that her daughter can devour a bowl in under 5 minutes before rushing out (sometimes without giving said mother a kiss goodbye)
    Make money to pay balances on daughter’s credit card used to purchase outfits and accessories to look appropriate at each office at which she interns, yet unapproachable on the train.
    Make money to pay for the Starbucks Venti my daughter must have so that she can ‘make it’ until 6 pm
    Make money to pay for the gas that goes into the car that takes her to the train station.
    Make money to pay for daughter’s train ticket (round-trip) to and from the city.
    Make money to pay for my daughter’s lunch because I know she’ll be starving.
    Is it all worth it? (Just look at that resume full of years’ worth of unpaid internships) It better be!!

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