Fashion Merchandising and Design: Design and Development
Regent’s University, United Kingdom, Spring Semester 2017
I must say, when there is an opportunity to gain experience, take it! If I had not done so, I wouldn’t have ended up at London Fashion Week! Okay, let me start from the beginning. The semester is a month in and I knew I wanted to do something with Fashion Week. My Fashion Show Production and Event Management professor, John, mentioned that if any students were interested in getting some Fashion Week action, to contact Fashion Scout and encouraged us to contact anyone else in fashion designers for the British Fashion Council, no guarantees. Some students shrugged it off but I did not care if I was helping clean, if it meant I would get at least a taste of the fashion industry. So, what do I do? Treat this like I was applying for a job, of course! I laid out my strengths and my enthusiasm and closed with a colourful ending.
While I was waiting for their response, I chose my favorite designers for the British Fashion Council. I sent a personalized email to each and waited. I was excited and had faith that God would make a way for me and guess what? Jesus pulled through! Within just 24 hours I receive a response from Fashion Scout and a response from Storycoat, a brand presenting at British Fashion Council’s showroom. The designer contacted me personally! (Ah!) After a few deep breaths and a huge “thank you Lord!” I sent an enthusiastic reply.
The Thursday before Fashion Week, I was supposed to meet with the designer for preliminaries but in a tiring effort to find the destination, with a dead phone, I was 3 hours late (totally dreadful)! The designer, praise God, was completely understanding and said we can meet up during fashion week when I will be really needed. I made sure she knew I would not be tardy again!
Fast forward to February 17th and it’s the start of Fashion Week!!
My outfits were ready and I was eager to make an impression. I like to be the best I can be! And I knew this was a great chance to do some photography! For Fashion Scout, I helped set up the backstage areas and run the model casting calls. I was assigned to the male models and I must say, God is good! Not just because they were a very, very handsome group of men but also because the guys were so much fun to be around! They were so nice and friendly and they were a bunch of goofs; they reminded me of my brothers. Because of this, and the lovely ladies I worked with, 7 hours seemed like 4. Amid the shuffling lines, model calls, and directing designers, I paid attention to even the smallest details; I made mental notes of how to run backstage, what to remember, what to look out for, etc. The biggest thing I learned is to clarify, clarify, clarify! Even if the person in charge speaks the same language, communication and expectations can be different. Ensure them you want to do the best you can which is why you want to cross check what they say. Repeat it back to them if you must. I know I did.
I worked with a promising group of girls. We got the chance to learn about how our bosses became, well, our bosses. Hearing their testimony of people working fashion week was inspiring! A couple of professionals for Fashion Scout started off as volunteers in high school to now being in charge! I could see that being in a city like London allows more access to fashion industry opportunities. At first, I thought well, more fashion Broncos should have more opportunities like this. Then I thought, yes, the faculty could offer more hands-on opportunities but honestly, we as aspiring industry experts should be doing our own research. Kalamazoo isn’t the most fashion forward compared to the prime spots, so we have to take the initiative. There are more opportunities than we know. If we have to save some coin to travel outside of Kalamazoo, so be it! Look at me! If I hadn’t reached out, I would not have had the amazing experience God had for me.
Hearing their testimony was inspiring!
When I helped Saraat her showcase, I helped with more on PR and photography. I and another photographer took photos, peaked intrigue in her brand to increase traffic for her showcase and I even got to man her station for a couple of hours. One Fashion PR for menswear thought I was already working as Storycoat’s Fashion PR. I was so happy! It was so encouraging to hear and inspired me to keep growing in more than one area. I’d say Fashion Week was a success! Check out the bonus pics below!
Peace and blessings,