As an intern abroad, I worked (alongside 3 other CEA students) in the showroom at the Park Hyatt, Place Vendôme. In a showroom, international buyers come in and view the clothes that were shown on the New York Fashion Week runway, pick out the ones they liked and have a model try it on so they could see what it looked like on. Then they would decide if they wanted to purchase it for their store (or sometimes for themselves!) in which case they would place orders.
My first job was to set up the showroom by unpacking the trunks of clothes and hanging them on racks that went around the room, creating a little shop for the buyers to walk around. This also included merchandising the clothes to make sure the showroom looked organized and appealing. Then, when the clients came in and made their selections of what they wanted to see, I would help dress the models, which basically meant playing dress up all day long. Next, I would take down the clients’ orders by writing down the style numbers, sizes and colors they wanted in each clothing item.
The models we worked with were incredible and so much fun to be around! As someone who's completely fashion obsessed, nothing compares to touching beautifully crafted couture gowns all day long. Overall, it was an amazing experience where I learned so much, and everyone we worked with from Badgley Mischka was friendly, interesting and so fabulous.
Plus, this experience was so incredible for me because I have always dreamed of participating behind the scenes of a runway show. Fashion is one of the main reasons I wanted to study abroad in Paris since it is the fashion capital of the world. Having this experience completely validated my decision to come here and gave me an amazing story to take back to the States with me. In the future, I hope to work in Public Relations in the fashion industry and hopefully one day even be famous enough to get invited to more shows than I have time to attend (wouldn't that be nice!).
Illana Donner is a Spring 2015 CEA Paris student and a Junior at the University of Arizona.
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