My Summer Internship at Rebecca Minkoff
posted by LIM College
At the LIM College Center for Graduate Studies we’ve been taught at LIM College, fashion is a business. I remember someone telling me that a business is like a human body. Each organ performs a function in order for the whole body to survive. They also have to be in unison working together to achieve their goals.
Most of the time, people only see the design aspect of fashion. But departments like wholesale, PR, marketing, merchandising, etc., all contribute to getting products to reach the public and the consumers.
This summer I am doing my internship in the Product Development department at Rebecca Minkoff, an industry leader in womens wear, jewelry, handbags and shoe.
Because the department that I intern for is responsible for the very first stages in creating a collection, I was able to see how all these organizations had vital roles to play season after season.
CEOs always say that in order for their company to be successful, they need to understand their consumers. The number one revenue generator for the company is their handbags. They are known for producing quality leather goods that are both fashion forward and functional. It's important for a brand to be able to analyze as well as predict trends that are innovative but relatable to a consumer. Getting products to be purchased is the end goal after all. Product development is the process of bringing these new items to the market.
As an intern in the Product Development team, I constantly have to help update the matrix (an Excel sheet with the inventory of goods in production). I need to keep track of the handbags that are in production two seasons ahead, while simultaneously preparing the handbags for market week for Spring/Summer 2016.
It certainly was a great way to learn about the backend of the fashion business. It was amazing to see how the handbags came to life from first a leather swatch, to a sketch (with weekly revisions), and finally a whole group of bags, wallets and accessories ready to hit the stores.I also have to organize the leather and hardware library and prepare boards with costs, leather trims and sketches to be used in design meetings. Every day, I have a different and even more challenging task to do, but being exposed to this aspect of fashion has been more than educational.
In order to make sure that the hundreds of bags being produced were correct, I had to know all the details behind them, which required me to be detail oriented. Often, I can be a bit careless and that was completely unacceptable in this job description.
I also had to have an eye for detail when inspecting the bags and making sure that they fit the re
quirements. Going through all the Excel sheets was very tedious and I had to have patience.
Working in PD means working with the other departments and sometimes misunderstandings arise. But, I found that it's always good to have a pleasant attitude when this happens. More than the skills I learned from my internship, I was also able to acquire values that I think I could bring to any other job.
I highly encourage current graduate students to take on internships. It is the best way to challenge yourself, as well as learn about yourself. It also allows you to hone the skills you never even thought you had!