Inside Graduate Studies

Internship: Jimmy Choo

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 @ 03:26 PM

by Nicola Andersen

Jimmy_ChooSince I began the MPS in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management program at LIM College's Center for Graduate Studies back in January 2015, I have heard consistent feedback from most of my professors when I tell them I want to become a buyer: “Are you good at math?”

Each of my professors stressed the importance of math skills in the buying profession, especially because the role has become glamorized and admired by outsiders..

I never imagined pursuing a career which would require the heavy use of Excel or working with numbers on a daily basis, but I have been fortunate enough to be interning for the retail department at Jimmy Choo, the London based luxury brand and purveyor of stunning shoes, handbags, and accessories for both women and men.

As a retail intern, I have learned a great deal about the daily tasks of a buyer and planner. Rather unsurprisingly, my professors were spot-on with their responses. Although buying has creative and product-oriented aspects, a large part of this occupation is assessing sell-through statistics and learning to spend budget wisely. It’s all about the numbers!

Each week at Jimmy Choo, the other retail interns and I complete sell-through reports for the week prior, helping the team to analyze sales broken down by boutique, collection, and individual styles or SKUs. The constant study of how well a particular style is selling, according to the North American territory buyer, helps to advise how to buy for future seasons. As the buyer explained to me, going to market and deciding on styles and quantities is based not only on fashion instinct, but the hard numbers which demonstrate what is likely to sell and which trends are waning.

For anyone considering a career path in buying, remember that it is numbers oriented (as I have noted from my experience so far), but rewarding in many other ways. Although I was initially overwhelmed and hesitant to chase a job which requires a great understanding of sales figures, I am thus far excited by the prospect of becoming a buyer.

Gaining the responsibility of a buyer, to choose what is made available to the consumer for purchase and ultimately help the company make profit is exhilarating for me. What I have gathered from my internship is that this position is fitting for anyone seeking a dynamic role which combines many facets of the fashion industry.

Topics: mps, internship, fashion merchandising, retail management, jimmy choo, LIM College Center for Graduate Studies, intern

Tips for Grad Students

Posted by LIM College on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 @ 03:32 PM

Daria_Fashion1. Time Management

Between classes, exams, papers and presentations, as a grad student time management will be one of your biggest challenges, especially if you’re working full-time. However, that’s okay, as you are the master of your own schedule.

Keep a to-do list and keep it prioritized. Schedule time to spend on classwork each day. Even if you only have 20 minute blocks. Seriously, you can cover a lot of good stuff in those mere minutes! Just as important, the material will stay fresh in your mind.


2. Prioritization

The second you start grad school you will be off and running. Make sure you accomplish what you need to sooner rather than later. Do not procrastinate. For example, if you have a huge project you probably need to tackle it piece by piece. Get started and… GO!


3. Go with the flow

There will always be interruptions and distractions. Get that into your head now so you don’t freak out when a family member or friend interrupts you. (I thought YOU took out the garbage!) 

When you are interrupted by others or there are urgent tasks you need to do, ask yourself: "What is the most important thing I can do right now? What is the most urgent?" Use your answer to plan your time and get back on track.

If you start feeling anxious about a task or something you need to remember, be chill! Write down what you need to do, take a few deep breaths, and get back to work. 


4. Take advantage of professors and professional contacts

Your professors have years of experience in the field, as well as amazing contacts. Utilize them! Ask their opinions. They want to help you!

Also, any other contacts you make outside of school or during your internship are also worthwhile. Work on cultivating relationships early on, and not just when you need a recommendation or are looking for a job.


5. Take the initiative

No one in grad school is going to hold your hand and show you what you need to do. It’s all up to you, baby! You are expected to be independent whether you have questions about a big assignment, financial aid, finding an internship or anything else. Take the initiative and get your questions answered. Your professors will also appreciate you coming to them sooner rather than later.


6. Be social

Take advantage of what LIM has to offer, whether it’s the CEO Speaker Series, a lecture, a student group that supports your interests or free pizza in the student lounge. You are allowed to take breaks!

We hope you find these tips useful! 

Mary Beth Maslowski

Topics: graduate school, grad school, LIM Graduate Studies, LIM Grad Student

There's Still Time for Summer Fun in NYC!

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 @ 02:04 PM

Yes, you're probably counting down the last days of summer, but it's not over yet! Check out these free events in NYC and get to some of them... before it's too late!


kayak1. Go kayaking in Brooklyn.

Ride the “waves” of the East River via kayak at the Brooklyn Bridge Pier on Thursdays and Saturdays from June to August. Get some exercise while basking in the amazing views from Dumbo and row your boat under the Brooklyn Bridge! Tip: Come early to avoid waiting in line under the sun.

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/public-kayaking

Tram

 

2. Take the tram to Roosevelt Island.

Construction and delays seem synonymous to the NYC Subway these days. However, there's an alternate form of transportation! Enjoy views of the city from the tram with just a swipe of your metro card. (It costs nothing if you have an unlimited card.) The tram is on E. 59th and Second Avenue and the ride lasts four to five minutes long.

http://rioc.ny.gov/tramtransportation.htm

Gov_Ferry3. Take the ferry to Governor’s Island.

If you want to get away from the city without the long commute, take the ferry to Governor's Island. It takes less than 30 minutes and you can spend the day biking, walking, lying in the sun or having a picnic. The ferry is also a great way to see the Manhattan skyline. IdNYC holders can take the ferry for free otherwise, it's $2 round trip.

http://govisland.com/info/ferry-schedule


Met_Rooftop4. Go to the Rooftop Garden Cafe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Okay, this one isn't entirely free but did you know that you can "pay what you wish" anytime at the museum, which means for as little as a buck you are in! On the rooftop, you can see a fantastic view of Central Park. And, catch the breathtaking sunset after a day appreciating the wide range of art and sculptures the museum has to offer.

http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/plan-your-visit/dining-at-the-museum/roof-garden-cafe-and-martini-bar

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: Summer, NYC, events, Free

New York City's Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

Posted by LIM College on Thu, Aug 06, 2015 @ 04:54 PM

Hong_Kong_Dragon_RacesWhat I love about living in New York City is that any day of the week, you can travel to a different country. And this weekend (August 8th & 9th), you can go to Hong Kong, and it's just a train ride away! Head to Flushing Meadows Park for the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival and experience the diverse and rich culture of this beautiful country. 

Legend has it that Dragon Boat racing started because of the patriot and poet Qu Yuan. He loved boat racing so much, but the king at the time disliked him and had him banished. His village suffered greatly and he eventually drowned himself in a river.

Because he was loved by many, fishermen tried to race the river to save him, but alas, they could not. So, as an offering to their hero, the townspeople threw rice dumplings in the river. Today, people attach a dragon onto the bow of their boats to commemorate this day and they also watch street theatre, Chinese dance performances and martial arts while eating a lot of rice dumplings.

At the festival in Queens, expect a lot of the same activities. There are going to be performances that showcase the country's dances and music. Stroll through the grounds and check out the many arts and crafts booths.

You can also treat your palette to some Hong Kong cuisine. Non-profit organizations will have representatives to explain the various programs that are going on during the festivities.

On Saturday, there's going to be an opening day parade at noon. The Dragon Boat Open Championship Race will take place on Sunday.

You can enjoy boat races, kite flying and other performances to experience Hong Kong culture. Admission is free so what's there to think about?

Go to http://www.hkdbf-ny.org for more info.

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: New York City, NYC, Queens, Dragon Boat Festival

My Summer Internship at Rebecca Minkoff

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Aug 05, 2015 @ 01:36 PM

Gabriell_MinkoffAt 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. 

Minkoff_handbag_1

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. 

Minkoff_handbag_3

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.

Minkoff_handbag_2-1

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! 

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: graduate school, internships, rebecca minkoff, LIM Grad Student, handbags

Summer in the City: Queens Museum Annual Passport Thursday

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 @ 03:21 PM

Parul_Shah_Dance_CompanyYou may not be able to travel to India but tomorrow (7/30), you can pretend that you're there! The Queens Museum Annual Passport Thursday stops in India with a dance performance at 7 pm by the Parul Shah Dance Company.

The company performs rhythmic patterms of amazing intricacy combined with some crazy beats on the tabla...One group of strong and weak beats is topped by the next at two or three times the speed.

Finish the night off with a visit to little India in Jackson Heights, Queens for some unique shopping and of course, eating! Some of the best Indian food can be found along 74th Street beginning at Roosevelt Avenue.

Try the Jackson Diner for delicious curries and tandooris and definitely have the mustard greens. For dessert go to Rajbhog Sweets to sample syrup-soaked jalebis or creamy milk-fudge squares of barfi. Or, head to Shaheen’s for some Pakistani nutty sohn halwa or tutty fruity pera or coconut chum chum. It is all yum, yum!

Admission to the Queens Museum for students is only $4.

http://www.queensmuseum.org/2015/06/passport-thursdays 

 

Topics: summer plans, Queens Museum, Parul Shah, Little India

Summer in the City: Language Lessons for Free!

Posted by LIM College on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 04:18 PM

 

globe-110775_640Bryant Park is a great space with lots to do...ping pong, pétanque, movies and more.

There are also free summertime language lessons!

Check out their website for where and when the beginner's Italian, Japanese and Brazlian Portuguese classes are scheduled.

 

Topics: Summer, Bryant Park, Language learning

Recap: CEO Speaker Series / James Rhee / Ashley Stewart

Posted by Gabrielle Aranda on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 @ 01:58 PM

James_RheeIn an industry where only a certain dress size is considered acceptable, Ashley Stewart catered to a different set of consumers. The CEO of the iconic plus-size fashion brand, James Rhee, dropped by LIM College Center for Graduate Studies to share with the graduate students his company's triumphs and struggles.

Last year, Ashley Stewart filed for bankruptcy and 27 of its stores closed. Though this was clearly a challenge to overcome, Rhee and Ashley Stewart employees did not falter. They were confident in the brand and everything it stood for.

Before he began his talk, Rhee warned LIM students that they would be “getting the perspective of a teacher, financier, operator, eternal optimist and overall lover of people”. He is proud to share that he is all of these.

He says that to succeed in life, one must know all the things that that one is not. “You should be aware of what you don’t know and it takes humility to admit that,” he says. So he admittedly asks a lot of questions. This is something that most people are hesitant to do.

Speaking about the company, Rhee stuck to the core values of the brand. The company adheres to authenticity, transparency and humility. He says, “Life is fun but there are certain principles you should stick by.”

Most people admire Rhee for transforming what was "the laughing stock of the business" into one of the leading plus size brands in the country. Though he is undoubtedly knowledgeable in the skills required to make a business successful, it is his heart and passion that stood out and made all the difference.

He realized that it was important to go back to who really mattered: the customer. "Ashley Stewart customers are the best.” Rhee says excitedly. The brand offers a very social shopping experience. He shared that a customer went into a store once and shouted, "I have an event, can someone help me choose a dress?" And everyone rushed to her aid (fellow customers included).

This is how he measures their company. “I know if we're doing our job well when we treat our customers well,” he explains. Ashley Stewart is more than just a clothing brand -- it is a community. “The Ashley Stewart shopper brings it,” says Rhee. “ She loves fashion and she wants to look good.”

Another thing to consider was the operations aspect of the company. The business was insolvent. They had to figure out how to move their merchandise correctly. It was a good thing that they identified with the consumer so they could do this the right way.

“It’s going to be a huge competitive advantage for you to be able to exude empathy.” Rhee explains. Kindness, compassion and empathy all contribute to the makings of a great leader.

Even after filing for bankruptcy, they donated $10,000 to YWCA in Brooklyn, a non-profit organization that helps empower women and eliminate racism. Rhee says, “If there’s a last thing that his company was going to do correctly, this was going to be it.” Supporting and empowering women has always been what Ashley Stewart was about.

It’s not often that fashion brands sell sizes from 14-26. Women should enjoy fashion whatever size they are. In any business, it’s important to know the customer, and Rhee and his team not only understand their customer, they care about her.

Rhee says that he is most proud of his team. He jokes that he manages a "circus." They work together like a family. The one takeaway from all of this, he says, is that “Success is being able to do the right thing.”

Rhee left off with some sound advice for LIM students. “When you work somewhere, you have to earn your keep. Don’t be naïve, you won’t get your dream job right away.”

Gabrielle Aranda

Topics: CEO Speaker Series, LIM Graduate Studies, LIM Grad Student, James Rhee, Ashley Stewart

Summer in the City: Free concerts!

Posted by LIM College on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 02:05 PM

Summer_ConcertSummer in NYC is pricey but your concert tickets don't have to be. There are tons of free concerts all summer long. 

For example, morning shows like the Today Show and Good Morning America have concerts on almost any day of the week. And while they are early in the morning, they are free!

today.com / gma.yahoo.com

Check out the entire list of free concerts in NYC for Summer 2015.

http://www.nycgo.com/articles/free-summer-concerts-2015 

Topics: Summer, music, Free, concert

Summer in the City: Free Summer Movies!

Posted by LIM College on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 01:53 PM

Coney_Island_Film_FestivalYes, New York is expensive, but there are ways to save money. Check out the page below for a list of FREE movies in the great outdoors of NYC! (Actually, some of the screenings are also indoors.) ;-)

From Brooklyn Bridge Park to Bryant Park to Randall's Island (and so many more places!), there are tons of free flicks to see like Ghosbusters, Frozen, Close Encounters and Insidious. Get the popcorn ready!

http://www.nycgo.com/articles/free-summer-movies-2015 

Topics: summer plans, New York City, Free, movies