Kent State students are learning first hand about the fashion industry by volunteering at New York City’s Fashion Week from Feb. 11 to 19.
The fashion design and merchandising students are currently studying in New York City, but this study away opportunity has allowed for some to work alongside designers and prepare for upcoming shows at the event.
“I’m really excited because a lot of internships are here, especially because some interns don’t even get to go, or work it at all, and they’re actually letting us work the days,” said Leighann Clayton, a junior fashion merchandising major volunteering at Fashion Week. “We’re also allowed to watch the show, so we’re sitting right with them in the front row. I think that’s really exciting,”
NYC Fashion Week is a semi-annual event where designers essentially gather in one place and show their collections, said Michelle McGlinn, a sophomore fashion design major also volunteering for the week.
“What happens is, through that, the media and public can see what the trends are,” McGlinn said. “That would cause the fashion to reach into the real world and try to influence how the year’s going to be.”
The clothes shown on the runway will forecast some of the entirety of 2015’s fashion trends, including fall and winter.
McGlinn earned a volunteer position at fashion week by traveling to NYC for an interview with a representative from the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Volunteer program.
Students participating in the event prepared in anticipation of the eventful week by setting up, putting chairs out and making sure the space looked put together at the various locations of fashion week. Some volunteers will also work the reception desk, usher in designers and guests, pass out brochures and organize gift bag giveaways.
“We’re working front of house, so we’re mostly checking people in, seating them, helping the publicists out with anything they need from us,” Clayton said,
She works at a public relations firm called Agentry, which gave her the opportunity to volunteer at Fashion Week.
She said she will be getting information from backstage to front, or if designers need a message relayed to workers, they are the “in-between person.”
Besides the excitement behind simply volunteering at this event, students can use the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on possible future employers.
“The top designers in the world are going to be there. We get to meet those people,” McGlinn said. “We get to work for them, so it’s kind of nerve-wracking to be in their presence. You just hope you don’t mess up, and you hope you can make a good impression.”
Senior fashion merchandising major Madison Merz, who currently studies and interns in NYC, did not have the option to participate in fashion week.
Merz interns for WWDMagic — one of the world’s largest fashion marketplaces. Due to its trade shows going on at the same time as NYC Fashion Week, she was not able to help out.
Although Merz cannot work the show this February, she said she feels curious about what’s happening behind scenes.
“Well obviously I think fashion is an important role in everyone’s life,” Merz said about how Fashion Week influences the public. “I know some people don’t take fashion as seriously as others, but I think it definitely conveys who people are as an individual. The way you dress expresses who you are as a person.”
The most popular trends change in time, but the fashion show will foretell what colors, styles and fabrics will be “in” for the 2015 fall and winter seasons.
“I think the most important part about fashion week is figuring out what new collections are coming out and kind of getting an idea of what people think’s going to happen in the future,” Merz said.
A new year brings new styles, and NYC Fashion Week gives an opportunity for Kent State fashion students, designers and publicists to impress the fashion world.
“I just think that, honestly, if anyone’s in fashion school they definitely should come to New York, definitely intern up here and try to work fashion week because from what I’ve heard so far, it’s going to be an amazing time,” Clayton said.
Contact Kelsey Drumm at [email protected]