When I first realized I wanted to go into fashion, my first thought of course was I wanted to design. I wanted to be one of the next greats, I wanted to create garments that every woman would look at and instantly think that this was the next thing they needed in their closets. Spending my time in Florence only helped prove to me that I knew working in the fashion industry was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Taking sewing classes and pattern making at LdM had exposed me to the skills necessary to become a designer, but there was always more to learn.
The fall semester of the 2012-2013 academic year I was fortunate enough to have the Product Development course with Prof. Alessandra Ferroni. Prior to taking this class I thought I had everything figured out about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. Wrong! This class threw me for a loop and I fell in love with the Production process. We learned about what is considered the most critical part of the fashion process. Without the production teams in most companies, there would be no collection to be sold to the public, they problem solve and are the middle point between the design and sales. To me, production became the best of both worlds.
After this, I began looking for internships in production hoping to explore this side of the industry even further. I kept my mind open also searching for design internships, but deep down I knew I wanted to pursue an internship in product development. I found a post from Thakoon, a brand based in Manhattan, looking for production interns. I contacted them and explained how I had become infatuated with the process and attention to detail that I had learned about, but also the critical thinking that production required. Needless to say I waited, practically holding my breath, until I heard back from them. They offered me the internship! I was beyond excited to use the knowledge I had gained from Prof. Ferroni and expand upon it through a real life experience.
I took the fall semester of 2013 to complete my internship at Thakoon. While there, I was able to put to use so many of the things I had learned in a classroom setting translating it to a real life situation. I was able to use the techniques of specking garments to cross check of the production team. I had to understand the importance of the fabrics, trims, and have samples delivered by strict deadlines. I saw a side of the fashion industry that many do not get to see, the internal process. I watched fitting sessions, I was able to see the cut work and the interaction between all portions of the industry including foreign suppliers. Often, possibly multiple times a day, I would go to the New York based cutwork factories or the manufactures. It was inspiring just to see firsthand the work that goes into the entire process of a collection. Though I was there for a production internship, I was able to help out at design a few times as well when it was needed. Sewing a few things on garments that were worn in the runway show, which was awesome to me.
Though New York was a completely different experience than here in Italy (forget about the siesta for lunch!), it all contributed to the great experience that was my internship. It was a fantastic experience to realize I would be able to fully apply everything I have learned at LdM to a work environment! I was even able to attend the Spring Summer 2014 fashion show in New York Fashion Week. I know that all the things I had learned at LdM helped prepare me for this internship creating an experience I will never forget.