Today was our first full day here in the big apple! Though it was a bit rainy in the morning, it turned out to be a fair–and action-packed–day!
I’m here in NYC with other Fashion students to learn more about design, fashion, and business from people that work in the industry in NYC.
Our first stop of the day was to the Gitman Bros
There we met with Mr. Chris Olberding; the Vice President of the company. Gitman primarily focuses on menswear, and is a top producer of fine shirting and suiting in the USA. Mr. Olberding exhibited his zeal for the industry and spoke with us about the production of classic, quality clothing. Olberding helped us see how much precision is involved in such an industry; though the basic design and cut of the shirts does not change rapidly, the fabric choices for each line must be chosen meticulously. Possible fabric choices include material that is already produced and ready to be used as-is; manipulated versions of prints or plaids; a print created using a design; and reproduced vintage prints.
Along with Mr. Olberding, we were also able to meet with the personnel from the merchandising, marketing, communications, and managing departments. We asked lots of questions and got a glimpse of Gitman’s business practices and some potential careers in menswear.
After a brief break for lunch and shopping, we got together again for a meeting with Ms. Diane Alexander, the PR Director of fashion powerhouse, Buffalo David Bitton. Ms. Alexander told us many stories–from the woes of interns with attitudes, to the high demands of some celebrities–she has seen it all. As Alexander spoke to us, we were surrounded by Buffalo David Bitton lines for Spring 2014 and–my personal favorite–Holiday 2013/14.
On this field trip, we really got first-hand proof that networking is an integral part of the fashion business. Alexander explained to us all of the ways in which celebrities, bloggers, and magazines can be used to promote a line or product. Alexander was very down-to-earth and not afraid to tell everything like it is; no sugar coating. I loved her no-nonsense nature and one particular bit she mentioned about her interns stood out to me–“I wouldn’t ask you to do something I wouldn’t do myself.” Even the smallest, most tedious and menial jobs must be completed.
And with that we were free to explore the city–for me, it was time to head down to the garment district in search of some new fabric to work with!