I have spent a lot of time in New York City this year. To the point where friends started asking "so when are you moving to NYC?"
I have traveled to the Big Apple once a month since January, except for July. I needed a break and so did my funds! But thanks to the School of Style, I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people in the industry on some really cool styling jobs.
The days have been long; traveling back and forth has been exhausting. But I have loved every minute of it. And I know that the grind will pay off!
Here's a look at what I have been up to so far this year. And a peek at what it is really like to work in this industry. It is not as glamorous as many people think.
I applied for a weekend internship and was so excited when I was selected since this was my first opportunity through the School of Style program. The internship consisted of returning merchandise. Imagine - two interns traveling on the subway with two large suitcases from Astoria Queens to Manhattan. Keep in mind, there are no escalators in the NYC subway. Talk about a workout! While the internship ended earlier than expected, the best part of the experience was meeting the other intern I worked with. She referred me for another internship in February. And the assistant stylist I worked with referred me for an assistant job in DC. The benefits of networking!
In February, I returned to the city to work as an intern for the Sanctuary Clothing campaign with stylist Katie Mossman. As interns, our job is to figure things out. Well I had to figure out where in Brooklyn I could get copies of the photos we took at the fitting printed so we could have them on set. We needed to print out all 80 looks. With the help of Yelp, I was able to locate a copy/printing center. I think the place was about 15 minutes away walking. Now on a nice summer day, that would have been pleasant. But during 20 degree windy weather in February, not so much. But you gotta do what you gotta do! This was a two day internship. Along with being a problem solver on the spot, I was also becoming a lot more comfortable with taking the subway and looking like I knew where I was going around the city (thanks to Citymapper).
A week after my birthday, I worked as an assistant stylist for Harper's Bazaar Serbia beauty editorial with stylist Rachel Gilman. I spent the first day doing pickups all over New York (from Manhattan to Brooklyn to the Upper East Side). Having a portable phone charge is a must! The second day was the shoot at a studio in Manhattan. It was interesting to see how much more meticulous these shoots are because they are mostly close up shots.
I don't think I have ever been on my feet for so long over a three day period in my life! Preparing for an 18 person fashion show is a lot of work. I worked as one of the assistant stylists to Michelle Lynch and spent three days pulling merchandise and shoes, having fittings, organizing the final looks and dressing models the day of the show. It was a lot of work and my feet were on fire after 10 hour day, but it was a lot of fun assisting with putting together such a huge show.
P.S. Don't wear hard bottom shoes if you ever have to be on your feet that long; especially in a department store. I wore my over the knee flat Sam Edelman boots. Never again. I invested in some comfortable Nike shoes as soon as I returned home.
Three days in NYC turned into two jobs! For two days I worked on set of the Johnston & Murphy Fall 2016 Campaign with stylist April Hughes. See the boxes and racks in the picture below? That's about a third of everything us interns had to organize and pack. I am pretty sure we unpacked and packed at least 30 boxes of shoes and clothing and organized 15-20 racks of clothing. If we didn't, it sure did feel like it!
On my third day in NYC during May, I returned to Macy's to assist with another fashion show. Stylist Michelle Lynch happened to be in town at the same time I was in the city so I was able to assist her with preparing for the show.
If you intern/assist a stylist, work hard and get along well, then they are more likely to call you again for future jobs. After working with stylist Rachel Gilman in March, she contacted me to assist her with an Elle Vietnam editorial. Rachel has been in the game for a while and is a beast at styling editorials. I love watching her put together some awesome looks.
I reconnected with Rachel again in August for a four day job working as her assistant stylist. Since the images haven't been released yet, I can't share details about the shoot. I will say that we worked on digital campaigns which was something I had never experienced before so the process for preparing for the two shoots was a great learning experience. Day 1 was spent unpacking clothes, accessories and jewelry followed by a walk through to determine the looks. We spent two days shooting and the final day was spent with me packing up everything. Oh and if you are serious about working as a stylist, be prepared for some early morning call times. depending on the job. Nothing like getting up and traveling from Jersey to Manhattan to make a 6:45 am call time.
Although I skipped a month, I am proud of myself of being able travel monthly for these opportunities. It is no easy task to plan last minute accommodations. And it can become quite expensive. But I have faith that this year is just the beginning of more amazing opportunities to come. I am writing this post during the second week of September 2016, which means there is still plenty of time to book at least four more assistant stylist jobs for the remainder of the year. #claimingit
*I actually traveled to the NY area twice this month. I assisted on a campaign that wasn't School of Style related. I'll share details that epic campaign in another post :)