There’s something intriguing about working in Fashion that I eventually plan on being a part of. The exclusivity that comes with being an industry insider has always fascinated me, so it seemed like a natural decision to study a degree in Fashion Promotion at University. Much of my second year has consisted of projects, essays and applying for Internships that will hopefully help me to stand out when applying for jobs along with the thousands of other fashion graduates. I’m still unsure of exactly which area of the industry I’d like to work in, which is why my most recent Internship really helped me to work out what I would like to pursue.
I started at Goldie London at the beginning of April under the title of ‘Production Assistant’ after meeting with them for an interview in February. I love London so the prospect of being able to work and live there for a whole month was very exciting. When I arrived for my first day it was comforting to see that it was also the first day for another two girls my age. Goldie London is a relatively young company that have a concession in Topshop, Oxford Circus and have recently launched another in Westfields, along with a line they sell in House of Fraser. The brand is owned by Michelle Goldie, who began by selling clothes at Spitalfields market every weekend, and it kind of took off from there. The more time I spent at Goldie, the more I began to realise that I am just as capable of setting up my own label as Michelle. But for now, my role as assistant meant that I would be working long, exhausting days for free. But you have to start somewhere.
Goldie London base their brand on fast fashion that is priced a little over what you would expect to pay on the high street. Working as production assistant meant that I was able to see how the whole process from design to selling in store worked. I’ve collated a list of jobs that I was assigned whilst working at Goldie that may be interesting to anyone wondering what it’s like to work in Fashion.
1. Relabelling & SteamingPerhaps the most laborious part of the Internship. After drawing up the initial designs for each season, Michelle travels to China to source the fabrics at relatively cheap prices and have them manufactured. They are then shipped back to the studio where the other girls and I have the job of removing the manufacturers labels and sewing in the new ‘Goldie London’ ones. We then attach the swing tags with the relevant price and name on. A particular favourite of mine is the new Brenda skirt that has just been sent to Oxford Circus. All of the clothes then need to be steamed before being sent to the store, which is pretty self explanatory, but a necessary part of the process nonetheless.
2. Delivering to StoreThe most exhausting part of the job. With the freakishly hot weather we’ve had this month, heavy bags and stuffy tubes, travelling to Topshop Oxford Circus three times a week is not fun. Luckily the studio is only around half an hour away but still., sweaty bodies in confined spaces during rush hour is never pleasant. Once we are there, the stock gets dropped off in the storage department and we then go to the shop floor (which involves the painful process of walking past all of the beautiful clothes) to let the girls working on the stands know that they have a delivery. Then we travel all the way back.
3. Working at TopshopWhilst interning for Goldie I was asked to work at Topshop in Oxford Circus on the stands. Exciting stuff. Working in Topshop has always been my dream part time job. Anyone who knows me is aware of my passionate love for Topshop so being able to actually work there was amazing. But, I can now relate to anyone who says that retail is long, hard work. I was on my feet for 10 hours and the majority of the day consisted of walking back and forth from the changing rooms to collect the clothes that everyone had leisurely tried on whilst having a great day out with their friends. Sheer resentment.
4. Stock CountingWho knew counting could be so confusing. S/M, M/L, O/S, black, mint, brown feather, blush, digital print…the list of colours, names, sizes and prices was endless and all had to be counted, organsied and recorded. All of Goldie’s stock is kept in the studio and often has to be counted to keep track of what’s leaving the store, as well as what’s arriving. It took ages and got confusing when we were tired at the end of the day, but that’s what comes with offering companies to work for them for free.
5. Jewellery MakingSitting on the roof terrace in front of a million beautfiul beads and being told to create whatever I liked was one of the perks of the job. I loved how the whole team at Goldie was so laid back. The company consists almost entirely of Interns which is how I imagine they keep their costs down. So it was great to have the opportunity to be completely creative and produce items that will be sold on the website eventually.
6. The BriefOn my first day I was given a brief by the team which asked me to look at trends for Spring/Summer 2012. To create a mood board, jewellery board and 5 designs to present to Michelle at the end of my Internship. I chose the Latin American trend and presented my designs to Michelle on my last day. It was nerve wracking but a great opportunity to actually have my work seen by a professional who may take them forward and use for their lines. Fingers crossed.
Overall I learned a lot from working at Goldie. Firstly, nice people do work in Fashion! Having previous placements at LFW has led me to believe otherwise in the past. But most importantly, if you are determined enough, anyone is capable of setting up their own business and being successful at a young age. So I’m a step closer to deciding what I want to do when I finish my degree. Perhaps not exactly starting my own label like Michelle did, but opening a cute little Vintage shop on Brick lane sounds appealing at the moment. I have another Internship lined up with Tatty Devine over the Summer so hopefully that will help me be a little more decisive.
Here is a link to their website and a few images from their Autumn/Winter 2011 collection that are beautiful.