Recently I wrote a post on how the fashion show is not a place to network. So one of my Twitter followers asked if I could write a post on when is a good time to network. Great question! Of course you need to network and you should, but there is a time and a place. I can only speak for Fashion PR, but some of this I am sure applies to other industries.
1. Think big picture: I know you’ve heard this since birth but really, you are packing up a garment bag to be delivered to MagazineX so stop to examine the players who might be involved in that transaction. I would bet there is an assistant on the opposite side of the fence who is desperately waiting for said garment bag.
*Idea: Why not ask your supervisor if you can contact the magazine assistant to let them know the bag is on its way? It is one less thing for your supervisor to think about and then guess what? You are forming a relationship with someone on the outside!
*Follow-through! This is SOOOO important. Always check with the messenger center to see if the garment bag was delivered and signed for and then alert your supervisor and said magazine assistant (in separate emails) as such. #BonusPoints
2. Hand delivery: Interoffice mail may be more efficient but nothing replaces the intimacy of hand delivering mail. You might get a chance to speak to the person you are handing off to, so don’t be lazy and take advantage of face time.
3. After hours: People work hard and often work late. Why not be the intern that’s there through thick and thin. Be there when everyone let’s their hair down after hours and is working hard to accomplish the same goal. It’s intimate and it’s a golden opportunity to set yourself apart.
*Note: Don’t confuse the above with hovering or stalking. You need to ask your supervisor if he/she would like you to stay.
4. Private time: Do schedule time with a supervisor to ask how you are doing in the middle of the internship. Take to heart any feedback you get and work to implement any changes necessary. If there are other people in the company you are interested in meeting, always ask your supervisor first if it would be ok to schedule time with them (don’t do this until after you have already met with your own supervisor).
*Don’t think too big here and fantasize scheduling time with the CEO. But for example, if you are in PR, but have some interest in Marketing too, it is totally normal to want to investigate another area of a company.
5. Ask for work: Be the person who is always looking to do more. It will not only impress your supervisor, but it will get you more experience too and isn’t that the point of interning?!
6. A few Don’ts: Do not tweet your supervisor. Do not friend your supervisor on Facebook. LinkedIn is acceptable at the end of your internship. Even the most down to earth people appreciate boundaries and on a higher level, hierarchy. Hierarchy keeps the pecking order neat and tidy. Engage but don’t be over aggressive. You will shine through your work, not through telling your boss what you did last weekend (dancing until 4am at a club). *Grain of salt- you know when you have formed a friendship past the formal supervisor/intern one..use your best judgement on the above. There are exceptions…
This is all I could think of at the moment…hope it is helpful…
*The below recommendations really apply to many industries..
Most people start in this biz as an intern. We all have been there in one way or another. I used to pick dust bunnies out of shoes in the accessories closet at Harper’s Bazaar and appreciated every minute of it. As an intern it’s an incredible opportunity to experience certain milestones of the Fashion industry- Fashion Week being one of the biggest.
So here’s a list of things I think you should know before show week and may the force be with you….
1. Know your role. Meaning- have an understanding of what is expected of you before show day, so on that day, you are on autopilot.
2. Ask what you should wear. There is nothing that makes me cringe more than an intern showing up at a show decked in something totally inappropriate for the brand. (Of course, a good supervisor should tell you!)
3. For godsake, be on time, if not early. There’s nothing worse than someone who is lucky to be there at all, showing up late.
4. Don’t get in the way. This one should sound familiar. Your parents said this to you when they hosted dinner parties. Remember? In this case it means don’t hover waiting to be told what to do. If you did #1 you should know exactly where you should be and what you should be doing.
5. Do not ogle vips, celebrities or designers. I know it’s super exciting to be there, but really, people get very uncomfortable when they think they are being stalked.
6. Do not think of this as a networking opportunity. It is NOT. Interns should be seen and not heard. I mean that from the bottom of my heart, in the nicest way possible, but trust me this is the best advice you will ever get.
7. Do not under any circumstances invite anyone to the show, not even to stand. It’s not your party and yes, you can go cry if you want to, but it won’t help.
8. As much as I can understand why you want to, this is not the place to snap pictures. What goes on pre-show is proprietary information and should not end up on your Facebook page. The people you work with will not appreciate candids of them in action. #Trust
9. Do NOT sit unless you are told to fill in a seat. Sitting is a privilege given out, not taken.
10. Impress your supervisors by asking them what needs to be done once the show is OVER. P.S. a lot.
11. Be an over achiever and come to the office the next day with the local papers that feature the brand’s reviews. It will cost you all of $2 to do that and it looks super impressive.
12. Work hard and make an impression. We really value great interns and a lot of what we do can’t get done without you. So THANK YOU for striving for excellence and trust me we notice when you do.
I’m sure I forgot something, so feel free to tweet me @dkny and I’ll add it to the list.
“#ShowRequest: Hi. I would like to have my client, master HairstylistX added to your lists for any fashion shows, mixers or parties. (You lost me at master, then at hairstylist & finally again at “mixer”)”—
“#ShowRequest: I would like to attend the DKNY show. I prefer to get RSVP seating assignments via FAX here in CityX so I don’t miss email print-outs——-(yes.. this was sent in 2011. No, I can’t explain it either…)”—
“#ShowRequest: This is Jane Doe of websiteX.com and in the above attachment, enclosed is a request for the upcoming CompetitiveDesignerX’s show ( a) why make me go through the effort of an attachment? b) I don’t work for DesignerX) #JustSaying”—
DKNY PR GIRL's Guide To Surviving Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
1. Set your watch, Blackberry, iPhone, Droid, oven, coffee maker etc to exactly the time Christina Neault, Executive Producer of IMG (who runs the MBFW show schedule at Lincoln Center) has on her watch.
2. Do carry snacks in your bag. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t eat at the exact moment I feel a hunger pain, I become a mean girl. Avoid this feeling in the middle of a crazy show day by planning in advance. For me, I like a good chocolate chip Fiber One bar for stamina.
3. Make sure you have extra juice, as in power. Extra charged batteries for whatever device you own is key. Slap that baby on as needed. Don’t be shy to also plug in while waiting for your next show. Stealing power is totally legal.
4. Plan for the elements. Mother nature could give a crap about fashion week, so you need to carry on with the thought she might wreak havoc. ALWAYS carry a plastic bag in your handbag. If it pours you wrap that baby up like nobody’s business. Doesn’t hurt to also have the DKNY Voyager rain boots. They’re foldable, very chic and come in their own neat little carrying case. Mini umbrella is a given.
5. Be organized. Make sure you look at your schedule the night before to confirm you know exactly where you are going. Oh and please don’t depend on NYC cab drivers to know cross streets. Trust me they don’t.
6. That little hard piece of paper they call an invitation is sent for a reason. Yes I know the cool kids don’t need to carry one because we know who they are but I promise you security is looking for these to make entry faster. Have it out, flash the hell out of it and I promise you’ll be on the express lane.
7. Addendum to #6: Make sure you know and have your seat assignment written down on said invite. If you don’t you will get held up having to stop for someone to look that up. Even if your invite has a barcode, that will help the speed of entry but YOU still need to know where you are going in the space.
8. Do NOT change your seat assignment. People we give you those for a reason. There is a lot of thought that goes into where people sit (at least a good PR does). If you move yourself you are forcing us to pluck you out in front of your peers and move you into your rightful seat. Please don’t make us do that.
9. Addendum to #8: If you are a subordinate for a senior person who handed off their invite because their favorite yoga instructor was giving a class they just couldn’t miss, please please notify PR. You can’t assume you can just sit in his/her place. You are actually not an equivalent replacement and need to be seated accordingly, if at all. Our invites clearly say non-transferable for a reason.
10. Don’t lie. Please don’t lie about who you are, who you spoke to and who told you you are on the list. PR people are pretty good at knowing the players backwards and forwards. If you are pretending to be an Editor I know and you tell me that you spoke to “DKNY PR GIRL” and she said blah blah blah, trust me it’s not going to work. #JustSaying.
11. Mind the dry cleaning! Don’t wait until the last minute to inspect clothes you “may” want to have as options. We all know we might do a 2x wear before dry cleaning but sometimes something goes back into the closet because maybe you didn’t see the giant stain on the back. Inspect, inspect, inspect. Because let’s face it, MBFW is not just about seeing, it’s about being seen. #DressToImpress
“#ShowRequest: Hiya (seriously?), Forgive me if you are the wrong contact to direct this, but I would like to request tickets for CompetitiveDesignerX show in NYC. Can I please request for the following people: (where shall I start on this one?)”—
Ahh the crisp smell of Fall. For any self-respecting fashion girl, it’s the sign of new recruits….for your closet, that is. As a PR girl, it’s also the sign of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and choosing what to wear to THAT is beyond a challenge. Bottom line is, there’s just too many options, not that I’m complaining.
So as any savvy girl would do, I look to a little help from my friends…on Facebook. Majority rules in this vote for chic and once our Facebook fans all decide which look is king, my girlfriend Dallas Shaw sketches me up in my fancy new threads. Mirror, mirror on the wall…go to Facebook and vote for the chicest look of all…
What part of getting a trim and holding a martini doesn’t sound good? The Blind Barber says it’s a return to the “Roaring Twenties” with the hopes of redefining modern manhood (super ambitious, yet quite possible..no?).
As an aside, maybe you’re thinking “blind” and “barber” are two words that should never be in a sentence together. I get it. But they have a really good reason.. #Promise
The blind part comes into play with the “secret” bar/lounge behind the shop. Personally, I love a good secret that you are allowed to share. Oh and p.s., Jeff Laub the co-founder of the Blind Barber, also happens to be one of the five “real” New Yorkers we tapped as a guest stylist for Fall. Of course, he’s not bad to look at either (we have such good taste).
Jeff will be joining us at our Fashion’s Night Out soiree where he is LITERALLY setting up The Blind Barber on the men’s floor of the DKNY Madison store (@ 60th). So boys, stop by, grab a drink & a free haircut while you discuss styling pointers from a guy who knows his stuff…
As an uptown girl, the location of the Donna Karan store on Madison at 68th street is a hop, skip and a jump from my apartment. Therefore on Fashion’s Night Out I plan to start my festivities here. What better way to start off a fashionable night than with Marisa Berenson? We are exclusively launching her plush book, MARISA BERENSON: A Life in Pictures.. and oh what a life.
The granddaughter of the legendary designer Elsa Schiaparelli—Berenson’s career in fashion began at age sixteen, leading to numerous covers—her first was in 1970—in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Time, Newsweek, and editorials in countless other magazines which naturally led to a film career where she starred in iconic films. Yeah, pretty major.
An introductory text by Hamish Bowles accompanies a collection of fashion editorials, magazine covers, film stills, and candid photos captured by some photographers you may have heard of? Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, David Bailey, Hiro, Helmut Newton, Henry Clarke, Norman Parkinson, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Steven Meisel, among many others.
Obviously we have a bit of pull so we have managed to snag the only 50 copies in existence and will have them for sale that evening. Come stop by, grab some bubbly and let Marisa pen your name in her chic tome. Really, can it get any chicer?
Several people asked me today if I had any tips for newbies attending the shows. Well naturally….
1. Unless you are Lady Gaga don’t expect a red carpet welcome.
2. Choose your outfit wisely, if you happen to own the brand of the show you are attending it is a ‘nice’ gesture to wear it.
3. Do not ogle VIPS or celebs. Do not go up to anyone and snap a picture of them to their face. It’s just lame.
4. Do not ask anyone for an autograph or written statement of any kind.
5. Do take your seat and cherish whatever row you are in. If you have a standing ticket be happy just to be in the space.
6. Do not try to get a soundbite from the designer without pre-approval from the PR person of said designer. Those lists are made in advance.
7. Please take your press kit when you leave. We work hard on those run of shows and press releases. It makes us sad when you leave them on the floor.
8. Do write a review. I don’t care if it’s good or bad but seriously you took up a precious seat so make it worth our while.
9. To accomplish #8 you must actually pay attention to the show. Take your pics but tweet AFTER.
10. If you rsvp yes, you better be there. We PR people have long memories and no shows are remembered (no pun intended).
11. This is not an open-house party. There is no +1. Don’t ask. And no you can’t bring your puppy.
12. (*This one doesn’t apply to shows but is really important anyway). If there is a red carpet and you’re not famous, walk AROUND it. The cameras will stop shooting and if they don’t, believe me the photographers will delete your pic right after. #Fact
Well that sort of wraps up Fashion Week. Got anymore questions? Tweet me @dkny xo
About a year ago a friend of mine called me to see if DKNYC wanted to collaborate on a project to benefit women veterans. As a native New Yorker having experienced September 11th first hand, our safety is often something that I think about. But as someone who is lucky enough to go to work every day, I have never really considered what it means for the women who go off to protect their country and what realities they face upon return. All I know is that we live our lives and someone else is doing the dirty work to make sure we can.
So we decided to take a stand and partner with HSN, the Society For Women’s Heath Research and Give An Hour to support Fatigues to Fabulous(F2F). F2F is a national campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the unique issues facing the nearly 2 million women veterans in America today. Fatigues to Fabulous is designed to make these women re-enter the work force, learn how to be a woman again, teach them skills and get them the health and mental care they need. All the things that you and I thankfully don’t have to think about.
What better way to raise awareness and funds for these very deserving women than through Fashion? So we decided to design a commemorative WATCH that launches today on HSN.com and will be sold live on HSN on September 8th. For every $59.95 watch, $10 will be donated to the Society for Women’s Health Research (a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health of women through research, advocacy, and education) and Give an Hour™ (a nonprofit organization that provides free mental health services to returning troops, their families, and their communities).
The inaugural F2F fashion event will be held at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) in Lincoln Center’s Courtyard on Thursday, September 8, 2011, at 12:30 pm EST. This is a tremendous opportunity to leverage the power of fashion week to shine a spotlight on the unique issues affecting these deserving women.
I don’t know about you, but I think buying a watch is the least we can do. It’s an easy and effective way to show your support for these brave women who protect us, so we all can go back to crossing off our daily to-do lists…
Hope you will join us in supporting this amazing cause…