2015 TATM Student Interns

During Summer 2015, many TATM students experienced the “real world of industry” with valuable internship experiences. Students both undergraduate and graduate were able to experience:

  • Design (Aesthetics, functional, technical, “expressive” – tie to brands)
  • Product development
  • Merchandising
  • Marketing (brand marketing)
  • Retail and Wholesale
  • Brand development
  • Marketing Communications and Public Relations

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Concentration Key:

  • FTD – Fashion and Textile Design
    • FD – Fashion Design
    • TD – Textile Design
  • FTM – Fashion and Textile Management
    • TBMM – Textile Brand Management and Marketing
    • FDPM – Fashion Development and Product Management
  • TT – Textile Technology (includes Anni Albers Scholars)
To view student profiles:
Haley Bacon, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Olly Oxen, Company Division: Marketing and Operations, Raleigh, NC
Title: Summer Intern
Haley Bacon
Haley Bacon

As an intern at Olly Oxen I was able to experience first-hand what it takes to run a small business. Olly Oxen is a family owned business located in Raleigh that designs products with most being manufactured in the USA. They create apparel and accessories that are collegiate, American and classic. During my internship I assisted with marketing, social media and operations. A few of my responsibilities included packing and shipping, updating social media, organizing photo shoots, styling products and taking pictures, and company promotions and publications.

One of the major opportunities provided was to organize photo shoots.  I was able to select products and style them to take photos for different holidays and events. My photos appeared online and on the company’s social media accounts. During my time with Olly Oxen I learned the importance of attention to detail and organization in running a successful business. I also learned the importance of outstanding customer service and marketing.

Olly Oxen allowed me to use my creativity in my projects and assignments. They allowed me to make my own decisions when it came to many tasks like photo shoots, styling and social media posts. This way I was able to learn through hands-on experience about not only the textile industry, but also the business world. This internship allowed me to not only experience brand management, but also helped me gain an understanding of marketing and its importance in the textile industry.

Lindsey Bacon, B.S., FTM
Textile Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: USA Baseball Fulfillment Center and National Training Complex, Company Division: Retail, Durham and Cary, NC
Title: Retail Coordinator
Lindsey Bacon
Lindsey Bacon

Serving as an intern with USA Baseball, the national governing body of amateur baseball, offers a wide range of real-world experience and the opportunity to develop lifelong professional relationships across both professional and amateur sports. I worked closely with full-time staff members while enhancing my skills necessary to work for a sports organization. The major highlights of my job responsibilities included managing the fulfillment of ecommerce orders submitted via www.usabaseballshop.com. I provided customer service for USA Baseball’s ecommerce through a variety of communication channels including telephone, email, text, and web-based forms. In addition, I was in charge of handling the maintenance of www.usabaseballshop.com, which included updating item descriptions, product photographs and inventory management. USA Baseball provides many athletic apparel brands such as Nike, New Era and Majestic.  My internship provided me with experience in marketing these apparel items and promoting them through various ways such as social media. Not only did I work at the fulfillment center in Durham, I also had to opportunity to work at USA Baseball’s National Training Complex in Cary. I operated and managed the USA Baseball Team Store during events and tournaments. This included overseeing and managing hourly workers. I had to monitor the inventory and keep track of sales.

The key project(s) I completed included: pulling and shipping inventory for Jupiter, Florida and Peoria, Arizona where USA Baseball had pop up shops during tournaments. In addition, I assisted in keeping track of the inventory and online sales. Another project I worked on was transitioning online ordering applications from a Minor League Baseball website to Shopify. One of the main concepts I learned was that communication is key in order to run a successful company. You have to be on the same page with your fellow employees and communicate well with the customers. One of the major opportunities provided was that I was able to work with and learn from the CFO, COO and CEO of the company.  This internship related to my degree/concentration in that I learned a great deal about the operation of a business and what is necessary for it to be a success.

Obviously, USA Baseball isn’t focused on just retail, but it makes up a major part of the company. Working the retail department helped me to become familiar with athletic wear brands and representing the overall brand of USA Baseball. I experienced production, inventory management, inventory fulfillment, online sales and so much more. All of these aspects are very beneficial to me as a brand management and marketing student.

Julia Barger, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Veronica Beard, Company Division: Sales, New York, NY
Title: Wholesale Sales Intern
Julia Barger
Julia Barger

A major highlight of my internship responsibilities was updating Accounts to Sell packets each week so that the employees at Veronica Beard and the clients know how many units we have of each product. This is very important so that the company does not sell more than the amount of inventory in the warehouse. Another highlight was being responsible for the showroom. This meant that I had to make sure every piece of the collections (Resort and Pre-Spring) was steamed, buttoned, and organized in a specific order. This was especially important during market week, and when editors or bloggers visited the showroom.

A key project I worked on was creating look books for the Resort and Pre-Spring collection. These packets were used to show clients what the collections looked like, as well as having important information like style numbers, the fabric content of the garment, sizing information, wholesale and retail price, and how many units we have of each style and color. I had to make sure that we had pictures of all of the pieces from the Resort and Pre-Spring collection. In addition to this, I had to make sure that all of the product information was correct, as well as make it look organized and neat.

I learned so many different things from my internship, especially because I worked at a smaller company. It was interesting to see how all of the departments work so closely together, and how vital their teamwork is in order to create a successful collection. From the designers, I learned about the importance of staying true to yourself, even in topics like design and fashion. The Veronica’s never produce designs just because other designers are doing it or because it is the trend of the moment, but instead only make clothes that they would wear.

A major opportunity I had was working market ‘week’, which lasted about a month at Veronica Beard. I was in charge of the showroom, making sure that all of the pieces were merchandised and looking presentable for the buyers. During the appointments I dressed the models that were presented to the department and specialty store buyers that visited the showroom. I was also able to sit in on a couple buying appointments. This was very special to me because I am interested in a career in buying, so I was able to see more of how that job works.

Another great opportunity was going to Bergdorf Goodman with the sales team. I was able to go to the department store before it opened, and pull inventory from their stock room to create a Veronica Beard floor display.

Elizabeth Dexter, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Vineyard Vines, Company Division: Merchandising, Stamford, CT
Title: Men’s Merchandising Intern
Elizabeth Dexter
Elizabeth Dexter

The major highlights of my job responsibilities included: I really think I found my place in merchandising. I love that it is so involved in making the final decisions of what is actually produced and put in stores. I enjoyed analyzing the sales data from past years to help aid in the decisions of what needed to be in-line and what needed to be dropped. Some of my favorite meetings I was involved in were the details meetings, fit sessions, and line adoption. I found it very interesting how we had to collaborate with production and design to get the right thing for our customer, but at a margin and quality that is beneficial for the company.

The key project(s) I completed included: Creating an Intranet site for the headquarters
Spring 2016 Line Adoption and Summer Transition 2016 Line Adoption.

Some of the main concepts I learned were: I improved my Excel skills greatly. I learned how merchandisers go about assorting the line and the sales data that goes behind their decisions. Beyond assorting the line, I learned what a merchandiser does and their contribution to a clothing company. Working with Blue Cherry, I learned database management, and the purpose of all the information included in a design card. Multitasking was the most important thing I learned from reporting to so many people.

Some of the major opportunities provided were: Being that vineyard vines is a rapidly growing company, as an intern I was trusted with some important responsibilities. Everything was very hands on, and they trust you with a lot of information and knowledge. I enjoyed being able to sit in on meetings and giving my input on the product. My opinion was valued, and my hard work was appreciated. The intern project I was assigned was creating an intranet for the headquarters. I was able to contribute to the company something that will hopefully be useful for years to come. The intranet site, Harbor Happenings, will be a central location for company resources, data, and communication. The goal is for it to streamline a lot of different components of the day to day business so that everyone is in the know in an easily navigated page.

This internship related to my degree/concentration in that: After learning about so many different concepts dealing with business and fashion in class, it all came together for me during this internship. I got to see concepts I had only learned about actually at work in a company.

William Douglas, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: WH Douglas Custom Clothing, Raleigh, NC
Title: Owner/CEO
William Douglas
William Douglas

I started W.H. Douglas Custom Clothing to manufacture custom men’s furnishings, such as: suits, jackets, blazers, trousers, vests, shirts, and shoes. Being the sole proprietor, I held all responsibilities such as establishing an S-subchapter corporation as a legal entity on a state and federal level, follow FTC regulations for garment production in the United States, sourcing fabric, production sourcing, taking on investors, marketing, bookkeeping, and other challenges one faces when starting a business.

Finalizing the creation of WH Douglas Custom Clothing as a legal corporation was the main premise of this internship. I brought on an investor to get things moving quicker, which created the opportunity to visit New York City to attend the semi-annual Custom Design and Tailors Association trade show. This was a great opportunity to meet with fabric vendors and production companies. I’ve met with a graphic designer to create my company logo and am beginning to market. Another crucial project: having product made for the purpose of testing different manufactures for quality control.

Starting a business is not something for the faint of heart, especially not a corporation. I started with a S-subchapter corporation to allow for ease of induction of investors, while also getting the tax break of an LLC. WH Douglas was the second run at this idea. I started another company at the beginning of the summer with partners, and ended up backing out and dissolving it due to myself doing 100% of the work for 34% profit. What I’ve found through networking is not just to sell product, but to develop a brand that is unique to my competitors (paying attention in marketing/branding classes pays off). I learned how the overall process works for creation of custom garments, and now have 4 producers, and innumerable fabric sources, including companies that source material to Ralph Lauren, Hermes, and many other large luxury clothiers.

Getting to New York City to network was one of the largest opportunities created this summer. This opened the door into the custom garment business. Meeting with many producers, and truly stepping inside of this industry was huge. Meeting with other owners who are competitors in other states/cities were quite helpful in giving tips and advice on how to hit the ground running. They helped give the inside scoop on what vendors are quality, and which ones to be weary of. To succeed in business, it’s crucial to fail upward. Having people who have already made the mistakes point them out to you, cuts the learning curve substantially. Other major opportunities: bringing on an investor, meeting a designer from London, and having a graphic designer create a beautiful logo.

Lara Funke, B.S., TT-Anni Albers Scholar
Concentration: Design and Fibers + Surface Design
Internship Site: Michael Kors Corporate Office, Company Division: Women’s Structured Wovens, New York, NY
Title: Design Intern
Lara Funke
Lara Funke

I interned for Michael Kors in the MMK Womens Structured Wovens Team.  Structured Wovens include Denim, Tailoring, and Outerwear.  The best part of this internship was learning how fashion designers work with textiles in a corporate fashion company.

Much of my time in the internship was focused on embroidery, trim, and embellishment research. I created embroidered samples as well as digital layouts of embellishment. I also collaborated with the Knits team on a MMK t-shirt logo design project. My projects also included creating boards and binders to organize previous collections. Additionally, I photoshopped sketches and created technical drawings for manufacturing. I also helped the team prepare for Prototype Review and Showroom Sample Review.

The internship reflected the fast paced work environment of corporate fashion. My team depended of my skill set as a designer to make decisions and problem solve. I also learned the importance of presentation.  My team was heavily evaluated on the quality of their presentation boards. They valued my ability to work quickly and multi task.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to develop embroidery and embellishment layouts for Fall 2016 collection.  Collaborating with my supervisors, I created technical layouts that were sent for development with the agent in China.  I also created a quilting pattern for a puffer jacket that will hopefully make it through Show Room review into Summer 2016 collection.

The MMK Structured Wovens Team’s design process relies on textile design. The internship showed me how textiles are evaluated and tracked through the fashion design process.  I learned how the fashion design teams work with the teams from Print CAD, fabric sourcing, and the merchandising.  As an intern, I saw how fashion designers communicate ideas and think about fabrics. My dual major in Textile Technology and Art+Design prepared me for the dexterity of skills needed in the internship.

Kendra Jones, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: The Accessory Think Tank (TATT), Company Division: Consulting & Sales, New York, NY
Title: Fashion Internship
Kendra Jones
Kendra Jones

One of the major highlights of my job responsibilities included merchandising the showroom. Merchandising is a key responsibility within our showroom, so it was pivotal that all fixtures were well kept and updated. I had the privilege of sitting in on countless client meetings during my internship as well. During these meetings I took notes, conducted research and competitive analysis, brainstormed, reviewed trends, sourced inspiration, as well as provided feedback for the designers. Additionally, I interviewed the majority of our designers for The Accessory Think Tank blog. This was a great learning experience given that each designer differs immensely from one another and has a phenomenal story to tell. I also worked in the sales division of TATT researching and performing outreach to stores and specialty boutiques both nationally and internationally.

Market analysis was an ongoing project to be updated weekly. This consisted of analyzing new and noteworthy arrivals in the market. I then analyzed the brand, price, description, and related trends of the product. Market analysis were conducted across virtually all accessory categories (handbags, shoes, jewelry, scarves). For my final project I presented a social media analysis and strategy for my company. I provided crucial social media statistics, competitive analysis of similar consulting firms, and a social media case study. My social media strategy focused on engagement with followers, as well as authentic, consistent and varied content.

This internship exemplified how vital it is for designers to have a clear brand voice and identity. In such a competitive market, I also witnessed first-hand why it is so crucial for brands to differentiate themselves. My boss Nancy constantly explained to me how important it is to develop a collection that merchandises well. When narrowing down designs, silhouettes, colors, and materials, designers must be knowledgeable about what the consumer will purchase. They must also be cognizant of current trends and what’s gaining or losing momentum in the market. The concept of fostering long lasting relationships and constantly networking was yet another main concept I took away from my experience.
My entire internship experience was like five different internships all in one! I had the amazing opportunity to see virtually all of the different aspects of the fashion industry. All of the players in the fashion industry, to include interns, are continually working together. It’s a huge group effort, so networking is crucial to one’s success. Having the opportunity to foster relationships with my team’s circle of designers was so incredibly eye-opening and inspiring. I constantly was in awe with the incredible talent in my very presence. I even had the once in a lifetime experience of attending this year’s Independent Handbag Designer Awards. This  amazing experience provided me with so much more than a glimpse into the fashion industry. I can now confidently assert that I have an elevated understanding of this industry.

During my time at TATT I personally saw how to develop a brand. As a brand management and marketing student, it was really cool to witness how to strengthen a brand’s voice and identity, as well as how to capture a niche market. With so many unique designers, I was able to see how seamlessly TATT tailors their branding and marketing consulting services.  From a fashion perspective, I was able to see just how interconnected the industry really is. I was able to see just how much research and time it takes to complete a collection despite how quickly fashion moves. The importance of knowing one’s consumer and what they crave related directly back to what I’ve learned in my brand management classes about customer-centric brands.

Jessica Lyerly, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Fashion Design and Product Management
Internship Site: Kohl’s Corporate, Menomonee Falls, WI
Title: Product Management Intern
Jessica Lyerly
Jessica Lyerly

The major highlights of my job responsibilities included: Working with my team and learning the world of Men’s Contemporary. Communicating with vendors and learning how to handle challenging situations with samples. Attending fit sessions. Working with design and communicating with them when samples need to be ready as well as letting them know of complications with vendors. Analyzing weekly sales for the men’s contemporary brands and building story’s to back up selling.

The key project(s) I completed included: I had a big competitive shopping project in the beginning of my internship. I began online and then my team took me to Chicago to look at aspirational brands. This was focused around Father’s Day. My big Impact Project was on the Core Essential Tee business in APT 9. I analyzed every aspect of the business and presented it to my team as well as the VP of my department and gave recommendations on how to maximize sales.

Some of the main concepts I learned were: Communication with cross functional teams in a corporate setting. Executive presence when speaking in meetings and presenting ideas. How to take my career development into my own hands. How to make use of my time as an intern and knowing when to ask for tasks. Learning how to review sales reports and how to speak to sales according to my team. Mass production and communicating with vendors.

Some of the major opportunities provided were: Sales reports.  I learned so much about reading sales and reading numbers and knowing how to find a story within those numbers. Executive presence. I’ve never presented an analytical project to a VP of anything so I really worked hard at presenting in a way that was appropriate to the environment. Learning how a corporate business operates. I had no idea what all went into the product and store layout/execution.

This internship related to my degree/concentration in that: I looked a lot at the quality of fabrics. I think my textile major helped me so much in the process and I was comfortable speaking up when talking about finishing, weight, construction, etc. The Product Development here at Kohl’s does align more with the Brand Management concentration at NC State. During my time here I have realized that I want to work in Design at Kohl’s. Design here is exactly what Product Development is at NC State. Design does all the flat sketches and tech packs and fabric selection. I am excited to be given the change to come back and interview for a full-time design position.

Myles Marion, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Element Headquarters (The Branch), Company Division: Clothing and Accessories, Costa Mesa, California
Title: Product Design and Merchandising Intern
Myles Marion
Myles Marion

As an Element Eden design and merchandising intern, my range of responsibilities varied greatly. In the big picture, my summer objective was to help finish the Spring 2016 line and help complete the Summer 2016 line from start to finish. Many days began with visual comments on new samples, which I would then hand over to the fitting team to be measured. Weekly fabric meetings with vendors from around the world became a regular event and Skype conference calls were used frequently to keep our teams in Europe, Canada, and Australia in the loop. As the summer progressed, I was given the opportunity to expand my responsibilities. By mid July, I was working with the men’s team helping to bring the Summer 2016 line to life as well as sitting in on fittings for the Eden line. I was also modeled for the men’s Spring 2016 line.

Completing the Spring 2016 Eden line was the first goal for everyone in the office. This all had to be completed before the Agenda Show in mid July. The Agenda show is held in Long Beach, Las Vegas, and New York each year and consists of the leading action sports brands from around the world. I was also able to help with constructing our booth for the Agenda Show which heavily relied on visual merchandising. Another project I was lucky enough to work on was the Amy Purdy Spring and Summer 2016 lines. Amy Purdy is a Paralympic bronze medalist for Team USA. It was an amazing experience to meet and work with her to create an athleisure line for women. I was also given the responsibility of managing the Element Eden catalog. This consisted of making sure the catalog matched our line exactly and all of the information was correctly portrayed.

The leading concept I learned over the summer was the importance of organization. With teams scattered around the world, missing one minor detail could result in a major snowball effect. One program that I became very familiar with was PLM. PLM is an online server that connects us with all of our teams. We input our visual comments, color ways, and measurements into individual item profiles that everyone is able to view. This is vital for keeping our team on the same page. Another asset that is super valuable to the Element team is communication. We are constantly changing and adding new aspects to our line which requires tons of communication. The office is completely open and every team works around a giant table; all facing each other. Having no boundaries between you and your colleagues creates a very open and progressive atmosphere.

The most important opportunity Element provided for me was the ability to network with other leading action sports brands. Element is partnered with RVCA, Billabong, and VonZipper. On numerous occasions we would go out to lunch with members of their team and the importance of, “It’s not what you know; It’s who you know” became all more real. I was also introduced to members of the Vans, DC Shoes, and Quiksilver teams. The industry of action sports is truly amazing because the level of competition from brand to brand is insane, but what makes it special is that they are all competing to better the world of action sports; together.

Working with one of the world’s leading skate companies allowed me to meet and skate with some of my favorite professional skates. Seeing the love and support that these guys have for companies like Element, show you that what you are working for has a purpose. It truly is a lifestyle company and they live it out through every action they take. Element runs a skate camp in the Sequoia National Forest each summer for skaters of all ages. I was able to work this camp and see Element living out their brand first hand. The goal is simple; to “come together at skate camp to live simply, close to nature and each other, in a wholesome and safe environment.”

Negaar Misaghian, B.S., FTD
Concentration: Fashion Design
Internship Site: Christian Siriano, Company Division: Design, New York, NY
Company Name: Christian siriano
Title: Design Intern
Negaar Misaghian
Negaar Misaghian

Christian Siriano is a very small company, consisting of around 10 employees. That being said, the company has a very impressive client base and is sold in a number of luxury retailers; making the office and studio very busy at times. For the most part my job entailed a number of things, including: copying patterns very precisely for production or custom patterns, beading/embroidery, sourcing fabrics/trims/supplies, and organizing the studio necessities.

Based on my daily tasks of sourcing and working with fabrics, to expand my knowledge base of the types of fabrics the company uses and where to source them; I created a fabric swatch book and a map of the NYC garment district. My swatch book consisted of fabrics used in high-end luxury apparel as well as eveningwear and bridal, which is the fashion house’s specialty. Quality is very important in luxury apparel, so I explored fabrics in a range of their qualities available, including their synthetic counterparts. Specialty and Novelty fabrics are often sourced from European textile vendors, but other fabrics could be sourced from within the garment district, in which I would navigate most days of my internship.

The company being so small was very interesting and exciting, because I was able to see the entire operation of how the company departments work together to put out finished products. Christian designs everything using original sketches and draping techniques. From there the design team creates patterns and works with other pattern makers to create prototypes and samples. When designs and samples are finalized, patterns are then made and adjusted for production. Runway sample patterns are often very different from production patterns because of the difference in proportions for the average woman rather than models. Not everything from a collection necessarily makes it to production, after presenting a collection buyers come and make orders for their stores. In addition to placing orders the buyers also have the power to suggest changes to garments for purchases, such as changing colors of a dress or changing a top of gown with a bottom of another. This is where some seasons have major changes from runway to reality and others have less, all to please the consumer. This all affects what and how things are put into production. With these luxury fashion companies there is a certain degree of customization everywhere. Private clients also have the option to make requests for completely custom gowns to slightly tweaked runway versions.

Through my internship, I was really able to make major connections from my education at the Wilson College of Textiles with the real working industry. My knowledge of design, patternmaking, construction, and production helped me with everyday tasks; and my knowledge of business, marketing, and branding gave me a strong understanding when observing the company as whole. The real world experience in the industry taught me invaluable information about the design process, production, and running a company within the rest of the industry’s requests and requirements. At the end of the day it is about pushing creativity and innovation, while pleasing your customer. It is very important to have a particular style and consumer in mind, but also not to limit your consumer base. Offering a range of styles to reach a variety of women is also strong. As designer I have learned that having a strong theme or inspiration for a collection is very important in carrying out a cohesive collection; and signature details can be very special to your style as a designer and to your consumer as well. Christian Siriano includes pockets in almost every gown or dress. This is a nod to his consumer to show his functionality of his designs as dramatic and bold as they can be.  Being able to observe and work under such an amazing and talented designer was one of the most amazing experiences I have been afforded.

Bryelle Muller, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Nardos Imam LLC, Company Division: Design, Dallas, TX
Title: Merchandising/ Product Development Intern
Bryelle Muller
Bryelle Muller

The major highlights of my job responsibilities included assisting in day-to-day atelier and salon operations, all the while greeting clients and maintaining a consistent and cohesive store image by utilizing visual merchandising skills.

The key projects I completed included a SPANX order form in order to carry their products in store, rewriting the Intern Guide, categorizing fabrics according to the company manufacturer. In order to prepare for the fashion show that took place at the end of my internship experience I created different templates for the invitations, assisted in the decision making process for which gowns would be featured in the show and in which order. Additionally, I helped dress models during the fashion show.

Some of the main concepts learned were the importance of building and maintaining strong customer relationships, especially for a company that operates by appointment only. How to organize a fashion show and ensure everything runs smoothly. The steps taken in order to design and produce a custom made wedding gown. Some of the major opportunities provided were working behind the scenes during the fashion show as well as networking and building relationships along the way.

The internship related to my degree/concentration in that:The internship provided me with a greater understanding of what it takes in order to operate and achieve success as a start up company. With a concentration in Brand Management and Marketing my internship at Nardos Imam provided me with the opportunity to contribute my business knowledge, all the while learning from a design and product development perspective. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to work hands on with the imported, luxurious fabrics used to create the gowns.

Amelia Potratz, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Sarah Hall Productions, Inc, New York, NY
Title: Public Relations Intern
Amelia Potratz
Amelia Potratz

The major highlights of my job responsibilities include: assisting account executives, building media lists, creating press kits, writing congratulations notes to the clients, preparing press materials, and attending client bookings. Through my internship, I work closely with the CEO and account executives every day and get to know them on a personal level. Sarah Hall Productions, Inc also invites successful individuals to talk to the interns weekly and share their advice on how to succeed.

The key projects that I completed included researching media outlets and brainstorm with the team for potential features for clients. I also spent time creating and monitoring social media content for clients.

I feel that I have learned so much through this internship. I have learned not only what it takes to be in publicity, but also in other industries that the PR world works closely with. The main concepts that I learned were: to make sure to always listen and record when someone is speaking with you or giving an assignment, how to find potential bookings for clients, and how to relate to clients as well as producers and editors to make sure a client is successful.

Some of the major opportunities the internship provided were: meeting and talking with important and successful individuals who have excelled in their industry, going to events and meeting clients, and brainstorming and being heard as a person rather than an intern.

My PR internship relates to my concentration by showing me the publicity side of brand management. I have learned so much about publicity. How one manages the brand’s image can hurt or greatly help a brand.

Grace Rakauskas, B.S., FTD
Concentration: Fashion Design
Internship Site: Klaud S.A.C., Lima, Perú
Title: Klaud Intern
Grace Rakauskas
Grace Rakauskas

While working for Klaud, I was responsible for helping with a variety of tasks ranging from making spec sheets, to working directly with local artisans. The main project I completed, was designing a line of bags to be sold in the gift shop of Mario Testino’s museum located in Lima. After designing the bags, I went to Ayacucho, a small city to the east, and oversaw the production of the samples that would we shown to Mario for approval. I also worked with a Lima based factory called Nettalco, to design a line of knit fabrics and silhouettes for Land’s End, autumn/winter 2016.

I learned a lot about the process of completing a project from start to finish, from two completely different angles: large factory, and artisan. Both experiences were very different, and both experiences gave me a lot of insight into what I might want to do in the future.

While working with Klaud, I was given opportunities to design my own products for clients they were working with. I was able to sit in and participate in multiple meetings, and visit factories and workshops. Traveling to meet the artisans face to face was an amazing experience; and being able to communicate my design ideas in another language, and see the finished product turn out even better than I had pictured, was an incredible feeling.
This internship was a great supplement to my fashion and textile design studies at NC State. I was able to use many of the skills I had been taught, and learn many new skills that will benefit me greatly during the last two years of my studies. Thank you NC State for helping me to have such a great summer!

Charlotte Randolph, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Vince Camuto Men’s, Company Division: Sales, New York, NY
Title: Sales Administrative Intern
Charlotte Randolph
Charlotte Randolph

The major highlights of my job responsibilities included: Organizing and caring for development samples. Working directly with buyers to ship out past season styles and samples in the office. Keeping the showroom in good condition and up to date.

The key project(s) I completed included: Preparations for Camuto Approval Meeting. The meeting that approves our chosen fabrics, colors, and styles for the Spring ’16 season. I was the point person for creating swatch books, organizing and preparing the salesman samples in the showroom and closets, submitting all sportswear styles to the approval website, and updating the master line sheet (a log of all our information with regards to the Spring 16 line).

The .COM project was a weekly observance of our performance in the .COM line of distribution. I created several reports—Price Report, Macy’s Competitor Report, and Click-Thru experience Report—and analyzed them with my boss. Each week we noticed any out of the ordinary occurrences, patterns (or lack there of), problems or opportunities with the way our brand was/could be represented.

Some of the main concepts I learned were: Visual merchandising, through the opportunity to learn our Merch to Fixtures plan for Macy’s in the Fall ’15 season and showroom organization. Sales report analysis, through the .COM project, I was able to learn first hand particular patterns and common mistakes retailers make, and great opportunities we could take advantage of to create stronger brand resonance through weekly observances. The approval process for producing a line, through observing the Camuto Approval Meeting, and preparing the swatch books, master line sheets, and samples.

Some of the major opportunities provided were: The greatest opportunities given to me were found in the ability to sit in on important meetings; for example, Fall ’15 Buyer Meetings and the Camuto Approval Meeting (a meeting where executives from the Camuto Group come to our office and critique, approve, or deny our entire Spring ‘16 sportswear, tailored, and dress shirts lines for production).

Receiving the opportunity to understand the process, requirements, and important details of what goes into the approval process, provided me with knowledge regarding fabric sourcing, quality control, styling, design issues, and much more—it was priceless and an absolute blast!

Another excellent opportunity was simply the ability to work in an environment with high amounts of energy, where the departments are tight-knit and collaborations and big ideas happen everyday.  It definitely provided me with the opportunity to work with all of the departments (production, design, and sales) closely; as well as painted an intricate idea of the overarching business model in menswear—or any business related to fashion.

This internship related to my degree/concentration in that the FTM degree you receive a well rounded education from learning properties of various fabrics and fibers to the most efficient and purposeful ways to manage excellent brands.  I applied the information I learned about technical sides of knits and wovens to determine face and back of the fabric swatches we received in office. I took the information I had learned in my brand management classes and applied them towards my .COM project to locate significant strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Vince Camuto. This internship allowed me to unify the knowledge I had learned in school with the real world experience I could expect in the future.

Shayna Scott, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Fashion Design and Product Management
Internship Site: BonWorth, Inc. Headquarters, Company Division: Apparel, Hendersonville, NC
Title: Design Assistant Intern
Shayna Scott
Shayna Scott

As a Design Intern at BonWorth, Inc. Headquarters, I observed and had first-hand experience with the work and timeliness that goes into every aspect of the design process from garment conception to actual availability in retail stores. I assisted the design team in multiple ways: garment measuring, warehousing, swatches, accessories, and maintaining the library of reference garments for seasonal samples and styles.

As a Design Assistant Intern there was a tremendous amount of hands-on interaction.  I helped with: filing completed garments as well as color samples and reference information used to create the garments.  I was introduced to the process of approving lab dips, and bulk samples, gathered information to send to the sketch artist In Indonesia, and stored the sketches upon completion.  I was involved in the weekly fit sessions, accessory assembly, in-depth data entry into PLM (Gerber Software),  tech pack assembly, and sourcing and costing information.

Observing the designers as they reviewed key aspects that led to the creation of a successful garment always under stringent deadlines, I was able to embrace the importance of time management.  The importance of paying attention to detail was evident in working with the designers as they performed lab dips that ensured the precise color for bulk fabrics.  Communication was of the utmost importance as garment sketches and tech packs for each individual style were constantly updated which required unending exchange of information not only between multiple departments but also other countries.  Additionally the importance of flexibility and the ability to accept constructive criticism was key as prototypes and alterations were the norm in order to meet the satisfaction of the designers.

I was able to sit in on brand strategy meetings and observe interaction with corporate and financial representatives.  These meetings involved personnel that worked closely with other well know clothing companies. I was fortunate enough to attend 3 photo-shoots, 1 of which I personally selected the jewelry accessories. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment afterwards when I was able to see the finished garments and photos on the company’s website, in-store, and print advertisements.

This internship related to my degree:  Fashion and Textile Management: Fashion Development and Product Management in every aspect in that it provide real world experience from actual design concept via drawings to the finish product that was ultimately seen for sale on the floor of the store.  The actual attention to needs of the target market, sourcing and cost, and tangibles that are essential for the success of the company were evident and crucial.  From the day to operations to the behind the scenes of design concept and production was truly priceless.  I was able, in one place, to walk downstairs and see the actual tangible garments that the designers worked on upstairs months prior.  Many things we learn in theory in the classroom it was realized in the work place and the experience has been priceless, I can say I have not only grown as a student and aspiring designer, but as a person as well.

Lacey Stevens, B.S., FTM
Concentration: Fashion Design and Product Management
Company Name: Stevens Builders, Madison, NC
Title: Visual Merchandising/ Marketing/ Technical Design Intern
Lacey Stevens
Lacey Stevens

Through my internship I was responsible for selecting fixtures, flooring, exterior surfaces and other necessities that go into building a house to sell.  I was entrusted with the tasks of selecting light fixtures for what style of home that I thought would sell. Within a budget I selected exterior porch lights, ceiling fans, fluorescent lights, flush mounts and statement lights. My ability to select flooring that appealed to the most customers was tested as I selected grey weathered laminate wood flooring and a grey carpet to go into the home.  The hardest however was selecting a rock that fit both the interior of the house as well as the exterior because of the main focal point that it was to be within the home.  In the end I helped to stage for sale a true craftsman style home.

Some of the key projects that I completed included rocking exterior columns and an interior fireplace, installing light fixtures, putting in laminate wood flooring, laying ceramic tile, painting, installing cabinets and sink bowls, and landscaping a three acre yard.

During my internship I learned some things that will help me as I travel into the real world and ultimately purchase my own house.  I learned how to lay rock inside of a house as well as out.  How to put up a light fixture and change a globe that may not fit with your particular décor.  The correct way to put laminate flooring in, and how to lay and grout tile. I also learned that throughout these processes that took anywhere from a few hours to a week that the feeling of satisfaction that you get when you finish is the ultimate success.

This internship related to my degree/concentration in that I saw how variable a textile degree can be, I learned about mixing textures and adding specific pigments into mortars to bring out even the smallest detail in a piece of stone.  I learned that following trends not only in the clothing part of the fashion world, but also the other parts of textiles is very important in reaching an audience.

Brooke Stoll, BS, FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Frill Clothing, Company Division: Marketing/ Merchandising, Garner, NC
Title: Visual Merchandising and Marketing Intern
Brooke Stoll
Brooke Stoll

The major highlights of my job responsibilities included: Fulfilling orders, organizing/updating inventory, coming up with new and creative marketing strategies, organizing/planning photo shoots, and handling any customer needs or issues. Handling customer needs involved anything from, answering the phones or emails, to helping a customer pick the skirt style that would work best for them. Frill is all about forming a relationship with their customers, so this was a very important part of my daily tasks. I also am still currently working on helping Frill start up a You Tube channel.

I completed several projects while interning for Frill. I completed many buying and sourcing projects for different sororities. I also planned, styled, and executed different photo shoots featuring new or highlighted products. However, my final project for Frill that I completed was creating a marketing plan for 2015 winter/ 2016 fall recruitment. This involved me gathering everything I had learned all summer and deciding what would be most efficient to reach our target consumer.

As a visual merchandising and marketing intern for Frill clothing, I learned a lot about how to approach and effectively market to your consumer. I saw the in’s and out’s of how a small business operates and how much effort and hard work it takes to turn your business into a success. However, Sharon and Kate taught me that no matter how small you may start, the sky is the limit if you are passionate about what you are doing.

I was able to learn so much while interning for Frill. One of the opportunities I got to enjoy was going to different bridal events. These events featured several different vendors in the industry and were a great networking tool. Another opportunity I enjoyed was learning how to take professional photographs. I also learned how to edit, Photoshop, and upload all the pictures. In addition to all the opportunities I got to enjoy this summer, Kate and Sharon also helped me a lot with my resume, which was an opportunity I definitely took advantage of.

This internship helped me make the connection between what I learn in the classroom and what actually happens in the real world. It taught me a lot about marketing, visual merchandising, buying, sourcing, what it takes to own your own business, and the growing popularity of e-commerce. Overall this internship provided me a tremendous amount of excitement and about fashion and textile management.

Keri Ann VanLandingham, BS, FTM
Concentration: Fashion Design and Product Management
Internship Site: Michael Kors, Company Division: Retail Development Visual Merchandising, New York, NY
Title: Intern for Women’s Footwear & Ready-to-Wear
Keri Ann VanLandingham
Keri Ann VanLandingham

The major highlights of my job responsibilities included working with computer programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. I used these programs to assist creating the VM (Visual Merchandising) Footwear directives that are sent out monthly to our six accounts. Macy’s, Belk, Bon Ton, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s. I used Illustrator to build specialized fixtures that were complementary to Dillard’s Wood store fixtures. They chose to use their own fixtures to visually merchandise our product. I used Photoshop daily to crop images of our product from the backgrounds. I’d color correct images or change fabrications of product that we did not have tangible samples of. If we had no images or a sample of the product in our showroom we would have mainly created the product in Photoshop. I used past season products with similar shapes to create the outline of an item for consumption. When filling the product with a fabrication that I pulled from another creation such as a handbag, I then add depth to the product by adjusting the opacity and adding adjustment layers to produce shadows and highlights to make the sample image look as realistic as possible. I then used my knowledge of InDesign to place the visual merchandising layouts into a Monthly Visual Merchandising booklet that is sent out to our wholesale partners monthly to help them best visually merchandise our product in the brands image.

The key project(s) I completed included assisting in both men’s and women’s RTW photo shoots for holiday 2015. I would assist in the preparation for photo shoots, my work including but not limited to pulling samples, steaming, and helping to set up the shooting area properly. I’d quickly change mannequins into proper product display, place product in correct order to be shot and of course always participate in the break down after completion of the shoot. Because our RTW product is shot and computer rendered out of house I was responsible for making any edits to these fixtures by using Photoshop. All ready-to-wear dress pages, as well VM bars and walls are also shot and edited out-of-house. Being that it may be hard to contact the past photographer and have them re-edit fixtures if buyers change an item in their inventory or it simply is no longer being manufactured, I assisted in the break down and re-arrangement of many dress packages. Doing so I used adjustment layers, color overlay, layer techniques, as well as change in opacity to edit the images. As I previously mentioned a key account of ours,

Dillard’s, does not use our fixtures to VM our product. So, I developed fixtures to represent the fixtures that are used in their stores. Fixtures are based on table fixtures used in “shop” doors. “Shop” means this door receives the most products that the account buys. Using Photoshop I created the fixtures from basic rectangles and circles. I would then manipulate shapes and add desired fabrications. I created the glass by creating a gradient on a rectangle shape, turning down the opacity, and adding drop shadow.

Some of the main concepts I learned were that Organization and Communication is key to success. When working in a large company like Michael Kors every team in every department must have the same ultimate goal and an accurate brand image. When that is achieved we can then visually merchandise our product in a productive manner. I’ve learned you must build reports from the sales team and the buyers for each account to know what product has had the most success in the past, so that we can best appeal to the customer. I’ve obtained the knowledge that while visually merchandising product on fixtures is obviously an effective way to create the most realistic directives. It is hard to change the layout out of product if it is shot already merchandised together. I’ve discovered the most efficient and realistic way to create these monthly directives is to shoot the product individually and visually merchandise product in Photoshop. Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign are going to be critical programs to master. I can see how these are not only critical for a career in visuals but also in product development.

Some of the major opportunities provided were getting the chance to sit in on meetings with some of our larger accounts like Macy’s. I was also given the chance to work first hand with new and upcoming products. I was so graciously given the opportunity to create the August Bon Ton Footwear Directive. One of the biggest opportunities I was given was the chance to work in the corporate office, it was an extremely beneficial key to this internship. I was exposed directly to the working back bone of the Michael Kors brand. It was a unique and inspiring experience to work closely with a company team that drives a brand to be so successful. It was a great privilege to work in such an open space with all the other departments and the (lifestyle) visual team. Being able to see professionals brainstorming and working together to create and develop visual merchandising concepts was an uplifting experience for me; I witnessed firsthand the creation process. It was also gratifying that the Michael Kors visual team was very open to hear any new, creative ideas, concepts, or opinions. Another great opportunity provided was the access to the many other departments for questions and observation. I am most grateful for the chance to sit in on meetings and be exposed to the real life interaction. To witness the process and dissections of industry professionals was a game changing experience for me.

This internship related to my degree/concentration because my associate degree I received was in Visual Communication from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. For me this internship was an opportunity to see what field I would like to further pursue while entering the workforce. One of the most beneficial lessons I am walking away with is the ability to see how each job in the industry is dependent on each other. Many of the skills I have taken from this internship in visual merchandising will be extremely helpful when considering how to best market or brand any product that I design. I feel extremely privileged and graciously blessed to have gained the experience and knowledge I did through this internship. I’m looking forward to using my gained skills and experience in my professional career.

Taylor Zaytoun, BS, FTM
Concentration: Brand Management and Marketing
Internship Site: Ralph Lauren, Company Division: Vertical Account Services, Greensboro, NC
Title: Vertical Account Services Intern
Taylor Zaytoun
Taylor Zaytoun

As a vertical account services intern at Ralph Lauren Beechwood facility I have had the opportunity to learn a great deal about the inner workings of this prominent luxury brand – more specifically the end-to-end process of retail store management. Through this experience I have increased my knowledge on excel functionality and formatting and learned business-processing systems including SAP, SYS-G, and BI reporting. I have gained these skills through performing my daily tasks in the vertical account services department as well as during the management of my project, the USTA U.S. Open Retail Store.

My main project at Ralph Lauren was to manage the end-to-end store management process for the USTA U.S. Open Retail Store. Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter of U.S. Open professional tennis tournament located in Flushing Meadows, New York. As an official outfitter they sell merchandise on site and I played a role in getting the merchandise to the site. My responsibilities for this project included: reconciling and confirming purchase orders, running various reports on the purchase orders status (shipping reports/manually allocating materials), and releasing purchase orders so that the order will be put together in the distribution center and sent to the site. However, even though this project afforded me a great learning experience, the internship as a whole afforded me many opportunities to grow as a young professional.

Not only did I gain knowledge through working on the vertical account services team, but also through tours of Ralph Lauren facilities, day trips to Mebane outlet store, lunch and learns, and training sessions set up by Human Resources department. Through the tours of the Beechwood facility, High Point Direct facility, and Eagle Hill Facility I have learned more about production, transportation, supply chain, and operations at Ralph Lauren. Additionally, I gained experience at the Mebane Outlet Store with their operations including merchandising and sales. Also, I have had the opportunity to learn from Senior Executives at Ralph Lauren through lunch and learns in which they discussed their experiences, gave advice, and answered questions. Lastly, Ralph Lauren put all the interns through training sessions including strength finder’s class and Six Sigma Yellow Belt training. All of these events have helped me to develop business skills as well as learn more about the textile industry.

This internship related to my degree/concentration as I was able to learn a great deal about the Ralph Lauren brand – including the structure and addition to the brand, Polo Sport – to continue to gain consumer interest in their product. Not only that but I have gained experience about the textile industry through working at such a well-known company that I can take with me into my future career.