What is your role at Patti Wilson?
I'm their intern so it's a lot of it is sample trafficking, so picking up all of the samples, checking them in, photographing them, sorting them for fittings with models to get everyone’s look together before we go on set, and then packing trunks for set.
The day of the shoot, we know what we're doing, so we will usually put shoes, gloves, and other accessories into plastic bags and hang it on top of the dress or something and put it in a garment bag and label it with the model's name, so we know who it’s for when we get there, like it’s "for Sergio.” But sometimes we will just have the clothes sorted and labeled by designer.
I assist on set so that basically means helping Patti and her assistant Taylor Kim in the wardrobe by organizing and keeping looks together, sorting, and dressing models. Steven [Klein] always brings his three Great Danes River, Roman, and Harlow on set which always makes my day. Then at the end we separate priority pulls which means that certain samples have to go directly to another shoot from our set. The we bring the rest of the samples back to the office and do mass returns.
Then some things are packed after the shoot is over, and go directly back from set to their locations, which are usually PR firms, such as KCD or Karla Otto, that are both based in NY and abroad.
I'm just so happy and grateful to be there and to be doing it because I'm doing what I love. I don't even feel it. Literally I wake up smiling every morning because I'm so happy. I pinch myself every day. “How am I meeting these people? How am I involved in this? How am I about to go on set with my idols?” I never think, "Wow, I'm so tired," or "Wow, I'm acting like a 30-year-old when I should be still a kid.
Just this past week they asked me to make a mood board for an upcoming shoot. I'm so nervous when I do that, you know, are they going to like it, are they going to think I have shit taste? Then Patti walked over and said, "Oh, that's awesome, I love it." That took a good four months to get to that baby step, you know? Up until then, and still now, I’m mainly just the delivery and packing girl.
How did you land the internship with Patti?
It was actually on Fashionista.com. They have a careers page and that's where I found her email. I was like "Oh, okay it's probably not going to happen but why not try.” This was last February . I sent her an email. It was so embarrassing. It was literally like a good five paragraphs long, not sentences, paragraphs. It was one chunk, like a letter. I literally sent my whole life story, my background, what I'm into, my favorite authors, my inspiration, etc.
Yeah… so I learned. They don't have time. They want to see someone who literally delivers exactly what they want to do, why they want the job in 3 sentences. Split up too, always be airy. Don't group it into one letter but attach a cover letter.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Double space, double space. Not too lovey-dovey because that's creepy. You have to be professional, but friendly, so like "Hi, Patti," and then end it with "Best." Not “Talk Soon!”, etc." No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Then follow up a week to 2 weeks later.
That’s when I got the interview with John, her other assistant, he’s the sweetest.
What's his role?
John takes care of more of the administrative work, such as dealing with emails, phone calls, deliveries and orders, and the calendar. Then Taylor, her other assistant, is basically Patti’s right hand, who travels with her everywhere. He’s her second brain so that's the whole team. It's just three of them, plus a couple interns. For me, It's going really well because there have been a lot of interns coming in and out but they never came back after their first days.
So why didn’t you fizzle out like the others?
I would say I'm super organized, dedicated, professional and polite, but also you can't be a robot. I've seen other kids who sit quiet the whole day. I'm more like, already from day one, I was kind of making jokes and they looked at me like "Who do you think you are? You're not our friend." I'm just like that naturally, I'm a really outgoing person and I just immediately was so warm.
I wanted to make them feel immediately, which I think I did, that I'm a person too and I'm here because I love it and I love the people in this industry and it's a big family and I want to be part of that family so accept me.
But there’s boundaries, no?
There are. You can't be too much. There's a fine line between being outgoing and being obnoxious.
How do you judge that line?
Don't be all over the place. Nothing too personal. It does take time. Now obviously I'm much more comfortable with them and we joke about things and Patti will kiss me every time I see her and whatever, things like that.
In the beginning though it was more like I would say a joke and they'd kind of smile, almost like "Why is she joking but that's cute, she's nice," kind of thing.
Sort of like work is first, be professional but when there's downtime, you can try and get to know them a little bit. It also completely depends on the place, you have to match the energy.