I don’t think I could be happier right now. Not only am I going to fashion school, but I am interning in the head offices of Ralph Lauren London. Like I have said before, I am currently living out my dream of working in the fashion industry.
This week I started my first days in the office. Our office is located at 50 New Bond Street on the fourth floor. When the doors of the lift (elevator) opened, Ralph Lauren hung on the wall ahead of me in large silver letters. I knew I had finally arrived.
Getting there was another story completely. I was supposed to be in the office by 9:30am which didn’t seem too bad. I have to get on the Metropolitan line and take it to Baker Street, then switch to the Jubilee line and take that to Bond Street. Then the office is about a seven minute walk from the tube station. The train ride normally takes me around 20-30 minutes which isn’t too bad. But just to be safe, on the first day (Thursday) I left my room at 8:00am to give myself enough time to allow for delays on the train. I am so glad I did this because I don’t think I have ever seen trains so full. The first train arrived around 8:05 when I was walking up to the platform and I could have run to it but decided I had enough time to wait for the next train. When the second train arrived, it was packed full like a can of sardines full of Londoners headed to work in the Centre. No one got off the train when the doors opened. And I will admit, I am small and can squeeze into most confined spaces, this was not the case. It was literally impossible to get onto this train. So, again I wait for another train to arrive. It was already 8:20 at this point when I finally got on a train. Of course this wasn’t going to be an easy morning, why would it be, it’s my first day ha. So of course the extremely full train ahead of us had some sort of malfunction so it caused us to have to stop and sit on the tracks for a good 20 minutes. We got to Wembley Park station and had to wait there for another 15 minutes so that the same train could be derailed at Baker Street and would allow us to come into the station. When we finally arrived at Baker Street, I ran off the train and plowed through a crowd of people to get further underground for my Jubilee train going to Bond Street. Again, this train was extremely full but I got on anyway. I finally arrived on Bond with ten minutes to spare.
As I have said before, I am working under the head buyer for children’s wear for the European markets. Zarina, Charlotte, and Lauren are my associates and so nice and helpful. The first day I helped to make everything for the pin board of the best and worst pieces of the fall season. I cut out all of the looks and put them up on the pin board by collection and boy/girl for everyone to present in their meeting later that day. I also worked to annotate the buy board books for Zarina to take with her when she goes to NYC next week for Ralph Lauren Market.
On Friday, thankfully I didn’t have to deal with the delayed trains but was able to get onto Bond with an hour to spare so I went to a Starbucks on Oxford Circle and had coffee and read the London Times before I headed to work. This day I finished making the buy board books for Zarina. Then I had to bind them… Normally this is an easy task, but when the manual binding machine hasn’t been cleaned in over a year, it can get a little messy. Charlotte and Sadie helped me clean it out but of course it blew up and little paper pieces flew everywhere. I cleaned it up, but it did take a while. But once I finally got it to work they still weren’t perfect, but I had to give them to Charlotte to give to Zarina. I felt bad that they were fragile, but she was thankful to have them and said not to worry, that I had done a great job.
I was then put to work to get the Cruise 2012 line buy books together. I was on the internet for quite some time finding sketches of the looks only going off of board numbers. Board numbers are similar to style numbers but are separated into categories. Knits (K), Sweaters (S) Swim (W), Hats (H), Wovens (Z), Roughwear (R), Outerwear (O), etc. The board number starts with one of these letters to let you know which section to look in and then has another two letters to designate the collections and then a number for the order in the collections. I was instructed to go through and find everything for the Older Girls (8-20), Younger Girls—Toddlers (4-6x) and Infant, Older Boys (7-18), Younger Boys—Toddlers (5-7) and Infant. As well as they Layette collection for Younger Boys, Younger Girls, and Baby. The Layette collection is more of their “high-end” brand for children. It is mainly for baby and younger boy/girl but such adorable stuff!!
It is really cool to work only with sketches. I feel like I am getting an inside look of the collections before it is sold to the public. The sketches are also amazing, of course. I love looking at them and seeing how they want the girl to look when she wears the pieces to school or out around London with her friends. It’s incredible how these sketches can come to life.
One thing that happened on Friday made me feel like an intern though.. I was trying to bind the buy books for the current fall collections. Well, the manual binding thing hadn’t been cleaned out in over a year, if not five. So, naturally I try to clean it out and can’t even get the drawer out under it because it is so packed full of tiny pieces of paper. I had my coworker Charlotte help me and she called upon Sadie to help us. Who knew it could take three girls and one guy to open a darn drawer thing on a binding push! It took a good 20 minutes just to get it open and emptied. But of course once we pulled hard enough and it popped off in our hands, the paper pieces flew everywhere like New Years confetti!! I offered, being the intern, to clean it up. It took me a while but there were no pieces left on the carpet which I was proud of. It was my first real intern feeling moment.
I am excited to see what the rest of the weeks entail but ultimately I am very happy with my decision to go with Ralph Lauren. I couldn’t be happier right now. More to come!!