Ashley kept her promise: to meet me and share her experience as a summer intern in the pattern-making department for designer Anna Sui. She works Tuesdays through Fridays now through mid-August. It’s hard work but she is learning a lot and having a great time. She says that her job as an intern is to organize and prepare ‘the fit’ for Anna Sui every Thursday. A typical week looks like this: Tuesday – find the patterns; Wednesday – measure the garments (usually 20-35 minutes per garment), pin the sheets to each garment and add the garments to the rack; Thursday is fitting day, including the morning preparation and organization and an afternoon fitting with the model and all of the players from production, the showroom, Anna Sui’s assistant designer and Anna Sui herself. Friday winds down the process until the next week. It sounds like a well-orchestrated symphony of activity.
Ashley is one of several interns and was recently given the honor of being the head intern: as such she is responsible for staying one step ahead to make sure ‘the fit’ runs smoothly every week. There will be hard work and probably some late nights. Any surprises for Ashley? “The workers are much more low-key and casual than I thought they would be; you can tell who the interns are because they are the ones who are dressed more formally. That’s not what I expected. I was also surprised by how nice everyone is, including the interns. I was very glad to discover that everyone wants you to learn and is willing to help you.” And one of the best parts? “I love the clothing! Everything! I am scheduled to work until 4 but if I am working until 5 I get to try on a lot of clothes for the designers. I’ve tried on at least 50 things – all beautiful! I realize how lucky I am to have this opportunity.” ~ Ashley