Student internships – In their own words
An internship is a great chance to explore. You can delve into different career routes, learn new skills, and discover more about your future in fashion.
Every student will have their own takeaways from their design and merchandising internships. So, we’ve left it to our students to tell you what it’s really like to take part in work experience during your degree.
Jessica Lee, Design - Spec’d Studio, New York, NY Fall 2020 - BFA Design May 2022
"During my internship at Spec’d Studio, not only did I learn how to create ‘techpacks’ for all accessories (from handbags to small leather goods and jewelry) but I also learned about the fashion industry in depth. It was fascinating to hear about all the different materials that go into one accessory, and how much detail and time goes into the design.
Something else I learned about professional techpack making that I didn’t know to the full extent before was how communication is key. I knew that communication played a role in the fashion industry because designers work together with so many other professionals, such as buyers, merchandisers, and factories. However, through this internship, I really learned the importance of communication in professional techpack making because if you are vague (even in the slightest), the factory constructing your design will not know what to do and could construct a different design which will ultimately cost more time and money.
What I found most helpful during my time with Spec’d Studio was learning about all the different components of an accessory before creating a techpack. For instance, when we had to produce a techpack for an adjustable crossbody strap, we were taught how many parts there are to a crossbody strap, as well as specifications of general drop lengths and the general number of key holes they need. My supervisor even went in depth to show us different buckles and alternatives.
When I attended a ‘Trend and Future Outlook’ meeting hosted by the Accessories Council, something that took me by surprise was learning how big a role accessories play in the fashion industry. The fashion accessories sector has (in a sense) become its own market, and since I would like to pursue a career in accessory design, it was reassuring to see performance numbers as well as opportunities discussed during the meeting.
In addition, throughout this internship experience, I think the most important thing I learned was the difference between garment design and accessory design. With garment design, you’re designing something that sits on the body. However, with accessory design (and for bags in particular) you’re designing something that will be holding and protecting objects. So, remembering to add padding and designing three-dimensionally were the most important things I took away from this internship.
I would recommend this internship to students who are serious and passionate about accessory design and who are excellent with time management as there will be tight deadlines, while handling multiple design requests. Spec’d Studio will not only push you to create distinct designs, but they will also educate you in anything you need to know about accessory design.
You’ll also experience professional buyers and directors of product design and development giving feedback on your designs. My time at Spec’d Studio reassured me that I’m far more interested in accessory design than garment design and reminded me of my passion for accessories. I will forever be grateful for my experience at Spec’d Studio for not only giving me clarity on which career path I would like to move forward with, but also for the amazing connections I’ve made.
Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards, or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion applies to me and my internship because I’ve profound passion for all design, but especially fashion design. Through my internship, I was able to explore my passion deeper and both gain and learn so much. Furthermore, this internship solidified my passion for accessory design, and I could not be more grateful."