Article written by: Taylor Krannich, a senior fashion merchandising major at the University of Delaware.
If you asked me 4 years ago what degree I would be graduating with Spring 2015, I would have told you education. However my interests took an unexpected turn and this is no longer the case. I began my college journey at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana majoring in early childhood education. Fashion has always been a part of my life, so there was no doubt in mind I would be signing up for a few apparel classes along the way. After my first few class sessions in my Apparel Product Development course, I knew it was best for me to switch my major because I became completely driven to immerse myself in the fashion industry. I left Indiana to come back closer to my home state of New Jersey, and preceded my fashion studies here at the University of Delaware.
My first step after my sophomore year was to obtain a summer internship in no other place but the fashion epicenter of New York City. After submitting countless numbers of applications, I had finally obtained an internship for a designer denim company called PRPS. I had never heard of Donwan Harrell, who was the designer of the company, but I knew I had to get my foot in the door. This company ended up being the place where I would learn more than I ever could have imagined. I was sent to showrooms picking up and dropping off samples as well as visiting each department store in Manhattan that carried our product to visually merchandise our designated tables and clothing racks.
I felt that my responsibilities were important aspects of everyday business and I never once felt like a typical “intern”. I had the opportunity to sit in on important buyer appointments such as Bloomingdales, Saks, and Bergdorf’s. I studied other competitors in the selvage denim market and found myself becoming a denim connoisseur. I began to recognize our different denim styles and eventually had the confidence to represent the brand by August 2013, where I was able to help work at the Liberty and Project Trade Shows.
Arriving back to Delaware for junior year, I encouraged myself to work up my resume and do as much as possible to get noticed. I decided to become a sales associate at the nearby mall at Michael Kors to gain experience in high-end retail. I enjoyed acquiring customer relationships as well as learning about Michael’s “Jet Set” lifestyle brand. I saved up money until the winter, when I then traveled to Paris with some of my classmates to study fashion through UD. I was fortunate enough to obtain an internship there for Rick Owens as well as dress models for several Paris Fashion Week runway shows such as Alexander Voutier and Rad Hourani. Studying fashion in Paris felt like a dream and was one of the most honorable experiences in my life thus far.
This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to gain a merchandising internship with Kate Spade and Company working in the jewelry department. I was able to learn about the companies segments such as Kate Spade New York, Kate Spade Saturday, Jack Spade, and Adelington Design Group in weekly intern meetings and store visits. I was able to use the skills I had acquired through my fashion courses in order to visually merchandise showrooms as well as work with excel to calculate numbers. I had the experience of a lifetime presenting a Kate Spade Saturday Jewelry line to the Kate Spade Corporate employees as well at the companies CEO’s Deborah Lloyd and Craig Leavitt. The company itself had an amazing environment filled with some of the most talented people I have ever met.
I have hopes to end my career here at UD with a merchandising job offer at a renowned fashion company. I feel confident that my experiences in the industry as well as the knowledge I have gained the past four years of college have prepared me for what is to come. I have learned that my hard work and determination have brought about these experiences and opportunities and I will continue grow until I reach my ultimate career goal as a senior merchandiser.