Paris Fashion Week
As Paris Fashion Week continues, my intern with Phillip Lim also continues throughout the week. This week has been hectic though, with all the school work and the internship, but I had a lot of fun and learned a lot more about the fashion industry.
As interns, one of our roles is to assist the models to get dressed. First, our sales team and their buyers will select outfits they would like our models to try on. They usually match them nicely before handing them to us. Next, we would take each outfit and assign them to whichever model can fit the best. We would assist them on zipping up the dresses, fastening the ties, matching accessories, and sometimes fixing their hair. Models will then walk around the showroom to present the outfits. Once they come back, we help them undress and dress in another outfit. It’s a fun process with many responsibilities, because we need to try to present the outfits in the nicest way possible.
Even though I don’t think interns are supposed to post too many pictures of the brand’s products, I had my friend take a photo of me holding Phillip Lim’s paperclip bag. It’s very easy to match and the size of the bag is practical but not too big.
As the internship was coming to an end, our showroom team had an “Intern Q&A” with us to answer any questions we have about the fashion industry. I will try to type out these questions according to what I remember.
Interns: Can you describe your position in the brand and your role?
Cat: Each of us get a part of the global market. I take on the Asian market and I divide the Middle East with Julie.
Julie: I take on the other half of the Middle East market and the European Market
Priscilla: I take on the U.S. Market.
Aysha: I take on the U.K. Market
Cat: I think we divide the global market based on our skills, backgrounds, and languages. I am Korean, so I take on the Asian market because I have a stronger background in the culture, the language and the area. Learning more languages is a very useful skill for your future.
Div (intern): Can you guys describe the process from designing to marketing?
Team: So Phillip will come up with inspirations and designs each season and will work with the team on pattern making, cutting, designing and more. These designs will go into production and samples will be made. During our fashion show in New York, buyers will go through the same process like we do now in Paris and place their orders. Those designs that have low orders will be cancelled and will not be going into mass production. But buyers around the globe pretty much have the same preference. Top selling items will mostly be the same throughout the world. As a result, items that are cancelled in New York will therefore not be presented in Paris either, because it is expected that buyers in Paris will not place orders on them.
Div (intern): So how do we select these buyers?
We get in contact with these buyers once they show interest in our brand. We do research of their store and see what other products they sell, and we analyze their aesthetics to see if they match our brand and our style.
Div (intern): Do we have to reach out to the new buyers?
Team: Fortunately, Phillip Lim has quite a strong brand reputation, so it is mostly buyers reaching out to us, hoping to launch our product in their stores. But we do have to do research to see if the store matches out aesthetics. Moreover, 90% of the sales are from wholesale with these buyers.
The sales and marketing team has a very heavy responsibility. According to Priscilla, everything from design to production to marketing is a long chained process. Our products are made in China, so when Chinese New Year is early this year, our schedule for this season’s production will have to be adjusted. The team will have to send their orders to the factories in China earlier, which means they will have to find the fabrics earlier. Because everything has got pushed earlier, the team cannot wait until all the buyers finalize their orders. Instead, they will have to estimate how much these buyers will buy to ensure the production can start on time. They will overestimate a little to ensure that all buyers will get what they will order. They will also push buyers to reach their estimated amount.