FashionBar Chicago Intern by Heer Patel

FashionBar Chicago is a fashion business consulting agency that brands and designers are able to hire to provide them marketing services as well as fashion design services from our in-house designer. Our company consists of about 10 people (employees and interns), some who work remotely and some who come to the office (like me!). This may be due to COVID-19 where having less people in the office, lessens the chances that anyone gets sick. I’m currently working with the company as a Fashion Marketing Intern where I help my supervisor with both marketing and engagement. On the marketing side of things, I help the company do market research and analysis which helps our clients build their brand profiles as well as determining target markets, market trends, pricing, expanding product lines, etc. On the engagement side of things, I help keep the company in touch with the people they’ve worked with. This entails me to email designers, brands, models, photographers/videographers, hair and makeup people, and other volunteers that work with us during Chicago Fashion Week, which we host!

12:00-1:00 PM – I come into the office and have a small team meeting with my supervisor and the rest of the team about what we need to get done for the day. This helps us execute work plans more efficiently. My first task of the day usually is just getting back to anyone who may have emailed me while I wasn’t in the office or finish up any work I may have not had time for the day before!

1:30 PM – My supervisor will come check on us and see if we’ve finished our initial tasks. If we have, we usually talk everything over with him and he’ll give us a new task.

This is where the fun begins!

2:00-4:00 PM – As we’re preparing for next season’s Chicago Fashion Week (October 11-17th), I was tasked to help create new information packets for designers, sponsors and vendors so they can register for the shows. I gather any new images from this past Fashion Week that we can use in the packet presentation as well as make sure the information is accurate and complete. I then make everything look aesthetically pleasing as possible so that people are drawn to register for Fashion Week. I spend most of the day doing this.

4:00-5:00 PM – This is when we usually regroup with our supervisor and he looks over any work we did for the day. At this time, we have one-on-one discussions with him about what we’ve done so he can approve it and make sure everything looks good. We also discuss what else we have to do for the week and what the plan is for us when we come in next. Then, it’s time to go home!

With COVID-19, the workday probably looks a little different than it should. Rather than having too many in-person meetings, we usually have team meetings on Zoom and the same goes for meeting with clients. Email contact and social media marketing is now used heavily by us. In regard to Fashion Week, COVID-19 has completely changed what the shows look like. First off, they’re a lot smaller. Because we have to abide by state and federal COVID guidelines, FashionBar has decreased the number of guests that can attend the shows as well as rearranging the shows in a way that each designer gets their own show in which timings don’t overlap. This way we minimize the amount of people in the building at one time.

Personally, I really enjoy working at FashionBar. I’ve met a lot of people who are so incredibly connected as well as inspiring. The people I work with are so welcoming that coming to work is fun and enjoyable. Because it’s such a small team, everyone grows very close very fast. You quickly become like family! I’ve also come out of shell quite a bit. I have less anxiety about meeting new people and am quick to introduce myself to someone new.

I’ve also learned a lot about the fashion industry and how to navigate it especially from a marketing perspective. How to effectively execute market research is probably the most important thing that anyone needs to do. Knowing how to do market research means you can determine what your brand will need to succeed. Building this brand profile is what helps attract people to you, whether that be clients or customers. But that’s not the only thing I’ve learned. I’ve also learned how important it is to keep up with your network/connections. These people are the people that guide you and help you succeed. The fashion industry is all about connections, no matter what position you work. Without a solid network, you’ll never get anywhere.

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