Have you ever wondered what it’s like to intern at Appaman HQ? We sat down with Jihaeng, a very talented young lady who was gracious enough to spend this past semester as we developed the Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Read on to find out what she worked on during her Appaman internship, her advice for students going into fashion design, plus her tips on personal style…
Jihaeng Lee, Design Intern
School: Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) - graduated May 2013
Major: Fashion Design with a specialization in Childrenswear
From: South Korea
Previous Experience: Internships at Khan Lucas and Rebecca Minkoff
(click through to read the full Q & A)
Appaman: Describe a typical day at Appaman.
Jihaeng: Most days I was doing tech packs [the detailed fit and style guides that we send to pattern makers and manufacturers for each piece in the collection], organizing swatch books, looking for inspiration pictures online. What was different here was that I actually got to design some things – some prints and also the new sunglasses stand. I measured samples and made adjustments, put garments on the dress form and let Susan [Appaman's designer] know how they fit. If something didn’t fit, we fixed it. One day I went to Lynn and Harald’s house to help with a fitting. This week I helped with prep for the spring photo shoot.
A: What did you learn while working at Appaman? Is there a particular skill you got to work on?
J: Following the company’s aesthetic. Appaman has its own look, and when I got to design something I couldn’t just do whatever I wanted to. It has to fit the aesthetic. That’s important for when you’re working in the industry, in the real world. And also how Susan uses actual vintage pieces for inspiration, she doesn’t just look at photos – that was interesting to see.
A: What tips you have for other students/interns who are interested in breaking into the fashion industry?
J: Open your mind – don’t get stuck with the idea of working for one kind of company. Every company is very different and there are different things you can learn from different places.
A: What’s your favorite thing to do in New York?
J: Going to Central Park. I love that New York has many museums and galleries. Art is everywhere.
A: Where do you like to shop? What is your secret to buying great jackets? [Backstory: The Appaman staff is obsessed with Jihaeng's collection of fashionable jackets and we're convinced she has a secret source she is not telling us about]
J: I shop everywhere! I don’t limit myself to any one kind of store.
A: [Erica chimes in] When your love of jackets begin?
J: [Laughs] I don’t love jackets! I love dresses. I don’t wear pants. I love skirts and dresses.
A: You don’t ever wear pants?
J: Not even in the winter? No, I just wear skirts and dresses. They look best on me. But I shop everywhere.
Congratulations on getting a job right after graduation! Where will you be working?
J: DFG Brands. It’s a children’s outerwear brand. I’m an assistant designer for the girls’ department.
A: Anything else you want to add about what it’s like working at Appaman?
J: I love the office. It’s very artistic and it’s a great environment. You get inspired. There are nice people, it’s cozy, not so serious. The dogs, the music. It’s fun here.
Many thanks to Jihaeng for all her hard work this semester!