Quoting the lyrics to “Fashionista” by Jimmy James as her caption, Auburn University senior Rebecca Schneider uploads to Instagram a photo that summarizes her thrilling week that just came to a close. What was the photo you might ask? Posing with Katie Gardner, a fellow colleague, in front of a wall that reads “New York Fashion Week: The Shows,” Schneider and Gardner’s smiles say it all.
“I worked New York Fashion Week from September fifth until the lady day of shows, September 13th,” said Schneider. “Working in such a fast-paced environment was so exhausting, but in the best way.”
Schneider, who is an Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management major, was one of two Auburn students chosen to participate in NYFW.
“It turns out that two members of the Apparel Program Advisory Board arranged an opportunity for two students to attend NYFW with the company that they work for, WME-IMG,” said Schneider. “Our program reached out to the students they believed would be a good fit for this opportunity, we completed applications, and then the heads of our departments chose me as the design student and Katie Gardner as the merchandising student to represent Auburn University.”
WME-IMG is a large company, and IMG Fashion organizes a significant portion of the many shows that make up NYFW.
During her nine days in New York, Schneider gained a lot of hands-on experience through her various duties.
“My responsibilities were split between The Shop at NYFW and The Shows at Skylight Clarkson Square,” said Schneider. “It’s very hard to explain everything that I did, but some of my jobs were selling customizable merchandise at the NYFW shop, assisting the opening night party and other events, as well as running sponsor activations for Maybelline and Crest.”
What’s NYFW without attending a show, right? Schneider was able to attend the shows of Badgely Mischka, Namilia and Naeem Khan throughout the week.
“I may or may not have shed tears as the Naeem Khan show began,” said Schneider.
There is no doubt that Schneider’s hard work and determination are some of the several things that created this once in a lifetime experience, but she also has Auburn to thank. Schneider is part of a program that ranks nationally among the best. The Apparel Merchandising program is ranked fourth nationally and first in the South, and Apparel Design is ranked 12th nationally and second in the South.
“More so than the technical skills I have learned, Auburn as a whole and my major prepared me by teaching me how to manage time, work with a positive attitude and most importantly work hard,” said Schneider. “Being raised under Southern hospitality is something we all have as a major advantage. Being kind and hard-working goes so far in any career, and I believe it comes naturally to the Auburn Family, as Southerners.”
This wasn’t Schneider’s first time in the Big Apple. She spent this past summer interning for Global Brand Group in The Empire State Building, which owns and licenses many brands such as Frye, Joe’s Jeans, Under Armor and Kate Spade.
“Living in New York for the Summer was amazing,” Schneider said. “There is always a new place to explore, museums to peruse, vintage to shop and pizza to munch on.”
When asked what she plans on doing upon graduating, Schneider said, “Who knows what God holds for my future, but I do know that NYFW was an amazing experience and one that is a big part of the fashion industry. I’m sure I’ll be there in some capacity in the future.”