The fashion industry has teamed up with New York City for some serious job recruiting efforts: If you have a passion for the business of fashion (and you're a graduating college senior), start dusting off your resume and choosing your interview outfits.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Parsons the New School for Design just launched a program called Fashion Draft NYC. The goal of the program is to put exceptional candidates in front of some of the biggest fashion companies around, with the goal of hiring and keeping the industry in NYC viable and vibrant.
If you're one of the 25 to 30 applicants chosen for the program, you'll be flown to NYC from February 16-18 (room and board included) and will have the opportunity to meet with reps from companies like Macy's, Theory, Bloomingdale's, LF USA, and Gilt. There will be networking opportunities, industry speakers, and behind-the-scenes tours. The best part? These companies are looking to hire, so you'll be interviewing for an actual job.
We spoke with rep Caletha Crawford from Fashion Draft NYC to get some details about this opportunity. While she couldn't predict how many applicants might get hired, she stressed that this is not like a cattle call career fair where companies take your information for later use--they need bodies now. You can expect to see positions like merchandising, product development, retail buying, and store planning available. They're generally entry level management track positions, with "competitive" salaries (the number of positions available was too varied for them to tell us specific salary numbers). When we asked why the companies are participating, the answer was pretty simple--Fashion Draft is basically gift-wrapping cream-of-the-crop applicants for them. The bottom line is, if you get chosen for this program, you're guaranteed at least one interview, and possibly multiples. The organizers believe this event is the first of its kind for the fashion industry. You have until November 14 to apply (go here). This event follows on the heels of Fashion Campus NYC, which took place in NYC in July and allowed fashion students and interns to get a look at the fashion industry in NYC. And four more pretty major initiatives are in the works, though the time frames haven't been announced yet. The "NYC Fashion Fund" will help emerging NYC designers get their hands on financing, access to reputable manufacturers, and other support services needed for a first production cycle. "Project Pop-Up" will be a competition to promote new and innovative retail concepts. "New York City Fashion Fellows" will recognize and provide mentoring to up-and-coming fashion and retail management professionals. And finally, the "Designer as Entrepreneur" program will help emerging designers get some much-needed business training to launch a fashion business.