Originally written in April 2017 when entertaining the idea of moving to STL to work in high fashion retail.
I read this tonight and actually started crying. I truly feel so grateful to currently be in a position where I get to go to NYC a few times a year and get paid to be there. I originally thought I’d be working for Neiman Marcus, and I wrote this when I was thinking about what my interview would be like. I was so ecstatic to even be considered for a position at a place like Neimans. That interview never happened. I eventually decided I wasn’t quite ready to make the jump to STL yet, this position opening would have made me move right after college graduation in May. But it wound up working out because the shoes position at Saks opened up later that summer, and I was ready to pull the trigger and move to an actual city by that point. I never thought it would turn into what it has, but it’s made me a believer that everything really does happen for a reason.
I honestly never thought I would even get close to being able to say that I work in the fashion industry, and I know that a position like this isn’t exactly the same thing as being a buyer, or having a seat at NYFW, but it’s going in the right direction. I’m from a small town, in the middle of nowhere. My love of fashion bloomed in a sea of people wearing camo not because it was trendy, but because they were going hunting later that day. In my hometown, if you couldn’t buy something at Walmart, you didn’t really need it. It was so hard to find Vogue. I think I wound up just subscribing online.
I studied abroad in London for almost four weeks in the summer of 2011. Best trip of my life. It wasn’t even really enough time to do everything there is to do in London, but we did spend an afternoon at Harrods. A few of us went, I was so excited. At that point in time, I hadn’t ever stepped foot in a Neiman Marcus or a Saks. I hadn’t even visited Chicago yet, although I went the next spring. I’d only seen high designer online or in print, never in person, because again, I’m a small town girl.
I was like a kid in a candy store. It was amazing. Louboutin. Chanel. Givenchy. Ford. Saint-Laurent. Wang. Valentino. Everything I’d spent years gazing at online or in Vogue was right in front of me. I was in heaven. The other girls made fun of me, because while I felt lucky to be able to touch an iconic Alexander McQueen silk skull scarf, they took one look at the price tag and immediately reacted.
There are two types of people when it comes to fashion: those who see just the face value, and those who get it.
The face value people are the ones who see haute couture and immediately say something along the lines of, “But who would actually wear that?” They see a price tag on a silk Armani jacket and fail to understand why anyone in the world would ever spend that much on one item of clothing.
And then there’s us.
The people who see couture for what it is: art. Those of us that understand that the craftsmanship that goes into making these garments is so high that it yields a piece that will last forever. Those of us with shelves full of biographies of the greatest designers. The ones who really get it.
I had no idea what I would be doing after graduation. I’ve been surrounded by a mentality that the quality of your job depends on how many degrees you have. Which doesn’t paint the best future for me because I really hate sitting in a classroom for months on end. At some point, I began to accept the fact that I probably wouldn’t ever be able to afford shopping at a place like this.
For me, walking into this place is like walking into a museum. To stand in a room full of pieces created by some of the most creative minds in the world, is insanely inspiring. So to be here, at a company that I’ve admired for over a decade, with just the possibility of getting this position, feels kind of unbelievable.