Fashion profile: Sam W.

Editor note: I interviewed my friend Sam W. She's 24 and works as a Production Coordinator in the sweaters division for a major fashion label.

How did you get interested in fashion?
I've always been interested in the images people choose to project of themselves and fashion is  the number one way to do it! I think I really started to notice it in high school where everyone is pretty self conscious about their images and looking for a way to express themselves. It's nearly impossible not to say something about yourself with what you choose to wear.

What's a typical work day like?
Working in fashion is a huge collaborative effort. All departments are constantly working with each other in order to hit one goal- getting the style to the store. Design, production, planning, sales, merchandising, buying and logistics all work together so you can shop happy. It is a mass web of emails, office memos, fittings, and meetings that we all work through on the daily. Working in production, I usually turn on my computer to over 100 emails a day from factories, vendors, merchandising, design, planning, etc.

When I'm not working through my emails, I'm usually on my feet looking at samples and walking back and forth from Design and Tech Design. Some days I make the journey to the retail closet where I dig through racks of clothes looking for a style we did months ago.

About once a month we have trim review where we see the upcoming styles we'll be working on styles that will be available in stores in 7 months. Every day is different and it keeps my work from ever getting monotonous.

Any advice for others wanting to work in fashion?
It seems glamorous on the outside but people who work in fashion work long hours and are constantly dealing with all sorts of bumps in the road. It is a very long journey for a design to start from a sketch to a final product you can purchase in stores and that leaves a lot of room for problems to arise like last minute style changes, quality issues, factory delays, and an ever changing color palette.

That being said, it's a fun environment to work in and it's very exciting to see styles half a year before they hit stores. It definitely expands your sense of style and though the job is difficult, a love for fashion helps get you through the long hours.

Who are your favorite designers and why?
Some of my favorite designers include Rodarte, Commes des Garcons, Marc Jacobs. I love that their collections are fun and usually have something distinct and different.

I have also been loving all the dramatic Lanvin collections.

What's your favorite store and why?
As someone who is pretty addicted to shopping, I like to make the most of money by shopping smart! Nordstrom Rack is a favorite of mine, and I can't ever seem to walk out without 2 new pairs of shoes in hand. I also frequent the pretty standard stores for affordable shopping- Zara, H&M, F21, Crossroads, and the sale section online at the Urban Outfitters site.

Mixing and matching budget gems is a challenge I love taking on. Snagging that Jason Wu for Target top and matching it with a pair of black Zara pants, Nine West lace-up heeled ankle boots, and a faux-leather jacket from Crossroads keeps things fresh and stylish.

Of course I love gawking at all the wonderful clothes on R29 or, but let's be real- I'm 24 and still paying off my college loans.

How would you describe your style?
I think the best way to describe my style would be to say that I think it's distinct to me. Impossible to understand if you've never met me.

Since I'm sure 99% of people reading this have never met me, I guess I will be forced to use some adjectives for a clearer image - feminine, colorful, textured. So clear right?!'s difficult to have to describe your personal style. Let's just say a dress paired with tights has been a go-to outfit recently. Oh and I've been pretty obsessed with high waisted printed shorts.

Do you have a beauty must have you can share?
My beauty must have is my black leather jacket. I find time and again that it's the perfect (and warm) finish for a night time outfit.

What do you do for fun?
I love board games! Actually, I just love games that don't require athletic ability.


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