Yes – if someone’s wondering – I saw Donatella, her dog and other members of the family, quite a few times. And that was so surreal. Anyway, after a while, you get used to it.
My internship was for 6 months, paid, full-time and in the centre of Milan (Via Manzoni). Working in one of the most re-known Italian fashion company… what every fashionista would dream of!
Thus, I was a Sales & Showroom Assistant for Versace Collection with two other girls, all Italians.
- helping with look books photos, which means helping the Product Designers department with the models and the chosen outfits, now repeat x10 (2/3 days)
- helping with taking technical photos of the collection. The picture you see on the Net-à-Porter site or on every online shop? with a white background? Nailed it, those ones! We used a mannequin for clothes and a photographic set for accessories. (2/3 days)
- helping the Visual Merchandising Departments a.k.a people that decide how & where to put items in the showrooms, setting up Women and Men collections following colors rules and coat-shirt-pants-tee rule (more or less).
During the proper sales collection (each one lasting between a month or two), we basically had 3 main jobs:
- receptionist: welcoming clients, checking appointments, warning sales managers, head of the showroom and sellers of their arrival
- helping sellers with customers orders and with the collection
- helping models to get dressed and keeping the showroom ready and perfect
- Be a hard worker, not only a “public relations” (as one of my colleague used to do all the time)
- Don’t take everything too seriously + smile. It’s better do something right with 5 seconds more, then doing everything in a rush without thinking and ending up doing it bad.
- Team working is essential, especially when sudden accidents happen (like a lack of models during rush hour where if I didn’t took charge of the situation and said we must collaborate all together, it would have been a disaster)
- Living in the city because you’ll be working almost everyday. If not, you should always be available and you’d never know in advance when you’ll have a day off (this was definitely the most difficult part to me. I need to plan the week, and there I didn’t even know when I could have gone grocery shopping!).
- Languages weren’t really necessary, helpful yes, but I do think that the Italian fashion system is still very Italian and closed, especially for a big Italian brand. The whole Versace staff I was working with was Italian; I am such a huge fan of spoken English so I was a little bit disappointed (especially after working at DVF) but that was only me. You are required to know English at least (you don’t need to know it perfectly, lots of big managers are at a B1 or lower level, and let’s not talk about pronunciation). French, German & Spanish can always be helpful but if you really wanna stand out, the language you should learn is Russian.
I think I am starting to realize that saying no sometimes it is not that bad.
But above all, it was absolutely a great experience.
I really hope this could be of any help if someone wishes to work in Italy or in the fashion world. At least this could be a starting point. Also, if I’ve left you with any questions, feel free to ask me and I will be very happy to answer back. xx