Fashion majors and trend-lovers, gather around. I'm here to tell you all about the concrete jungle.
This past week, I had the privilege to go and take a bite out of the Big Apple. I'm a student at Washington State University, majoring in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles (AMDT), and the program here is amazing. The AMDT department takes a study tour every spring break, alternating between Los Angeles and New York. This year is my junior year at the university, and this year, New York was the spring break destination.
Don't get me wrong, going to New York wasn't all fun and games. Each day we were meeting with fashion companies big and small to get an inside look at the fashion world of New York. During the week, we met with Rebecca Minkoff, Amazon Studios (fashion photography branch), Naeem Kahn, Tory Burch, Steve Madden, Vince Camuto, Pier 59, Elle Magazine, and lastly, Greg Norman.
Because I was with my school, we had the opportunity to talk to people from these companies and get an idea of what they did and how their brand worked. However, I know most students don't have the opportunity as I did, but what is really refreshing is that you can easily contact any company and ask for a tour! Just say you're a student majoring/looking into the fashion industry and that you'd like to talk to someone.
Just taking the time out of your trip to talk to anyone from any company creates networking opportunities and it makes you look passionate and determined to get into the industry. Most companies are very willing to talk to students because YOU are their future! Plus, any company will take time to gain some good PR.
Now that the work-related stuff is out of the way, now I'll tell you the real gems of New York City.
One of the many gems of the city are all the fashion places you need to go. If you watch "Project Runway" at all, then you already know that Mood is the place to go for all your fabric fixings. If you're not a "Project Runway" fan, I'll fill you in. The show is about up-and-coming designers who compete and create fashion masterpieces (or disaster pieces) every week. At the beginning of every week, the designers are taken to Mood, which is a fabric store, and they're let loose with a budget and a time limit. After seeing the store for myself, I have no idea how they find what they're looking for! With rolls of fabric lining every wall, three stories and Stitches, the store dog, it can get crowded and hectic. This iconic store is located in the Garment District of New York, and if you're into sewing, or just seeing the behind-the-scenes of fashion, I highly suggest you go here.
If we're talking about gems, you can't forget the places that contain actual gems, a.k.a the designer stores. Gucci, Burberry, Chanel, Bulgari, Bergdorf's, Louis Vuitton, YSL, and any other big designer you can think of has a store near 6th Ave and 57th St. These stores are multiple stories, with different themes on each story, and clothes that could pay off your entire college tuition. Even though you may not buy anything, it's always nice to window shop and dream a little bit.
If you are looking to spend a pretty penny and are a bag connoisseur, definitely check out Rebag! This store buys used designer bags, refurbishes them, and sells them at a cheaper price. If you just want to strut your stuff for a little bit, you can buy it, wear it for a month or so, then return it and they'll refund you a fraction of what you paid.
Another destination you definitely need to try is the Haven rooftop bar. This bar sits right by Times Square, and I'm sure you can gather by the name that it's on the roof so you can see all those shining lights. Even though it's a little more expensive, the enclosed, heated, and moody-lit rooftop is worth it, especially when you get your fabulous drinks and really good food!
Another night-life rooftop I suggest you visit is Magic Hour. Sorry youngins, this is a 21-and-over gig. This bar is complete with a magical aesthetic and good drinks. They even have a rotating seating area – which may not be for everyone who's drinking alcohol.
Lastly, for all you shopaholics, you most definitely need to visit the brand new Hudson Yards. Containing New York's first Neiman Marcus brick-and-mortar store, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and many more luxury brands, this mall is the luxe-location. Complete with high-end eateries and even fancy coffee shops, if you're in the top 1%, this will probably your new home. If you're like me, however, you'll probably stick to the other more "affordable" stores in the mall like Zara, Lululemon, and Shake Shack.
Not only does this mall have an assortment of shops, but it's also considered an "interactive mall." This means there are constantly events going on, and art that decorates the walls on each floor. For example, there is a wall covered in color-changing sequins that patrons can write, draw and express themselves on. How fun!
So, next time you go to New York, be sure to save these places to ensure a good time and some money well spent.