I’m always inspired by people who know what they want in life, work hard to get there and achieve success. If you haven’t read #GIRLBOSS by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, I highly recommend you do so. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of her busy life and learning the back story of how she created her own business. I’m at that age where I’m still figuring out exactly where I want my career to go and I love learning about jobs that I didn’t even know existed.
I’ve decided to start a new series that gives a behind the scenes look into some interesting jobs and have the experts share some tips from their field of work. In this week’s post my friend and former co-worker, Kayla Agnello, shares some fashion advice and gives us some off-the-runway insight about her job at Neiman Marcus inside Fashion Show Mall on Las Vegas Boulevard.
What is a typical day like?
Oh wow. Almost every day is different! Generally I come in at 9am and we almost always have a morning meeting. Each day is focused on a different vendor. We have reps fly in from all across the world to talk about their product to all of our associates. Sometimes, we even have models put the clothes on. It’s always my favorite part of the day, mostly because it’s when you learn a lot about the designers and why each one is unique. After that, answering emails, setting up more trunk shows, ordering cookies and securing models, booking DJs, renting party equipment and more. It’s definitely more of an event-based job than constantly pitching to press. There really is no “typical” day at this job, which is why I love it. Every day is different!
What have been your favorite events?
Even though I’ve only been here six months, I had the opportunity to work two really awesome fashion shows that were bigger than the ones we typically have in store. We partnered with Nathan Adelson Hospice in May and got to put on a show with Monique Lhuillier! I was so nervous about it, since it was actually my first fashion show I ever got to do, and it was with the designer herself! She was amazing to work with, super nice and relaxed, and even told me I did a great job backstage. It was such an awesome experience! My other favorite show I got to work was to benefit Three Square. I got to work closely with our fashion director Ken Downing. If you’ve ever seen anything he has styled, it’s always edgy and pushes the limits of fashion. He’s an absolute fashion genius! It was really cool to work with him and just learn from him.
What are your favorite parts about being backstage at a fashion show?
Working backstage at a show is by far my favorite part of the job! Most of the shows we do are for luncheons and my manager and I pull all the looks and style the models. It’s so much fun! I love the rush of doing a show, as well. It reminds me a lot of when I used to dance, though instead of waiting to go on stage, I’m making sure all my models look great from head to toe before I send them out!
What item in the store have you been eyeing that you would love to splurge on?
We had a meeting with Chanel not too long ago and I developed such a deep appreciation for the materials used and the artisans that uniquely develop the pieces. It’s my life goal to own something Chanel and be able to pass it down to a daughter or granddaughter someday. Also, in terms of ready-to-wear, Alexander McQueen is my fave. They can do no wrong in my mind. Every piece is just as fabulous as the next.
How has your personal style changed since working at NM?
Honestly, I had no opinion towards designer wear. I wasn’t necessarily against it, but I didn’t necessarily care for it either. Since working at Neiman Marcus, I’ve developed such an appreciation for the designer pieces. Every piece has a story. This appreciation for the clothes has definitely changed my personal style. I dress up more at work. I follow a lot more fashion bloggers and actually put more effort into my attire now. Appearance is important in the fashion industry.
What’s your advice for making a 9-to-5 work outfit look professional yet fun?
My favorite professional piece is a blazer. I wear a blazer almost every day. Recently, I’ve also tried to wear heels, but I suggest wearing lower ones. They are comfortable, but still give a professional edge to your outfit. Also, accessories are a must. I always have a statement necklace on. You can have fun accessorizing and still look professional at the same time!
What advice do you have for people who want to get into the PR and/or fashion industry?
Growing up, my family always used to make fun of me for changing my outfits so many times in one day. I would go through as many as five different outfits a day! I never knew I had such a passion for fashion until I actually got this job, but I think it’s always been there waiting to come out. My advice is to put yourself out there. Make connections, intern with a stylist, grab a retail job and truly learn everything you can about the designers. Honestly, I had no retail experience, so it put me at a disadvantage at the very beginning. Sky’s the limit! If you’re determined, anything can happen!