About a year ago I realized that I was serious about pursuing a career in fashion. Up until this point, I always pushed the idea aside, no matter how many times it crossed my mind. Fashion was only ever a recreational interest of mine, I had no formal training or background in it — only what I read in blogs or magazines and some amateur sewing and sketching here and there. But fashion has always been the one field that I’ve consistently felt drawn to.
Then a year ago, I stumbled upon the sustainable fashion world and the slow fashion movement, and I was hooked. This was it! I realized that all those years that I was holding myself back from pursuing fashion was because I wanted there to be more purpose and meaning behind my work — for it to help others and our environment. I didn’t feel like I could get that out of a job in fashion, but after discovering sustainable fashion, I realized I actually might be able to. I remember feeling a weight being lifted off my shoulders because I felt like I finally had some sense of direction.
There was just one caveat — I had no idea where to begin. I wasn’t majoring in a creative field and I had no background in fashion, but when applications opened to intern with PATTERN for my spring semester of my senior year, I decided to apply anyways. When I got the email offering me a position, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it; I worried that they sent it to the wrong person — how could the incredibly talented and creative people behind PATTERN want me? But I’m so grateful PATTERN took a risk on me because my time as an intern has been indescribably transformative.
PATTERN has really amazed me in how autonomous their internships are and how much they want to support each of our individual internship goals. Because of my interest in sustainability, I was given opportunities to write about sustainability and cover some local slow fashion brands. I also wanted to learn more about styling and try my hand at it, so I styled two model test shoots. These are experiences I never could have had without PATTERN and I value the support and creative freedom I was given. Because of this, I feel more confident in my abilities.
I’m grateful I landed an internship at an organization where I was excited to come into the office everyday. I feel so fortunate to have met such talented people and been immersed in a creative community that inspired me to want to learn more and do more, both in and out of the office. As someone who believes in the sentiment that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard, I feel like I found a like-minded community at PATTERN. I learned that it’s okay to not have everything figured out, but it’s important to ask questions and ask for help, to keep an open mind, try new things, to not be afraid to make mistakes, and most importantly, be willing to put in the work.
While I’m sad to see my internship with PATTERN end, I know this is just the beginning. I have gained more experience than I could have imagined in a semester, and can now confidently say that a career in sustainable fashion is what I want. I’m not exactly sure what the future will hold, but I know my internship with PATTERN has positioned me well and has been a step in the right direction.