Danielle Schivek (FSF ’11) Reflects on Frederick’s of Hollywood Internship

Board Member Paul Rosengard with Danielle Schivek (right)

A Look from the FOH 2011 Holiday Catalog

Where did you intern this summer and how did you find the internship?

This summer I interned at the Frederick’s of Hollywood (FOH) corporate office in Hollywood, CA.  Since I was attending law school in the fall I had no plans of taking on an internship, but out of the blue FOH Senior Vice President of Merchandising Hope Brick, called me herself.  She offered me a fantastic paid position shadowing her at the company.

I later found out that Hope had been given the resumes of dozens of YMA scholars and that because of my varied background in publishing and public relations I was picked!

At first I had to turn down the position since I could not afford to make the move from New York to Los Angeles.  After all I had just agreed to take on thousands of dollars in law school loans!  However, about a week or so later Hope offered to fly me out herself just so I could make the trip!  Hope was so generous and worked so hard to get me to L.A.  I knew I was coming into something big.

What were your daily tasks at FOH?

On my first day at FOH, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  But within hours of arriving, Hope had set me up with my very own desk by her office.  At our first meeting Hope explained that I was to be treated like any other member of the Merchandising team, and would immediately take on projects and responsibilities.

I became well acquainted with Trend Coordinator Dani Frank and Style Manager Constance McLaughlin.  I was to help Dani research big trends and possible themes for Spring 2012.  Working over a year in advance was a big change from publishing which turns over 3-4 months before release.  I found it extremely challenging to come up with ideas that would still seem fantastic a year from now.

Dani joked that sometimes even her “crystal ball” was foggy.

When working with Constance, it was my responsibility to come up with beauty ideas for the holiday shoot that was taking place in-house with Steve Erle.

Constance informed me that I was to help assist on the shoot, dressing models, undressing models, and helping out wherever I was needed onset.  I was even given several looks to style on my own.  “I am to do this by myself?” I asked.  “Well you’re here to learn!”  Constance laughed.

What were your favorite projects and experiences of the summer?

I had so many wonderful experiences at FOH, however if I had to choose I would say that I am most proud of my work on the Holiday 2011 catalog.  Even as a “lowly intern” I was afforded so much responsibility and input on the project.  My opinion was valued and my aesthetic was appreciated.  Constance allowed me to style several looks, with her approval of course!  She would even ask my opinion on some of the looks she put together.

I also had a fantastic time on the shoot.  Photographer Steve Erle is just the nicest, and all of the models were so friendly and welcoming!  I am still friendly with most of the crew, which I think is really unique to any work experience.

Now looking at the finished project, I can see something I helped with on just about every page!  I am just so thrilled how it all turned out, and cannot wait to see what the team does next!

What surprised you most about the company or your experience?

I was very inspired by how many members of the merchandising team were open to change, and FOH’s new vision.  Dani Frank embraces trends that are current, and Hope Brick ensures that what the team is working towards is a fresh look. FOH’s goals are definitely moving points on the horizon and I was happy to be part of a team that constantly strove to improve and create what consumers would love.

What are you doing next and how will fashion play a role in your future career?

I am currently attending Hofstra Law school where I am gearing up for the much dreaded 1L final exams! I have been interviewing for positions at boutique law firms specializing in “fashion law,” and several fashion houses large enough to have their own legal team.

Although it may not be conventional, after law school I plan to jump right back into fashion!  A law degree will have prepared me for many avenues in the fashion world, from publishing, to PR, there are many ways to utilize what I will have learned.  However as of now I am very interested in pursuing anti-counterfeiting and working for a brand that heeds the importance of protecting their business.  The fashion industry in America is a 300 billion dollar industry; that is more than the movie, music and gaming industries combined!  An opportunity to protect the trade and inform the public of its importance to our culture would be a dream.

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