Last weekend I did my PR Internship at SA Menswear Week SS/16 in Cape Town. Each day went by so fast. Here’s where things turned interesting. In the two weeks before the show, I decided to fly down to Johannesburg to see my mum thinking that my internship had not been successful.
Little did I know that that was not the case!
Fastforward – to me rushing to get back the DAY before I was meant to start my internship. Thanks dad! [He literally hustled for me to get back in to Cape Town in time!]
First and foremost the thought of working behind the scenes was exciting, then it was overwhelming, then I ended up freaking out on my way back to Cape Town!
What was I to wear? What would my duties and responsibilities be? Would I be running around like a headless chicken everyday? Would I become the coffee babe for the duration of the weekend?
I had sooo many questions running around in my head!
So the first thing I did once I touched down in Cape Town is…RESEARCH. I went shopping ! It was a fashion event after all! Yeah, this has nothing to do with being an actual PR & Media intern, but it does have something to do with the fact that I’m a sucker for a sale and I needed new pairs of shoes! A girl can never have too many shoes. I just couldn’t resist..
DAY1. 6:15am: Woke up to my alarm clock blaring in my ear. This is the earliest I’ve been up since I went on vacation by the way. Worst thing is I only got to sleep at 2 am the night before, because of my nerves. I got out of bed , showered and had breakfast.
Because mamma taught this that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I think she probably said that to get me to eat. I’m not really a breakfast person. I just like my coffee in the morning!
So as I was saying before I got distracted…at that point (the minute before I had to walk out of my apartment), I was questioning myself on whether I actually wanted to do it. It, the internship, the actual internship. Whether I was ready to head out – mind you I have a rare form of Workplace phobia (facepalm).
I took a big breath, put my granny panties on and double-checked to see if I wrote down the correct address, and the phone numbers I needed in my phone. I’m the worst with directions, hence I still don’t have my driver’s license.
My Experience Working an Event
#SAMW was my first ‘real’ internship, and although I have much more experience in the food world, it was definitely a great learning experience.
What an eye opener.
I mean Kerry Friedmann made it easy for me to come in every morning. She is simply the best. Kerry took on the position of head of PR at #SAMW and she did an incredible job. She is the Owner at Madiba Music cc. and has represented artists such as Toya Delazy and Freshlyground..
“Kerry specializes in the Business of Creativity; bridging the gap between the corporate world and the world of artistic expression and technical execution,” says chairperson of AFDA, Garth Holmes.
So it was a privilege for me to be on her team.
TIPS to survive fashion week chaos:
- Always smile and be approachable. An unhappy guest reflects badly on a fashion event, PERIOD! Even if a guest isn’t the most polite person you’ve met in life, it’s important for you to be the bigger person and to remain professional at all times!
And If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation with a press attendee, the best thing you can do is to “remind your brain to tell the muscles in your mouth to relax…”
- Dress comfortably! Heels are a BIG no-no unless you’re going to be handling the event’s social media accounts, in that case make sure you look simple but stylish. My flat shoes and I were my best of buddies the whole weekend!
- Ask questions. It is an internship after all! Trust me I can come up with the silliest questions but I want answers, how else am I meant to learn!
I got home at around 11 pm almost every night (after being up since 7:00 am), but it was completely worth it. I really don’t know how I survived being on my feet the entire weekend!
Overall, I had a great time at SA Menswear Week! I got to talk to some great people; see the run-ins of a fashion event backstage & throughout the 3 days; got to learn a lot from the behind the scenes crew; got to meet TV producers & magazine editors; ate some of the most yummy canapes (mmm); made new friends; got to mingle with Cape Town’s elite and danced the night away at the Magents Lifestyle Apparel AFTERPARTY (hosted by @COCOCPT).
I was so inspired by most of the collections and menswear designs which were showcased and will soon be purchasing some of the garments for my personal collection!
My resume is going to look fly and is now jam packed with great references; plus I get to talk about the unreal experiences I’ve had at Menswear Week nogal! But NOW I really need a holiday after all that!
Life has been crazy busy since then. The menswear platform has opened so many doors for me, but sometimes I wanna tap out (ay I’m still a student & I’m only in my 20s), knowing I could be on a beach somewhere instead of going to the office/a cafe on a cold winter’s day… BLEH. But that’s not an OPTION for me because only I can make my dreams come to reality through hard work & perseverance…And I have many many goals that I want to achieve…
So for now my Weekends are reserved for sleeping in and catching up on school work. If any of my buddies are reading this: I love y’all! Ain’t no use in being mad at me…