21-year-old University of Limerick student Alice Carroll, is just bringing to an end her six month internship with international fashion house Fendi in New York City. A familiar face around Limerick, Alice is studying Business with French in UL, was manager of The Ivory Closet designer dress hire boutique on Shannon Street until heading to New York.
From Parteen, 6ft tall Alice has modelled with the Holman Lee Agency since 2006 and she won the Miss Clare title in 2010. A past pupil of Laurel Hill College, she took up the role of marketing and public relations intern with Fendi in January and describes her experience as “nothing short of sensational.”
Alice gave the Limerick Post an insight into her experience: “When I left Limerick to travel to New York in January of this year, I had very mixed emotions. I was so excited to get a taste of such an incredible fashion scene but I was anxious at the prospect of venturing alone into a notoriously cut-throat industry. Fortunately, my first day of interning with Fendi dissolved any doubts I had.
“My basic day-to-day tasks included meeting with stylists, such as Rachel Zoe and magazine editors from Vogue, Allure, InStyle etc. I was also responsible for dressing celebrities such as Edward Norton, Diane Lane, Jessica Alba and Richard Gere (sorry, I had to name drop!)
“In saying that, it seems my experience interning in the fashion industry was a fortunate one. Having spoken with friends who interned in other luxury brands or magazines, they had ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ kind of experience, in which their tasks were coffee runs, photocopying etc, with no real exposure to the business side of things. For those of you considering it- you’ve been warned!
“But for me, every day was really exciting, so it’s difficult to pick a favourite experience with Fendi. One hectic day, my boss assigned me with the task of pulling looks for Mila Kunis’ shoot for Allure. I had some experience with this task, having worked with The Ivory Closet in Limerick for two years prior to this, so I was able to do so with ease. When Fendi landed on the cover as a result, I gained serious credibility in the office! This led to other fantastic opportunities like dressing Uma Thurman for the Cannes Film Festival, which was another highlight!
“Fashion week in New York was just as I had imagined- insane! I was lucky enough to meet one of my icons Diane Von Furstenberg, at the Oscar De La Renta show, which made my life! She was extremely friendly, nothing like the ice queen that the media portray her to be.
“As much as it pains me to admit, being Irish definitely played a role in my success at Fendi. I was certainly given opportunities that American interns were not, based on my nationality. I was the first Irish intern Fendi have ever had and they found my ‘accent’ charming. Not that I minded – if it meant sitting in on meetings with [the famous editor of Vogue magazine] Anna Wintour!
“Although we may not be a prominent feature within major brand structures, the Irish are well represented in New York. Orla Kiely’s Soho-based shop is unbelievably popular, as are Jacqueline Quinn’s designs. Irish organisations in New York often hold fashion events also, at one of which I met the Irish born CEO of Revlon.
“Outside of my internship, I was also involved with a PR agency that represented celebrities at events. Most memorably, I worked with Russell Crowe and Amy Adams at the ‘Superman – Man of Steel’ premiere. My position there entailed ensuring the celebrities got the right exposure and were photographed and interviewed by the best journalists on the red carpet. Although most celebrities were very approachable (again, loving the Irish accent) some were very hard to deal with. When I walked Poppy Delevingne down the red carpet for the Netflix’ ‘Orange is the new Black’ series premiere, she didn’t even acknowledge us. That’s definitely a downside to working with celebrities, and in fashion – the egos are ridiculous! The worst part is, no matter how much you want to say otherwise, it’s your job to play the game, represent the company as best as you can and keep them sweet. As a straight talker, I definitely struggled with that!
“All in all, my experience in New York’s fashion scene has been nothing short of sensational. I will never forget the experiences I have had or the people I have met. And I know it will truly stand to me in the future.”
Alice has been blogging about her experience at alicesfashionwonderland.wordpress.com
By Olivia O’Sullivan
This article first appeared in the Limerick Post 20th July 2013