I could no more forget that September is fashion season than my own last name. It is the pinnacle by which all retailers, designers, aspirational customers, and editors rely on for ever-present question: What is next?
Those of us who thrive most on the answer to this question….creatives, overzealous type-A personalities, the inquisitive, and those who incessantly create their own platform of issues when none are available…we lay in waiting for September. Once a year, it is a time when our needs can be met. When we can funnel through magazines that will all eventually tell the same story…if we get the trade right. (Above, me at work in Manhattan; me at work in Texas)
I love trendwork. I’ve loved it my whole life. What I’ve left at my parents home includes a conglomeration of yearbooks, old stuffed animals, and ‘trends’…though I didn’t know it at the time. There are binders and binders filled with (what I now know to call) ‘tears’ from magazines. Mostly things that caught my fancy, things I thought were unique enough to separate from the other things. I was the only girl to roll up my sleeves before 3/4 shirts hit the racks, the only girl wearing fluoro lip color before it became cool, and black nail polish before it’s time. I guess there is a fault in that I wore anything and everything so far before it’s time that it wasn’t cool, at least to the people I know. I was never a Manhattanite or from some other subversive city where anything and everything goes. I wore jumpsuits in highschool, never anything but a high-heel, and even got called into the admin’s office for my avant-guard one-shoulder top.
I discovered that there was a job for this out there: Trend Analyst. I coveted this job. These people researched, wrote, walked the streets, attended the fashion shows, analyzed numbers, and came up with highly forecasted directions for the retail market a year or two in advance. I stalked the very few companies who considered themselves an integral part of this niche market. I interned for one of the best, and I went on to work as this very person at a small footwear company in New York. This particular company was, in my mind, the most amazing place to have a first job experience. I was elated; none of my peers would get to work and travel, doing such a cool job with such an esteemed designer. And, by the way, this is hardly the real introduction to the story–but mainly a premise for you to follow in the future.
One morning, after becoming quite aware that this was not as ideal of a position as I had originally thought, I showed up to work a bit haggard from preceding days at the usual time of 8:30 am. Now, this ‘tearing of sheets’ out of magazines stunt was not solely performed by myself. Everyone had a hand in it- especially the man/designer I was working for. I was used to coming into my office to find heaps of these ‘tears’…often confusing, beat up, and bizarre. My job was to file these in such a manner that when he called (yelled) for me from his office, I could supplant them at a moments notice–during business meetings, for personal use, or simply to test my level of organization (or so it seemed). I had a large filing system by which I arranged all these images; I started with ‘flats’ and progressively moved all the way to ‘high-heeled platform’ shoes. Occasionally there would be some articles in French or Italian and I would have to decipher them and file them away in the ‘travel’ files.
Anyways, on this particular morning, I came in and found my desk (once again) cluttered with the madman tears that my boss inevitably was rifling through late the night before. I opened a magazine, where many of them were stuffed, to find nudes. Yes, nudes. When you work for a footwear company, you pay attention to feet–as in what is on them, or maybe…surrounding merchandise. Since neither of these were visible to me, I raised my head towards the heavens, took a big sigh, closed my eyes, and exclaimed that it was way too early in the day for things to start this way. The girls around me laughed–the sort of stunned shock but definitely the’ type of behavior expected from our boss’ knowing look. I was a little edged since this was the umpteenth time this week that I had been handling these situations with, what I considered, the patience of a saint. I walked into his office, opened the W (which masked the spread–no pun intended). I asked if I should file these as well. He seemed a bit caught off guard, went into defense mode by exclaiming that they were not, in fact, dirty photos at all. We are seeing the same thing, right? I march back to my desk, file them under a new category: nudes, and go back to work. I am later solicited by his assistant for the photo’s back–just in case I should fall in line of (I’m sure) many of young ladies who have sued him for one reason or another. I laugh and she forgets about it.
Now that I’m all settled here in Texas, ‘tearing’ to my hearts content for a new boss and a new direction, I don’t have to worry so much about the nudes. But, if I’m ever in the mood for a good laugh, there’s a folder in my closet; I guess I’m the one that got away!