how i landed an internship with christian cowan


photo: charlota blunarova on unsplash

As you enter your junior and senior years of college there is one thing that may be lingering in your mind: internships. Where should you apply, will it be paid and most importantly will it be something that you like. Internship experiences have the potential to make or break how you feel about your future in your field. In fashion, there are many different routes you can take. Whether it’s garment construction, technical design, patternmaking, buying and planning, visual merchandising, styling or fashion journalism, the list goes on. It is paramount that you choose one best suited to you. In my years at Kent State, I have heard countless internship horror stories. Applying became something more stressful by the hour. But fear not, because I am here to give you the inside scoop on my internship experience.


Job Acquisition and Interview Process 

The process of finding an internship that you are qualified for but that will also challenge you can be a harrowing journey. I scoured Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, you name it. My semester in New York was creeping up on me and I was still without an internship. Until one fateful day, I was scrolling through Instagram and there it was. The perfect internship opportunity. I’d been following the designer Christian Cowan for years. I’d been in awe of his fun and extravagant runway looks and I always used his looks as drawing references. So when I saw that Cowan was looking for interns for the fall to work on fashion week pieces, I knew I had to have the job. I quickly tidied up my resume and wrote a cover letter because this detail always helps to seal the deal. I gathered some samples of my work and sent off an email expressing my interest in the internship position.


Four days later and I’d managed to snag an interview. It felt good to know that I was qualified enough to get this far. However, I also continued to doubt that I would be good enough to secure the role. I figured with the brand being based in New York City, there would be loads of Parsons, Pratt and FIT students more qualified than me. I had to remind myself that Kent is also a top fashion university and that I was an accomplished designer as well. Interviews can shake even the strongest person’s confidence. Waiting for the call was the most nerve-wracking experience I’ve ever had, but interviewing with Michael May, the Head of Operations for Christian Cowan,  was the opposite of what I expected. He was very kind and our interview was very casual and conversational. The very next day, I received an email saying they were happy to have me on the team.   


Working at Christian Cowan

On my first day, I will admit I was a bit shell-shocked. There were so many other interns, looks were being created all over the studio and I dove in headfirst. Immediately, I picked up a needle and got to work. Cowan was so welcoming to everyone. Michael May was a great teacher. Anytime I didn’t understand something or needed help, he explained it and made sure I always felt welcomed and respected while working for Cowan. 


I had the opportunity to accomplish so many great things while working at Christian Cowan. I was able to work on celebrity customs such as a Halloween costume for Doja Cat and a Met Gala gown for Saweetie. I’ve had the chance to make looks for the past two Christian Cowan fashion week shows. I learned so much about crystal work, sourcing, model relations, what happens backstage at a fashion show and so much more. 

During my time at Cowan I got to do some crazy things. When making Doja Cat’s Halloween costume, I got to fly to Los Angeles and personally deliver it. I also got to deliver items to the hotel where Saweetie got ready for the Met Gala. I’ve ordered hundreds of ostrich feather boas to be delivered in two weeks when everywhere the wait time was four plus weeks. Once I almost flew to Greece, but I missed a few flights so we don’t talk about that much. With all its hustle and bustle this job fulfilled all of my fashion internship dreams.


Working for Christian Cowan is an experience that I will never forget. I made so many connections with students from other design schools and made great connections with both Cowan and May as well. I learned to work in a fast-paced work environment, be creative and think outside the box. I also learned to speak up when I have an idea. Most importantly, I learned that more than anything that I want to continue to be a part of the fashion industry. I hope this inspires you to find an internship that you are not only passionate about, but one where they respect you and the work that you do. 


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Hi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.