fashion week as a ksu student: a mag’s guide to working fashion week


photo: thomas gruber

As a Kent State fashion major you are required to study abroad, but not every program features the opportunity to work fashion week. Whether you do it directly through the school or through an internship, students have many opportunities to work behind the scenes during fashion week for both well- and lesser-known brands presenting. 


The two programs with the most “ins” to working fashion week are Kent’s New York City campus and its partnership with the Paris American Academy in Paris. With each study abroad program, you have the chance to work at either Paris or New York Fashion Week.


Melina Cavella, Brooke Reynolds and Lauren Marran all worked either PFW, NYFW or both, as backstage dressers. These opportunities were provided by the school, as well as having a chance to work behind the scenes with an internship in New York. 

Both Cavella and Marran worked at PFW, specifically Haute Couture week during the first week of July 2022. Both worked at the Georges Hobeika and Alexandre Vauthier shows, and Cavella also had the opportunity to dress for Rami Al Ali. 


Marran also worked at NYFW in the fall dressing for Gita Omri. Reynolds studied in New York in the spring, dressing for New Frontier in Fashion and Luis De Javier.

All three of them were able to land backstage dressing positions through their schools. PAA assigned shows at random in advance, as well as sometimes calling for students on the day of. Kent State NYC also assigned shows to students, but there were also opportunities to work behind the scenes through internships, such as Reynolds’ opportunity to work at the Luis De Javier show. 


One of the hardest parts of working backstage is the chaos. 


“A lot of times you’re waiting around for someone to tell you what to do then next thing you know there are 10 things you need to take care of,” Reynolds said. 


You don’t always know what the next step is, so waiting for someone who does is vital to making sure everything runs smoothly. 

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Another element of stress are the actual duties of being a dresser. “It was hard getting the clothes

organized because a lot of the models had to change what they were wearing,” Marran said. Being ready for quick changes and knowing where everything you need is located is an essential part of the job. 


“Being a model dresser is equivalent to being an unpaid intern,” Cavella said. “Do what you’re told but don’t listen to the wrong person.” 


While you may not know everything, you aren’t expected to either. “It’s always OK to double check with others,” Cavella said.


Behind the scenes of these shows is always going to be chaos. “It’s something that takes a lot of time, care and organization, but every time there’s gonna be something that goes wrong,” Cavella said. You can never be fully prepared for everything that will go awry, but you can be ready to keep an eye out or listen for what is going on so you can best assist. You’ll never be able to completely expect everything, but after working your first show things will likely come a bit more naturally. 

“All backstage was madness but I couldn’t have been happier to be there and I loved every second of it,” Reynolds said. 


You may also have the chance to see or dress celebrities and influencers. Reynolds was able to dress Julia Fox at the Luis De Javier show. 


“My most memorable moment backstage for NYFW was right before Luis De Javier’s show was about to start, I noticed Julia Fox’s corset dress had been done wrong,” Reynolds said. “At the last minute, I started redoing and pulling her corset so it would fit correctly and she would be fully covered.” 

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Fox was also seen backstage at the Alexandre Vauthier show, but as a guest rather than a model. One thing Reynolds regrets is not being as well versed in celebrities and influencers as she could have been since she learned about their accomplishments after the fact.


Being able to meet and interact with the models was another highlight for many. Whether they were the ones you dressed or models you simply saw from afar, you had a new perspective of everyone behind the runway. “I got to ask them questions about their careers and I ended up following a lot of them on Instagram,” Marran said. 


Reynolds and many of the other NYC campus students were also able to attend and watch the Rebecca Crews show, not having to worry about the stresses of backstage, but now having a new appreciation for everything that happens behind the scenes. 

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Studying abroad offers many opportunities from being immersed in a new city or culture to job and internship opportunities. The biggest thing to take away is the experience, and being prepared for everything that comes your way. 


“I never thought I would get the opportunity this early in my career and I am so grateful I got to work in Paris and NYC,” Marran said.

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. 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.