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What it’s like to work in the fashion industry

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the fashion industry in real life? Her Campus spoke with the senior fashion press specialist for ModCloth and Kent State alumni, Aire Plichta Reese, and learned all about what it takes to rock a job in the fashion world. ModCloth is a an online retailer that offers unique vintage and indie-inspired clothing. 

Her Campus: Tell me a little about ModCloth?

Aire Plichta Reese: ModCloth is a digitally native lifestyle brand that sells vintage-inspired, feminine clothing and home décor with an array of unique and exclusive merchandise, including our own signature label. We outfit all of our customers’ moods and moments, so she can express her individual style from her every day to her special day. We aim to empower women and to help every woman feel like the best version of herself.

HC: Tell me about the IRL Tour? When did it start?

APR: The ModCloth IRL Tour is five consecutive pop-up shops (which we are calling IRLs). Our ModCloth IRL Tour kicked off in Austin, Texas in May of this year. We made stops in Washington DC; Portland, OR, which we have since extended through the rest of the year; Denver, CO and now we’re ending the tour in our hometown of Pittsburgh, PA! It’s been a wonderful chance for us to not only meet our community in each city, but also hear first hand what they’re loving.

HC: What can customers expect at a ModCloth pop-up store?

APR: Our pop-up stores are an IRL extension of our vibrant online community. We want the customer to not just get to know our product, but also to get to know us. The stores are a place for our community to connect with the brand and one another through personal styling sessions with our ModStylists and events with local artisans and musicians. Our feminine and vintage-inspired assortment is filled with unique and exclusive products from apparel and accessories to home decor. We sell both our own ModCloth label as well as a curated collection of other brands, available in a full range of sizes from XXS to 4X. We also customize our inventory specifically for each location, including carrying local designers that you won’t find on our site.

HC: In your opinion, why is shopping ModCloth a unique experience for customers?

APR: We believe it is unique because of the business model that we follow. We love that we can bring our site to life for our devoted community. Our exclusive product offering and items to fit any part of your life are finally right in front of you and available to try on!

HC: What is next for ModCloth as the IRL Tour comes to an end?

APR: We are heading into our busy holiday season with a gift guide full of really unique presents for your loved ones and a beautiful, celebratory apparel collection for your own special occasions. We’ll be open in our Portland location through the holidays, so we are looking forward to more exciting updates and community events planned for the holiday season there.

HC: What is the role of a ModStylist?

APR: A ModStylist is your goddess of fit: She will greet you and walk you through the store, making personalized recommendations and working with you to find that perfect outfit, whether for your everyday lifestyle or a special occasion.

HC: What is it like working at Modcloth?

APR: It really is awesome. I have been here for seven years now and it’s hard to put into words all of the experiences and opportunities it has given me. It isn’t like any other company that I know and we really do put our community and helping to make them feel like the best version of themselves before anything else. That is truly special.

HC: What is your favorite thing about working at Modcloth?

APR: This is really tough, but I’d have to say our dog-friendly offices. I am a huge dog lover and it’s such a nice perk for me if I’m having a bad day that I can go play with a dog right down the hall from me.

HC: Is having a job in the fashion industry what you expected it to be? What is different?  

APR: I would say it’s different in the sense that it’s not always as creative as I thought it would have been. Sometimes you forget that there is a HUGE side of this industry that depends on business and dollars. Those areas need to be paid attention just as much as selecting the right fabric does.

HC: What advice do you have for college women trying to break into the fashion industry.

APR: Stay focused and don’t give up. I know that sounds pretty cookie cutter, but it’s true! Hard work really does pay off, along with kindness. I find that fashion and working in fashion has become much more popular in recent years, so those who work hard and stay focused stand out from the pack.

Shop cute and unique vintage looks on the ModCloth website, here

Senior at Kent State | Victoria's Secret PINK Campus Rep
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