An Interview with The Garment Girls


  Carolina Mateo, Elena Ponds and Catherine Moore started out with a typical summertime moniker, "the Interns." Like smart young ladies, they quickly transformed themselves into The Garment Girls, the name of the blog they created as part of their stint at the Fashion Center BID. Their roles ranged from basic duties like answering phones, taking turns at the front desk and also helping out with bigger initiatives such as The Fashion Center's Tour de Fashion Fall bicycle project, helping out at the Big Button and writing about the Garment Center.

Their experiences were eye-opening as they saw the real side of fashion from so many perspectives. In just a few months, they were able to get a peak at the CFDA's Fashion Incubator gatherings, see photoshoots, volunteer at InStyle for The Independent Handbag Designer Awards, attend the BID's Emerging Designer group meetings and visit Nanette Lepore’s factory and showroom.

With their new found wisdom, I asked the Garment Girls if they could share some tips, resources and and must-see things in the district:

The Fashion Center kiosk (aka the Big Button)

For them, manning the Big Button information kiosk on the corner of 40th and 7th allowed them to see all of the resources that were available.  The said that people have access to so much information like showroom names, buyer listings and factories, in addition to all the fabric and trim stores. Their tip is to simply ask and get a print out of all the resources your looking to find. You can also go to the online database too!

The Gallery of Distinguished Designers

The Gallery of Distinguished Designers features 10 busts of American fashion icons such as Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera and Donna Karan. It is located in the lobby that connects 1407 Broadway to the 533 Seventh Avenue and is a must-see.

Explore the resources

Most days, they scoped out the district and found a variety of resources. Some favorites were Top Trimming, Shine Trim and Fun2Bead where they sourced items for their own DIY projects.  Then, of course, another pick was Mood, and not just because of the Project Runway factor, but its breadth of fabrics. They also enjoyed taking a tour of Stoll, the ultimate resource center specializing in all things knit.

Follow great Twitter accounts in the BID

They girls dabbled in a bit of social media, making friends on Twitter and also getting the top news in fashion. Some favorites (yes, they should be everyone's favorite) include: @fashioncenterny   @STGCnyc  @CFDAINCUBATOR  @nanettelepore   @dkny

 Parting words from the Garment Girls

Don’t be afraid to explore, ask questions and look up because there are so many resources above the ground level too.  Whether you’re a New Yorker or visiting, don’t overlook the streets between  34th and 42nd because there’s so much rich information in the Garment Center.

The Garment Girls return to school in just a few weeks and we congratulate them on a successful internship and wish them luck in the next school year!

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