Exclusive Access

My calendar has been counting down to this day for weeks now. It’s Saturday, September 12th and today, thanks to Marist, I get to cover NYFW. I pack my bag, put on my heels, and I’m out the door to meet the Marist Marketing team at the train station to head down to New York City together. Walking out of Penn station, I can already see the excitement of Fashion Week buzzing through the streets. The black and white NYFW banners are hanging from Moynihan Station and every corner is full of photographers who rapidly snap pictures of the fashion forward pedestrians. We arrive at the Hammerstein Ballroom where the pre-party will be and I am blown away by the gravity of the event that will be taking place here in just a few hours. Until then, there is a lot to do!


The Background

I’ve been working under the Director of Social Media, Brian, at Marist since my freshman year and as a senior, I am now the Social Media Intern for Marist. As a double major in Business Marketing and Fashion Merchandising, it is the perfect position to help me prepare for a future career in Fashion Marketing. My responsibilities include managing the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, interacting with posts to the Marist platforms, conducting monthly analytics, working with clubs and departments to improve their social media, and representing the Marist brand in the best way possible through various initiatives. I’ve had the opportunity to help cover events before, but I have never been given the individual responsibility to strategize and implement a social media plan by myself. After guidance under Brian, for the past few years, I was confident in my ability to take on NYFW. With that being said, my past few weeks have been full of meetings and preparations for the Marist & Son Jung Wan collaboration at Fashion Week.

The Preparation

Wednesday, September 2nd, 3:00 pm

It’s two weeks out and I’m getting briefed on the schedule and goals for September 12th. There are a lot of key players involved: alumni Laurie DeJong and JR Morrissey, the Admissions Office, the President’s Office, the Fashion Department, the Advancement Office and of course, the Social Media team! It’s important for me to know the expectations of each department involved and formulate a plan to not only meet, but exceed those expectations.

Friday, September 4th, 11:00 am

I’m busy at work to prepare for a meeting this afternoon with the Student Fashion Directors and the Director of the Fashion Program, Radley Cramer. I want to have the @Marist and @MaristFashion social media teams work together to generate excitement for the events and cover the fashion show. We will be talking about a social media takeover by Nenagh, the Communications Director, hashtags to use, stories for FoxTales, advertising the social media handles, a Polaroid project, and more!

Monday, September 7th, 2:00 pm

I just finished meeting with senior Kate Powers, Editor of FoxTales and senior Melissa Conlon, Digital Design Intern to go over the blogs that the student fashion team sent to us. We wanted to be sure that we showed what the Marist student experience really is about. We found a group with diverse experiences to tell their story and it was now our job to get people to read them! We created a “Marist Fashion Week” on FoxTales. Our team came up with a plan to advertise across many social media platforms for each day building up to the event!

Wednesday, September 9th , 12:00 pm

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Meeting with Nenagh to finalize plans for NYFW

I’m meeting one-on-one with Communications Director, Nenagh who will be taking over the Marist Instagam, Twitter and Facebook on Friday. We are working together to see what will be the timeline for the day of and goals for the initiative. It is the first time @Marist platforms are doing a takeover, so it involves a lot of careful preparation! I’ll meet with her again on Friday to finalize plans for Saturday’s event.

Friday, September 11th, 11:00 am

My checklist is endless and exciting: I am spending the day managing the takeover and posting every hour, we’re finishing up FoxTales’s Fashion Week, and preparing for tomorrow! The week leading up to Marist & Son Jung Wan has gone very well. I still can’t believe all that each of the teams I’ve been working with have accomplished so far! Tomorrow when I arrive at the venue it will be non-stop coverage. I can’t wait for everything to start!

The Event

Once I arrived at the Hammerstein Ballroom, I saw that the fashion students and professors had mostly finished set-up. The lights were on cue, the tables were set, and the mood was exponentially growing in anticipation. I check out backstage to see what the fashion students are up to and ask them to show me some highlights of the space. I want to make sure I know everything that is going on in order to be able to share the best content! Then I grab the publicity backdrop to set up for all our attendees’ Photo Ops. It makes everyone feel like they are on the red carpet. I snap some shots of the@MaristFashion student team and then I take a quick break. I run over to Dunkin to grab some breakfast (Did I mention it’s 2:00 already?) with the Social Media Director (my boss), Brian Apfel and we chat about “to-do’s” for the rest of the afternoon. Back at the Hammerstein, we launch the @Marist snapchat and set up the Polaroids for live shots of the event! I take a few minutes to check on the activity of the posts we have done so far and my phone is already at 18% battery. The party hasn’t even started yet!

By 5:30 the Ballroom is looking perfect and the guests begin arriving. The rehearsals are finishing up, the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails are already circling around, the music is playing, and before you know it, the doors are open! The Hammerstein fills up with alumni, industry leaders, international press, and students. I work on taking pictures at the publicity backdrop while also making sure that the Polaroid project is going well. I find a group of students who attended the Fashion Pre-College together and snap a picture of their Polaroid and tag each of the students, NYFW, LDJ Productions, Son Jung Wan, and Marist Fashion. I’ve learned that it’s all about sharing the excitement and interacting! Throughout the evening I’m dashing around the venue to get the next best photo. I find students to get quotes, I grab the faculty to get them in a photo together, and then I meet up with Brian to go backstage for the dress rehearsal at Moynihan Station for the show. We walk past the velvet ropes and through the side entrance pass each checkpoint with ease—having a press pass is awesome! We walk in and the models are in hair and makeup getting briefed by the production manager. I run to the front of house to grab a spot in the middle of the runway to watch the action! I want to document everything. Meanwhile, the party is in full swing at the Ballroom, so I am monitoring everyone’s posts through @MaristFashion and #Marist. Before Brian and I head back there, we go over where we should be during the Marist & Son Jug Wan Reprise Show so that we can cover the most area.

By the time we get back to the ballroom, the guests are getting ready to go to the Moynihan Station. There is a lot of back and forth for me today, but it is so cool! I grab some last minute photos and take a picture with my friends (I get to have some fun, too!) before cleaning up and doing the breakdown of the ballroom. By 8:30 I am backstage again at Son Jung Wan but this time it is with President Murray, The Student Fashion Directors, and some of the Fashion Faculty. Oh, and Son Jung Wan is there, too! I have written down interview questions for the designer and one of the senior fashion students, Sharon Kwak who is Korean will be able to conduct an interview with her in their native language. She gave insight into her global perspective and her dedication to innovation and education. Before we know it the house is full and the show is ready to start. I grab a press seat at the end of the runway and prepare to snap photos. I was sitting next to photographers and bloggers and press – who knew that at 21 I would be covering a fashion show! I watched the show, snapped as many pictures as possible, and I fell in love with fashion all over again. I did some final posts and walked out of Moynihan Station with a view of the Empire State Building and a beautiful glow around it. I could not have asked for a more perfect day. Everything had come to an end, but my fashion journey is still only beginning. With fashion, the possibilities are endless. With Marist, the opportunities are infinite.

The view of the Empire State Building from Moynihan Station.

The view of the Empire State Building from Moynihan Station.

Written by Colleen Kollar

Marist College Senior

Follow me on instagram @c.kollar

Follow Marist @Marist

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