Last spring, I found out I was accepted into the BP Fashion Board program at Nordstrom– a program for highschool fashionistas who learn about the industry through mock buying sessions, trend-forecasting, special guests, a fashion show production, etc. I was super excited to find out a program like this existed, so you can imagine how I felt once I got in.
The Application Process
To apply, you needed to answer a questionnaire, and create a fashion project (I did a mood board for summer). If your application was accepted, you went in for an interview. My interview was with a group of people (about 12). The coordinator asked us each questions like, “Who is your style icon?” and “What do you do in your free time?” Each of us went one at a time, sharing with the group our answers. I remember being really sick that day, so I was a mess blowing my nose, and sniffling, and having a sore throat… fortunately, that was over looked because I got a congratulations letter a month or so later!
The letter came at the beginning of June, our first meeting was to be in August. The meetings are monthly, at Nordstrom, in the employee lunch room. When I first walked in that day, there were wayyy more people than I expected. About 60 people were there, from different schools around the city, different ethnicities, there were even a couple of guys… all unified because of our passion for fashion. Instantly I knew I was in the right place.
- The first meeting was basically going through what was going to happen this year, and introducing ourselves to the group. We were given a folder, a schedule (we meet monthly for a year), and a packet outlining the basics of the program.
- A fun icebreaker we played was with a beach ball. Covering the ball were various questions, “What’s your favorite movie?” “If you could travel anywhere where would you go?” “Coffee or tea?” Things like that. Each person tossed the ball to someone else, and wherever your right thumb landed, that was the question you had to read aloud and answer.
- We were then placed into groups, given a style (My group was edgy), and had to discuss an outfit around it. Then, a representative from our team had to go out in the BP department of the store and find items that fit the look discussed. Each of the five groups presented their look, and explained what they came up with. This was a fun challenge for me, because I love styling!!
- At the end of each meeting we’re given an assignment to complete that month before our next meeting. Since this year the focus is on creating a fashion company, our August assignment was to begin to think about what our store would look like. What kind of store would it be (shoe, clothes, accessories, home goods, etc.)? Will it be luxury goods, or fast fashion? Is it a boutique, or retail chain?
- Our second meeting was earlier this week. A few people shared their ideas for the store they’ll be working on creating. One person talked about creating a custom fit denim boutique. Another, wanted to have repurposed vintage clothes made trendy in their store. I also shared my idea with the group. I want to create a shoe store that sells sizes 10 and up. I’m a size 12. Being a size 12 is not easy people… I wish I had the luxury to walk into any store, check out there shoe department, and buy what I liked. Instead, I’m given “Our largest size shoe is an 11, sorry.” So, to all my tall fashionistas, this is for you!
- We spent a large amount of time discussing the trends for fall. There were five trends that we focused on. I’m going to do a separate post talking specifically about them, a little later.
- We were split into groups again, this time each of us got a trend to discuss, and come up with two outfits for. The clothes were pulled already, and there was a rack at the front of the room, so we got to choose from that. One by one each group held up their outfits, and explained where they would wear it.
- Each trend had certain key pieces to go along with it. In total, there were 42. Our goal? Each team had to find as many items as they could in 8 minutes (you could go anywhere in the store). Some of the items were, a fuzzy knit, princess coat, and skater skirt. My team decided to split up the work by type of clothing. So one person was to find coats, the other dresses, skirts, pants, etc. After 8 minutes of desperate scrambling around, I rushed back to the room to meet my teammates. They were checking off the items, and counting them as they went along. We had a grand total of 39 times, making us the winners!! One group only found 14, and a few of the groups came close, but our strategic planning definitely paid off.
- The meeting came to a close, and briefly our next monthly assignment was introduced. This time, we are to create a virtual store on Pinterest, pinning the items we want in our store. I haven’t started mine yet, but if you would like to follow me on Pinterest, feel free so you can keep up with the progression of my project!
I’m only two months into the BP Fashion Board program, but I’m having sooo much fun already. It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by people who share the same interests as you do. If you’re crazy in love with fashion, and a high school student, I’d suggest applying for next year’s program. I’m going to try my best to keep you updated on these meetings, and blog about what I’m learning, as well as how my “store” is coming along. If you have any questions about the program, ask away!