We were so excited to have Ms. Braccia check in with us. Crystal helped us out with our very first Fashion Show back in 2011 so keeping up with her over the years and hearing how far she's come with her passions has been awesomely inspiring to so many girls following in her footsteps!
Images & Interview submitted by Crystal Braccia, formally a student at Central Bucks South HS.
What got you into fashion?
At a really young age, my mom has always inspired and influenced my love for fashion. She definitely was the stepping-stone into creating my own sense of style. At the age of 14 years old I was fortunate enough to start working as a sales associate at a small boutique called, Bennick and Company. My boss, Joni, who was a former Vice President of BCBG, took me under her wing and taught me everything I needed to know. I was always so excited to go to work and was soon promoted to store manager. Not only did I learn so much and fall in love with the h business but also I learned so much about myself. I gained a strong work ethic and confidence I never had before. That’s when I knew I wanted to keep pursuing my career in fashion and go to no better school but FIT.
What are you doing now with it? (School, designing? etc.)
I am currently attending The Fashion Institute of Technology where I plan to get my Bachelors in Fashion Business Management. I’m learning everything there is to know about the fashion industry in no better place then New York City.
Everyday I get to combine my creative and business side into all of my work, while being surrounded by people that are just as fascinated and motivated as I am. My classes are all targeted to all different areas of the business but I also get to have hands on experience while interning.
Talk a little about what it was like being at New York Fashion Week. (How did you get to doing New York Fashion Week? Whom did you meet? What did you take away from the experience?)
Last year, I worked at Coterie, which is one of the largest trade shows for women’s ready-to-wear clothing at the Javiets Center. That experience was really exciting, it taught my how that side of the business comes together and I worked with some really great people. I also got to work at a fashion show for upcoming designers, which was my first fashion show. My job was to make sure everything was in its place, gift bags were made, and all the guests found their seats. Seeing first hand how much effort goes into fashion shows and how important it is that everything goes right makes you appreciate the show that much more.
This year I am interning at a PR firm called Factory PR. I started right during fall fashion week where the atmosphere was so exciting and full of energy. I worked at some of their client’s fashion shows. I was the main greeter at the Betsey Johnson Fashion Show, which was such a thrilling experience. As soon as I got back stage, in the craze of all the beautiful models that towered over everyone, hectic showroom managers, workers, djs, props, outfits, and cameras, was Betsey Johnson herself. Despite all of the chaos, Betsey Johnson went on to have an incredible and unique show. Overall, all the shows I have worked at I was able to watch and it is so inspiring seeing everything come to life after seeing all the prep that goes into it before the show.
What do you find is the challenge of being so young in the fashion world?
I think the main challenge being so young in the fashion world would be being taken seriously and really putting yourself out there. At times it can be tough but I’ve learned that you have to be confident and no matter what obstacle you ace take something away from it. At the end of the day it’s all about being positive, hardworking, and really believing in yourself.
What's your favorite part about the fashion industry?
My favorite thing about the fashion industry is how exciting it can be. Since it’s always changing there is no limits to what can happen. From the experience I’ve had I’ve developed a great interest and passion for visual merchandising. I really couldn’t picture myself working in a different area. I do love the business side of things, but something I would never want to give up is being able to be creative and with visual merchandising you get the best of both worlds.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future I see myself living in New York City and working for a big company. I want to contribute to an already established company that I really believe in. I know I want to work for some type of fashion company but one of my dreams it to own my own company one day.
What's your favorite thing about living in New York?
My favorite thing about New York is all the opportunities that are right at my fingertips. There are so many avenues of the fashion industry to try and if one thing doesn’t work out there are a million other directions you can go in. That’s what I find to be so exiting about starting my career here; there really are no limits and there is so much to learn. New York has really taught me how to be independent and how to work really hard for what you want.