Marissa Webb: Interns, take your role seriously
Marissa Webb has warned fashion interns to put as much care into plunging toilets as they do talking to creative directors.
The designer has a string of top-level jobs to her bow, including positions with Banana Republic, Donna Karan and Polo Ralph Lauren. She has worked hard throughout her time in fashion and believes that is the best advice she can give anyone trying to make it in the industry.
"Work your ass off and make sure that you're giving it 150 per cent," she said at Fashionista's How to Make It in Fashion conference. "An internship is not just an internship. I constantly remind my team and myself and anyone who is trying to get to the next level, it doesn't matter if you're bringing someone a coffee, it doesn't matter if you're plunging a toilet. I've done it myself when I first started my company."
Marissa is a firm believer in internships, suggesting they are a great way for young people to prove they have what it takes to make it. She advises asking for more responsibility too, explaining it's rare that anyone will simply be handed something.
On top of that, she hopes young designers have the right idea of the day-to-day running of a business. Far from whiling away hours drawing new designs, the star had to learn a great deal about the cogs of a business when she first started out.
"You literally had to run to the corner and buy a plunger," she said. "I feel like I took human resources 101, law 101, all the basic things you need to run a company.
"I remember Tom Ford once saying, 'You have to decide if you're getting into this business as a creative genius artist or is this a business where you actually need to sell product?' And I'd like to think of my company as almost a hybrid of the two, because we love to push the innovation of design but at the same time we want it to accessible."