fashion show event attendees

How I went from working retail at a local mall to producing fashion shows at New York Fashion Week and helping others reach their career dreams within the industry.

Breaking into the fashion industry can seem impossible, especially because it is still unfortunately a world where nepotism largely rules. However, it is very much possible to make your way in even if your parents don’t own a major fashion house or know someone at Vogue

I am living proof.

fashion show event attendees
THE BEGINNING

Mall Jobs, Mannequins and the Change of a dream

I never thought I would be part of the fashion industry. As a kid, I grew up with the dream of being a performer. Voice lessons, dance recitals, acting classes – that was the entirety of my childhood.

In between all that, I loved making things beautiful – as a kid that meant making clothes for my dolls and playing for hours at a time. As an adult it would mean creating visual displays and styling models for photo shoots.

Slowly, fashion took over over my childhood dreams of being a famous Broadway star. So, it was no surprise that at 16 I got my first job working retail at a clothing store in the mall.

Retail gave me the opportunity to work while going to school and would continue to do so my entire college career. In the end, I spent a total of six years in retail as a sales associate, personal shopper, store manager, visual sales manager and finally, as a visual merchandising stylist. 

What first started as a way to make money to buy clothes eventually turned into hands-on experience and what provided for  my classes at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and later at LIM (Laboratory Institute of Merchandising).

Working while going to school full time meant that my time management skills had to be razor sharp, otherwise the carefully constructed schedule I had built would come crashing down.

Mornings and nights were spent at work. Afternoons were spent rushing to the train, commuting 1.5 hours to get to class, then racing back to relieve my boss and close the store. Homework was done on the train and every single weekend was spent at work. This was the only way I could achieve my full time 40-hour a week status and keep my job.

IT WAS ABSOLUTE MADNESS AND I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I MANAGED TO PULL IT OFF.

During my time at FIT, I met someone who introduced me to the world of fashion shows...

and it changed my whole life.

Backstage models show

I started working backstage as a volunteer model dresser. Over the next 10 years, I would learn every single aspect of a fashion show.  

I also worked on other kinds of events including, award shows, film premieres, galas, charity balls, music festivals and more.

This would prove to be invaluable for the next step in my career: corporate wholesale marketing & events at Ralph Lauren.

What started as an internship ended up being my ‘home’ for the next seven years. My time at RL proved to be the most important as it took everything I learned throughout my life and applied it to every aspect of my job.

It’s also where I made some of my most lasting friendships and corporate connections.

Backstage models show

COMPANIES I’VE WORKED WITH

FREELANCE

COMPANIES

EVENTIQUE.
EYESIGHT GROUP
SOFIA CROKOS EVENTS
JENNIFER ZABINSKI EVENTS
BB’S BACKSTAGE
RALPH LAUREN
ELLIE AWARDS FOUNDATION
HETRICK-MARTIN INSTITUTE
NIKE
FOUNDATION FOR AIDS
PRONOVIAS
RACHEL ZOE
BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION
MACY’S
NEIMAN MARCUS
NINE WEST
SEVEN BAR FOUNDATION
TORY BURCH
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO
WISE & CO.
A CURRENT AFFAIR
VEUVE CLICQUOT
MAKE-A-WISH
TICKETMASTER
MERCEDES BENZ
GUCCI
EXPRESS
BACARDI

PRODUCTION

EVENTS

HUMANE SOCIETY GALA
CCBF GALA
EMERY AWARDS
NY FASHION WEEK
AMFAR GALA
BERGDORF GOODMAN
WOMEN OF DISTINCTION LUNCHEON
NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS
FASHION FOR RELIEF
WOMEN IN THE WORLD SUMMIT
NFL FASHION EVENT
TORTUGA MUSIC FESTIVAL
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
JEFFREY CARES EVENT SHOW
STAND UP FOR HEROES
POLO RALPH LAUREN SHOW
LED ZEPPELIN: CELEBRATION DAY
EXPRESS: ROCK THE SIDEWALK
AAFA AMERICAN IMAGE AWARDS 
BENEFIT 7-BAR FOUNDATION
BARCELONA BEACH FESTIVAL
AMERICAN IMAGE AWARDS
GUCCI SUNGLASS EVENT – SPAIN
VEUVE CLICQUOT POLO MATCH
STARS FROM TOMORROW
MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE
BILL BLASS CHARITY GALA
DILLARD’S KENTUCKY DERBY
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD EXHIBIT
UNICEF 70TH ANNIVERSARY GALA 

FASHION

SHOWS

KITH PARK
N. HOOLYWOOD
GIORGIO ARMANI
ZADIG & VOLTAIRE
MISHA COLLECTION
CREATURES OF COMFORT
PRABAL GURUNG
NOON BY NOOR
PRONOVIAS
BROOKS BROTHERS
PETER PILOTTO
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
RACHEL ZOE
MARCHESA
THE BLONDS
LVMH
ERIN FETHERSTON
STELLA MCCARTNEY
MONIQUE LHUILLIER
VERA WANG
MANGO X JCP LAUNCH SHOW
ZAC POSEN
RALPH LAUREN
CHARLOTTE RONSON
FNO VICTORIA’S SECRET FASHION SHOW
CELINE
JEREMY SCOTT
RODARTE
THAKOON

FREELANCE

COMPANIES

EVENTIQUE.
EYESIGHT GROUP
SOFIA CROKOS EVENTS
JENNIFER ZABINSKI EVENTS
BB’S BACKSTAGE
RALPH LAUREN
ELLIE AWARDS FOUNDATION
HETRICK-MARTIN INSTITUTE
NIKE
PRONOVIAS
FOUNDATION FOR AIDS
RACHEL ZOE 
BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION
MACYS
NEIMAN MARCUS
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
NEIMAN MARCUS
NINE WEST
SEVEN BAR FOUNDATION
TORY BURCH
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO
WISE & CO.
A CURRENT AFFAIR
VEUVE CLICQUOT
MAKE-A-WISH
TICKETMASTER
MERCEDES BENZ
GUCCI
EXPRESS
BACARDI

PRODUCTION

EVENTS

HUMANE SOCIETY GALA
CCBF GALA
EMERY AWARDS
NY FASHION WEEK
AMFAR GALA
BERGDORF GOODMAN
WOMEN OF DISTINCTION
NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS
FASHION FOR RELIEF
WOMEN IN THE WORLD SUMMIT
NFL FASHION EVENT
TORTUGA MUSIC FESTIVAL
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
JEFFREY CARES EVENT SHOW
STAND UP FOR HEROES
POLO RALPH LAUREN SHOW
LED ZEPPELIN: CELEBRATION DAY
EXPRESS: ROCK THE SIDEWALK
AAFA AMERICAN IMAGE AWARDS
BENEFIT 7 BAR FOUNDATION
BARCELONA BEACH FESTIVAL
AMERICAN IMAGE AWARDS
GUCCI SUNGLASS EVENT – SPAIN
VEUVE CLICQUOT POLO MATCH
STARS FROM TOMORROW
MACY’S THANKSGIVING PARADE
BILL BLASS CHARITY GALA
DILLARDS KENTUCKY DERBY
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD EXHIBIT
UNICEF 70TH ANNIVERSARY GALA

FASHION

SHOWS

KITH PARK
N. HOOLYWOOD
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD
GIORGIO ARMANI
ZADIG & VOLTAIRE
MISHA COLLECTION
CREATURES OF COMFORT
PRABAL GURUNG
FNO VICTORIA’S SECRET FASHION SHOW
NOON BY NOOR
PRONOVIAS
BROOKS BROTHERS
PETER PILOTTO
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
RACHEL ZOE
CELINE
MARCHESA
CHARLOTTE RONSON
THE BLONDS
ERIN FETHERSTON
STELLA MCCARTNEY
MONIQUE LHUILLIER
VERA WANG
MANGO X JCP LAUNCH SHOW
ZAC POSEN
LVMH
RALPH LAUREN
JEREMY SCOTT
RODARTE
THAKOON

I set out to give the world of freelancing a chance next.

Being a freelancer has its pros and cons. After doing it full-time for the last 3 years, these are some of the most important lessons I have learned:

   →  Unlike corporate jobs, you are NEVER guaranteed a steady paycheck. Budgeting is crucial.

   →  You are also never guaranteed work which means, you gotta HUSTLE!

   →  This translates to: you have to be your own boss, your own publicist, your own recruiter and your own cheerleader. ALL. IN. ONE.

Freelancing full-time is not easy, but it's not impossible.

fashion books coffee fashion eyeglasses

AFTER NEARLY 20 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY,

MY MISSION IS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR CAREER GOALS
FASTER AND WITH LESS OF THE HARDSHIPS I HAD. 

Ready to start your dream career? Learn more below!

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FOR A CAREER IN FASHION

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A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT I LOVE TO DO

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A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT I LOVE TO DO

Hi, I'm Maria !

A New Jersey native with over 15 years experience within multiple facets of the fashion industry. I help people understand the business of fashion so they can create their dream career within the industry. Are you ready to make your dreams a reality? Let me help YOU.

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