When my boss asked me to nip across the water with some paperwork, I swapped my heels for ballet flats in anticipation of the trek down to the station for the cross-river train. Little did I know I would end up in Times Square not Trafalgar Square! Last month I jetted out to New York to meet the NY team, and to take part in a spot of shopping of course!
Bryan (My boss) had arranged for me to meet the NY team later in the week to collect some design work, so my focus initially was being a tourist. With my ipod blaring out Odyssey’s hit ‘Native New Yorker’ I took in the sights and sounds of Manhattan’s most famous landmarks. What struck me after walking 52 blocks in one afternoon was the amount of people and businesses crammed into such a small space…..And why the metro is a god send when you only pack heels!
I studied HND Fashion at college and have been an avid collector of British Vogue for many years, so predictably my favourite part of Manhattan is the Garment District situated Mid-Town. Seeing the giant button and needle statue on Fashion Ave and 7TH, transported me back to being 17 and dreaming I could be the next Stella McCartney or Amanda Wakeley. There is a wealth of creativity just oozing out of the Manhattan streets and avenues, everywhere you look there are outlets whether it be fabric warehouses, fashion houses, PR & Media companies and design agencies. Whilst the opportunities are plentiful, the competition for that ‘chance of a lifetime’ role is seriously fierce.
Once I had exhausted my budget on 5th Avenue and the Liberty Island Gift store (tacky stationery for colleagues back in Blightly) I hailed a cab and headed over to meet the guys at the NY branch of our company. For a media company based in a world advertising hotspot, they sure know how to rock the homely look. When I opened the heavy steel office door I was pleasantly surprised to find a cosy office, bookshelves fit to burst with design journals and photographs of this amazing city. The team were delighted, if not a bit puzzled with their bright yellow Superlambanana figurine, a gift from my fair city. Luckily I pre-empted this response and also presented the accompanying book all about our four-legged friend. Clearly they think I’m mad.
With design work in hand I headed back to my hotel to pack up and fly back to reality. I really fell in love with New York, the people, the food and sights and sounds. But in all honesty I fell for the belief that my creative dreams could once again, come true, and if you can make it there… well you know the rest.