For Jade Ammeen, BFA Communications Design ‘24, visiting New York’s Garment District used to mean buying fabric for class, quick pit stops that failed to reveal the depth of the area’s vibrant commercial ecosystem.
Now she’s working within one of the buildings she used to pass, surrounded by skilled technicians and marketing professionals as part of an internship with Ameliora, a company that makes stylish workwear for women. The experience has shown her how the Garment District, historically renowned for its key role in fashion design and production, remains a vital hub for creativity and artisanship.
“Getting to see all the different sides of the business has been really informative for me in terms of thinking about what I would like to do in the future,” said Ammeen, who’s also minoring in Fashion and Sustainability Studies. “I can see how I could get in on the system side of [the fashion industry] to help make sure that everything is working in a sustainable, circular way.”
The internship is managed by the Pratt Center for Community Development’s Made in NYC initiative, with funding from the Garment District Alliance. Made in NYC provides marketing and networking support to more than 1,600 local manufacturers and the internship program was conceived to meet the particular creative needs of Garment District companies. The Made in NYC Learning Lab similarly taps Pratt’s creative community for skills-based workshops, one-on-one consultations, and creative marketing support, including photoshoots, free of charge to local businesses.
A total of eight students are participating in the part-time internship program, each hired by a different business, doing a combination of in-person and remote work.
“Some are very hands-on fashion internships, and others are more communication and social media based,” said Robin Mollicone, adjunct associate professor – CCE in the School of Design and the internship coordinator. “Students get more in-depth experience than the usual internship because they’re there for an extended period of time. They really dig into the projects they’re working on, get to know their teams, and gather great experiences to put on their resumes.”
“Most fashion internships are not paid,” she added. “And it can be challenging for fashion students who are required to do internships for credit to graduate to balance school and an internship and then also a job that pays. One of the highlights of this program is the students are being paid for their time.”
Ammeen has worked on a range of digital and in-person projects because of the hybrid nature of the Ameliora internship, which she began while living abroad. She’s been able to create and manage social media content, develop mood boards, illustrate various products, and oversee photo shoots. She’s also learned about different project management systems for brainstorming, organizing, and carrying out tasks.
“Having the opportunity to do creative direction for a photoshoot was fun,” she said. “I was kind of dipping my toes in the water of directing the model on what you should be doing and where to go and interacting with the space, which was definitely very new for me.”
“My boss has been very open to hearing what I have to say and want to do and working with that, which I think is really important in an internship,” she said. “You definitely get to be involved here and learn more about the inner workings of the brand.”
Sasha Sorokina, BFA in Communications Design (Graphic Design) ‘26, realized that they want to pursue a career as a creative director during their internship with Wing & Weft Gloves, a company that specializes in bespoke gloves.
“I have a lot of interests in different art mediums and I wouldn’t really want to be limited,” they said. “The only one that I didn’t have any experience with was photography, but I ended up being in charge of photoshoots, working with lighting, creating sets, getting props, just like organizing everything and having a system in place for how everything’s gonna get done.”
Sorokina has become a jack-of-all-trades for Wing & Weft Gloves, illustrating social media campaigns, creating banners and posters for events, and even redesigning the different tags that go on the brand’s gloves. They credit their creative freedom to CEO Katie Sue Nicklos.
“She makes sure that everybody always feels really comfortable and does what they came there to do,” Sorokina said. “And I think that if I was working for a larger company, I’m not sure I would be able to get as much attention and care.”
Wing & Weft Gloves was in high demand during New York Fashion Week this fall and Sorokina said they have been impressed with Nicklos’ emphasis on supporting local vendors.
“They source all their materials from the companies in the Garment District,” they said. “It’s a really close knit and strong community.”
Lucy Yu, BFA Fashion Design ‘25, has also seen how the Garment District remains a place of creative innovation and bustling activity during her time as a social media intern with New York Embroidery Studio, which provides embroidery, printing, novelty machines, laser, pleating, punch-on, finishings, and trims to fashion clients.
“On top of social media and website management, I also help customers manage their projects whenever they come in,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of big customers coming in because fashion week just ended—Tory Burch, Brandon Maxwell, and Oscar de la Renta.”
Yu said that she also attends events to capture content, writes blog posts, and helps with social media management. The fast-paced environment at first intimidated her, but her managers have been supportive and helpful.
“I’ve definitely learned better time management skills,” she said. “You have to be really careful with the projects and help customers pay attention to the time frame because everything is so important in this whole process and brands always want to get something as soon as possible.”
Yu has even gotten a chance to embroider garments during a pop-up event at Bloomingdale’s and hopes to incorporate embroidery in her final fashion project at Pratt. The internship, overall, has clarified her career goals. She loves working with people and her time at New York Embroidery Studio has helped her see a viable path forward in fashion on the public relations side.
“New York Embroidery Studio has so many connections in the industry,” she said. “I thought I knew before how there’s a lot of processes and it takes a lot of work for a piece to be done, but I didn’t realize just how much magic happens at New York Embroidery Studio.”
“That’s the thing that’s really amazing about the Garment District internships,” Mollicone said. “They’re working with so many specialized, skilled people and it’s great for the students to be exposed to businesses that they normally wouldn’t encounter. You know, when students go to the Garment District, they shop on street level, for the most part. And there are a lot of amazing things tucked away in buildings that they might never get to otherwise.”