The Maneater

Textile and apparel management student reflects on New York Fashion Week

Mattix entered and won an essay competition sponsored by the department of textile and apparel management, MU Licensing & Trademarks and the Collegiate Licensing Company for a trip to Fashion Week on Sept. 8-10.

Mackenzie Mattix

Senior Mackenzie Mattix won an essay contest that enabled her to take an all-expenses paid trip to attend New York Fashion Week.

Mattix said her essay was approximately two pages and answered the question of what a trip to NYFW would mean to her and her future career goals.

“I ripped my heart out and put it on a piece of paper,” Mattix said. “I told the story of how I saw my first fashion show and I never thought that I would be able to go. I [felt] like I would represent the university well and the [textile and apparel management] department well.”

This is the first year the essay competition has been offered. It was hosted by the department of textile and apparel management, MU Licensing & Trademarks and the Collegiate Licensing Company. The CLC and IMG Fashion worked together to put together this trip to New York from Sept. 8-10.

Jaime Mestres, senior academic advisor for the TAM department, said she told Mattix to be genuine during the application process for.

“You just need to be yourself,” Mestres said. “It doesn’t matter what you put on that paper; if that is not truly who you are and what you believe and why you want to go, you are not going to get selected.”

Mattix is majoring in textile and apparel management for international apparel marketing and merchandizing. Mattix had been to New York before as a teenager and then for a 10-week internship over the past summer. She said she loved New York and plans to return after graduation.

“That is where all the models live; that's where all the designers are,” Mattix said. “That's where all the transactions happen. Everything is so centralized in New York. If I want to dive head-first into the fashion industry; why would I start anywhere else?”

During the trip, Mattix and 11 other students from across the United States were given VIP treatment, including a backstage tour, VIP seating for a runway show and access to an exclusive lounge area. Participants also got to meet with an industry panel of WME and IMG Fashion executives. Mattix said she got to meet with Andrew Serrano, vice president of global events for IMG Fashion.

Mattix said one of the lessons she learned from the executive panel was that professionals must be personable to get far in any career.

“You just have to be nice and be an easy person to work with,” Mattix said. “Everyone expects you to show up, do your work, work hard and be excellent at it.”

New York Fashion Week allows for fashion writers and influencers to gather in one place and see new looks by designers. Mattix said her opportunity to watch a runway show is not something most people are able to do.

“You cannot buy a ticket to New York Fashion Week,” Mattix said. “You have to be personally invited. All the people that were there were bloggers and influencers and buyers. They were people that had real jobs and influence.”

Mattix and the other students on the trip also had the opportunity to watch a Taoray Wang runway show. She said she was in awe by the fashion and also aware of how much this opportunity meant to her.

“It was an absolutely surreal experience because I remember watching it in my bedroom and then I was actually there experiencing it,” Mattix said. “There were times when the models walked around the corners and I actually gasped out loud because I was blown away.”

A month after her trip to New York, Mattix said she is still at a loss for words about her experience. She said New York Fashion Week inspired her to work hard and hopefully make it back to the Big Apple someday.

“The biggest impact it has had on me is my passion,” Mattix said. “Getting to New York and working in the fashion industry consumes my every thought. I want to be [in New York] more than anything.”

Edited by Olivia Garrett | ogarrett@themaneater.com

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