Journal Entry One
My internship is at the clothing manufacturer Rocawear. Their office is located at 530 7th Ave between 38th & 39th street. The company was founded in 1999 by Dame Dash and Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter. Their brand is classified as urban fashion.The company is owned by Iconix Brand Group. Iconix is a brand management company that licenses brands to retailers and manufacturers primarily in the apparel, footwear, and apparel accessory industries. Its brands are available in such stores as Kohl’s, Macy’s, & JC Penny’s. Iconix own brands such as Rocawear, London Fog, Danskin, Mossimo, Ecko, Umbro, and many more.
According to sources, In March 2007, Jay-Z sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group for $204 million. Jay-Z will retain his stake in the company and will continue to oversee the marketing, licensing, and product development.
Journal Entry Two
I found out about this position through a friend who is a DJ at SiriusXM Internet Radio. One day while visiting the Rocawear office, she showed the creative director an illustration I designed. The creative director, Just C, loved my work and invited me to freelance on a project for the brand. After a few weeks of emailing each other, we finally met. I was invited to the office and was told about a new line called Blak that was due to launch in Fall 2014. I was asked to create four designs that would be used on t-shirts.
Since I needed credit for school, I asked Just C could I come in as an intern. He laughed at first, and told me ‘That I was a little too qualified to be an intern’. He told me to come in to the office and he would find ways for me to help out.
Journal Entry Three
The culture at the Rocawear office is very relaxed. The dress code is casual. Employees wear whatever they feel comfortable in. The current location of the office is smaller than their previous one. They’ve been here since Mar/Apr 2014. Considering how big this brand is, the office and staff is small. There is a main showcase room, an office space, and a storage room with sample clothing. There is also a meeting room, but due to lack of space, it’s been converted to the workspace for the art director, myself, and another designer.
The office is located on the 11th floor of a building that houses many other brands. The typical workday varies per employee and their workload. Most of the employees come in between 8:30am-11am. I usually get in the office between 9:30-10:30. I work primarily with the art director and three other graphic designers. I pull references, suggest executions, as well as assist with layouts. As far as lunchtime, the employees come and go as they please. As long as the work gets done, there isn’t much pressure from the powers that be. I’m happy that I get to work alongside a great graphic design team.
Rocawear & Iconix staff L-R: Danielle(sales), Melissa(sales, office manager), Ron(graphic designer), Kisha(graphic designer), a model, Dennis(graphic designer), Aleesha(PR/social media manager), Just C(the man in charge aka the art director), Andre.
Journal Entry Four
What I’ve learned most from interning at Rocawear, is the creative process that goes into creating a collection of clothing. What I enjoy most is being involved in the creative process. Each design has to be different enough so that the buyers of department stores will want to purchase them. I understand why brands recycle ideas from their previous collections. I’m learning how some designs may not work out on different fabric types.
Even though I do not design anything as an intern, I have assisted in taking photographs for social media content. Sometimes I have to help out with sorting clothing samples. Besides that, I mainly work on my personal work or assist the other graphic designers on the team. As a freelancer, I created four designs for the brand. Due to potential legal issues, the four designs were reduced to two. I was asked to create two replacement designs, but due to so much school work, I haven’t had time to execute them.
Journal Entry Five
Since being at Rocawear, I have collaborated as a freelancer and as an intern. As a freelancer, I was given a lot of flexibility with my creative direction. Originally, the designs I created were supposed to be apart of the Blak collection. Blak is a new line Rocawear launched in November 2014. It’s primarily targeted at millennials. After observation, the creative director decided that my designs worked better for the Rocawear Classic line. Rocawear Classic isn’t the coolest line, because the look is very dated. Even though Rocawear Classic wouldn’t be my first brand choice, the line does have a some select items that I could see myself wearing. The Classic line generates a lot of revenue from stores like Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory, and Jimmy Jazz.
Line sheets featuring my designs. The top pic is the Blak collection that they were originally apart of. The bottom pic is the current collection that the design are apart of.
Two designs that I illustrated for the brand.
Two designs that got scrapped due to potential legal issues. These designs are based off of Jay-Z’s lyrics. Apparently, the owner of Iconix brand, Neil Cole, and Jay-Z had some sort of dispute. So to avoid any future problems, these designs won’t be used.
I’m the model on this t-shirt. The original design for this tee used a stock photo of a figure in a similar pose. Unfortunately, the original design didn’t please the art director. The designer decided to snap a shot of me with his phone, and the rest is history.
Me wearing a shirt that from the Blak collection that I absolutely HATE. I always get laughs in the office when I put it on.
Journal Entry Six
Journal Entry Seven
What I appreciated most about this opportunity, is the chance to work alongside a great crew. My art director is a very hard working and knowledgable individual. He is respected amongst the staff & he treats everyone with respect. I admire his leadership qualities. Even though we’re the same age, he is definitely someone I could call upon for advice.
During my time at Rocawear, I did not attend any events. Mainly because, I was juggling a heavy workload. Most of the work related events were at night. I did meet people that would come by the office. From various designers, models, photographers, and even public speakers. What I enjoyed most, is hearing everyones story and how it was used to help the brand.
Here are some pics I took when Rocawear had a five minute slot on a screen in Time Square. Brooklyn rapper Fabolous, is the brand ambassador for the Blak line. For his birthday, on November 18, Rocawear decided to run a commercial of the brand to Times Square pedestrians. There was a party for him later that night, but I did not attend it.