Fashion Design major Mandy McGarrigle ‘19 knew she wanted to intern with a woman designer, and she was also looking to work with something other than clothing. She got both through two internships this past summer with two Moore alumni.
She found the alums, Victoria Wright ’12 and Alana Oates ’10, at the Locks Career CenterInternship Fair held last spring at Moore.
“I definitely wanted to pick Victoria because she is a female designer and she does ready-to-wear, which I’m interested in,” said McGarrigle, one of five recipients of the 2018 Penny Fox Internship Fellowship. “Then I also picked up Alana with Llani shoes just to get into a different field.”
McGarrigle appreciated the real-world business experience she received while working at Victoria Wright Designs in Norristown.
“We went to New York to a fabric expo to swatch fabric and she actually picked up this side job and we are designing uniforms for a Philadelphia grocery store,” she said. “You don’t want to use a roll of fabric that costs $50 a yard. That’s not practical when you just need an everyday shirt.”
She also learned pattern drafting, draping, how to make technical drawings of garments called ‘flats,’ and how to create a tech pack, which is a computer file containing all of the information about a garment, such as measurements and fabric type.
“All of my interns have always been from Moore,” Wright said. “I understand what they should know and what kind of classes they’ve probably had, so I help fill in the gaps.”
At Llani in Philadelphia, McGarrigle organized inventory, packed and shipped shoes, and put her fashion design skills to use.
“Mandy had creative responsibilities, such as designing details for our shoes and producing photoshoots,” said Oates, who has kept McGarrigle on board for the school year to help in the office one day a week.
“She also works many events for us where she sells our collection face to face,” Oates said. “This girl can sell!”
The Penny Fox Internship Fellowship helped McGarrigle achieve her goal of working with two Moore alumni professionals.
"(The fellowship) has allowed me to develop a professional wardrobe, work hands-on with the correct software programs, and provided me with funds to commute to my internships," she said.
She would like to own her own business one day, and it was important for her to spend her internships at women-owned businesses.
“We need more women to come together to produce stuff,” she said. "I believe the future is female."
McGarrigle knew immediately that Moore, the only all-women visual arts college in the country for undergraduates, was the place for her.
“When I first walked in, I was with my mom, and I was like, ‘Mom, this is it,’” she said. “I just felt a good connection, a good environment that I felt comfortable in.”
She praises her teachers at Moore for pushing her to do her best.
“I can see myself in this career for the rest of my life,” McGarrigle said.