Finding Funds in Fashion


Justin Park

Some NYU students elect to work in retail jobs, both for financial benefits and networking purposes.

Hanna McNeila, Contributing Writer

How are you supposed to live your best life in New York when everything you love drains your bank account? Instead of bagging textbooks in the bookstore or hoarding packages in the resource center, some students fashion their bank accounts through jobs in the retail space — opting to mix passion and profession.

“I worked on the weekends, where in contrast most college students would go clubbing on weekends. [Working] provides me with money and connections,” said Stern sophomore Miguel Huertas, who got more than he bargained for after taking a job as a creative director at Upton on Mulberry Street.

Though his weekends may not mirror those of his classmates, there are benefits that come with his job. For one, he’s inspired to try new styles because of the new, vibrant people he constantly meets. And most importantly: “Yes, I get discounted clothes.”

Shopping fashion retail opportunities came naturally to Huertas, who is a native New Yorker and previously held a marketing internship at a sneaker outlet: They New York.

“My upbringing in New York makes me enjoy fashion more because I hate looking like regular college students who just dress exactly like other people.”

Allie Prein, a Tisch senior and a self-proclaimed shopaholic, lives for her employee discount.

“I love clothes, that’s why I stick with retail,” Prein says. “Especially because I would actually make more money working on campus.”   

Prein admitted the job has challenges but has remained a stylist at Free People Move for over a year.

“The most challenging aspect is patience,” Prein says. “Customer service really can be frustrating as people aren’t always super kind or understanding, but I’ve made connections with a lot of girls from [Fashion Institute of Technology], LIM [College], Fordham [University] and even some NYU students I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

For those less interested in a future in fashion, jobs in retail can still be a beneficial opportunity. Steinhardt and Tisch junior Fiona Kelly loved her four months as a customer associate at Anthropologie, although she couldn’t care less about the world of fashion.

“I don’t think fashion is important,” Kelly says, and voices her qualms with the job. “Working at such a high-profile location with a lot of foot traffic can be quite stressful. Your coworkers become your rock.”

She chose retail because she loves being on her feet and meeting new people. “I also hate when I go into stores and the customer service is bad,” Kelly explained.

Whether or not you directly care about couture, there’s a place for you in retail — not to mention a killer employee discount.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 24 print edition. Email Hanna McNeila at [email protected]