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Saint Mary’s student enjoys New York fashion internship

Bridget Feeney | Thursday, April 19, 2012

For some, living in New York City and working in the fashion industry is an unattainable dream. For Saint Mary’s senior Brenna Lasky, that dream has become a reality.

Lasky has spent this semester interning in New York City for Rent the Runway, a company that allows customers to borrow designer dresses and accessories at a reasonable price.

Lasky said Rent the Runway is the “Netflix of fashion” because it is convenient, affordable and easy.

“It allows you the opportunity to wear amazing designer dresses and jewelry for only a fraction of the cost [90 percent off the retail price],” she said. “It’s perfect for those times that you want something really special, or even just for the weekend, because honestly who wants to wear the same thing twice?”

In addition to offering dresses for rental, Lasky said Rent the Runway sends customers an extra dress in a larger size as a backup and offers insurance for spills, snags and tears so customers are not responsible for the entire price of the dress if an accident happens.

“It’s really just the whole package and any fashion lover’s dream,” she said.

Lasky said Rent the Runway is more than just a store that provides customers with designer dresses. She said the company provides a unique way for college students to participate in exciting entrepreneurial opportunities.

“As cheesy as this may sound, it’s what’s becoming a culture,” Lasky said. “With over 150 major schools across the country now participating, it’s a solid network of entrepreneurial, fashion forward college girls who are working together to promote this amazing brand, and quite frankly, what many believe is the future of e-commerce.”

Last semester, Lasky said her internship as a runway rep at Rent the Runway allowed her to relate her professional responsibilities to Saint Mary’s.

She said it was a fun way to stay involved at the College while gaining valuable experience.

“As a Runway rep, your main job is to create and execute a comprehensive strategic marketing plan to drive Rent the Runway membership, customer acquisition and engagement on campus,” she said. “Runway reps aim to promote Rent the Runway in the style of their school, while developing entrepreneurial, leadership and business management skills in marketing and fashion.”

Lasky said she took this semester off to participate in two internship opportunities. Currently, she is living in New York City serving as an intern with

Rent the Runway’s College Marketing team, which is responsible for managing over 150 schools around the country, and is also completing an internship at Condé Nast.

Though her entire time spent with Rent the Runway has been a beneficial and worthwhile experience, Lasky said moving to New York City to intern in the company headquarters and working with other people who share her passions have been the most exciting aspects of her internship.

“Honestly, it’s all been great, but my time spent here in New York working at their corporate

offices has definitely been a highlight,” she said. “The office is full of smart, energetic and passionate people who love fashion so it’s definitely a fun environment to be in and something I look forward to every day.”

Though Lasky said she has not had the opportunity to travel or meet designers, she has had her share of “cool opportunities.” Last month, Rent the Runway hosted their second annual Capstone weekend in New York City, which Lasky said was a great learning experience with fun events planned throughout the weekend.

“Tons of reps from all around the country flew in for [Capstone],” she said. “The weekend was full of designer speakers including Lilly Pulitzer, Halston Heritage and Lancome, so we were able to learn and take away a lot from that.”

Lasky said the weekend was not all business.

“Interviews for full-time and summer internship positions [with Rent the Runway] took place, as well as an exclusive designer sample sale where season-old dresses at all price points were sold for only $50 each, so that was really great,” she said. “I swear it was like that scene from ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ in there at one point.”

Despite the glittering gowns, bejeweled accessories and designer shoes, Lasky said her job posed some challenges. On top of her Rent the Runway responsibilities, Lasky said she also had to balance her schoolwork with her internship responsibilities.

“Like any extracurricular, I’d say just juggling my time and trying to fit it in with school [was a challenge],” she said. “In my case, Rent the Runway was usually the one that won out though!”

Lasky said she will continue her work with Rent the Runway as a merchandising intern this summer and is in the process of recruiting interested students for next the 2012-2013 Rent the Runway team.