Walking down Orchard Road is like stepping into a new world where everything is worth more than a student’s yearly rent. On my first day in Singapore, I saw more designer stores than I had ever seen in my life. As you would expect from luxury fashion brand, Kwang Sia, the offices were in prime location, looking out onto Chanel, (obviously.)
We are living with the DHL interns in a cute 18th floor apartment. Getting ready for our first day at work involved lots of nerves, excitement and fashion decisions! When we arrived at our very glam offices, (think vogue) we were shown to our departments, Doris, the Boston student was assigned marketing, and I was assigned merchandising.
Kwang Sia is basically the company that franchises out luxury brands in Asia, so they are in control of the Versace, Jimmy Choo, Diesel, Max Mara, Hugo Boss and other designer brands in Asia. This is because it can be a big risk for Luxury brands to put stores in Asia, without deep knowledge of the market and connections.
Parts of being an intern feel very exciting and glamourous. There is a ‘pressroom’ full of Jimmy Choos, Max Mara, Versace and designer pieces, you
enter the office through scanning your finger print, and the company owners are rocking bold, colourful designer suits at all times.
In my first week I have been putting together the sales information for the bosses to view, a long and repetitive task. Doris has been busy too, putting together the press kits, and now describes herself as a ‘one-woman assembly line,’ she is also learning about loaning out items to stylists, and working on ‘EDM.’
One thing that I have struggled with is getting used to the very quiet Asian office culture, although everyone is lovely and welcoming. I was lucky enough to sit in on a meeting about implementing a new merchandising software into the company, and noticed a much quieter atmosphere compared to the Western business is conducted. Another thing that I have noticed which is different is that the average age is a lot older than it would be in England, and most workers have worked at the company for most of their lives. This is due to the more collectivist culture which values loyalty in workers and bosses.
Outside of work we are all living the expat dream, visiting the rooftop bars, shopping areas, and chilling in our very own roof top pool!! (Perks of the internship for sure!) Also hoping that the company are going to want to give me some Versace freebies but let’s not hold our breath…
GEO Kwang Sia Interns