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UofSC Fashion Merchandising student lands Hollywood internship

Don’t let Erin Chiet’s 4 ’11 frame fool you. Her passion for fashion is enormous.

“It’s a big part of who I am and it’s always been that way,” said Chiet, a senior studying retail and fashion merchandising at the University of South Carolina.

“Ever since I was little, whether it was my mom dressing me up in crazy outfits or my grandmother helping to teach me how to sew, fashion has always been a way for me to express myself,” said Chiet. “I definitely knew early on that I wanted to work in fashion. That’s what brought me to the University of Carolina.”

This past summer Chiet took her passion for fashion to the film industry, working on set as a wardrobe intern for the full-length feature film called “Better Living Through Chemistry” staring blockbuster actors Sam Rockwell, Judi Dench, Michelle Monaghan, Olivia Wilde and Ray Liotta.

The movie was filmed in Chiet’s home state of Maryland. But, as Chiet explains, there wasn’t much down time for anything but work.

“I came to work and that’s exactly what I got – a ton of work and a ton of great experience,” said Chiet. “I wanted an internship that would take my career to the next level.”

Chiet’s internship, which is a graduation requirement for the university’s Department of Retailing and Fashion Merchandising, crammed in over 300 hours of work in less than 30 days.

Said Chiet, “The fashion and film industries have this in common: neither takes a
minute off so you have to be prepared and well rested. Leave a lasting impression not just on the people you work for but everyone around you. You never know who could be you next stepping stone to helping you reach your dreams - professional or personal.”

As wardrobe intern, Chiet worked alongside the film’s head costume designers, as well as assisted staff in the props department.

“I did everything from sewing patches and unwrinkling outfits to handling wardrobe for more than 300 movie extras,” said Chiet. “I got to see behind the scenes of what it takes to actually design and put on a movie. I also got to build connections with people inside the fashion and film industry. This entire experience is something I’ll never forget.”

Chiet will graduate this May. While she’s not exactly sure what she’ll be doing or where she’ll be living, she is certain it’ll involve fashion. She’s interested in pursuing a career as a stylist or a trend forecaster for the fashion industry. And she hasn’t ruled out working in the film industry.

“While I have a lot of dreams, I don’t have my reality lined up just yet,” she said. “I don’t know where I’m going to end up after I graduate but I do know I need to get to where the fashion is happening. I need to be in a fashion-forward city, somewhere that inspires me.”

Chiet studied abroad last year at the London College of Fashion. She says the experience was totally inspiring. And, come this Spring, London could be calling again.

"Fashion was everywhere I looked in London. It was like the funkier the better. It was an incredible place to spend four months of my life and I could definitely see myself going back there after graduation. If notLondon, probably New York.

"There are so many possibilities one can take within the fashion industry. For me, as long as I am immersed in a creative environment,breathing fashion and inspired on a daily basis, I consider that a success."

Watch:
An HRSM video interview with Erin Chiet is available online here.

 

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