Sarah Walkington has always had an interest in fashion. Now, with a $5,000 scholarship under her belt, she is headed to New York City to intern with an American retailer where she will get hands-on experience in combining fashion sense with business acumen.
Walkington is in the final year of the Fashion Management program at George Brown College. She, along with four other young women in the program, recently took part in the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund competition, a contest sponsored by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). The scholarship is usually bestowed to students in fashion management programs in the U.S., but because the George Brown program is the only Canadian one endorsed by the AAFA, the students were allowed to compete. They each won $5,000 plus an invitation to attend a gala awards dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. A two-month internship with a top American apparel company completes the prize.
“In June I will be moving to New York to complete my internship with Khan Lucas in their planning department,” said Walkington.
The former Beacher (she recently moved to the Annex) graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies, but her interest in fashion led her to consider pursuing a career in that field, on the business side of things. She took a year off after graduating from Western before enrolling at George Brown.
“I have always been interested in trend forecasting and the fashion cycle,” she said. “It’s amazing how far in advance choices are made before the garments are produced for retail consumption.”
Walkington likes buying and planning, areas on which she hopes to focus when she joins Khan Lucas.
“I would love to be a jewelry or accessories buyer,” she said. “What I have found from my studies is that buying, planning and product development have become interrelated career paths. Since buyers and planners have such a great understanding of their target market and the products needed, they can have a powerful influence on design and assortment plans.”
Walkington is looking forward to her New York adventure and whatever lies ahead.
“Ideally I would like to work in Toronto but I wouldn’t mind moving around wherever my career takes me,” she said.