Photo above is generated by DALL-E: my take on the iconic opening credits for the series, where the friends are sitting on a orange couch in front of a fountain.
Context: For this week’s Mini Assignment, I was given the task to embody a personal cultural hero as a guest host for my website.
After the second season of the hit TV series Friends aired in 1995, there are two things people couldn’t stop talking about: 1. That the show was a must see series, and 2. The “Rachel” haircut. Rachel Green, was already popular with fans after the first season, but her influence skyrocketed as the second season premiered, and left hairdressers with millions of women across the world at their doorstep demanding “The Rachel.”
I began watching friends during the early months of 2020 when the pandemic was at its worst, and everybody was advised to stay at home. As I had nothing but time on my hands, I quickly came to love the show and especially Rachel’s character (and Joey too!). I saw a lot of myself in Rachel as I continued to watch more and more of the show, and this was one of the first times I felt connected to a character I was watching on the screen. I found her character development inspiring, and her stylish nature and career within the fashion industry was what sparked my interest in pursuing a similar career path and lifestyle myself. In short, I soon understood why people were so influenced by Rachel Green, so I invited her to be my guest of honor this week on The Fashion Daily.
Hi everyone! I’m Rachel Green, you may know me through some of my friends: Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler. This week I am excited to be here as the guest of honour for The Fashion Daily, and with that I thought I would share my journey on how I worked towards achieving my dream job as a fashion executive!
On September 22nd, 1994, I made a life changing decision and left my husband-to-be at the altar. Alone in New York, wandering aimlessly in my wedding dress in complete shock at what I had just done, I remembered my best friend from high school, Monica Geller, lived nearby in the city. I rushed to her building to find out that she wasn’t home, but the maintenance man said that she would most likely be at the Coffee shop downstairs named, “Central Perk.” Sure enough there she was. After some much needed explaining of what I was doing there and why I was in a wedding dress, my life changed forever. It was that day that Monica introduced me to the friends that are now my family, and when I was finally able to take control of my own life.
The first thing my friends made me do (and that I had to do), was get a job. The idea of it sounded awful. Thanks to my Dad I had never had to work a day in my life, but in order to gain some independence I cut up my credit cards that he provided. I searched and handed out my blank resumes all across town only to be laughed at a few times and turned away, before I landed a position as a waitress at the coffeehouse right before my eyes, Central Perk.
After working there for almost two years, I was ready to move on and needed to do so. I had always had an eye for fashion and creating a stylish, well put together appearance for myself, so I thought that if I could find a job that will fulfill and utilize those characteristics, it would be the perfect next step. With the determination to do so, I searched for a new position and landed a job at Fortunata Fashions as a personal assistant. I was thrilled! When I went in for my first day however, the excitement quickly faded as I realized that I was only seen as the girl in charge of getting everyone’s coffee. None of my talents and opinions that I had to offer meant anything, and I felt as if I had maybe even taken a step backwards.
One day however, I was visiting Monica at work and complaining about the situation at my new job when a customer interrupted our conversation and informed me that he works for Bloomingdales and that they had a job opening. Mark, his name was. Soon enough, one thing led to another and I was at the Bloomingdale’s head office about to go for an interview… and I got the job! I was so excited and proud of myself. I was going to be an assistant buyer…I couldn’t believe it! After finding my way in my new position, for once I was doing something in my life that I enjoyed, and that I was doing for myself. At this point I knew I had made the right decision to pursue a career in fashion.
After a few years at Bloomingdales, I took an interview at Ralph Lauren where I got the job as a Buyer. It felt surreal that I was working for a company that I had always admired. In this position I was able to help put together seasonal catalogs, have a say in certain styles and themes we wanted to go ahead with, and was a leader within my field. I even worked my way up to becoming an executive, which was a rewarding but demanding position.
Eventually however, after getting fired from Ralph Lauren because my boss witnessed me take an interview with Gucci, I was out of a job again for the first time in years. That’s when Mark once again came out of nowhere and saved the day. He offered me a job at Louis Vuitton in Paris. An executive fashion position in Paris. I felt like I was dreaming. After a lot of deciding, and some bittersweet goodbyes, I was ready to accept the opportunity and take the job. I almost went through with it, and a part of me wishes that I had and wonders where I would be today if I went, but my heart belonged in New York with my Ross and our family, and my friends. As much as I wanted to take this opportunity, I couldn’t leave my life behind. And hey, in the end it all turned out better than I could have ever hoped for.
So, as you can see, working within the fashion industry is not easy. At times you will feel small, and unwanted, and you will have to rely on your end goals as a source of motivation to persevere through the rough patches; because once you find your way it will all be worth it. If there’s any advice I could give, it would be that it is never too late to go for something that you’ve always wanted to do. I started working for the first time in my mid twenties with no experience and direction in life, and ended up with the career of my dreams all because I didn’t give up on myself and was willing to put myself out there.
I am delighted and touched that my journey is seen as an inspiration and source of encouragement for Megan to pursue a job in fashion, and I’m sure she will be able to tell her own inspiring story to others one day too. I look forward to hearing all about it.