Runway shows are often the main spotlight during fashion week, but showrooms are just as important. It allows the creative director and the brand to see what works well on the market and what needs to be axed out of the collection.

For eight days, I’ve had the privilege to work alongside the Joseph sales team as their showroom assistant at their Parisian production headquarters located in the 10th arrondissement. As part of our morning routine, we had to ensure that the showroom was always put together. Every piece of clothing had to be placed in its corresponding rack with each hanger facing a particular direction – close attention had to be paid to details such as no button nor zipper could be left undone. It was essential for everyone to be on their toes as often as possible to maintain the high standards the showroom entails.

Almost every hour a new set of buyers would come in to see the collection first hand and curate key pieces for their respective markets – whether it be for an in-store collection or for an e-commerce media platform. The models must then wear the outfits selected by each buyer putting an impromptu fashion show with just three models instead of a full casting, imagine all the chaos behind the scenes. But working backstage was my personal favorite. I got to play dress up with real-life dolls who became my friends along the way. To pass the time and keep our sanity, we had our own little games and endless stories to tell. Despite the long hours and endless sprints across the room, the experience enlightened my knowledge of the fashion industry and what goes on after the curtain calls.


Ayumi Rollan
Photos credit: Ayumi Rollan

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