HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 19, 2016 – High Point University junior Oliver Portmann has his sight set on establishing and running his own fashion label. This summer, he discovered what it takes to do just that and stay at the front of such a competitive industry as he interned at Tommy Hilfiger headquarters in New York City.
Portmann, a native of Holmdel, New Jersey, used the skills he’s learned as a business administration major at HPU to make meaningful contributions to the men’s merchandising team. He also worked with some of the best in the business, including meeting with CEO Gary Sheinbaum and Tommy Hilfiger himself.
“Being a part of an established global fashion brand’s team, I am learning the ins and outs of the business,” says Portmann. “Experiencing everything from merchandising to design to production, I am gaining the understanding of what it will require to run and maintain a successful fashion label.”
The opportunities of his internship showed Portmann the value of being well rounded in the fashion industry, as he teamed up with many departments, such as planning and allocation, design, brand merchandising and production. He presented on the 2017 summer collection at executive meetings and wrote a piece on the men’s 2016 fall and holiday collection for the Tommy Hilfiger catalog book distributed to stores. Through these tasks, he realized how crucial innovation and artistic vision is to the industry. He also attended creative brief meetings that cast future design visions, and worked with the brand merchandising team to create a presentation for a new high-end department store client.
Portmann even volunteered at a local school regularly served by employees of the company.
“I have had a wonderful experience working here at Tommy Hilfiger,” Portmann says. “It is such a fun and inspiring environment. I am working on a great team and truly enjoy what I am doing.”
Portmann is grateful for the invaluable experience and thanks HPU for preparing him to seek out such an opportunity.
“High Point University helped me prepare for this internship by assisting me with my resume and my interviews,” Portmann says. “Career Services helped me plan for my interviews, providing an idea about what type of questions would be asked and how to conduct myself.”