She's got style
By Frenche Brewer, 803-777-3691
Sophie Kerr-Dineen has that most enviable of combinations — a brain for business and an eye for fashion. So look out world, you’ll be hearing that name again.
Admittedly obsessed as much with calculus as she is with the style.com fashion website, Kerr-Dineen would not deny the left and right sides of her brain, so in her sophomore year at USC she changed her major from economics to the business of fashion in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.
“I'm a really smart girl and a really big thinker, so both of those things paired nicely with being a closet math nerd and I really thought economics was the course of study that I wanted to take. I was also really focused on wanting to be impressive, wanting people to know that I'm intelligent. I realized quite quickly that somebody could talk to me for 10 minutes to figure out I'm a clever girl and that I didn't need my major to prove that,” Kerr-Dineen says.
“Ahhh … this summer at Dolce was so incredible. I was interning in the VIP public relations department which handles celebrity relations with the company.
That self-assured attitude will carry Kerr-Dineen a long way in the dog-eat-dog-world of New York City fashion, and she proved her mettle this past summer when she landed an internship in the Big Apple with the Dolce&Gabbana Corp.
“Everyone always assumes I ‘knew someone’ that got me my internships, but I applied to about 40 to 50 designers and magazines from January to April before getting my internship at Dolce,” Kerr-Dineen says.
It’s all a part of a master plan. Kerr-Dineen says she’s the only 21-year-old she knows with a 30-year career plan. It includes opening her own store, selling beautiful clothing and designing her own capsule collections. The internship with Dolce&Gabbana was just the start.
“Ahhh … this summer at Dolce was so incredible. I was interning in the VIP public relations department which handles celebrity relations with the company,” Kerr-Dineen says.
It may not sound very challenging, but in the world of fashion, you don’t want to be responsible for a client’s fashion misstep.
“Let's say Justin Timberlake is going to a red carpet premiere and he needs something to wear. His stylist will contact my boss to ask for options for him, and my boss will ask me to go into our archive closet (years and years and years of Dolce&Gabbana collections) to seek out something for Justin,” Kerr-Dineen says.
“It was very important to have an eye for what the talent likes — what they usually wear, what's appropriate for this event,” Kerr-Dineen says. “If they wear what you send, pictures are snapped, the photographers are asking what he's wearing and he's (hopefully) telling them Dolce. That then gets on E! News, in People magazine, on best dressed lists, on websites, on Vogue.com, which generates a ton of press for the company.”
She hit a homerun for the company when a very high profile client needed a dress for an awards show.
“My boss left it up to me to send options to Selena Gomez for her to wear to the ESPY Awards. She had a number of designers wanting to dress her, so I really had to have an eye and get her some great options so that she chose to wear D&G. My boss was approving the options and didn't want me to send a particular dress, but I was rather adamant about including it as I had a good feeling Selena would pick it. Turned on the ESPY's that night and there she was in my dress! Dressing Selena for that event was definitely the most exciting part of the summer as I felt I truly did it on my own — such a rewarding experience!”
Kerr-Dineen has returned to campus for her final year, and she will get her fashion fix by entering the Columbia Runaway Runway competition and contributing to a college style blog.
Sallie Boggs, Fashion Board adviser, describes Kerr-Dineen as a rare find and welcomes her back for her senior year.
“I can count on one hand the students I have taught in 30 years who are absolutely the best — who have the internal motivation to achieve their professional goals and who are always willing to go above and beyond what is required. That is Sophie. Plus, she is such a stylish, personable student and a great role model for other students and members of Fashion Board,” Boggs says.
Remember the name — Sophie Kerr-Dineen — you’ll be hearing it again.
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