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The Preppy New York

Yangnan Liu’12 – Being the hub of the fashion industry, New York is constantly changing its styles.  Chic New Yorkers represent the latest trends in fashion districts like SoHo and Fifth Ave. No one (at least in Manhattan) puts on sweatpants and a big college logo hoddie to go out. Most people are seriously well dressed and our convenient ‘Wabash casual dress code’ is certainly not acceptable in these trendy areas.  Thus, this leaves me another opportunity to discover the fashion attitude of New York City.

I am not a fashion expert and working in an advertising agency does not require me to dress creatively every day either.  For most of the time, I just put a clean and nicely pressed shirt for the top and wear my dark jeans or khaki pants with my favorite sneakers (yes, I am allowed to wear sneakers in the office and creative people can even put on their colorful flip-flops in the summer time).  My outfit clearly labels me ‘the College Intern’ and it becomes almost natural for my new colleagues to start a conversation with me by asking which school I go to. 

I noticed several little things that ad men are crazy about. Almost every male creative guy, ranging from graphic designer to chief creative officer, carries a Jack Spade messenger bag. This simply designed, mid-sized accessory usually signals which department the owner belongs to and further proves that even the most creative thinkers are sometimes keeping a simple mind. On another hand, Brand Planners always favor The North Face pack bag. Strategic planners are more concerned about the functionality and durability of a bag thus sports/school bags that include a lap-top layer and are able to handle heavy weight become very popular. (Well, their choice of the brand The North Face might also be due to the client-agency relationship of DDB Worldwide Global Network).

The scene of ad men dressing in suit and tie in the sixties show MAD MEN is no longer existing on Madison Avenue. Every day is ‘casual Friday’ here at DDB and sometimes even the CEO wears jeans to work.  I really enjoy the laid back working environment here but this does not mean people do not get busy. I would be lucky to get off at 5pm during the week and sometimes I have to work with other planners till 8pm (when compared with banking interns, I feel much better though).

It’s almost unreal that this semester will come to an end in less than a month. I feel like I have not seen the spring of New York yet! Hope the weather is going to constantly get nicer so that I could enjoy the city a little bit more during my last few weeks.

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