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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Promote From Within

Design students line up to intern at Nicole Miller because it is an exciting place to learn how the fashion industry really works.

Key Question:


Use an intern program to find young, fresh, brilliant talent.

Q: Why is the intern program good for Nicole Miller?

It provides a fresh flow of talent the company does not have to pay for in hard dollars. Frankly, the stars are perfectly aligned for this to work.

First, one of the most famous designs schools is just a block away from Nicole Miller headquarters.

Second, Nicole herself attended the Rhode Island School of Design which wants to send her interns.

Third, The Nicole Miller brand is now respected and young women want to wear the clothes.

And fourth, there are more design students who need and want an internship program than Nicole Miller can accommodate. No wonder it this works and no wonder Nicole Miller doesn't have to pay the interns!

You can design an intern program that works for you. Many companies pay interns in cold hard cash while other programs award academic credits for the work done. In some industries there is no precedent for interns but that doesn't mean you can't make it happen.

Think about it

Have you tried an intern program? Why not? What school around you might be open to providing interns

Clip from: Nicole Miller - Fashion & Quality

Nicole Miller on her visit to her boutique in La Jolla.

New York, NY: In this episode we go to the heart of the fashion industry and behind the scenes of Nicole Miller, a fashion house on Seventh Avenue to meet the founders, Nicole Miller and Bud Konheim.  In an industry where even top designers have taken production overseas, Nicole Miller pieces all proudly wear the label, "Made in New York."

It's a stroke of genius for these times, but the reasons go far beyond patriotism. For Nicole Miller, it's all rooted in the fabric of the American entrepreneurial dream: pride of idea, of process, and of execution.  They earnestly try to make women happy and  they are key advocates for causes important to women.

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Nicole Miller Fashions

Nicole Miller, Founder

525 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Visit our web site:

Office: 2127199200

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1982

Promote From Within

HATTIE: Fashion. It's tough. Dog eat dog. Squeezing profits from seams. The business is unrelenting and unforgiving, but somehow Bud and Nicole have built a place where people want to work.
NICOLE: Everybody I have here now, started as an intern. I have taken a lot of people from Rhode Island School of Design, which was where I went. I have two girls from there. I have another girl from Parsons. I have so many interns passing through here that if somebody I think is really good – then maybe when they get out school, I hire them.

NICOLE: let's take that one.

HATTIE: So when you see her sketches, you probably know what she is thinking.

TATY: Yes, I am supposed to.

HATTIE: Do you have fun doing this – is this fun for you?

TATY: Yes – I love it – I love my work.

HATTIE: you are the person who says, “this works with this fabric or it doesn't”

SUZY: Right.

HATTIE: Is it fun?

SUZY: It is – I enjoy. For me, this is like my home and my co-workers are like my family.

NICOLE: So everything else on this chart is pretty much done.

JUDY: It is your life and you are here working more than anything else you do in your life.

HATTIE: Judy Scarpola is senior vice-president of Sales

JUDY: My thing is always about opportunity. I came here as like the fifth wheel in the sales department and 15 years later I am senior vice-president and it is a new title that has never been given to anyone. This is on a silk knit – so we don't want to duplicate the idea with the georgette. As far as Bud, you know -- he is an amazing person to work for. He's better than a dad and he is better than a husband. Well, I usually go in and tell him the ten things I need him to do. And he says, “Oh, all right, I'll get to it.” “You need to put pressure on this person because they are not doing this.” It's not always about money for people, it's uh – again, it's the freedom to do it. To have the opportunity to see it from A to Z.

JUDY: They all sold and we didn't have to close it out.

BUD: It is a baseball story. If we have nine players and they are all good and we like them all and we have been playing with them for a long time. And we are up against a team that has 8 good players and one great player – we lose. So, we have to – and that's a serious consideration. And when we are looking at the people here, we have got to have the greatest people to win this game. We are up against a lot of big businesses. We are not a big business, but we are up against a lot of big businesses. And everybody here doesn't have to do their job – they have to do more than their job. (Meeting discussion)

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