Cultivating the next gen of creative talent makes Karli + Laura #oldnavyproud

by Gap Inc. Blogs

Old Navy

August 30, 2019

What do neon and San Francisco's most iconic neighborhoods have in common? They were two of the biggest inspirations behind the final collection put together by this year's Creative Academy interns!

This year, our three-month internship gave 12 soon-to-be-graduates a peek into what it’s like to be an Assistant Designer across divisions such as men’s, women’s and print — from learning the design process, to creating original collections, to presenting their collections to our Head of Design, Sarah Holme, and our Chief Creative Officer, Nancy Green.

The internship program kicked off in 2011 as our way of investing in the next gen of creative talent, and it wouldn't be possible without two of our stellar designers, Karli Kane + Laura Jenkins, who have been leading the intern program for two years.

We sat down with them to learn more about how they lead the program and what makes them #oldnavyproud.

WHY YOU ENJOY LEADING THE PROGRAM (KARLI): I am always so inspired to learn what interns are passionate about, with regards to fashion, our brand, and the world at large. In our weekly meetings with them, they always have fantastic insights that make me stop and think about things in a different way. They don’t hold back on their questions or observations, and I love the unique perspective they bring to the work we do here.

WHY YOU ENJOY LEADING THE PROGRAM (LAURA): Seeing the growth and difference in the interns from the beginning of the program to the end is pretty amazing. The relationships they have built, and skills learned are so incredible.

WHY YOU RECOMMEND THE PROGRAM (KARLI): This is the best internship in the industry. The program gives interns a holistic view of the brand in total, from merchandising to design to production. They’re given incredible access to leaders here and have the opportunity to learn from a huge team. The internship also gives students an excellent sense of what working in design at Old Navy truly means because they are embedded in every part of our process for the twelve weeks they’re here.

WHY YOU RECOMMEND THE PROGRAM (LAURA): It’s a fully immersive experience and chance to learn real on the job skills required to be a Designer.

YOUR #PROTIP FOR INTERNS (KARLI): What you put into the internship is what you will get back in return! If you show up eager, engaged and ready to learn, your team will take notice and invest their time and energy into you as well.

YOUR #PROTIP FOR INTERNS (LAURA): Don’t be scared, ask lots of questions and be proactive!

YOUR GOAL FOR 2019 (KARLI): I’m fully focused on product: I want to help our team create the best kids line in the world, and I also want to be leading the industry on our approach to product with regard to sustainability and inclusivity. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s all incredibly exciting and motivating.

YOUR GOAL FOR 2019 (LAURA): To get married next month!

WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD (KARLI): I work with some of the smartest people I know who challenge me on a daily basis to be better, faster and more innovative. I’m inspired by the constant energy and competitiveness of what we do, and I’ve loved the brand since it began in 1994!

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