Were you always interested in fashion? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?

I did my Bachelor’s in Journalism and Literature from New York University. I would say my interest in fashion kicked off while I was in college and when I started doing internships in the field. I didn’t come from [a place where I said], “I want to work in the fashion industry.” I wanted to work in journalism, and that was a vague word for me because I [didn’t want] to be a writer necessarily. I wanted to be a theater critic, and that was my initial goal after high school. I lived in New York City and went to college here, [and that was when] I discovered the world of fashion. I was a late bloomer.

Original Link:

https://fashionista.com/2017/05/rachna-shah-kcd-digital-interview

At what point did you realize that fashion could be a career for you?

I think it was when I had an internship at Barneys on the PR team with a wonderful woman named Gina Nanni; I worked with her directly. She left and went to what is now called Aeffe and was handling the PR team over there. She asked me if I would come intern there after I finished at Barneys. That was when I felt like I had more passion for this than I realized, if someone was asking an intern to go with them to their new job. It felt, to me, like I had a path, that I will learn and grow in this career and discover where I’m going to end up in my permanent job when I finish college. That was when it really clicked. It was a great experience.

When you were at Barneys as an intern, what aspects of your role and day-to-day duties really excited you?

It was a very interesting time for the company because they had actually filed for bankruptcy; it was when the Pressmans were still running Barneys. Working on the press team, it was this dual role. Part of what I did was photocopy all of the press that came out about the brand. At that time, there were a lot of financial articles about what was going on with the business; there was a lot of not-positive press coming out.

Then on the flip side, Barneys was still doing these incredibly creative events and partnerships with designers — what the brand is still known for today. It was this dichotomy between press and news and a little bit of crisis PR, but at the same time, we still had brand-building and image-making, and there were these amazing designers walking into the store and doing creative things. It was learning about the two sides of what PR is. That was really eye-opening.

How did you wind up at KCD?

I had KCD on my list of places where I would like to work. While I was interning at Aeffe, there was a Moschino boutique opening event and one of the things I had to do was pick up a van full of Italian journalists from a Versus show happening during New York Fashion Week. There was this energy — [NYFW] was in Bryant Park, and I was obviously just standing outside of the tents — with the lighting and the music, and it’s like I could hear the show outside somehow, you know?

That week was also the opening of the Versace boutique on Fifth Avenue, the townhouse, and it was this incredible party where Jon Bon Jovi sang on one floor and Elton John sang on another. Donatella was hosting; Gianni must have been there as well. It was one of those [moments where the] worlds of celebrity and entertainment and music came together with fashion to create what I thought was an incredible event. I remember reading that KCD produced the party, and I was just like, “Okay, I want to know what they [do]!” I’d heard about KCD, but I hadn’t had any interaction with them. It definitely went onto my list because I’m from New Jersey and I love Jon Bon Jovi. It’s as simple as that. [Laughs]