Monday, February 13, 2012

So, This Happened to Me...

In 2010 I had a job interview for a designer position with a company called Iconix Brand Group, Inc. The interview went Ok, I met with the Sr. Art Director and then her boss. The Sr AD seemed like she'd be someone who would be hard to work with, but her boss seemed really friendly, talkative and made me think a job with this company would be great. When the interviews were over the Sr AD said there would be a "design test" waiting for me in my inbox and to have it done by the morning of the next day. The test was to come up with a concept for the next Candie's shoe ad. I would have to come up with all copy (be a copywriter), the images (be a photographer), and of course design the whole thing (what I'd actually be doing if I got the job). The second part of the design test was to create an updated look for several webpages for Ocean Pacific. I thought about these "tests" (one print/one web) and how I'd be creating a lot of content for this company for upcoming real life projects, you know, giving them ideas and designs that they could just run with and I would not get the job or credit for. Like, an "all that work for nothing situation," like something out of Working Girl or countless other movies or TV show episodes. I kept thinking about it, the circumstances really worried me, so much so that I contacted my mother, a close girl friend who worked at a big ad agency, and the recruiter who got me the interview. Mostly everyone said, "Just do it, don't worry, blatant stealing like that doesn't really happen IRL."
Well...
is this just a coincidence?

Here is my June 2010 sample that I emailed them:
(Oh yeah, and I didn't get the job. Actually, they never got back to me.
I had to prod my recruiter several times to get an answer.)

And this is their curent Candie's spokesperson:

I also sent them something extra, another idea for a spokesperson...
I photoshopped her shoes into platforms, hah, I forgot I did that. I wish Candie's actually made shoes like that. I forgot that Candie's has a slutty image that appeals to no one and is not relevant at all. I wanted to make the brand better, cooler, more responsible and meaningful, like give them a point for being and actually be good for young women.

So, I just went back and found the old emails:

(from them)
Test project:
Design a home page or splash page and 1 secondary page for op.com Fall website based off the concept new vintage/movie night.
Design a 1 Candie’s National Ad for spring...concept and celebrity is open.

Candies is fun, young, flirty and usually has the top female music celebrity.
Op is cool california ...vans/roxy/billabong

Please complete this and send to Rebecca by Friday morning at the latest.


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(to them) I actually sent this at 5pm the night before the day it was due (ahead of time).
Hi Rebecca!

How are you?

Attached are the creative project items in a zipped file. For Candie's I did two different ads, one celebrity is more on-brand, Lea Michele from Glee. The other celebrity is another up-and-coming young singer with loads of style who I think is awesome and had a Gap TV spot two years ago, Janelle Monae.

Thanks!


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(I didn't hear anything for two weeks so I contacted my recruiter)
Hi Jocelyn,

How are you?

I was wondering if you've heard any new developments concerning the Iconix Brand Group designer position?

Thanks!


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(a week later I get this response from her)
I apologize for the delay. I have been out on vacation. While I was gone Iconix offered the position to another Designer. They liked your work but felt this person had an aesthetic sensibility that was more closely aligned with theirs.

I’ll definitely keep you in mind for others.


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(I forwarded that to my mom and got this response)
So sorry to learn that another company has yet again made a huge mistake. I know you would have done well there. Well, there must be something better waiting for you out there. I would still question about what happens to the free work you did for that company...

Also, seems odd that the headhunter did not have the professionalism to contact you, even if she was on vacation. What does "aesthetic sensibility" mean anyway?

Hang in there. Put out more feelers. Find more contacts. Sometimes it takes a lot of searching to find the right fit.


(personal family stuff paragraph that was in the original email which I took out for this)

Thanks for letting me know about the job. I really hope and believe that things will turn around for you soon.

Love you,
Mom


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Best. Mom. Ever.

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Also, I noticed that two months after all of this, the same job was available again through the recruiter. So, either they hired someone and it didn't work out, OR there was never a position and this is how Iconix goes about finding inspiration and new ideas – by using chumps like me.

I have another job now, a much better job, so I can look back on all this and laugh and not feel sad. But right after I didn't get the job I felt like shit, and then I re-felt like shit when I saw the Lea Michelle ads. (As a sidenote: I'm pretty sure I would've punched a hundred kittens if I saw ads all over the city featuring Janelle Monae in saddle shoe platforms. Then, after I was finished sobbing for a week and complaining to my friends how life isn't fair, I would've gone out and bought some saddle shoe platforms.)

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