It’s every Rhode Island born fashionista’s dream. Graduate from the University of Rhode Island with your first textile kit in hand, pack your bags, and head to the big city. That’s exactly what our Creative Director, Bryce McGillivray, did when she graduated in 2014. However, Bryce’s dream was completely revamped once she experienced New York first hand.
Following her graduation, Bryce took a bold step and took on an unpaid internship at Bismark Phillips Communications and Media, a PR agency that represents some of the most famous names in the fashion industry. With the experience she gained, a door was then opened for her as an Executive Assistant for Kelly Cutrone, who gained her fame being a public relations mogul in NYC. Although the experience was incredible, it gave Bryce a new mindset to realize her heart belonged home. “These two experiences gave me a very clear understanding of how tough the fashion industry is, and it wasn’t necessarily what I had set out in the beginning”, Bryce explained.
Returning home to Rhode Island, Bryce reconsidered where she wanted to take her career. After reconnecting with Mark Mesrobian, the Executive Vice President of Fifth & Ninth’s parent company, Complete Sourcing Solutions, she accepted a position as the social media and marketing coordinator.
As the saying goes, you can take the fashionista out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the fashionista (or that’s how we say it here at F&N!). After working as the social media and marketing manager for a few months, Bryce’s passion for fashion and design was pushing her to accomplish more. She then developed into a Creative Director for a new in house brand, Fifth & Ninth. The name was inspired by the fashion garment district, “where trends are born.”
Given the freedom to let her creative side soar, Fifth & Ninth took off. In it’s most recent endeavor, F&N has partnered with several online celebrities and social media influencers, such as Smashbox Cosmetics Lip Editor in Chief, Vlada Haggerty, (you can purchase her case here!?) to create a line of cobranded iPhone cases. In the future, the company is looking to expand into lifestyle products such as sunglasses and watches.
Since launching the brand, Bryce has been passionate about providing internships to local Rhode Island girls so they can get industry experience in their own backyard. In addition, the company also took on eight extraordinary College Brand Ambassadors (stay tuned to read about the program)! Bryce’s advice to young female entrepreneurs is to “take the low paying job, the free internship, feel what it is like to be at the bottom and struggle.”
The sky’s the limit and the opportunities are endless when it comes to F&N’s future. Bryce has the vision to expand their tech accessories to more than just phone cases and beauty banks, potentially adding sunglasses, watches, handbags, and so on. Bryce is also newly engaged (???) so a wedding collection could potentially be on her mind.
Bryce does an exceptional job at representing the city in the Ocean State, by influencing girls to believe that you don’t have to be in New York to be successful in the fashion industry. For more behind the scenes about F&N, check out our article in the Providence Journal and Rhode Island Monthly. To keep up with our Creative Director Bryce, follow her blog Blonde in Boutins.
Xoxo, F&N Squad ?