Amanda Schauer, far right, in a promotional photo for "House of DVF" for InStyle Magazine. Photo courtesy Morgan Miller Photography.
It’s not often that a world-renowned fashion mogul guarantees your success.
"Amanda is such a nice girl. She's a wonderful girl," Diane von Fürstenberg said of Drexel student Amanda Schauer in Dec. 22's finale of her reality compeititon show "House of DVF.” "She will absolutely succeed. She absolutely will."
As one of the youngest competitors on the E! reality show, Schauer had more professional experience and education than the other contestants vying to win a position as brand ambassador at von Fürstenberg’s eponymous company.
The famous fashion designer even highlighted Schauer’s co-op as a retail development intern at Michael Kors while deliberating who would win the contest. Even though Schauer placed second out of eight contestants, von Fürstenberg made it clear the senior design and merchandising student had a future in the fashion industry.
Beside Michael Kors, Schauer also took on internships working in production at Nanette Lepore and in merchandising at Lilly Pulitzer.
“Ultimately, these internships all prepared me for how to act in the corporate world,” Schauer said. “I realized how it functioned and was comfortable with it. This definitely gave me a leg up on the show because most girls had no corporate experience.”
Amanda Schauer in a screenshot from episode five. Photo courtesy E!
Her education at Drexel also helped her performance. In the second episode, the girls were tasked with creating inspiration boards, a common way to convey ideas in the fashion design world. Having already created mood boards for a class, Schauer presented an inspiration board about the Côte d'Azur that was well received by von Fürstenberg and other key mentors.
Schauer’s professionalism and sunny personality consistently impressed von Furstenberg and the two other mentors, DVF Creative Brand Director Stefani Greenfield and Style Editor Jessica Joffe. Greenfield named her the standout contestant in the first week, and Joffe was especially impressed with Schauer.
“I am sad to see I will not be working with Amanda,” Joffe said at the end of the finale.
Throughout the competition, Schauer and the other contestants completed real-world problems and activities they would have to tackle as DVF brand ambassadors. She styled a look book of outfits for the brand, worked with the press during the unveiling of the company’s resort line, and planned company events. Schauer and the other three finalists were interviewed for several features for InStyle Magazine, including an online interview and a section in the print January 2015 issue where she offered fashion advice for dressing fashionably in a corporate setting.
In the season finale, Schauer and the other two finalists helped put on the Spring 2015 fashion show during New York Fashion Week this September.
“I had been to New York Fashion Week before, but only to see a show. This was my first experience backstage in the madness,” she said. “It was busy and scary, but amazing and thrilling at the same time. I loved every second of it.”
For the fashion show, the girls were given their own DVF wrap dresses, and though it wasn’t shown in the episode, Schauer was the one to suggest they all be gold. After the show ended, she kept the dress, as well as a couple of other pieces of clothing she received during the season. When filming, the girls dressed to impress in their own clothes (“DVF if we had it, of course,” Schauer said) but also borrowed from the samples.
Schauer didn’t just wear the clothes — she created them. In one episode, she was part of the winning team that designed a DVF wrap dress to be sold exclusively at Nordstrom.
“I have not personally seen it yet, but I need to get to Nordstrom ASAP,” Schauer said. “The blue version that Brittany and I designed is not on sale yet, only black, but if and when the blue one comes out, I will be buying it. I can't even believe I really had a part in designing a dress on sale for Diane Von Fürstenberg.”
Amanda Schauer and Diane von Fürstenberg. Photo courtesy Amanda Schauer
Schauer came close to not taking part in the experience, as she didn’t realize at first the internship she wanted to apply for was part of a reality show. She still applied, going through several Skype interviews and submitting a video.
Once she was selected, she filmed the show in New York City in May and June, and once more from August through the middle of September. The show aired in the beginning of November, and Schauer watched the episodes with friends and talked about it with family, classmates and professors over the course of the show.
“People would ask me for the secret details, but I kept quiet,” she said. “People always congratulate me and say how they loved watching. My Instagram has gone up to over 10,000 followers, which is insane.”
Now that the show is completely over, Schauer is focused on enjoying her senior year and working on landing a great job in New York City.
“I’ll definitely head back to my mentors at DVF to help me with job searches and recommendations,” she said.