By Michelle Graff

A man with gray hair sashays by me in a purple plaid suit and matching cap. No one blinks, except for me, thinking he might break out into a song and dance number.

I soon learn such sights aren't so atypical; I'm at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City after all, a place where this man's style is simply embraced. It's not quite my norm but neither is Manhattan. Five months ago, I spent my time reading about genocide, law and page design at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. These days, I find myself reading about gemstones, metals and retailers.

As a recent graduate, I'm letting go of what I came to know as my life, and part of this makeover is becoming the fashion editor at National Jeweler.

I've been living in New York City for roughly two months and have been at the magazine for about one month. My impressions thus far are simply ones of interest and humor as I delve into the history of jewelry, learning the beat. Now I know stacked bangles and rose gold fill fashionistas' jewelry boxes, have a strong idea of how much time goes into a design and realize just because palladium and platinum phonetically sound similar, there is a difference.

I've also learned other valuable life lessons like how to carry a large picnic basket on a subway, compliments of one PR company's welcome, and I've come to appreciate the sporadic mini-concerts in the cafeteria at our office (our parent company, Nielsen, also publishes Billboard). I've also discovered that just because people work in the jewelry industry, doesn't necessarily mean they like to wear jewels.

What it all comes down to is I'm learning about a work world while living amongst the real world, and trying to find shoes that don't make my feet bleed while I'm traipsing throughout the city. So far, so good.

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Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.