Fantastic. I was late. It’s my first day as a fashion intern at a huge weekly magazine, and I was late.Damn the circle line! Eventually, I got to the huge glass building at Tower Hill, albeit a bit sweaty from panicking and the hot summer sun, but I got there just in time!
Getting a summer internship is something I would suggest to every budding fashionista/journalist – it broadens your skills in the career you want to pursue, and also sets you a part with that all important experience in the real world. I was thrilled when I was granted mine for a month, for all exclusive purposes, from the hours of 10am-6pm every weekday – I was a fashion assistant!
Being a fashion assistant isn’t like The Hills. You’re not sat around on Perez Hilton gossiping with a fellow intern, you won’t be invited to Paris on your first day…But, it’s also not like The Devil Wears Prada – as everyone I’ve met has been more than helpful, and I’m not surrounded by designer labels and stick thin limbs. The best way to approach a fashion internship is to forget these misconceptions, and just get stuck into whatever your colleagues need you to do. I always make sure that I am busy doing something, be it replying to emails, returning samples, or simply asking everyone if they’d like a drink, as it shows you’re eager to learn and willing to help out in all areas.
Be expected to make the tea. Be expected to get the post three times a day. It’s what everyone else around the desk has had to do, and to get ahead in a notoriously difficult business, you have to start at the bottom too. I’ve found myself getting into a little routine, and the longer I have been there, the more I’ve got used to where people sit and how people take their tea! If you do all the little jobs, you’re given bigger responsibilities, such as answering emails, returning samples and calling in items for fashion shoots. And, I’ve been lucky, as I have assisted on fashion shoots and cover shoots with celebrities. It mirrors that your hard work is appreciated, and it’s a chance to see the fun side of being a fashion assistant!
And lastly, onto the dreaded fashion cupboard. At first, it’s a glorious wonder of next season’s best clothes, beautiful shoes and gorgeous jewellery… but you quickly start losing your mind as you try to keep the darn thing as tidy as you can! It will seem that the clothes reproduce overnight, and every space of floor is covered by a sequin or a heeled boot. But, keep calm and carry on, with a bit of determination and perseverance it’ll get better – which will not only make your job easier, but those around you will literally praise you for making it easier for them to find their items to style.
My advice? Email everyone, ask everyone, tweet everyone for that coveted fashion internship, you won’t regret it, as I for one know that I definitely will be gutted when I have to leave. Now, remember, make the tea!
Louisa Davies – Fashion & Beauty Deputy Editor