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A Guide To Fashion Interning by Emma Griffiths 1



CONTENTS Introduction 9 Part One Where to Start A-Z of Fashion Jobs 14 It’s All About you 20 Where’s Wally? 26 How to Get Noticed 28 Fight For Your Rights 30 Crossing the Pond 33

Part Two On Your Placement Getting to Know You 42 Who, What Wear 50 Savvy Spending 66 How to Sell Your Junk 70 Tweet to Success 74 Schmooze or you Lose 80 Life in a Wardrobe 88 The Write Stuff 96 How to be the Best 104

Notes To Self 126 Helpful Websites 134 Part Three What Next How to be Remembered 108 The Long Run 109 Plan B 110

Get Involved 135 Image Credits 136 Special Thanks 138

Part Four Words of Wisdom Interns Essentials 115 How To Survive Fashion Week 116 Glossary 118 Names to Know 122

from me to you... Love it or loathe it interning is the only way to make it in fashion right now and there’s no real way of sugar coating the fact that it’s hard, really hard. I’ve done my fair share of internships, with many more still to go, but whilst on my travels I found there really was no help for us budding fashionistas on the world of interning, it’s a murky topic no one really likes to talk about. The Devil Wears Prada has become to go to description of life in fashion, with it’s shaming of the overworked, underpaid fashion assistant, but some could even feel jealous: at least she was getting paid. I am aiming to share my knowledge so far of life in the fashion industry, but rather than being from an established industry insider, it’s from me, the intern still awaiting that dream job, we’ve got to stick together you see...

emma x


Part One

Where To Start 15

What’s Out There


in fashion doesn’t just mean being a designer and you will spend half your days explaining this to people, but the truth is the fashion industry is a little elusive, no one really knows what careers are actually out there. Here’s a brief low down of what’s what in the fashion world, you never know you’re dream job could be something you never knew existed.


Account Manager

In fashion PR, these guys are in charge of their clients, heading up the team making sure their brands are getting great coverage, organising shows, events and even campaigns for the brand.

Art director

At a magazine these guys make sure that everyone working on a fashion story is working to the same idea, casts models, finds locations, directing what a shoot should look like. Also can be responsible for how the magazine is laid out on a page.


Either working on the beauty desk at a magazine or PR. At a magazine you’re responsible for all the written beauty content, reviews and shopping pages as well as the beauty shoots. As a beauty PR you look after a number of beauty brands and control their promotion.


Branding executives are responsible for making a brand memorable and sleek, conveying a message to their audience.


They select what is going to be in store for the coming seasons, sees all the fashion shows and travels the world for inspiration about the next big trends. Entry Level: Buying Assistant


Copy Editor

(Also known as a sub editor) The fact checker, responsible for typos, incorrect numbers, making sure quotes are right, and checking the grammar is right.

Costume designer

Works for films or TV deciding how a character should be dressed, communicating their role/personality within the film/show through their dress.


Working in a museum making fashion exhibitions exciting, visually stimulating and creatively expressed. They are responsible for making a story from the displays.


Creating a collection from start to finish, inspiration, fabric sourcing and creation.


Works at fashion shows backstage dressing the models.


The head of the magazine, oversees everything from article content to editing the clothing choices for shoots. 18

Editorial assistant

Looks over copy, checking for small details like typos, punctuation errors, and fact checking. May also do the coffee run.

Fashion Assistant

Helps out the fashion team. Sometimes does smaller fashion features in magazines such as shopping pages. Assists main editors on shoots and doing call ins.

Fashion Editor

Usually the head of the fashion team, does the main fashion shoots for the magazine and checks over ideas for rest of fashion content.


Fashion forecasting involves making predications about upcoming trends, colours and inspirations for upcoming seasons.

Graphic designer

Can be responsible for everything from the tag on a garment to laying out the magazine pages. Creative presentation of all things fashion.


Visits shows and sketches instantly the collections. Submits to magazines and books for something a bit different to photographs. Can also work in house for design teams sketching out ideas for collections. 19


Writes about fashion, from the new collections, designer interviews, reviews and columns.


The marketer will decide how collections reach their consumers, what makes them good, how to target the right people and how to make them be seen. Entry level: Marketing Assistant

Model booker

In charge of the models on their books, getting them work, casting appointments and building their portfolio.

Online Editor

Oversees all the online content for a magazines online profile or an online magazine. Journalist, blogger and editor all in one. Entry level: Online assistant.

Personal Shopper

Working in retail stores for clients who have a certain budget or event and doing their shopping for them


Takes pictures of everything from advertising campaigns, magazine shoots to still life images for websites. Entry level: Photographers assistant 20

Picture editor

Talks with the editors at the magazine to find out what images will go with the text and then explains this to their chosen photographer. Entry Level: Picture assistant.

PR assistant

Assists everything in the PR department from supervising interns, organising the showroom and overseeing fashion week shows.

Social media coordinator

Responsible for online presence of a brand, from Facebook and Twitter to Tumblr and Pinterest.


Can be freelance, work for magazine, online, or celebrity. A stylist is responsible for the style of a person or model and how they wear it. Entry level: Stylist assistant.


Makes films, in terms of fashion this could be short films to promote a launch, show behind the scenes of a shoot or advertise the brand.

Visual Merchandiser

Usually works for brands or in specific stores, in control of how the brand promotes the collections in store. Visual elements of the store, from mannequins to store windows. 21

It’s All About You


your CV can be hard, very few people actually like talking much about themselves, especially when it comes to talking about why you are so wonderfully fantastic and deserve to be hired. Add the pressure of being in a creative industry and thus needing that extra bit of magic to give your CV a chic tweak, you’re no doubt ending up in complete panic.


The Dull Bit

As much as doing a CV is pretty boring, it’s your one shot at being accepted for an internship, so why waste all the time searching for amazing placements if you’re just going to send them over something rubbish?

Keep it brief

One or two pages will be fine, otherwise you’re probably just waffling (unless of course you’ve already gotten 4 pages worth of work experience)


Provide a mini box of your best skills, a summary of what technical bits you can offer your employer so they can do an easy quick scan beforehand

Order Up

Give it some sense of order, put the most recent experiences and education at the top and then go down in time from there.

Be Picky

Just a few lines about yourself will suffice, they don’t need an essay about what makes you wonderful. Much the same with your skills, take out bits that may not be so relevant – as much as your mum may be proud of your grade 5 piano award, is it really relevant when applying to a PR company?


Stacey Ford Fashion Marketing Assistant My role is really diversE… From creating online and offline content, interviewing, photography, events, writing, attending and assisting on shoots and lots more.

most internships are in London… I live nearly 200 miles away so I lost quite a bit of money during my time interning on travel and accommodation costs.

it was worthwhile… Not only the experience I gained and the contacts I made, but it showed that I was dedicated to my chosen career and willing to work hard. As well as my Journalism degree… Running a blog also helped me as I’d got used to a routine of writing, designing and keeping an eye on what was happening in the industry.

Day to day… Researching what’s happening in magazines and fashion is key to staying on the pulse - which involves a lot of reporting. We’re always creating new content for the website and offline which takes up most of my time.

Fashion is so competitive... That you need to make yourself stand out. If interning isn’t possible for you, find other ways to prove your passion. Write a blog, cover a local event, hold a fashion show. Anything that will show your commitment. 24

Je ne sais quoi

Internships are the new norm for breaking into fashion so its important to make yourself stand out from the competition Try not to do generic descriptions of what you have done previously, really jazz it up to really show off how much you learnt Be creative, you’re supposed to be the young fresh minds these people are dying to have work with them, so start thinking like one. Think like the person you’re emailing, by now you must know what it takes to work in that sector, so think what are they looking from you?

Covering Letter

This part is the perfect opportunity to get a bit more personal with the person you’re emailing Do a little research, explain how you loved their last issue, a designer they represent or a launch they just did. It shows you’re keen and actually know what you’re talking about Get specific, now’s your chance to explain exactly how your skills can relate to those needed of an intern at their company Try not to waffle and keep focused on what you’re a to tell them And finally… Check, double check, then check again and maybe once more just for luck. Typos are not chic. 25

Making something out of nothing

Guardian writer Claire Whitmell offers her top tips for “How to write a CV when you lack direct work experience”. Think of how anything you have done that could make you the perfect intern, even your school work experience, don’t look specifically at what the experience was, just what you learnt from it. Use experiences that prove your skills, maybe you organised a trip for the local brownie group, it may not be relevant work wise, but it proves you’re organised, work well as a leader and take initiative in doing something outside of school. In the fashion industry there are three things that will get you everywhere: organisation, initiative and drive, so if you can show that your experience demonstrates these then it won’t matter where you learnt those skills Don’t feel like you have to make up for the experience you don’t have with long personal statements, just be clear and concise about what you can offer 26

Harriet Walker

Independent Style Editor and Chief Writer I have a responsibility for... the fashion pages in the newspapers and the magazines. I commission writers, brief them, edit copy, proof final layouts and generate content I also tend to write most of our bigger pieces, such as trend reports, show round-ups, news and interviews. I did about six months of interning… Working at a pub in the evenings before a job came up at Glamour, where I was on a placement at the time, and I became the assistant to the fashion director.

To find inspiration for articles… I look at current trends and try to imagine how they might develop. I keep a keen eye on subcultures and youth movements – that’s where lots of trends start. If people can’t stop talking about something, that’s usually a good sign you should be writing something on it.

On work experience someone once... ‘tested’ me on a coffee run, she gave me the wrong money, telling me it was exactly right and if there was change, I’d messed up the order. I was terrified. When I came back and handed her the 7p change, she laughed and said I’d done very well. Find out if you can write... before you try out for this job. Ask someone whose opinion you trust – a tutor, a teacher, a journalist – and prepare yourself for a blunt answer. 27

Where’s Wally?


may seem as though you’re searching around in the dark when trying to find people to contact and then trying to decide who from the whole list of names will be most likely to reply, but it’s all about looking in the right places.



Knowing WHO out of the company to contact is key, as most of the people high up in the company, unless you really stand out, don’t deal with interns. The best people to contact are the assistants as in most companies these are the people who organise interns and will most likely be the ones to reply to you. And if they don’t, hassle them until they do.


Network. If there is any opportunity or even slight, slim, tiny chance that someone important may be going to an event you can get in to, then go. It’s important to learn how to schmooze so why not get practising.


There are some helpful twitter profiles aiming to set people up with internships, advertise what’s out there and connect creatives with other creatives. @UKfashionintern and @thefashintern are both great


Fashion Monitor and Diary Directory are possibly the most amazing fashion databases. Ever. They contain contact details for almost every magazine/PR company/media company in the country. See if your college or university have a subscription


Social media has become an interns dream device, you can now connect easily and quickly to thousands of people in the fashion industry and so can they, meaning that if they’re in need of an intern, by following them you’d be the first to know.


People sorting out the interns get piles of emails daily so try to think outside the box a little bit and make yours stand out, inject a little personality. Think about the day and time you’re sending your email, sending on a Sunday night could mean your email gets popped to the bottom of the huge pile of to do lists that is Monday morning. Be different. A fashion editor once loved the handwritten letter a student sent to her house so much that she personally made sure the girl got an internship. One plac intern g e Don’t give up, try contacting other people ma g ment a ot her in the office who don’t directly work in the ema azine th t a i role you want but contribute in another aun ling the rough t wh a go forw way. o ny arde then d he r on Contrary to popular belief fashionistas love cake, so why wouldn’t they love a cake with your face on! Would be pretty memorable… Pre being digested of course. As much as it may make you cringe, be pushy and don’t let your emails be forgotten. Just send another gentle reminder asking if they received your last e-mail, it makes you look keen. 30

Caroline Allen

Purple PR Junior Account Manager I got my internship through my friend... who works at Glamour Magazine. I didn’t really find it difficult to find as people are always looking for help. Times/laws have changed since I graduated though, so I completely understand that it’s far harder now.

I literally fell into PR… at the time I was unhappy interning at Matches as a styling assistant and a friend said why don’t you try this company and the rest is history. In prospective interns... we are looking for energy! It’s all about having great energy levels.

On a typical day… I get to work run through my requests from publications and call all samples in from Milan... Roberto Cavalli shares it’s collection globally so is often a logistical nightmare, and then try and get as much product placement out as possible. During fashion week I sort guest lists and organise VIP celebrity guests.

The best part of my job… is that I don’t think there’s anything else I could do… The worst you have to be very switched on and there’s very little room for mistakes.

If I could go back to when I started out… my advice to myself would be to take interning seriously! 31

Fight For Your Rights


become an all too familiar (horror) story featuring interns, dragon bosses, menial jobs (picking up poop anybody?) and zero pay. Sometimes not even a pound for the bus. But it’s time you know your rights as an intern and even if you might not be too fussed about getting paid, it’s nice to know they’re there. Intern Aware are a group who are fighting for this exact cause, think of them as your interning angels, Here are their top tips for interning:


Ask for a written reference near the end of your placement, it’s much easier than hassling someone months afterwards when they may not remember you Search for paid internships, there are some out there it’s just a case of looking Do something creative when applying

OR write your own and ask them to sign it If you’re not happy, leave visit them for information at:

Ask for payment or expenses even if they don’t offer it, can’t hurt to ask Keep an internship log, so afterwards you can go through everything you have learnt and the tasks you have done Ask questions, have ideas and be noticed, they may not go with your ideas but kudos for trying 33

Alex Blythin - Social Media Assistant Social media is... a way of connecting to a lot of people. My job involves updating all our social channels, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, YouTube, Vine and Instagram with engaging content for our customers.

Creating engaging content... is a very big advantage to personalise your brand. It gives it a voice amongst many others. Connecting with bloggers is also a very big part of social media now.

I got my job... after I got my degree in media and cultural studies, I interned with online brands, writing blog posts for them, a PR firm and I had an intern marketing role before I got this job.

Through interning... you make valuable contacts and learn so much. Employers like to see you are dedicated and willing to work for free to get the experience you need to get the job you want. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re working for free, but I don’t think I would have got where I am today if I hadn’t of done that. To someone looking for a job... in fashion social media I would say start a blog, be active on as many social media platforms as you can. Always seek out new and innovative social media channels and follow influential people in the industry on Twitter.

Working with such an up and coming online brand is very exciting… No one day is the same. It’s exhausting but 34

always worth it!

Crossing the Pond

Going abroad to intern can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life, new cities, new people and new jobs, but it has its downsides too, visas, working permits and accommodation can all rack up to one pretty hefty bill at the end, so before you book those tickets make sure its the right step for you.

Questions to ask before you board that plane: 1. Are you ready to leave everyone you know behind? Once you’re there it won’t be easy to pop straight back when you’re homesick 2. Is it going to be worthwhile? Going far away is a big commitment and can cost a lot of money so make sure you will benefit 3. Have you got the funds? It’s not just planes and accommodation that can cost a lot, visas can really drive up the costs of a trip so check it all out before you commit 4. What do you want to achieve? Have a little plan of what exactly you want to get out of this experience and try to cover more than one factor like learning and language and getting work experience 5. Is this really you? It may be all very glamorous but is this what you really want to do?


Josh Harrison York London to New

How was it compared to the UK?

Where did go for your internship?

I interned in New York at a boutique PR agency for two months.

Very. People in fashion are known for their direct attitudes, but people in New York seemed to be competitive in everything; getting a cab, even getting coffee! The team I worked with were really friendly though. Was it easy to organise?

It all got solved in three days, which I was surprised at. It was It was actually recommended to me by one of my University tutors fairly easy but having a parent who lives in NY was a massive who sent me the link on fashion help to me. My friend who monitor. I sent them an email interned with me went through an saying that I was interested in interning with them, as I was going incredibly lengthy process. With to be in New York for the summer accommodation, visas andflights she paid over £6,000 to work for anyway. They asked for a Skype free for three months. She stayed interview, which was awkward with a family, who she had never but practical and e-mailed me met, in a nasty part of Brooklyn in afterwards saying they’d love to a city she had only been once. have me. How did you get your internship?


What did your job involve?

The usual PR stuff really, sample management, pitching to editors, showroom management, steaming samples and press appointments. I was never asked to get lunch, coffee, or anything, they bought me several times in fact. The funniest job I had to do was collect Oscar. Oscar turned out to be a Pomeranian dog belonging to one of the designers we represented. Oscar and I hopped in a cab back to the office and that was that.

Has it made you want to work there?

Not yet. One day perhaps, but NY is more expensive than London, and I would not want to work somewhere where I am earning a fair amount of money, but can only afford a cardboard box. But the English accent gets you a long way in America!

Advice on interning abroad?

Go for it, but try and go somewhere where you know someone, it’s always safer to have an emergency contact rather than be totally alone. It was a massive learning curb for me, not just in my career, but also for my independence. But look into the formalities. The prices of these things can be insane. £6,000 to work for free? You need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s, Is it worth it in the end?


to learn...

to get experience in... to find out...


what i love doing...

previous experience... i am great at...


Part Two

On Your Placement



you thought finding the placement was tricking, then actually being an intern is even harder, but in a good way (if that’s possible). It will be hard work, possibly long hours and the amount you will take in you’ll think your head is going to explode. But this is just the beginning of a road to one of the biggest industries in the world, so stick at it and you’ll one day reach the top. Until then, here’s some tricks for acing that internship.


Lauren Billington - Beauty Intern My four-week internship at the Marie Claire beauty desk was brilliant, and the people I met were unforgettable, what I learnt was completly invaluable and it has given me great inspirations for the future.

Find the Time I have always been a big believer in trying to gain as much experience as possible whilst studying at University, as you’ve got all the resources at your fingertips, not to mention the crazy long holidays, but finding the time to complete a placement amongst the vast amount of work can be hard, but it’s important to do it when you can. 42

Look in the Right Places Finding a placement wasn’t too difficult for me, as Uni have a subscription to Fashion Monitor which is amazing so it’s important to use resources like these if you have them. I happened to be very lucky with the responses that I received from people. I applied to five or six places before I was offered a placement at Marie Claire.

Perks of the Job My role was organising the beauty cupboard (an Aladdins cave of beauty products), sourcing images for the beauty pages and finding credits from PR’s for beauty products, which are pretty standard intern jobs. Towards the end of my placment I was invited to the Marie Claire Christmas party, which was uh-mazing. It was great not only for the fun side but to socialise with everyone at the magazine. Building up contacts is so important so make the most of it while you’re there, plus getting to know how they all got to where they are now was so helpful.

All About Balance Working 7-8 hour days during the week at Marie Claire and my part time job at the weekend was really exhausting, but I still looked forward to going into work each day, and surprisingly never had the feeling that I was dreading going in, which shows how much I was enjoying it there, even if my eye bags weren’t.

Learn About You Doing internships is great as they allow you to see your strengths and weaknesses, your attributes and your flaws and what you are interested in or not so keen about. My placement showed me that I am extremely passionate and interested in Beauty and I would love to work for a Beauty team within a magazine.


Getting To Know You


you’re a blogger, a writer, stylist or aspiring PR, it’s good to know the big guns out there in the PR industry and who they represent. There are two types of fashion PR in-house who just take care of that one brand and agency who look after a number of different brands and here’s a selection of the best.


Big Agencies Modus Publicity

Who they represent? Calvin Klein, David Koma, Bally, Etro, G-Star, Moroccanoil, Thomas Sabo 10-12 Heddon Street London W1B 4BY Tel: 020 7331 1433

The Comminations Store Who they represent?

Converse, Acne, Forever 21, House of Holland, Coach, Hollister, Juicy Couture, Versace Done anything cool?

Lee Publicity

Who they represent? A|Wear, Coast, George at Asda, Littlewoods, Love Label, Very

Launch of Kate Moss lasting finish lipstick party at Battersea Power Station with the Union Jack projected and Kate arriving by helicopter. 2 Kensington Square,

88 Islington High Street

London, W8 5EP

London N1 8EG

Tel: 0207 938 1010

Tel: 020 7359 2288 45

Designer Agencies

Karla Otto

Who they represent? Celine, DVF, Emilio Pucci, Gareth Pugh, Givenchy, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf Done anything cool? H&M’s Paris AW13 fashion week show 30 Sackville Street London, W1S 3DY Tel: 0207 287 9890

Purple PR

Who they represent? DKNY, Karl Lagerfeld, Lanvin, Laura Mercier, Moncler, Paco Robanne, Just Cavalli 27-29 Glasshouse Street London W1B 5DF Tel: 020 7439 9888


Quirky Agencies

Blow PR

Who they represent? Bjorg, J Smith Esquire, Dans La Vie, Fam Irvoll Done anything cool? Anything by J Smith Esquire, those hats are immense! Lower Ground, 118-120 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 6SS Tel: 07552 168 064

Bloody Gray

Who they represent? Jayne Pierson, Martina Spetlova, Haizhen Wang, Agi & Sam Unit 302, 27B Belfast road, London, N16 6UN Tel: 07501181728





Who they represent? Burberry, Burberry Prosum, Brit, Burberry Childrenswear, Burberry Sport, Burberry Beauty Done anything cool? Romeo Beckham starring in their SS13 campaign

Who they represent? Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfrige, Burton, Topman, BHS, Evans, Wallis Colegrave House 70 Berners Street London W1T 3NL Tel: 0844 243 0000

Horseferry House

Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AW Tel: 0203 367 3000


Who they represent? Thier own brands Hampstead Rd, London, NW1 Tel: 020 7756 1027 48


Laura Turner - PR Intern

While I was still at University studying History & Politics (yeah, I’m still yawning...) I lost complete interest in what I was doing and started to gear towards the more creative, arty crowds that flocked the hallways, so I applied to every single fashion related internship I could and got an internship for a London based accessories brand (handbags, handbags, HANDBAGS!).

Be Prepared My first day - oh boy, was I a bundle of nerves. I had spent hours upon hours the day before researching the company and industry (then hours, upon hours, the night before researching through my wardrobe). I arrived into London an hour early, there was no way I was going to let TFL make me late for this, so I sat in a coffee shop, and waited for the longest hour ever. 50

Get Stuck In After only a week into my placement, I was told we were doing an event, Fashion Press Week. I was to be pitching our product - which i’d know for a week - to key journalists from publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Glamour. Even though I felt like running away, I listened to my boss do the first pitch, memorised the key points, and went with it and it turned out just fine.

Stay Postitive The first call I made to a big glossy mag was ever so slightly, in a word, horrific. I happily started my pitch about the brand we represent and mid way through I was met with a very snappy, sharp journalist screaming “I do NOT have time for this” before swiftly hanging up on me. I was not discouraged. Instead, I took a deep breath, cursed to myself, and dialled the next number.

It’s Worthwhile There’s been some pretty negative press about internships, but I stand by the value of them - I learnt more real life skills during my internship then I ever did during my actual (paid for) Education. My internship was an extremely positive one the company are fantastic to work for, both as an intern and now luckily as an employee. My boss took me under her wing, trained me and really took the time to make sure I got as much out of my internship as I possibly could.

Keep At It If you truly wish to follow your dream - it can be achieved through a lot of hard work, determination and dedication. Nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction when you finally achieve what you’ve been working relentlessly towards.


Who, What, Wear



the absolute elation at even getting a response let alone getting the actual, real placement, wears off you are left with that age old question: What on earth do I wear?! Never fear, here’s some ideas of what to wear on your placement.


The Art Intern Show off your creative side and go all out in pattern clashing A bright shirt is the perfect way to balance smart whilst showing some personality A hat is a great way to tie an outfit together Keep shoes simple so the look doesn’t get too busy



The Beauty Intern Show off your beauty skills by experimenting with hair and make-up styles It’s easy to liven up smart styles with a bit of colour Pointed flats are a cute twist on the classic ballet pump



The Writing Intern Keep it minimal and slightly more formal Add a fashion edge the classic suit style If you haven’t been told a dress code, go with smart/casual to be safe Adding a bit of a pattern will bring fun to a plain look



The Marketing Intern Being in a more business environment means you should try to keep it smart Don’t be afraid to go against the city look off a black suit, add some colour or pattern to classic styles If you’re going for heels keep them small, towering platforms aren’t really office appropriate



The Fashion Intern Working with the fashion team means you have pretty much got creative freedom to wear what you like Be inventive and fashion forward when picking your outfits Don’t go too over board, think fashion mixed with business Let your personality shine through what your wearing to get you noticed and show you know what’s hot



The PR Intern Public Relations staff are well known for wearing black, especially at Fashion Week so go for it to be safe Try mixing textures to liven up the all black outfit A big handbag for all your bits and bobs (you can never have enough pens) Smarten up more causal leather trousers with a chic blazer





















Savvy Spending


hardly a secret that being an intern is pretty darn hard work for little in return, so it can really be a squeeze getting the right experience without spending the earth to do it. Here are some tips on how you can intern without breaking the bank.


Get Budgeting

Don’t Ask...

Bit of a bore but if you can make a budget (and try to stick to it) then from the start you know whether or not you can actually afford to do the internship. Money Saving Expert has an online budget calculator to help get you started (

There really is a lot of truth in the saying ‘don’t ask, don’t get’. Even if you have to remind people, you’re entitled to it so ask for it, worst they can say is no. Intern Aware have some advice on your pay rights as an intern (

Pack It Up

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Whether it’s pasta/soup/left over pizza or a homemade sandwich, you can save yourself a bundle of money by bringing your own lunch with you. Especially if your expenses are being covered and you don’t need receipts, you could even earn money, result. BBC Good Food has some great simple and cheap recipes (bbcgoodfood. com).

If your placement is quite a distance away trains can work out to be quite expensive so it may be worth finding some accommodation. There’s plenty of options out there, Room For Tea ( is a website set up specifically to help interns who need somewhere to stay for a short period of time from as little as £15 a night. Monday to Friday is another great website if you’re just looking for weekday accommodation to save on those dreaded train fares. ( 69

Super Savings

Survey Time

If you decide that it’s cheaper/ easier to commute every day then try and save yourself some easy pennies by getting a rail card, Natwest student accounts offer a five year one for free. Even if you have to buy one, the savings you make will cover that cost easily. Booking tickets online in advance can also get you some great deals on websites like The Trainline ( If you’re really struggling to cover the travel costs try asking the company if you could start and finish later, to get the off-peak deals when travelling.

These can be a bit tricky to find, especially ones that are relevant to you (usually after a question or two you will either be accepted or declined meaning you don’t get paid). It’s just a case of finding the site that fits you, and make sure not to sign up to any that ask for a sign up fee.

Work It Anyone in fashion will tell you how they juggled 2,3 or 4 jobs to support themselves whilst interning. Try and go for something flexible that could easily work around interning, like bar work that you can do after finishing a day interning. 70

Blog Off If you’re interning in the fashion industry then a great way to make some extra pounds is to blog about it. Get some followers and lots of traffic people will start to pay you to advertise on there. Simple and can be done on your lunch break. Video blogging is much the same, with YouTube paying the big vloggers depending on their subscribers/ views/likes for their videos. ( &

And Remember... Although the experience may be worthwhile for some, if interning has put a real strain on your finances then know when enough is enough. Don’t let the experience get you in debt because nothing can be worth the stress that will cause, if it reaches that point then step back and take stock of what you need to do next. The Citizens Advice Bureau offer free debt advice if you’ve found yourself in a sticky situation (


There are a zillion websites now set up just so you can sell your life away in exchange for money (someone actually sold their entire life, not that this is recommended for you but still, it gives you an idea). Here’s a selection of the best selling sites around:

Ebay Everyone knows about this little gem, great for selling absolutely anything but look out for their no insertion fee deals, where it’s completely free to upload anything, usually on weekends. (

ASOS Marketplace Great for selling new, old and vintage clothing and accessories and it’s totally free to sell your wardrobe. You can even start your own online boutique. ( 72

Envirophone & Mazuma Mobile If you’ve got a couple of old phones lying about then there’s a load of websites offering you money for them. Make sure you shop around and compare prices to get the best deal. ( &

Amazon Not just great for buying books but also great for selling them too. Although it’s not an auction like Ebay, which means your books could be on sale for months, it’s still a great way to sell your old school text books. The trick with this is to make sure you’re selling just slightly below anyone else, then you’ll be more likely to sell quicker. (

Music Magpie Sell pretty much anything on here electronics, CDs, DVDs and clothes, get a quote then send via their free courier service. ( 73

Anna Siddiqui - Buying Intern When thinking of internships I knew I wanted to have some experience in Buying or PR, so firstly I decided to use my contacts in my retail job to see if they offer any work placements, but when that fell through I decided to move on with my search and turn to the Fashion Monitor website I can use through University.

Persistance I applied to around 25 different companies and I got a lot of very good feedback with my CV and Covering letter but many wanted interns for longer than I could offer. I was starting to give up, as I still hadn’t heard from anyone for a placement, then, thankfully, my tutor emailed me about a placement at Monsoon. I immediately sent my CV and covering and within a week I heard back to let me know I would be shadowing Grace in Monsoon accessories. Result! 74

Curiosity is Key Before my placementI knew that Buyers deal with spreadsheets and numbers and that did attract me to the job, as I loved the idea of mixing business with fashion, but I didn’t know much else. So this was something I had never tried before and didn’t know much about, but never would have expericened without interning, even though it turns out it’s not the job for me.

Every Day is Different My role was so diverse and busy, one day I would be running around picking up samples, then writing descriptions of product to go on the website, organising the sample room, data entry and the weekly footwear fittings, where a foot model would come in and get paid to try on shoes and see if they fit properly. What a job. I also had to take pictures of the buying samples to make a sample board of the products for inspiration for the next collections.

Learn New Skills Even though this career path may not be the one for me, at least I can now cross it off the list and what I learnt I can apply to so many other jobs. I now know I can work well under pressure and multi-task well, my internship made me realise I have much more to offer than I thought. With these new found skills I have also become more confident, in the first week I wouldn’t ask questions about the tasks given to me as I didn’t want to bug them but I quickly realised they were happy to answer anything I needed to know. So it may not have given me a job, but it taught me the skills to get one!


Tweet To Success



glued to Pinterest? Got more Facebook friends than real? Are you the next twitter celebrity? Then maybe a career in social media is for you. Social media is absolutely everywhere, you would have to be living in hole not to be involved in it in some way or another and now brands are beginning to understand its worth. Brands are using social media more and more to connect with their customers, promote themselves and attract attention and they need you. But where to start?


What exacrtly does it mean? Being part of a social media team means you will be in control of how the brand presents itself to and communicates with its audience online.

What will I be using? Facebook – The old favourite. with 1billions active users it’s a great way for brands to connect with their customers. Twitter - 140 characters of wonderfullness all wrapped up by a little blue bird. Tumblr –An alternative blog style site, post pictures, questions and lovely quotes to all your followers. Pinterest – Mood boards gone digital, now you can re-pin all your favourite things in one place, 78

Instagram - Make like Posh Spice and prove you’re not a grumpy diva by posting funny vintage effect behind the scenes snaps. YouTube – Not only do you have people tweeting about something, snapping it, then instagramming it, you now have to film it too. Talk about multitasking, Blogs – The whole world and her grumpy cat has a blog these days, but great for telling people what you’re up to. MySpace - You never know, could make a comeback. Maybe.

Ooops... As much as social media can be great for connecting your brand with its customer, its good to remember that its not all in your hands. Everyone can have an opinion and voice it over the internet for all to see. See: DNKY fiasco accidently ‘stealing’ a photographers work for visuals in one of their stores, resulting in hundreds of angry tweets and their PR furiously apologising on Twitter and Tumblr. Keeping an eye on what people are saying about your brand and speedy responses to any uprisings will keep your fans sweet.

Memo Why the hype? Social media is great for communicating with your consumer bringing them into the brand and making them feel like a part of it.

Social networking can’t really be your regular day job, with everything happening so quickly it’s important to be talking about stuff as it happens, even if it’s just Geordie Shore... 79

You Got It Burberry a.k.a the ruler of social media, with every show pushing the boundaries of technology. During one show, us watching at home could click and reserve looks straight from the catwalk and it would be on your doorstep in a matter of weeks. Online shopping heavon ASOS have a great’here to help’ twitter page, specifically for any issues with customers orders and is manned pretty much constantly, giving people an easy way to find help. Topshop’s Autumn/Winter 2013 show gave viewers at home the chance to ‘be the model’ where you could not only watch the show live (getting a better view then even those on the FROW) but also thanks to little cameras on the models, actually walk the show with the likes of Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn. 80

If You’re Gonna Do It, Do It Right So now you know what it is, why it’s great and that it may not always go your way, it’s time to know how to actually use social media when on your internship. Maybe before your placement or interview, go with a few pointers on your ideas for that brands social media, it would show you have ideas and take initiative.

Tell Me What You Want Do they want to use social media to promote something? Engage their audience? Show behind the scenes of the brand? Knowing what they want to achieve rather than stabbing in the dark, will produce better results

That’ll Do

I Want You Back

Don’t just jump the bandwagon on those new shiny social media sites, make sure it actually suits what their brand is all about.

Getting a million likes is all well and good, but the point is getting people engaged and interested in the brand. Give people a reason to keep coming back to your site, no one can resist a good compeition or freebie.

Get Personal Just because you’re tweeting behind the brand name instead of yourself doesn’t mean you need to be all prim and proper. Chat to people like they chat to their friends, though maybe leave those naughty words out.

No Slacking It’s the classic tale of the second you turn your back all the cookies are gone, but in this case the cookies is instead your brands image. Allowing people free reign to say what they wish is good, but to a certain extent, you don’t really want a full blown fight on your hands so always keen a watchful eye on activity.

Talk to Me This is precisely the reason ASOS have their here-to-help twitter page, social media is a two way street, you talk to them, they talk back and expect a reply. People love to feel included, as if the brand really relates to them and knows what they want from them.


Schmooze or You Lose



in fashion PR (or Public Relations) is fun, fast paced and all about networking. Schmoozing editors and stylists, promoting your brands and getting sales are all in a days work for these guys. So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a business brain, this is the path for you.


What to Expect Having worked as a PR Assistant Jessica Jenner knows her fair share about the industry, she gives some advice on what you will be up to during your PR internship.

Day to Day Finding press the brands have received and filing them away. Press coverage is how PR’s measure the brands attention so it’s important to see what the press are saying about them. Social Media is something that’s incredibility important for PR’s and brands, so usually interns are put in charge of making sure their online presence is up to scratch.


Checking out upcoming red carpet events and finding stylists to come in and see if anything would work for their clients.

Press Release Each new season, or before a launch or promotion PRs will send out these little beauties to give the press all the info about it, but be warned they can end up as the worlds most boring piece of writing ever, so try to make it snazzy to grab peoples attention. Try to show the personality of the designers, talk to them personally and see what they’re all about and what inspired the collection Find the balance between professional and boring, inject a bit of personality and humour Be short and sweet, no longer than a page or readers may get a bit bored

Use a catchy headline to grab people’s attention, think of it like an article on your designer Maybe have some bullet points at the end of the important info like release dates or a collection summary If in doubt use the Internet. There’s some great advice out there so just have a look for some good examples to follow


The Showroom This is where all the pretty things live and probably the most important area of the office, maybe aside from the coffee area. As an intern the showroom will become like your second home, so keep it clean, tidy and organised, especially if you’re doing the sample requests and returns. It’s important to try and keep everything looking nice and tidy for when stylists and editors come in to check out the designs When an editor comes in it’s pretty important so extra effort has to be made, it can be good to know about the magazine style beforehand so you know what direction to point them in 86

Awareness Plugging the social media sites, e-mailing press and just generally making sure everyone knows about your designers show. Front of House Where all the action happens, organising queues, making sure everything is running smoothly and communicating with backstage on timings.

Fashion Week


Now this is when the real fun/ stress/madness starts so make sure you’re fully prepared. Here’s what to expect:

Making sure a top buyer gets on the FROW is pretty darn important and trying to bump back a blogger is pretty darn difficult, so seat wisely.

Tickets Not exactly glamorous but someone’s got to do it. Labelling tickets with names and what seating priority they have then either posting them or delivering by hand (think of it as saving yourself a gym membership).

Presentations Instead of a catwalk, where models stand around in the collection for a few hours, you just have to make sure the press are happy and answer any questions about the collection. Easy peasy. 87


Press days Does what it says on the tin, this is where press come and see the new season collections, usually set up in a fancy hotel for a couple of days with all the designs nicely displayed. Jess has some tips for making a press day memorable You want a great guest list, inviting lots of publications and stylists Check out what other PR’s are doing to check your dates don’t clash, or it could end as a party for one. Awkward. Location is key for representing the brands and PRs image, are they East London cool or Mayfair chic? Present the collections interestingly, this is peoples first glimpse at the collections so make a good impression Swot up beforehand to know all there is to know about the brand and the collection to answer any questions Display look books and guide price books so they have all the information they need Ask editors what stories are coming up and advise on pieces that could work 89

Life In a Wardrobe



much every fashion editor will have started their time in the fashion cupboard so it’s almost a rite of passage for anyone looking to get into styling for magazines. It may not always be pretty and sometimes it may literally involve sitting in cupboard for four weeks but if you make the most of it you will learn a huge amount.


Call Ins

You might get asked to do some call ins, which involves calling or emailing PR companies for sample requests. Normally the stylist/editor will give you a brief or a mood board and you just go from there, checking through websites and look books can be great for inspiration when doing call ins. This can be quite a long task, especially if you have to start chasing them to reply, but when the pieces start coming in and the editor is happy, it feels amazing. If an editor asks you to call in THE dress of the season, getting hold of it will be like chasing the golden snitch, it will require persistance and time. The best way to go about it is send gentle reminders about how desperate the editor is to shoot it and how you will do anything to get it (literally, offer yourself as a courier if it means getting the dress). At least if it doesn’t work out there’s nothing more you could’ve done! 92

The Cupboard

The star in many intern horror story, the cupboard will be your world for the duration of your internship, so make friends. Each magazines cupboard will vary in size (and state), some will literally be a tiny cupboard where you sit on the floor, others more like your own office with all the rails. Sorting out a messy cupboard will earn you some real brownie points.

The Rails The rails are probably the most important part of the whole place, so it’s important to keep them looking slick. When items come in you should unwrap and hang them all up, some stylists prefer it if you use nice wooden or velvet hangers so the clothes look their best. Make sure that you pop them in the right area as usually each stylist has their own rail for a each shoot they are working on. Try to make sure the rails don’t get too full and you could organise them into sections like shirts then tops then trousers. 93


Each magazines system will differ slightly, but generally most expect the same sort of thing. When clothes come in some will come with a docket, listing everything that the PR has sent in which you should check off, making sure everything they say they sent has arrived, if not give them a call to let them know just to make sure you’re not blamed. Any items that could easily be lost or don’t have labels like jewellery, sunglasses and watches are sometimes scanned and stapled to the incoming docket so you know where they came from. As it’s you who will be doing the returns you’ll want to do anything that makes your life that little bit easier. Once this is all done just file away the dockets in whatever system the magazine has, usually each stylist has their own folder of dockets for each shoot.



You will have nightmares about returns for many years after interning, it’s one of those things that haunts you for life. Bags upon bags of clothes all urgently needing checking, docketing, packing and sending back to where they came from, a daily routine for any fashion cupboard intern. Wrapping, packing, labeling then filling in a docket explaining each item you’ve sent back. It may not be the glamour you envisaged but someone’s gotta do it and that just happens to be you. Some people do believe they are too above this job but that attitude won’t really help you, it’s best to just remember every editor has had to do this to get to where they are today. So stick on a smile and get those bags gone.


The Shoot

If you’re lucky enough to go on shoots with the editor they’re assisting which is an amazing opportunity to learn a lot, but also can be pretty stressful. The key when assisting on a shoot is organisation and preparation, if you have those then you will be just fine, but just to help you along here’s some tips:

Styling kit These can take a couple of years to properly build up, but it’s never too early to start. This is everything you need as a stylist from pins and tape to nude underwear and scissors. As an assistant pins and a mini sewing kit are vital for that crucial moment on a shoot when the dress doesn’t fit.

Prep The day before is when you need to really think ahead about what you may need for the shoot, dressing gowns for the models modesty, tissue paper to lay out all the jewellery on, or slippers if the location is going to be cold. When packing think as if you’re already on location and what you will need, always-over pack to prepare for every possible eventuality.


On arrival This is when you really kick into action, unpacking, laying out accessories neatly and steaming all the clothes ready for wearing. Everything needs to be tidy and organised so the editor can see it all clearly and grab what they need easily.

During Although it’s now up to the stylist you should keep your eyes peeled for anything that goes out of place and always have your pins to hand for any adjustments.

Packing up By this point everyone is exhausted and ready for home so time to be efficient and get everything away quickly, though remember you’ll be the one unpacking so you might not want to throw everything in the suitcase in a bundle. 97

The Write Stuff



you’ve been bought up watching endless reruns of Sex and the City, then you will probably be dreaming of the Carrie Bradshaw life, fabulous shoes, fabulous parties and a fabulous newspaper column. But unfortunately life just isn’t quite that fabulous, sorry to burst the bubble. But there is still hope, being a writer can be really fun and exciting and you get to see the world.


Fashion writing is all about knowing your Prada from your Pucci, seeing the hottest shows and keeping updated with the biggest news in the fashion industry. Before you get started you need to know what makes a good writer and how you can do it, here’s some pointers for cracking the industry. Interning for the features team at a magazine or the writing team at a newspaper is a great way to get started, as well as trying to get your work published in local newspapers and magazines. As a features intern you can expect to be doing things like transcribing interviews, research for upcoming features and finding people who could suit a story, you may even get to write content for the website.


Work experience Obviously this is what this is all about, but some people forget there are as many great placements on features desks as there are in the fashion cupboard. The process is much the same, just email the features assistant and get schmoozing.


Set Goals It’s no good saying you want to be a writer, but not actually writing anything. Even if no one is going to see your report on the recent catwalk collections showcasing your top best and worst designs, it’s all in the name of practice. So try setting a goal of an article a week, just to keep you focused and up to date on fashion news.

You will probably be told “it’s not about what you know, but who you know in this industry” more times than you care to remember, but it is true. Sometimes having someone who connects with you and believes in you is all you need to propel your career, so it’s important to get meeting other writers and show your stuff.


Blogging It seems as though everyone is either a blogger or talking about blogging these days, but it is one of the most important fashion news developments of recent years. It’s quick, easy and a great way to share with potentially thousands or people, so what better way to prove yourself as a talented and engaging writer than having 2,000 blog followers?

Working for free It’s a rather depressing thought but working for free is a great way to get your work published, online magazines, small publications and university magazines are always looking for content so pitch them your ideas and get writing.


Don’t be fooled Of course working in fashion does have its ohmygodicantbelieveit moments, but it’s not all after parties and freebies. It’s also really hard work, long hours and strict deadlines, like any normal job.

Be on top Immerse yourself in knowledge of what’s hot, who’s the big upcoming designer and what’s going on in the fashion world. You’re going to be paid to write things that hundreds of other writers will be writing about, so get in there first by staying in the loop.

The More The Better

Think outside the box

It’s a common mistake to think that you do one internship and bam there’s employment. Some may get lucky but for the ma jority interning can take anything from one month to five years to turn into a proper job. So stick at it.

Don’t just go for magazines or papers. Online is a great, fast way to upload content so websites are always looking for people to write for them. And you can do it from home. Writing competitions are also a great way to get some exposure, Vogue and Elle annual talent contests are great to get your work seen by the best in the fashion industry.

Find your style Fashion is a pretty broad subject so it may be good to find out what suits you best and what you like to write about. Potty about new designers? Obsessed with the fashion shows? Are product reviews your thing? Or do you prefer readers to see the real you in a column? Whatever it is, find it and practice it then send off samples to publications that suit that style.


Andy has written for a whole bunch of fab magazines, including The Sunday Times Style, Grazia and Company magazine. He shares his tips for making it as a writer

Andy Jones Get as much experience as you can as early as you can Local newspapers are a great learning experience as the smaller teams mean you see more and could get the chance to write more Part of being a writer is having someone edit your work, so expect a bit of tweaking or even re-writing and try not to take it personally, think of it as constructive criticism 104

If you want to be a fashion writer, then read lots of different types of publications, you will learn from seeing how people write If you want to write for a magazine come up with an idea, write a pitch and email it in and think about what publication it is and whether it will suit them You are the target age for most publications so things you and your friends are talking about/obsessed with can make great features To research topics most areas of interest have a group or online discussion board – simply sticking in a reference to what you are looking for can pop up all sorts of case studies

We live in a culture that deals in 140 character updates and Facebook statuses. People don’t often want your long windy intro so you need to grab them straight away When interviewing eye contact, good body language and honesty are key. People won’t connect with you if you look like you aren’t paying attention When editing be brutal and always meet the word count. Are your sentences too wordy? Do you use “that” too much? Do you repeat yourself? Always read back your brief to keep you on course.



An approachable person who is happy and looks excited to be there will be the person they choose to do the jobs and help them out.

Honesty is the best policy Be Opinionated

When someone asks your opinion it’s the perfect opportunity to wow them with your jazzy knowledge, own it.

Say Yes

Being the intern who is willing to go that extra mile will go down a storm, even if they need someone to pop to the post room.

Soak it up

You’re in the perfect position to hear everything that’s going on so act like a sponge and take it all in. 106

Everybody makes mistakes so you certainly won’t be the first or the last to mess up, but if you can’t sort it yourself then be honest and own up, hiding it will just make it worse when the truth comes out.

Make Yourself Useful

Offer to pick up the staff their lunch or bring in a coffee in the morning. Anything that makes their lives easier will get you noticed.

Ask questions

If you don’t understand something or want to know about something, then don’t be afraid to ask. At the end of the day you are there to learn and you’ll look interested.

Get networking

You will be contacting loads of top people in the industry so use the handy contacts page at the end of the book to note down anyone important. Never know who you might need in future.

Forget The Glamour

Okay so scanning in pages from 20 different magazines and newspapers may not be thrilling, but it needs doing so suck it up and whizz through it. Pouting about it will only reflect badly on you.

Show Initiative

Even if you’re not 100% sure that something needs doing, like tidying up the boxes of jewellery, if you’ve nothing given to do, then use your head and do something.

Stick At It

There’s no real way to sugar coat it, interning is really blooming difficult. It can be long hours, tough work and completely mad, but the experiences will improve and if you work hard you will reap the benefits.

At the end

maybe do something that they will remember you by, bake some cakes, write a letter of thanks, give them a card

Enjoy it

This may be one of the most important ones to remember. If you spend each day crying and hating your experience, then it’s not worth it. Get the best out of it and enjoy every moment! 107


Part 3

What next?


Alas, the end is nigh. Leaving an internship can feel pretty daunting, what to do next? Companies who use interns probably go through them quicker than their low carb, low cal salads, so it’s important that you try to be they one they remember should an actual paid job ever come up you’ll be first on the list. It may be a good idea to drop the team an email now and again to see if they need any help, have they a big shoot coming up they need an assistant for? Is it fashion week and could they use an extra pair of hands front of house? Is there a big launch coming up they need help with? There’s always something that they could use you for, so try to keep in contact. As they may not be leaving you voicemails with jobs coming up, it may be worth checking out careers websites, careers pages and Twitter to see if there are any jobs going there. Having worked there previously you can just email your contact and have a personal way in. Although it may feel like you’ve already done enough to secure a job, you can never do enough interning and a lot of job roles have been secured by just interning at the company at the right time (frustratingly) so stick at it and get schmoozing. 110

The Long Run

Once you’ve done the rounds of free work experience and have built up a good amount of contacts, it may be time to start looking for the holy grail of placements: the contracted one. Long term placements can be anything from 3 months to a year and in some cases they are even paid (hurruh!)

Start Early

Use Your Contacts

A great place to start is when you’re actually on your placements, seeing what interns there are, the person in charge of training you may actually be an intern so would know how to jump from work experience to paid intern. Asking your manager if they do offer paid long term placements would also be good as that shows your interest in staying with the company.

When you’re on placement keep your ear to the ground to find out when the next internship might be coming up and make a note. Even if it comes up after you’ve left, email them a few weeks before the placement should be available and ask to be considered.

Keep Searching Finding anything that’s actually advertised can really be a case of digging and more digging. Lots of companies have careers sections on their websites that may advertise their paid placements. There’s also some great intern specific websites showcasing all the internships out there, check out the helpful websites section for more advice. 111

Plan B

If interning has gotten the better of you and you’ve made your last cup of coffee, then don’t give up all hope, just try a different route.

Blog to Job

As you may have noticed blogging is pretty big at the moment, and now it’s not just about having a bit of fun on the internet but can actually lead to a job. Alexxsia Elizabeth who runs the blog ‘My Labyrinth’ now also works for Company magazine and explains how her blog helped her nab her job.


What do you get up to at Company?

Has your blog helped your career?

I am the Fashion Writer/Stylist at Company Magazine, day to day my work varies, I could be writing stories for the mag; researching potential stories/people to feature, working on our weekly app, styling shoots and sometimes photographing for various pieces.

My blog has always been an extension of my fashion profile, just as Twitter or Pinterest is part of what I do. Having a blog meant that I was introduced to liaising with PRs early on and getting to know them, and getting on newsletters/mailing lists really helped get a foot into the fashion industry.

Why is it great to blog?

Any great tips for blogging?

To figure out what you really love as well as sticking to themes and deadlines, the great thing about starting your own blog is that you chose what to feature, you have your own voice and tone and you can create something that is entirely yours. It’s such a great, malleable space to play around with your ideas and talents. The more you write the more you will figure out your own style and tone, this will alter over time but it’s a good way to look back and see how you’ve come on, also learning to fit all of the interesting information into a small word count!

Try not to think of it too much as your online CV, it probably is, but don’t freak out about it, just post what you love and do it lots, when you are ready you’ll know, and then you can start sending your blog address out along with your CV and cover letter, like I said, it’s an extension of your talent, not a sole fast track into a job.

What makes a blog stand out? Well, I always look for dynamic writing, even if it’s good titles of posts, you can really tell from a couple of posts whether someone could write well for Company, we look for a relaxed and chatty style which feels very natural than forced and formal. Spelling is always good.

How to get where you are? I would say really decide what you want to do and get loads of experience, but when on a placement, really make the most of it, work super hard and make an impression, because that will get you to your next step. I would also say, particularly with journalism, that you would benefit from doing a course; it might be a short summer course, college or uni, whatever feels right for you, but those skills are good to know before you even start interning. 113

Train Me Up

You’ve heard all the horror stories, bitchy bosses making their interns pick up the dry cleaning or run half way around London for samples, which aren’t exactly beneficial learning experiences (unless of course you plan on being a slave). But, hallelujah, some big companies do some great training schemes that offer on the job, paid internships from a couple of months to a couple of years. Here’s a few examples:

IPC Editorial A yearly training scheme to work with the editorial team full time for 18 months. They hire two people every year onto their multi-media editorial training scheme across IPC, focused on online journalism. (

The Times

They normally take one or two trainees at the beginning of each September. Trainees are offered two-year contracts, undertaking the second year after a passing the first. (email:


The BBC do a number of training schemes for everything from production and design to business and journalism. Most of their schemes are yearlong and guarantee training on the job. (


Be Free Now, it’s not all just about being able to stay in bed past 10am, but freelancing can be exactly what it says on the tin: free. It’s great for working independently building your portfolio, so If styling, design, photography or writing is your thing then as well as interning, it can be a great idea to freelance a little on the side. You’ll be getting great experience but you will have a fab portfolio too, proving your talent. Whether it’s freelancing as yourself alone or as an assistant, the work your do is a great addition to your CV and portfolio and a great way to make contacts and get networking. As a writer writing for free is part of the job description, but freelancing in your spare time for online magazines or blogs could be great as a on the side venture to get some exposure.

As an aspiring stylist or photographer start doing some test shoots with a team in the same position as you or find up and coming bands that are looking to be styled for their music video or shot for promotional images. Things like that are the way to get noticed. Freelance stylists and photographers are also always looking for reliable assistants, and jobs can even be paid up to £100 a day and you would learn an invaluable amount. Designers who are just starting out could freelance by selling their work online or in independent boutiques instead of going to work for a fashion house or design company. It’s a great way to get exposure, show you take initiative and have a business mind but also get some money to build your name. ASOS Marketplace and Ebay could be great places to start out. 115

Section 4

Words Of Wisdom


Intern Essentials Notepad. Always have this to hand; when someone asks you to do something it will inevitably turn into two or three things so write it down

London map . Could even be worth marking off places you’ve already been to keep an updated map of places you visit as an intern

Pen. To do said writing

Water. Two litres a day don’t cha know! Glowy skin and lots of energy to keep you going

Camera. Handy to take pictures of addresses or things you need to remember. Or snap those uhh-mazing shoes that just came in Comfy shoes. It may be tempting to wear sky high heels, it’s probable you’ll be running about so choose footwear wisely Tube map. Because London transport love to throw in a curveball when you least expect it

Hand cream. Because unwrapping samples/letters all day is hell on your hands Diary. It’s important to be organised so writing down things you need to do over the next few days will keep you up to date Spare pen. Because there are never enough pens. Anywhere. Ever. 117

Flats in your bag If you can survive all day in heels then kudos to you. If not, a nice pair of flats for running around in then slip on some heels for the party.

Cheap bag If you’re working fashion week you might have to leave your bag somewhere so pick a bag you wouldn’t mind being ‘lost’.

Cereal bars There’s no such thing as a lunch break when it comes to fashion week so its important to bring snacks to keep your energy levels up.

Sunglasses If you’re going to be street style snapped, then it must be in sunglasses, darling.

Camera This may be you’re only chance to see any of the shows so a few cheeky pics whilst no one is looking to boast to your friends.

Coconut water 118

Fashion week fashionistas are now swearing by this stuff, full of goodness to keep your energy levels up and hydrate you properly. Be warned: the taste is a unique one.

Lipstick Working front of house or backstage most likely means wearing black, so add a pop of colour on your lips. With all those hunky male models around you could find the man of your dreams.

Concealer Because after three hours of running around like a headless chicken you won’t be looking your best, so get after party reading and slick some concealer on.

Notebook You should never be without a notebook and pen, because the day you forget it will be the day you’re sent to some place you’ve never heard of to collect ten different types of sandwiches you’ll never remember.

Business cards You will be around some of the most important people in the fashion industry from buyers to editors, so get networking.


Glossary Androgynous Think the iconic YSL Le Smoking jacket, girls rocking menswear Appointments Not for the Doctor, but instead when stylists arrange to go to PR companies and check out the latest pieces Asymmetric Dresses usually scene on a Friday night in Liquid, just one arm Bespoke Made to measure, reserved for the rich and famous (See also Haute Couture) Blogosphere The world of blogs, and there’s a lot out there so don’t get lost. Boucle A la’ the classic Chanel jacket, a type of sewn jacket Breton Nautical stripe tee, usually in blue & white. Ahoy. Broderie Anglaise A type of cut out lace (See Louis Vuitton Spring/ Summer 2012) Brogue Barely off the feet of fashion darling Alexa Chung, a low heeled lace up shoe that looks better battered below a vintage tea dress Buzzwords Exciting words that summarise a project, when trying to make something interesting throw a few of these in to wow Cable knit Thick knit jumper with a plait style pattern, something you Nan would make Call In When stylists are putting together a shoot they contact PR’s to call in samples Chelsea Boot An indie/rah favourite, flat ankle boots with an elasticated patch on the side. Again look better battered 120

Chic Made ultra famous by Sh*t Fashion Girls say P’Trique (check out YouTube) used to describe something that’s classy or cute. Collab Collaboration. When people come together to make amaze things (see J.W Anderson for Topshop) Colour blocking When a person fabulously combines two or more bright colours in an outfit Consumer The person you’re aiming your brand/article/image at, someone you want to buy your stuff Coverage As in “Did you see our totes amaze coverage in this months Elle magazine?” When a brand gets featured in the press Credits The reason when on a shoot you need a notebook to write down what’s in each look as you have to hand these in before going to print DM Direct messaging on Twitter, for naughty messages Edit When a fashion editor and an editor come together to pull together the final looks for a shoot Editing The dreaded task of reading through and checking your article Empire Line A dress that goes out a bit like a triangle, tight at top, big at the bottom Fedora A fashion blogger favourite, before used only by detectives in TV shows FROW The fashion week seats coveted by all and taken by the crème of the fashion world Gingham Small colour and white block checks, usually used for school summer dresses


Hashtag As in “I can’t believe I just spotted R-Patz at LFW! hashtag totes amaze” A Twitter thing used when you’re done talking but still have something to say, used for emphasis Haute Couture Custom made clothing, only can be made in Paris, (See Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars 2013) Hipster They who made the beanie hat die Look Book Used by fashion brands to showcase their new collections Lust Have A term in magazines/blogs for something so amazing you must have it Main fashion The big, glossy photo shoots in a magazine, usually styled by the most important fashion editor Mood Board Lots of cutting and sticking to create something that represents the mood of what you’re trying to create New Face Models who have just been signed to an agency looking to build their portfolio, may sometimes shoot for free Niche Something a bit special, hasn’t been done before On Trend Describes someone who has styled themselves by the recent collections Peek-a-boo Not the kids game, instead a type of clothing that shows bits of skin (see Rihanna, all the time) Pop-Up A shop that is only around for a short while to create excitement. Usually cupcakes Press Day When PR companies arrange all their designers collections and invite the press to have a look, often involves champagne. Pret-a-Porter Or ready-to-wear, clothing that is made in lots of sizes easily bought for anyone. Not to be confused with online retailer Neta-Porter 122

Returns The dreaded word. Once a shoot is done it’s usually up to the intern/assistant to send everything back RT Or Retweet, if you’re good at Twitter you will get these by being funny. Or posting pictures of puppies. Samples Clothing, shoes and accessories borrowed from designers for events or the press (See any dress worn by a celeb for a big event) Shopping Pages Still life images of clothes and accessories put together usually by trend, no model involved. Story A fashion ed’s favourite word to describe their fashion shoot, it’s a story not a picture Style Up Used by fashionistas to describe the way in which to make something a bit drab into something nice by adding some accessories or other items of clothing, “I’ll style it up with some bangles” Tagging On Facebook or Twitter you can tag people in pictures or posts to involve them in what you’re saying Viral When something that’s been posted online starts being talked about by everyone and seen everywhere, can be good or bad


Names To Know Editor - Anna Wintour It would almost be a crime to not know who Anna Wintour is, the ever feared editor-in-chief of American Vogue is most probably the most famous person in fashion. Arguably the inspiration behind The Devil Wears Prada Anna can make or break any designers career with the simplest of mouth movements. Shiver.

Blogger - Susie Bubble It could be said that blogger extrodinaire Susie, from Style Bubble (, was one of the first bloggers to hit it big time and put blogging on the map. Her quirky style and access all areas passes means her blog is as much read as any fashion magazine. 124

Film – Nick Knight Designer - Sarah Burton The designer for Alexander McQueen is now one of the most famous London designers, thanks to her involvement in the Royal Wedding, designing the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress. She’s now turned the brand into a household name, making the shows a must see each season for their visual spectacular.

It’s easy to see that film and fashion are becoming fast friends, especially as everything is coming online, but Nick Knight saw all that coming when he launched SHOWstudio in 2000. The site not only streams live fashion shoes but features fashion films and interviews.

Make Up –Pat McGrath The woman who put make up artistry as an actual art. She has worked for Gucci to Miu Miu and is the holy grail for how women will be wearing their make-up each season.


PR - Nicki Bidder As managing director for one of the biggest PR companies around Nicki is in charge of a team bigger than the Royal Family. Previously the editor at Dazed and Confused, she now represents brands such as Jonathon Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic and Peter Pilotto. Stylist – Katie Grand Also editor of Avant Gard magazine Love, Grand is a super- stylist, not only has she been stylist at Dazed and Confused, fashion editor for the Face, then editor for Pop and now Love, she has also worked with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, Prada and leather label Hogan. Oh and she also dated Giles Deacon.

Social Media - Christopher Bailey The Burberry chief creative officer has made sure that every Burberry show is one to remember. He turned an aging British heritage brand into something lusted over by fashionistas old and young. His innovative social media ideas, like the flagship Regent Street store in London where “magic mirrors” act as a fitting room and there’s the biggest video screen in any store in the world, making the store a truly digital wonderland.


Model - Cara Delevingne Move over Kate Moss there’s a new super in town. With her gorgeous good looks and fun personality Cara has it all. Literally. She’s been the face of everyone from Burberry and Hogan to ASOS and H&M. Known for her thick eyebrows and behind the scenes mischief Cara is fashions it girl here to stay.

Photographer – Tim Walker Instantly recognisable for his dream like images and use of extraordinary props, Tim is one of the most entrancing photographers. He first started out as an assistant to legendary photographer Richard Avedon but soon became an icon in his own right, with his photos gracing the pages of fashion magazines such as British, American, French and Italian Vogue, W and Vanity Fair.


Notes to Self...


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Helpful Websites ASOS careers - Conde Nast careers - Creative Opportunities - Fashion Workie - Glamour Magazine - Go Think Big - Gumtree- Harri Hearts - HC Fashion Insider - Hearst Careers - Inspiring Intern - IPC Media careers - Media Muppet - Moo - Net-a-Porter - Not Just A Label – The Creative Book – UK Fashion intern -


Get Involved We would love to hear your stories, advice or general feedback, so if you’ve anything to say about the book or interning in general drop us a little email, we love a good chin wag.


Image Credits Cover, back and all illustrations by Bex Bourne Emma Griffiths p. 8,10, 11, 86 (large), 87 (large), 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95 Stacey Ford Blog p. 22 Show Studio p. 25 Caroline Allen p. 29 Alex Blythin Blog p. 32 Joshua Harrison p. 34 Amy Borrell Blog p. 36, 37, 64, 65, 132 Lauren Billington p. 40 The Communications Store p. 43 Style Bistro p. 44 Trendstop Blog p. 45 Kenton Magazine p. 46 Laura Turner Blog p. 48 Emma Barrow (photographer) Lucy Jayne (Make-up & Hair) Emma Griffiths (Styling) Olivia Ancell (Model) p. 53-63 Anna Siddiqui p. 72 Hobbs Blog p. 82 The Cherry Blossom Girl Blog p. 83, 84, 86 (small), 87 (small) A Girl, A Style Blog p. 85 Style at Home Blog p. 99 (top) 138

Attitudes Summit p. 99 (bottom)

Milk Bubble Tea Blog p. 100, 101 Find a TV Expert p. 102 My Labyrinth Blog p. 110 Mulberry Blog p. 117 Fashion Love Affairs Blog p. 122 (top) Candy Ping Ping Blog p. 122 (bottom) The Scotsman p. 123 (left) Noveen Kahn Photography Blog p. 123 (center) Chanel Boateng Blog p. 123 (right) Glutton for Grandeur Blog p. 124 (top) Chirag H Patel Blog p. 124 (center) Guardian Online p.124 (bottom) F Tape p. 125 (top) Garbedge p. 125 (bottom)


Special Thanks I would firstly like to thank all those who have contributed to the making of this book, both those who spent time and effort creating all the amazing visuals and those who allowed me to take their time sending them questions and asking many favours, without them this book wouldn’t have been possible (or at least any good). Writing this book has been great for me to see how the fashion industy is taking shape, the importance of interns in all aspects of this industry but also how this importance isn’t always being realised in an industry tightening those purse strings more and more. Everyone has an opinion on the plight of the fashion intern, with all sorts getting involved, but no matter your opinion it’s fact that those wanting to work in fashion, must intern beforehand which why I felt this book was of vital importance. Interns need to know what to expect and what to do, so they aren’t only wasting their employers time (if you can call the boss on an unpaid worker that) but their own time too. It’s time interns stuck together and stopped fighting against one another for jobs, but fighting to become equal people worthy of payment, and my book aims to be that first stepping stone. So thank you for reading this book, because that means you’re one of those people who wants to be the best, which always should be rewarded if you ask me. Maybe one day we’ll see the end of the bitches and more fabulous wardrobes.


As a fashion intern you not only have to make tea, deliver parcels and deal with bitchy fashion types, but you also have to actually be good at these tasks. An intern herself, weaving her way into the world of fashion styling, Emma shares her advice for making it as an intern, featuring advice from other interns and some fabulous people who interned their way to their jobs now. With advice from start to finish of your internship Emma gives you an insight into the world of an intern. Oh, and always add the milk after removing the tea bag.

The Intern, The Bitch & The Wardrobe  

A Guide For Fashion Interning

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