I am the daughter of an auto mechanic and a professor and from the Midwest. Needless to say, when I moved to New York City at the age of eighteen, I had no connections. I must have interviewed at twenty different companies before I got my first internship in fashion, and that I got through a national contest! I guess the lesson I learned was to keep at it, work hard, and eventually a break will come.
For those of you who want to break into the fashion industry, here are some tips that I wish I had when I started:
Be prepared. I subscribed to WWD (the fashion industry bible!) through high school and still read it daily. This has helped like none other!
Know what you’re getting yourself into. With working (and especially interning) in the fashion industry comes long hours, crazy personalities, and unglamourous tasks. Make sure this is the career path is for you!
Learn something from every experience. At one of my internships, I spent days just packing boxes. Sounds pointless, but in the end I knew every important PR firm and showroom in New York and what brands they represented.
If you have connections, use them. This may sound like cheating, but it will definitely give you a leg-up.
Don’t burn bridges. You never know who you will be working with (or under!) in the future.
Tags: conde nast, fashion, fashion industry, fashion intern, teen vogue