Fashion is one of those industries that can seem near impossible to enter—whether your dream is to become an editor, stylist, designer, photographer, creative director, buyer, publicist… (okay, so there are a lot of options). Even here, we get emails every day asking about potential internships, opportunities to freelance and possible jobs. And we get it; we’ve been there. Getting your foot in the door is the ultimate challenge, which will lead (fingers crossed) to the ultimate reward: your dream job. So we started asking around because everyone has to start somewhere. Herein, how people who work at some of our favourite companies in fashion, from Net-A-Porter and Moda Operandi to Teen Vogue and Paper Magazine, talk about how they got in the door and what they look for when they’re hiring. Prepare your resumés accordingly, friends!
“I used to call myself a professional intern because I started fashion internships at the age of 14 and pretty much kept them up for ten years. My first real gig was at Paige Premium Denim in LA—I sent jeans to celebrities and learned sample trafficking (lifelong skill), and when I moved to New York for grad school I interned at Tory Burch and DVF. The teams at both companies were amazing and I felt very lucky to be working for such strong female leaders. I kept in touch with many of the girls I worked for and they all helped me get my next internships and then my first official job.
Intern in as many areas as possible. I interned everywhere: a magazine, an emerging designer, a denim company, a contemporary brand, an events company, a modelling agency and a luxury brand—by the time I was ready for a real job I had experience in every single area of the business.
[When I hire for an internship or entry-level position, I look for] energy and a genuine interest to learn and work hard. Some activities might actually be getting coffee or organizing supply closets, but other ones will be event planning or assisting on shoots—it’s not all glamorous (and neither is the real job itself), but if you can smile and be energetic throughout all of it, you will be remembered as a great intern and other doors will open after. I can always tell if a potential intern has the hunger to be there or simply wants something to put on his or her resume.”