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!
Melissa Rubini, Fashion Director InStyle
“If I can remember correctly my very first fashion job was assisting Edward Enninful for an Italian Vogue editorial shoot with photographer Craig McDean. I was the second assistant at that shoot which basically entailed organizing all samples, steaming all looks, and, to my surprise, lending part of what I was wearing to Edward, since the theme of the shoot involved a certain punk mood and I was dressed with a combination of vintage pieces and Trash & Vaudeville favorites. That recommendation came through friends while I was still studying photography and art history. I loved how creative the day was and continued to work with Edward on many more projects whenever he was in NY.
[My advice is to] be persistent, do your homework and try to learn as much as possible about the industry; and don’t ever think you are above a certain task… You never know who will recommend you to your next job.
The fashion world is extremely competitive, and therefore you have to give your best. Knowledge about designers, brands and the industry as a whole is key both in print and digitally—that is a given. I receive resumes frequently and archive the ones I think could potentially be needed in the near future. After making sure that a candidate has the qualifications for the job, I try my best to identify the guiding forces someone has… Strong work ethic, team work, kindness and my ability to trust every person in my team are very important to me.”