Updated: Jun 30, 2018
The fashion industry has made a name for itself in the city of New York. From runway shows at fashion week, to the red carpet and award ceremonies, and to the insane after parties. All, shed light and exploit how rich and glamorous everyday life can be in the industry. Having a chance to work and intern seems like a dream for fashion lovers of all kinds. The more the industry grows, it would look that the fashion doors are wide open, but that’s not the case. Work hard play hard is the motto you were taught growing up, but things don’t always happen in that order.
For starters, everyone’s experience is different, and it’s all directed in your own point of view. Every office and management is run differently, and they’re always changing. Money is kept tight, publications are letting numerous employees go, and not many are willing to pay for work or lift a salary where money is leaving in fashion.
When I was in college, I didn’t know what went on in a publication office space, but I wanted to learn. I had my own ideas that I wanted to create and make happen in my future, and interning in the fashion industry I thought was going to be helpful to explore my interest. Like many, experiences in the industry happy during school, and college credits are pretty acceptable in exchange for internship work.
When you're on the look for your first internship, always look for something you are very much interested in. Obviously, it’s the most obvious thing you’ll do, but you’ll learn so much. The most prominent thing you will learn is if you want to continue to pursue a career within. You will meet people and make connections. You realize the hours of “mornings” to “late.” What it’s like sitting in a cubical alone. How much time it takes to do research and more.
After a few weeks of interning in the fashion world, you realize how things are. A PR firm will fire you for unrelated problems or reasons, a magazine’s budget is too low to hire even anyone new, a showrooms office will have you crying on the floor, and so on and so on. (Other experiences not just mine) Don’t worry, interning in the fashion world isn’t as real as The Devil Wears Prada makes it seem.
The truth about interning is understanding that there is not enough time in a day and understanding that everyone is too busy for you. You have to make the initiative to prove others who you are. And failing to do so, you are just another intern. As we leave internships, we start to think if what we “learned” would even help us with future jobs? We aren’t humanly created with attention to detail until we have to be. Have you heard the saying if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? It still has an effect, either way, doesn’t it? You may not think it will help, but it does.
Things won’t always fall in order the way we would want them too. For myself, internships weren’t enough for me, and I wasn’t going to stop there. I’ve had my experience through internships, work, and my blog, but I wanted to dig deeper.
Getting a job in the industry or any work field you are in, is hard. A lot of times I hear that people say they feel things should be "handed" to them. You can be anything you want, you can even be a better writer than I am, but that doesn’t mean anything to me or anyone else if you’re "experienced" or "smart work" isn’t connected. No one cares. No one cares about “hard work” People who already work in the industry understand this method. You can have everything you want, but you truly need to want it in order for you to have it. If you don’t want it, no one will give you a chance or their time.
An internship will help, but sometimes you will need more than just an internship to prove who you are. When you meet people don’t come off cocky or rude. By this, I mean don’t tell someone who is a good writer, that you are also a good writer. Or that you know how to style someone amazing, have a love for fashion, or that you understand fashion better than anyone else. No. One. Cares. “Hard work” people love that you work hard, don’t forget that, but it’s the smart work that makes the difference. Don’t work hard, work smart. xo
Photo by Cody McClintock
Instagram - @codycm