Last Week I had the privilege of spending five days in New York City with the fashion merchandising program from my school. Since I hadn't been to the city in a while it was so awesome to see it again from a new perspective. During two of the days we had appointments with different companies such as Michael Kors, BCBG, Kohl's design studios, and more to get different views of the fashion industry.
The first appointment we had was with Marie Claire Magazine. Considering my love for fashion magazines I was really excited to get a look inside the office. Walking up to the Hearst Corporation building was a sight all in itself. Being one of the coolest buildings in New York it was awesome being able to go inside. Besides Marie Claire, the Hearst building houses other magazines such has Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and more.
First we rode up the diagonal escalator that lead us to the cafeteria floor where we could see a lot of fashionistas on their break before we then headed up on the elevator to Marie Claire. Once we got inside the office a young lady dressed in converse high tops, jeans, and a jean vest who happened to be the "fashion assistant" showed us a quick tour of the copy room and the closet itself. The copy room was really awesome to see because you could see all of what they were putting together for the August issue and what they already were starting on for the September issue (we got to see the photo shoot for who will be on the cover for September but it's not to be revealed, hence why no pictures were taken in this room). That past weekend they had done a photo shoot outside of the city on a ranch. She briefly explained how they all hopped on a motor home with trunks and trunks of clothes and had to dress models in the dirt and mud (it was rainy) all while keeping track of every piece of jewelry, coat, hairpiece, and anything else that was borrowed. At the end of the day she had interns patting down the hay in the barn to make sure they didn't drop anything. Basically, I think she was trying to get the point across that working for a fashion magazine isn't as glamorous as it seems from the outside.
Then she lead us back through the office to the fashion closet. Now, I don't know about anyone else but when I think of a fashion closet my mind floats to the scenes of The Devil Wears Prada. It was far from what I pictured, it was a lot smaller and a lot messier. However, it was still all a girl could dream of with racks and racks of beautiful designer clothing, shelves and rows of amazing shoes, and tables of shiny expensive jewelry. While she was briefing us on what goes on in the closet, there were about 5-8 interns bustling around organizing all the clothes that were to be sent out. Behind me were organized racks of clothes that were recently received and to be used in photo shoots to come. She also told us about her job and how she started as an intern in 2010 (if i'm remembering correctly) and was offered a job eventually with the company.
Coming out of the office made me realize a lot of things but with one major reality check. This is no 9-5 job, if you're working for a magazine you have a massive amount of deadlines that must be met so you'll be answering e-mails till your head hits your pillow late at night. Her example: remember fashion cities are all across the world with different time zones, so borrowing a Louis Vuitton coat straight from the runway in Paris that then needs to be sent straight to Vogue Japan at a certain time and date takes a lot of management and communication to get it done right without messing up your relationship with the company.
One of the racks that will be used for future spread based on fur (almost tucked that Burberry top in my purse ;) )
Now, how do you get an internship with a fashion magazine? I thought it was a long complicated process, however she made it quite simple. Shes currently finishing up her fall intern list and about to work on spring soon enough. The sooner you apply the better chance you'll get the job when you want it. Also, I'm not sure about other magazines but it's as simple as getting a contact in the company and emailing them your resume to forward to the person hiring interns. Remember it's New York City so there are a ton of fashion students from Parson's and FIT that are able to hop on the subway after classes and volunteer their time easily. To give us some hope she told us she keeps her mind open, some of the people with the best resumes that have interned with other magazines don't have the same drive and passion to want to be there as a random fashion student from Wyoming. So keep your hopes up and find a contact!
BUT even after she stressed to us how hands on and intense her job is, it is definitely a job I still keep on my list of possible interests (along with many, many others). If you love the magazine world and love fashion, look into your options but remember the reality of any job isn't always what your picture it up to be!