Jobs & Internships

Fashion Internship Tips from the Pros

Summer is finally here and the summer internship programs at some of the major magazines are well underway. At Fashion Indie Media we already have three interns who have started and two more set to come on board at the end of the month. We’ve been thinking of setting up some intern guidelines, but the kind folks at WWD beat us to it.

Check out their tips for interns from industry pros and be ready as you start your summer in servitude.

- Do dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

At Other Magazines: Lucky editor in chief Kim France observed that, in general, interns often don’t dress to really impress. “I’m really surprised that they don’t overdress. Some of them show up right on point, but they never show up too professional. The best thing to do is take a cue from the editors of the magazines where you work.” One example of a way-too-informally dressed intern was a young woman who worked at Elle. “Last year a girl showed up with a bikini top on with a little jacket over it,” recalled Elle editor in chief Roberta Myers. “It was definitely a bathing suit. Probably not appropriate, unless you want to work for Hawaiian Tropic.”

At Fashion Indie: Daniel Saynt dresses like a bum. Three years of working from home have made him into a veritable hobbit. Expect a steady stream of sweat pants and tee shirts. Oh, yeah and bathing suit tops? Very appropriate.  Why ruin your nice clothes on Wet T-shirt Wednesdays?

- Don’t even think about wearing flip-flops.

At Other Magazines: Nearly every editor expressed how much they loathed seeing flip-flops in the office. “The flip-flop thing gets me,” said GQ’s Moore. “They’re rolling clothing racks and can roll it over their toe. If you really have to do the sandal thing, go for something more constructed, like a John Varvatos sandal. I don’t care if you wear Birkenstocks. But I think a thong is for the beach, not even on the streets of New York. There’s something about having your feet exposed to the elements.” Seventeen’s Shoket agreed: “I’m not a fan of flip-flops in the office. You should not dress like you’re going on the Jitney to the Hamptons. I’m fine with another kind of sandal.”

At Fashion Indie: Don’t even think about wearing flip flops. Certain people in the office, who will remain unnamed, have weird foot fetishes. And exposed toe is an invitation.

- Do keep underwear under your garments.

At Other Magazines: “The fashion interns are going to be crouching in the closet and bending down, so you need to make sure your underwear stays below your waistband. You need to make sure that you’re not flashing your underpants to the messengers,” said Shoket, advising against flashing a “whale tale” — when your thong comes above the waistband of your pants in the back. “We’ve had whale tale sightings in the past.” Also keep all bra straps covered. Exposed lingerie, said Vogue’s Burke, “was only cool on Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex and the City.’”

At Fashion Indie: Just as long as you don’t mind Daniel Saynt’s occasional “whale tale” then we’ll all be okay.
- Don’t go too short.

At Other Magazines: Shorts are a point of conflict for most editors, with a majority voting not to wear them in the office. “I would rather someone not come in [wearing] shorts. They can wear jeans, sneakers, a crumpled-up button down that’s been sitting on their futon for a couple of days if they choose. But no shorts,” said Dan Peres, Details editor in chief. Vogue’s Burke believed a longer-length short is acceptable for women. “You can look very polished if it’s a crisp city short. Short shorts, there’s a line you have to draw.” Michelle McCool, Cosmopolitan fashion director, also believed the city short is an acceptable look “as long as you’re not wearing them with a strappy sandal. And no cutoffs.”

At Fashion Indie: It’s summer. What are we Nazi’s? Of course shorts are okay!!!

- Finally, do have a look.

At Other Magazines: The interns who have been most memorable have been those who’ve had their own signature style while abiding by general rules of decency — and editors do reflect fondly on such standouts. Glamour’s Schwartz will even write about their inspiration on her blog. “I had this incredible intern. She wore shorts, she could even wear a romper, and look amazing. I love when interns take fashion risks. One day she would come in and look like Heidi. The next day she’d look like Sarah Jessica Parker in ‘Sex and the City.’”

“A lot of kids will abandon their personal style for a couple of days, or they’ll try to be too cooky,” said GQ’s Moore. “Both are inappropriate. If there’s one thing that I would encourage, it’s to wear something every day that is about their personal style. One guy wore a tie every day with a long-sleeve shirt, a short-sleeve shirt, with a cardigan or suspenders. That was always fun to see what he’d be wearing.”

At Fashion Indie: The homeless model look is always encouraged. If you look like Paris Hilton or Carrie Bradshaw we might have to kill you.

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Intern for W this Summer


Are you a college student who wants to be a stylist? Can you handle working for some of the biggest names in fashion?

W Magazine needs full time and part time interns for Fall ‘08, but be prepared to work 2-5 days a week, for 8 - 12 hours a day. And be able to justify working for free to Conde Nast by either being a real college student with a lot of free time, or a fake college student with a plausible explanation for why you have a semester off.

You will be working in the W fashion closet, calling in clothes, helping to pack for fashion shoots, and occasionally assisting on sets. You will be really bored and really stressed unless the only thing you have ever wanted to do is work at a fashion magazine. So be ready…

If you can handle that, email with a  quick explanation of why you will work until you collapse for nothing, and your Fall ‘08 schedule.


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