How To Secure an Internship In The Fashion Industry

Labels or Love – Fergie

I’ve always had an interest in fashion, as far back as I can remember. I’ve been that person that relates everything back to the industry that’s worth billions of pounds. It’s a passion of mine that fuels the purpose in my life. Throughout the years, I’ve had countless internships, attended fashion week, met well-known enthusiasts (Olivia Palermo and much more) in the industry, visited fashion houses such as Vogue as well as blogged about it on Bumascloset.

Scroll through my previous posts, I came across a post detailing my previous work experience at a showroom for LFW and immediately had a wave of nostalgia hit me like a ton of brick. Presently, I’m in a completely different career that gears me away from the fashion world. But I’m blogging about it, living vicariously through previous colleagues preparing for this season’s fashion week. Despite this, I’ve had lots of enquiries from people on the ways to step into the fast-paced “glamorous”, interactive, and creative industry. It’s time to divulge my knowledge of ways to secure the elusive, career-changing internship.

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Through my dedication to the industry, trials and errors on the job and endless drafts of CV, along with some advice from a friend of mine that worked alongside with me on numerous fashion shows, here’s the formula to get you ahead in the competitive field.

Brainstorm Before The Write-up
Just like any other industry, a brainstorm usually occurs to determine the sector, and the company to work for, before writing the award-winning CV that could reduce HR to pick up their phone and give you a call. The fashion industry offers a wide range of opportunity to step into the world. Working for a fashion magazine isn’t the only route to take. You have the PR and Marketing sector, the stylist and photographer agency as well as the designers’. Even though it’s competitive, I stepped into the industry by sending my CV to PR and marketing companies. I enjoy writing, taking part in fashion shows, working backstage at events and I enjoyed organising events. The PR industry offered the skill set as well as create the opportunities to work with companies that cater to luxury brands.

The steps I took to secure a placement, was to determine the “part-time or full time” dilemma and the types of internship I wanted.

The types of internships available; the fashion week, part-time and full time.

The fashion week internship can be anything from a day to a couple of weeks and are popular amongst PR Companies. This internship doesn’t require many skills and isn’t prestigious, but it prepares and tests to see if you’re compatible with the industry. The tasks you’ll undertake are preparing for delivering invites via postage or in person, dressing at shows, working in front of the house at the shows, tidying the showroom, picking up calls and answering to emails and many more. You can go long hours without lunch, or eat as you work, endless hours of being on your feet, creativity. The fashion week internships are easier to get and great for your CV.

Part Time is the best kind to get. It allows the flexibility to study and gain experience, or work at a place part term to earn money while getting experience in a career you want. These internships are common with start-up companies and designers, looking for someone to run their social media account and help with the day-to-day run of the company. If you have a great relationship with your manager, it can lead to full-time employment. Well, it depends on their budget.

The most sort after internship – the full-timer. It’s the internship that ranges from 3 months to a year. Some companies offer to pay for travel (zone 1-6), and food. While some pay you the minimum wage, depends on their budget. Graduates, students on sandwich year looking for placements, people changing their careers with no-experience are gunning for a full-time internship, making it competitive to get one. The Conde Nast, Hearst, PR Firms, Styling agency and many more offer this placement. When applying for a Full-time internship, it will require the two P’s – Patience and Persistence. So hang on tight.

Where To Send Your CV
Whenever someone asks the best way to approach applying for the Fashion week internship, I always direct them to schedule a section of the LFW website to click on the shows that will showcase their collection. It’s the best way to find the PRs’ and sales in charge of their favourite designers’, or upcoming talents. It’s also advisable to email them three months in advance if you want to experience the full spectrum of the planning, and preparation for the biggest week in the fashion industry calendar. Through this, you could get part-time work if you work hard and the managers like you.

As well as the LFW website, there are great websites that focus on the creative, fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry. You have sites such as;

FashionWorkie,
Fashion United,
UK Fashion interns,
The Dots,
Businessoffashion,
UAL career site,
Fashion monitor,
Fashion Insight
Diary Directory
and Linkedin

Utilize Your Linkedin
A social media site for professionals. It’s the best networking site to look for potential employers, careers and upload your CVs. If you’re not familiar with this site, it’s time to google in the most effective way to use it.

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Turn Emailing Into A Full-Time Job
As well as perfecting your CV, it’s also important to learn the appropriate email etiquette. That means knowing what to write in the subject box to make the employer aware of the context of the email. So it’s best to use Application for Internship, Inquiring for Internship Opportunity and many more will suffice.
Using LinkedIn to look for the hiring manager will help you when it comes to addressing the email to the right person. Instead of using To Whom It May Concern, or Dear Sir/Madam, you’ve shown a proactive side to you. Then the context of the email should include mentioning reasons for applying, detailing your work experience that has transferable skills, attach your CV and link to a website that showcases your passion for the industry. Google examples of cover letters and CVs to help you further.

Be On Top
As the industry is competitive, it’s advisable to send your CV early in the morning so that the person in charge of hiring will see your CV in their inbox first thing in the morning. Also, applying late at night or in the evening after work, or uni is also best. Be proactive, resilient, and stay positive.

I hope you’ll utilise some of the tips I’ve shared. Let me know what your thoughts are and how you get on. xxx

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