The intern



The very word intern has become heavily scrutinised in the fashion industry for offering very little, but expecting a great deal in return. Hollywood has certainly helped contribute to the trials and tribulations as faced by Anne Hathaway in the comedy-drama, The Devil Wears Prada. Whilst sweeping generalisations dont help there are equally many great internship stories to balance out the not so nice.


Internships are generally competitive and require a huge amount of diligence and hard work from the individual. Saying that they potentially can unlock a wealth of opportunities and contacts from those starting out on their career trajectories. The breadth of the fashion industry can be overwhelming and the first thing to decide is on the type of fashion to specialise on before seeking out applications.


Another contentious issue raising its head on both sides of the pond is the status of pay. For most, internships have been an unpaid affair. A healthy recession twinned with the highest unemployment recorded have left some designers with civil lawsuits on their hands from interns seeking recompense for hours worked. So is the tide turning? This one will be closely watched by industry and we hope that interns everywhere should at least have the minimum wage, otherwise the barrier of entry will remain only to those who can afford not to work and may not be the best talent in the first place.  


So what exactly should an intern expect from their placement? We spoke with interns from various fashion houses and broke down some common themes.  




The basic back-bone of any business is attention to detail which starts with administrative duties. The email inbox, returning calls, tracking communications on social media. For those with more experience helping out with editorial layouts, press-release formation and creating promotional material. Photo ShootsCreating visual content is paramount and a lot of work goes into tracking garments and inventory from various design houses. Depending on the type of internship this may take a good amount of your work time. 



Whilst most interns will not actually design, they may have the opportunity to work closely with a designer. Assisting with mood boards and fabric selections down to running errand related chores for setting up show rooms.




For serious interns every event is a networking opportunity. There will be countless events you could independently as a blogger or as a representative intern. If you donít have a business card now would be the time to make one, represent yourself well as you never know whose company you may find yourself in.



A final note remember that a successful internship is all about cultivating great relationships and making sure you learning curve has increased. For many it is a positive experience and a building block to your next job. So best heel forward and good luck.



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