This blogpost is a little guide on how to get work experience/an internship with Vogue Magazine (British Vogue).
When I found out I got the placement, I CRIED & had a mini-asthma attack. What a geek right. I was alone on the train & my endless refreshing of emails on my phone paid off when I got the email to say I was accepted. My phone died from all the drama.
Anyway, how did this happen? Why was I worthy enough? Was it because they felt bad that I brought along an enormous black folder (that was bigger than me) filled with mood boards and they didn’t ask to see it?
A ton of people told me things like “oh my gawd that’s my dream job”, “I am so jealous, I hate you”, “why are you so lucky?!” and everything to that extent. Then, I ask them, “but did you apply?Nah?Thought so.” What I am trying to say is, instead of questioning why others have opportunities you do not have, question if you even TRIED to make an effort.
I hope my two-cents of sharing my experience will help you show you how to get an internship or a work placement with a fashion magazine. So, let’s get into it!
Here are some lengthy points to consider before you draft that cover letter:
- Be specific. When applying for any work experience, don’t just apply to the HR or general inquiries email. No one reads them. You need to write to specific people of specific departments. For example, want to work in the fashion cupboard? you need the amazing Lucinda Chambers. If its editorial, It’s Frances Bentley. You do not deserve work experience there if you haven’t got a clue who these people are! THEY ARE PART OF THE FASHION MONARCHY!!!! When I applied, I sent one to the general website email and one to the digital editorial assistant. I got two replies. One was a general rejection email from Alexandra Shulman’s PA but the email from the digital editorial assistant was the one inviting me to an interview. This shows I would have never gotten the interview if I did not write to the right person.
- Adore the magazine. I follow nearly all of the editors and directiors of Vogue on social media. The same with other fashion magazine staff. These people are sooo important, they are the ones who are on the frow during fashion week and highly respected by top designers. You need to be able to recognise them instantly. Like I nearly fainted seeing Sarah Harris in person & had palpitations knowing Lucinda Chambers was sat in close proximity.
- You must speak fashion. Do you know your Comme Des Garcons to your Hedi Slimane to your Fendi to your Dries Van Noten? If you don’t, why are you even thinking of applying? There are many people who are obsessed with the fashion world who have studied collections & appreciate it as an art. Ethan & I have in-depth conversations about fashion till we fall asleep (maybe that is a little too much). If you are one of those people who think that designers are not important and just high street clothing will do the job, then apply for magazines such as Look and Closer. You are simply wasting your time and Vogue’s because covering the latest and upcoming seasons is the biggest part of what they do. The same with all the big fashion magazines.
- Have relevant experience. We live in a time where you need experience to get experience. A Vogue internship is the golden ticket for many people so they receive applications throughout the day 24/7. You need to give it your 100% because if you don’t, someone else will give their 200%. I waited for years for this internship so I took up every possible work experience opportunity. The local paper, community radio (I did fashion reporting), university media, smaller magazines, etc. Don’t turn your nose up at opportunities that will give you experience. Lots of people thought it was “lame” that I was the Editor-in-Chief of my university’s student magazine but that gave me access to interviewing many celebrities and was one of the main reasons I got this internship.
- Stand out. I cannot stress the tough competition. I received ten rejection emails from Vogue before I was finally considered. During this time, Ethan & I started the Handbags and Gladrags Store. Our business was all to do with fashion & showed how passionate we were about the industry. To date, we sell preloved high end designer clothing as well as apparel from rare collections. This was the focal talking point during my interview which helped me stand out. A blog is your best bet to standing out. It shows you have a creative eye, research skills and of course writing abilities. Being a social media expert will give you brownie points too.
- The interview. Congrats if you’ve gotten this far! It is an amazing enough achievement to be recognised by them. Lucky for you, the interviewers were incredibly nice. I wanted to hug them because I was terrified. I remember being sat in the lobby of Vogue House and the security guard telling me to “calm down love, they are lovely girls up there”. I drank so much water & was lugging a gigantic portfolio which showed my obsession for fashion a little too much. Their floor was clean & pure white. I wore my Valentino collared top with a tweed Max Mara skirt, waltzed into the interview room with their fashion features editor and the digital editorial assistant I was in communication with. They made me feel so at ease that it didn’t take me long to finally relax. They asked the general “Tell us about yourself”along with what I do at university, my free time, what I wanted to gain out of the internship, who I believe are their competitors, why Vogue, what do I know about Vogue, my aspirations and favourite designers. They then asked about my preloved designer clothing business and just like that it was over. Although they said they would let me know in two weeks time, I got the email by 5pm that day.
I wish I could get that feeling I got when I learnt I got the internship. It was just euphoria constantly for a few weeks, I kept bursting into tears randomly because I never ever thought I would be good enough for Vogue. I felt like I didn’t have that Vogue look and that they’d realise that when meeting me, but nope, I got it and it made my world. I even treated myself to my first pair of Gucci loafers – in Fuchsia no less.
Hopefully this guide of mine will be helpful to anyone wanting an internship in fashion editorial. My only extra tips for the interview would be to get there super early & sit in the nearby park, bring water, eat lightly so you don’t face discomfort (or nausea!), take a mint & remember to BREATHE.
If I’ve missed out on anything or you have any questions, just leave a comment below & I will be happy to answer them!