the tea on interning in the fashion industry: PR edition
after a longer-than-expected hiatus from blogging for reasons that are above me (namely my dissertation and then starting a full - time internship), i am BACK! admittedly it will be sporadic for reasons that you will come to know next week, but in the mean time, enjoy!
if you, like me, are not a nepotism baby, you are gonna find it hard to break into the fashion industry, specifically if you have no previous fashion experience. internships are invaluable for this industry, and the age old advice of "make your CV stand out" won't be enough to convince brands and agencies to hire you (although I do believe your CV should look unique, especially if you are trying to get into the creative industries as it shows patience, passion and dedication).
bite the bullet, put yourself at the bottom of the office food chain, and intern.
how did I get the internship?
I started looking for relevant internships - either as a press intern or fashion cupboard intern - around January. I estimate that I emailed around 60+ companies (multiple times for some), and was either rejected or straight up ignored, bringing back memories of 2019 when I was looking for internships until I FINALLY bagged Cosmo.
getting ignored when applying for internships is so common when applying for fashion internships. I don't really get why, since the vast majority of them are unpaid yet interns go above and beyond in terms of effort - why are you turning down free labour?!
I stumbled across the DH-PR website when I was looking to see if Ganni had a London office because I really wanted to work for them but was obviously not in a position whereby I could travel to and intern in Copenhagen - considering the fact that the Danish internship permit alone for foreigners is £400. wtf Denmark??? instead, I got the next best thing - working for the press agency that represents them.
I sent over a short email and my CV to the address on the website, and was interviewed by Sari, who was extremely accommodating, and allowed me a placement for the summer despite the fact that the agency usually only takes students on their placement year.
I made my CV on Canva, and would recommend you to do the same if you want to work in a creative field.
the life of a fashion PR intern
the average day in the life of a fashion PR intern consists mainly of: sample organising (which consists of logging deliveries, arranging couriers and using Fashion GPS (which REVOLUTIONISED the fashion industry - thank you Eddie Mullon), writing press releases and doing other admin stuff, creating press clippings and sending them to clients, and assisting with other research tasks and ad hoc duties like updating the company's database. I live for the spontaneity of an ad hoc moment because I am a "plan everything a year in advance" kind of person.
it was also my job to answer the phone, and either collect from couriers or deliver to couriers - which I'd be doing upwards of 10 times a day. this didn't really bother me, as I was doing 8k+ steps everyday and it really helped with getting this summer body in order!
people who work in the fashion PR industry usually do a lot more than this, and the main duty of a PR firm is to manage the brand's reputation by providing media coverage, helping to coordinate events like fashion shows and presentations, and liaising with influencers and celebrities to get the brands they represent out there at events like red carpet premiers, fashion shows and exclusive parties.
I was even able to update DH - PR's Instagram feed with my own photos and stories, so I will be adding 'social media and marketing manager' to my key skills on LinkedIn.
before the covid restrictions were lifted on June 21st, I was able to do a mix of in - office and remote working which would be used to do admin work like emailing clients and doing any research that needed to be done.
this internship was relatively stress - free and I 100% enjoyed my time with the team - although during the first week I struggled to adapt to all the things I had to learn in such a short space of time. . however, the DH - PR office is a very relaxed, close knit office, and although there are high expectations from interns, there is always someone there to help when you don't understand - definitely better than when I worked at a fast food chain who will not be named because I don't want to be sued for libel who threw me into the deep end of the job and explained nothing about how the team operates!
being a bit of an organisational freak has definitely helped me keep a cool head, as, towards the end of my internship (aka in the lead up to all the big fashion weeks), brands were eager to plan their (first physical) shows in over a year.
I didn't get as many pictures as I would've hoped for during this internship, hence today's empty post :(
goals for the future
after gaining this experience in the fashion industry, I really feel as though a life in fashion PR whereby I go to fashion weeks, receive cool gifts and get to travel is the one for me. I'm reminiscing about my life in August 2020 when I was in Copenhagen; attending fashion shows and presentations, trade events and talks about sustainability and inclusivity, and sitting by the Copenhagen Harbour Baths basking in the mild coastal weather. an ERA.
I hope the team will have me back!
- thelittleboy xo