How To Survive A Fashion Internship


Before you embark on a fashion internship all you hear are horror stories about dragon lady editors and fashion assistants on a power trip. Having recently finished my first fashion internship with a very well known magazine I can honestly say I found it to be the complete opposite.

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I have just completed a month long internship at Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Essentials magazines (they all use the same fashion team) and it was the best time of my life, but extremely hard work. I am well aware that there are many articles on how to be a successful intern, but they are all written by people who are already editors and have perhaps forgotten exactly what interning is like and all of the nitty gritty that goes with it.



So I have taken it upon myself to create a mini guide of what to expect and also a few tips for your first fashion internship, just a few things I wish I’d have known.




  • The editor is NOT Miranda Priestley.


My fashion editor Caroline, and deputy fashion editor Paula were the nicest and most fabulous women I could have hoped of working for! Paula even took us out to a restaurant opening and a Jade Jagger party on our second day of working there. The ladies on the fashion team were so helpful and taught me so much, what’s more they were truly grateful for any help I gave them.


  • You really do get to flaunt your fantastic style unlike many other jobs (leather shorts in the workplace are a thing)

But remember that although you want to look the part, you need to think about what you’re going to be doing. Do not wear your brand new Louboutins because you most definitely will be asked to run across London at a moments notice whether it is freezing cold or 30 degrees.


  • Be prepared to work your butt off.

You will ache, you will have blisters that scar forever, you will be hot and sweaty and always need to carry deodorant… But it is totally worth it. If you’re really willing to work hard you will learn so much because all of the fashion stylists will want you with them on their shoots, believe me.



  • It is about who you know.



As much as I don’t want that to be true, it really is. Which is why getting your first internship is the hardest. It took me 2 years to get my first internship, and now that I know a few influential people in the industry I have another 3 lined up. Once you get your foot in the door do not let your employers forget about you. Another tip is to ask questions about how each team member got their current position (and then stalk them on all forms of social media of course).


  • There will always be an Emily.


Like I said everyone on the fashion team was nice to me, but we did have one fashion assistant  that made us all feel a bit on edge. Wherever you go you are likely to get at least one person who just doesn’t gel with you, and that is fine! Just keep smiling and be as helpful as you can and Emily just might come around… It worked for me!


I really hope this was helpful and even though it is a short post I hope it was a bit more insightful than a typical internship post that just tells you to ‘stand out’!


Good luck! xx

Katie O'Reilly
Katie is completing her degree in English language, literature and journalism. She is currently interning at various fashion magazines in the fashion cupboards and on the editorial desk. As well as assisting a number of freelance stylist she also writes her own small blog. Her favourite things are classic novels, a good cheeseboard (with wine!) and any kind of animal.

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