What’s it like working as a Fashion Intern? 

Behind the scenes of a fashion shoot.

Our BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice students reflect on building their networks during their Fashion Industry Placement module.

Much of what goes on in the fashion world is hidden behind the glamorous runway shows and fun champagne after-parties. Often, the limelight gravitates toward creative directors, fashion photographers, and revered editors-in-chiefs, overshadowing the extensive network of people behind the scenes: PR experts, marketeers, and interns labouring tirelessly to breathe life into each visionary concept. Here, we go behind the scenes to the reality of a fashion intern through the accounts of our BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice students…

The BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice Curriculum

As part of the BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice course, all BA students have the opportunity to complete a month-long fashion industry placement during their fourth term of study. Students immerse themselves in diverse intern roles, from magazine fashion interns and agency-based PR roles to social media and marketing internships within fashion houses. 

Read on to find out how our  BA students give us the low down on what it’s like to work as a fashion intern… 

Chanel packages in a suit case for a photoshoot
Behind the scenes at a Grazia photoshoot.

A Typical Day as a Fashion Intern

Behind the dazzling facade of high-profile events lie the essential yet often overlooked tasks that fashion interns handle. Almost every fashion intern working at PR agencies, magazines, and fashion houses will be given basic logistical and administrative tasks such as going through emails, sending packages, and managing wardrobe samples. As a Brand and Public Relations Intern at Emily Blair Media, student Gabriel Summerfield’s day-to-day work involved “completing media lists and press releases, pitching clients to magazine titles and media outlets, and contacting potential magazines for talent and brands to be featured.” Similarly, student Charlotte’s tasks at Anya Hindmarch as an E-commerce and Social Media Intern aligned closely with Gabriel’s, with the added responsibility of “researching the latest Instagram and TikTok trends that the Anya Hindmarch community is engaging with”.  

Biggest Takeaways

Students deepen their industry knowledge and clarify their career aspirations through internships. “I managed to make sure that PR is actually what I want to do — on the events side, of course, because my favourite part would have to be working towards fashion week and the actual fashion show,” Diogo states as he recalls his placement with AP Communications as a PR intern. 

Besides career goals, the skills and knowledge gained also help students to better conceptualise their academic projects. “I hope to work in the US once I complete my degree, so I have learned valuable information about the talent, brands, and publications in the US which I have already been able to incorporate in my Collaborative Industry Project,” says Gabriel. 

Preparing for a fashion show for London Fashion Week
Preparing for a fashion show for London Fashion Week

Tips and Advice for interning in the fashion industry

Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and use the network and connections at the College when finding an internship. Gabriel worked at Emily Blair Media in Los Angeles, the agency set up by Vogue Summer School alumna Emily Blair.  Even when you are at a loss, “Carry on applying and don’t underestimate the power of social media,” says Gwennan who did her placement at Grazia magazine as a Fashion Intern after reaching out to the fashion team on Instagram.

Even though the industry can be competitive, always be remembered for all the right reasons and be kind and compassionate. “It’s an age-old adage but it’s true: treat people the way you wish to be treated!” Charlotte states. 

Although the tasks assigned to interns can be mundane, they are the foundation of a smooth-running fashion industry, “so work hard and do your best to leave a good impression,” Diogo says. Always offer to help and go the extra mile as the industry is small, you may just be recommended for another job opportunity if you create a good impression.

Students Ella Sandle and Gabriel Summerfield with the team at Emily Blair Media in Los Angeles

Building Your Network in the Industry

To forge a path within fashion, it is crucial to build your network in the industry. Many students manage to expand their network during their internships, even for those who interned outside of fashion. “I managed to meet a lot of people within fashion such as fashion film directors and people working at Vogue even though my placement has nothing to do with fashion. So never underestimate what the opportunities you have can lead you, ” Ying Xuan shares with us that her experience as a marketing intern at HLabs, a design agency specialising in building immersive websites on no-code platforms, has led to surprises, expanding her industry network. 

Even before the placements, students are given networking opportunities at the College with events such as Vogue Education Presents, graduate exhibitions, and alumni networking sessions. 

These internships provide transformative experiences for students. Not only do they clarify career aspirations but they also foster a deeper understanding of the industry’s intricacies. The first-hand knowledge gained serves as a compass, guiding their creative endeavours and enriching their academic pursuits with real-world insights. Many of the College’s alumni have also been offered permanent jobs after their internship so be sure to work hard and impress. 

Words by Ying Xuan Ling, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice student

Images via Diogo Costa, Gwennan Jones,  & Gabriel Summerfield