Fashion Assistant at Grazia
How did you get your job as Fashion Assistant at Grazia?
I was finishing up a 6-month stint as a Fashion Assistant at The Telegraph when a friend from CNC told me there was a vacancy coming up at Grazia. I sent over my CV and started as an intern. I was meant to stay for three weeks and I’ve been here for nearly a year now! You really are each other’s best contacts.
What was it like on your first day?
As I’d been doing a similar job already I wasn’t so worried about tasks I’d be undertaking, but it’s always nerve-racking meeting a new team. Fortunately, everyone was really lovely and I spent the first day working out where everything was, how they kept the fashion cupboard in order, meeting the guys in the courier room (a word of advice for anyone wanting to work at a magazine: these guys have a major impact on your working life – treat them with the same respect with which you would your editor!) …. And drinking milkshakes from Shake Shack, which is round the corner, and has become the bane of my existence.
Is working at Grazia as you expected?
Better! Working at a magazine is tough, especially at a weekly when pretty much every day is a new deadline, and office life is incredibly fast paced. But you really are at the centre of where it all happens, and if you love fashion, trends and being part of a team, there’s no place more exciting.
Describe an average day in your role.
I always start by checking my emails (while drinking an enormous coffee). I try to switch off as much as possible when I leave the office, although this isn’t always possible, so I always get in to lots of mail! I’m constantly either prepping for a shoot, or having just come back from one. If it’s the former I’ll be relentlessly liaising with PRs on the phone or via email, requesting samples and bartering with other titles for specific looks from that season (every editor always wants the same look form each show!) I’ll also be creating moodboards, talking to the stylist I’m assisting, and collating contact information for various models, photographers, hair stylists and make-up artists. If it’s the latter I’ll be focusing on how to get samples returned as quickly and efficiently as possible, as people will be ringing all morning demanding things back immediately, and if this doesn’t happen quickly, all hell will inevitably break loose. I’ll also spend time looking for new street style, trends and hero pieces to include in my weekly feature Style Hunter. Often, I’ll also be helping other members of the team with ad-hoc tasks such as high res image requests, credits for clothing or accessories we’ve shot for the magazine, training interns, sending things to our studio to be shot still life, or booking couriers to collect and return samples. Before you know it (or have had lunch) the day is well and truly gone!
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done in your role so far?
Pitching and writing a 10 Hot Story was pretty cool. That’s real front-of-book stuff that we discuss every Monday in our weekly fashion features meetings. Shooting Claudia Schiffer for our Big Fashion Issue was kind of major too!
What are the key qualities you have to have to be Fashion Assistant at Grazia?
Organisation is key. I’m often doing five or six things at one time, and it’s easy to forget to finish something if you haven’t got yourself into a personal routine that enables you to work efficiently. Being personable, polite and articulate is also important. Magazines are a huge part of what connects business to the consumer and you have to deal with hundreds of different people every day from readers, to PR’s, designers and model agents. And let’s face it, not every one of those people is going to be friendly. Most importantly you have to be driven, and to really want the career you’re pursuing. It’s not for the faint hearted. A lot of my job is lugging six or seven suitcases up and down stairs, frantically trying to locate samples worth thousands of pounds while someone screams at me down the phone, and often I’m in the office until 10pm. The glamour and the perks and the fun really is all there, but it comes with a big slog, sometimes little sleep, always little money, and really, really hard work. You must be prepared to give 110%.