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21-07-2013
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I'm a current fashion student studying womenswear in London and I'm thinking of putting school on hold and moving to NY to look for part-time work/internships assisting stylists and start working from the bottom up.

The reason I want to take a gap year is because I am no longer interested in design and would like to get started with styling. In terms of working in NY, I am a US citizen so I will not have any problems with the Visa. So far, the only 'experience' I've had is assisting a final year student for three months on various tasks such as hand-sewing, machine sewing, pressing garments, dressing the model, and styling the look.

When applying for styling internships, will I be immediately turned down based on the fact that I haven't had much experience in the industry? I just finished my 1st year so I don't have that much experience at the moment. I'm able to do any work that is asked of me while interning and everyone has to start somewhere.


Last edited by Avant Garde; 21-07-2013 at 12:19 AM.
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21-07-2013
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I answered your PM.

But since you also asked here, I'll post my answer in case any other aspiring stylist wants to know:

Quote:
It's a huge leap of faith to move to NY .... and a long shot that you will actually be the one who makes it.. But, you have to start somewhere, so if you have the strength of character, go for it.

First, you need to remember that interning in the US means no pay, in almost all cases. Even if you get hired as an assistant, it will pay minimal wages in the beginning. Remember, NY is an extremely expensive city ... rent, food, everything. So make sure you have a solid plan for additional income or have funding in place, before you move.

Next, stylists assistants/interns don't really need any experience .... just the willingness to work very hard, with long hours, doing all the grunt work. It's very physical ... you will be lugging stuff around, setting it all up, taking it all back, and running errands. You are not really expected know much about styling .... although a passion for fashion is helpful and having a good eye for what works in front of the camera and on the runway will help you possibly take on more responsibility, after the stylist learns to trusts you.

It's more about your personality and how well the two of you connect .... if you have the same work ethic, can get along together under pressure, if he or she thinks you will be a good team member and than it is about your experience.

I don't know about every stylist, but most seem to want someone who can have a flexible schedule, who is not afraid of hard work, who can respond quickly when needed, who stays calm in a crisis and just keeps working no matter what. A good assistant must make the stylist look good and make her job easier.

And ... most importantly .... there's and unsaid rule that, as an assistant, you may never pass out cards or even talk or hint to the stylist's clients about your desire to style. This is the worst thing an assistant can do .... not only would the assistant get fired for that, the word gets out quickly that this assistant was trying to steal clients from her boss.

There really is no easy route to become a stylist ... it's having really good luck, making the right connections and persevering for a long time (talent helps too). A single year assisting a stylist won't put you in the position of becoming a stylist most likely, but it will let you know whether or not you want to pursue it as a career. And will help you start to network with people in the biz in NY, if that is where you eventually want to work as a stylist.

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25-07-2013
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Hi,

Hope this is the right place to post this.

How hard would it be to go about getting an internship at a modeling agency? What kind of tasks would you have to do in these internships?

I'm thinking of becoming a model booker but I have no background experience in fashion whatsoever, so I figured getting an internship would be a start.

Also, I live in a relatively small town and was thinking of moving to London or NY for school or something and to pursue an internship on the side.


Last edited by amiieey; 25-07-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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25-07-2013
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^ I interviewed for an internship with Ford once. I didn't take the job because it sounded overwhelming. I'm sure it's different depending on companies but i was told it was going to be 9-6:30 5 days a week and of course unpaid. Plus they let me know beforehand that tons of intern quit because of the workload. From what I remember I would be responsible for making/handling appointments, do office work, pretty much just act like an assistant.

I didn't have much experience either when I got the interview.

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25-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionmuse View Post
^ I interviewed for an internship with Ford once. I didn't take the job because it sounded overwhelming. I'm sure it's different depending on companies but i was told it was going to be 9-6:30 5 days a week and of course unpaid. Plus they let me know beforehand that tons of intern quit because of the workload. From what I remember I would be responsible for making/handling appointments, do office work, pretty much just act like an assistant.

I didn't have much experience either when I got the interview.
Thanks for the info!

Wow, that sounds pretty heavy of a workload. I would love to do it but at the same time it does indeed sound overwhelming.

I was thinking of doing an internship at a modelling company, like taking a year off before starting university and just going to NY or London and just trying out an internship at an agency. The thing is though, a lot of internships require you to be a student to accept credit.. which in a way I would, be but in a way I wouldn't.

I know it's really unrelated but I'm just confused as to what to do.

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26-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amiieey View Post
Thanks for the info!

Wow, that sounds pretty heavy of a workload. I would love to do it but at the same time it does indeed sound overwhelming.

I was thinking of doing an internship at a modelling company, like taking a year off before starting university and just going to NY or London and just trying out an internship at an agency. The thing is though, a lot of internships require you to be a student to accept credit.. which in a way I would, be but in a way I wouldn't.

I know it's really unrelated but I'm just confused as to what to do.
You don't need school credit in London. It can be quite hard to secure internships here but perseverance will get you places for sure, if you can demonstrate your ambition and work ethic. Also, you're not legally supposed to intern for more than 4 weeks unpaid at one company here, just an FYI. Some companies do it, but it tends to be the smaller ones and they'll usually only advertise on their own websites since it is a fairly new law, and longer unpaid internships won't be advertised on most reputable websites.

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26-07-2013
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In the US ... internships that are unpaid must be for college credits ... according to the labor laws. One or the other. So any large agency in NY would most certainly have that requirement if you want to be an intern. And they do tend to be for only a few months (one semester) ... not a year.

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26-07-2013
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Thanks for the info BetteT and xbryony! The reason I was thinking of taking an entire year off is because it's an option here in Canada, you apply at a university and then take a whole year off for vacation or something before going to school the next. So I'd probably just do an internship sometime in the year and the rest I just spend for free time. But this thread really gave me a lot of insight when I needed it so I'm really glad I posted here, thanks guys. I think I'll look into it more too!

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27-07-2013
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Ah .... and don't forget to look into getting a work or study visa if you decide on NY. It will probably take at least 3 months in processing. Probably the same for the UK.

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31-07-2013
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I have never studied fashion before, but I always have this interest in fashion and style. I often go to the local book store and just browsing through the fashion related books and see what's this season's style and trend, what do the designers do with their collections and stuff. I really wanted to be a designer and studied a fashion major, but my parent never really understands that fashion is really worth-trying. So I have this curiosity to know that, is there any possibility to be a fashion stylist (or intern in fashion) even if you never have an official study about fashion? I felt really down until my friend actually said that there must be some people who will allow you to their intern and learn a bit about fashion... Well, I think I really need some advices. And I am terribly sorry if I post in a wrong thread.

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31-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardpakpahan View Post
I have never studied fashion before, but I always have this interest in fashion and style. I often go to the local book store and just browsing through the fashion related books and see what's this season's style and trend, what do the designers do with their collections and stuff. I really wanted to be a designer and studied a fashion major, but my parent never really understands that fashion is really worth-trying. So I have this curiosity to know that, is there any possibility to be a fashion stylist (or intern in fashion) even if you never have an official study about fashion? I felt really down until my friend actually said that there must be some people who will allow you to their intern and learn a bit about fashion... Well, I think I really need some advices. And I am terribly sorry if I post in a wrong thread.
absolutely! I interned in a major fashion house when i was doing my bachelor's degree in psychology, and now i'm an in-house PR in another big fashion company.

you wil need to have some connections though.

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31-07-2013
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You interned in a major fashion house while doing bachelor in pyschology ? NO way!! Psychology study is hard as heck (my friend told me though).

This is actually quite relieving to hear that. Was there any specific job when you did the intern? Or they just asked you to do random and general things about fashion? And may i ask what did you usually do when you did your intern?

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31-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardpakpahan View Post
You interned in a major fashion house while doing bachelor in pyschology ? NO way!! Psychology study is hard as heck (my friend told me though).

This is actually quite relieving to hear that. Was there any specific job when you did the intern? Or they just asked you to do random and general things about fashion? And may i ask what did you usually do when you did your intern?
I was an intern in the Asia-Pacific marketing department. I was lucky enough to have been assigned to do different tasks: writing press releases (got published!), sample sale, samples tracking, attending events....

of course there were days i was sitting in the office organising CDs, magazine walls and oops.. to read books.

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31-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agneslo View Post
I was an intern in the Asia-Pacific marketing department. I was lucky enough to have been assigned to do different tasks: writing press releases (got published!), sample sale, samples tracking, attending events....

of course there were days i was sitting in the office organising CDs, magazine walls and oops.. to read books.
Ahhh that sounds so good. And yes, my friend ever told me a story where she was asked to do something unrelated with fashion stuffs. Like organising the wine bottle of her boss, but fortunately she has this positive thought in her head and said to me "It's okay though, because I learnt few things about wine as well, so it's actually quite fun".

I guess, there's never be an easy and smooth internship, because it's not called intern, if it's just easy and smooth, because we actually have to learn new things in intern, and it surely isn't easy...

I think I have to take chances...

Anyway, do I need to present my portfolio in order to get the intern job?
Because I think, if I need one, i would like maybe to do something like many bloggers do on their blog. Something like, they pick clothes/outfit's images from different stores, and combine the whole things together...

Or should I do anything else?

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31-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardpakpahan View Post
Ahhh that sounds so good. And yes, my friend ever told me a story where she was asked to do something unrelated with fashion stuffs. Like organising the wine bottle of her boss, but fortunately she has this positive thought in her head and said to me "It's okay though, because I learnt few things about wine as well, so it's actually quite fun".

I guess, there's never be an easy and smooth internship, because it's not called intern, if it's just easy and smooth, because we actually have to learn new things in intern, and it surely isn't easy...

I think I have to take chances...

Anyway, do I need to present my portfolio in order to get the intern job?
Because I think, if I need one, i would like maybe to do something like many bloggers do on their blog. Something like, they pick clothes/outfit's images from different stores, and combine the whole things together...

Or should I do anything else?
Yes indeed. my internship back then got me my current job.

I guess that depends on what kind of roles you are looking for. for the commerical sides (PR/merchandising/operations/travel retail.. etc), you need not. but if you are looking for something related to styling, creative direction, that would help.. but after all, personality is the key.

there are loads of people trying to get into the industry every year, and most are just attracted by the glamour, they have no idea about the hard work behind.

good luck!

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