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Fashion 411: How to Break into the Magazine Industry

So you want to work at a top fashion magazine. You dream that someday you will be hired as an executive beauty director and with your new title, gain a luxurious office with a bird’s eye view of New York City. Upon your arrival each morning, you will be greeted by a package of Dior’s secret Fall 2025 beauty line on your desk. You will sip your iced vanilla latte and nibble on a vegan muffin sent from BabyCakes NYC as you blog about the latest nail color you are obsessed with. And although you will have only had mint green, rose-scented nail lacquer on your nails for two days, your assistant will remind you about your afternoon date with Essieat the nail salon – as well as a 3:30 p.m. meeting with your editor-in-chief, a dinner date with Kat Von D, and a birthday bash for Jennifer Lawrence in Malibu.

 Unless you have connections with people in the fashion, beauty, or magazine industry, getting your foot in the door – or even into an intern cubicle – proves quite a challenge. Never fear, collegiettes! You’re about to learn the basic protocol for applying for internships at fashion magazines. Remember to add in your own motivation, enthusiasm, and perseverance into your recipe for success, and you might be just the treat the industry is looking for!

First, think about what specific magazines you want to work for. Make a list and send your résumé to their Human Resources department, even if you feel that scoring a reply is a longshot. They will keep your résumé on file for future consideration if positions need to be filled.  Unfortunately, odds are, they will not reach out to you. That’s where you come in. It’s your job to be persistent and creative in your efforts to be noticed and land an interview. Hey, I met an intern at Teen Vogue last summer who bravely approached a Teen Vogue staff member at Teen Vogue’s Fashion University to ask about an internship!
Network, network, network! Reach out! Make a list of all your resources. Who do you know in the fashion or journalism industry? Can you find any alumni of your school who are currently working in it? Search LinkedIn for alumni and shoot some emails! Send a polite email asking for advice or invite them to meet with you to discuss the industry.

  Identify the areas of the fashion world that you would like to work in. Are you interested in publicity and promotions, styling and designing, journalism, photography, or buying? Think big! Don’t be picky when it comes to internships, especially if you’ve never had one before. You want to try as many different things as possible in order to know what you like! If you love the fashion industry, learn about all sides of it with different internships.
Meanwhile, make sure you are getting enough experience in publications, like at your college or local newspapers and magazines. Build your portfolio with experience that will give you something to talk about during future interviews. You should also take some time to research your own fashion identity. Know your personal style and be confident! The more confident you are in yourself and in your personal style, the better impression you will give to future interviewers.  Compile a list of corporate phone numbers of companies and magazines that you would like to intern at. Call their internship coordinators and ask how you should go about applying and take notes on what they say.

If you are interested in working for a magazine published by Condé Nast, like Teen Vogue or Allure, log on to Conde Nast to see what jobs are available. You can also search for fashion and journalism internships on websites such as Media Bistro, Ed2010, Intern Queen, and FashionCareers.

And hey, if you land an interview, don’t forget these tips:

1. Dress to impress and show off your personal style
2. Eye contact and a firm handshakemake a good impression
3. Prepare questions to ask at the end
4. Bring your resume, portfolio, cover letter, and a pen
5. Write a handwritten thank you note after the interview
Good luck, fashionistas!


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