With the inevitable Devil Wears Prada references, I’m here to set the record straight about working as a fashion assistant in NYC!
I was in my second week at Woman’s Day magazine, standing anxiously in what has been deemed “the closet.” This room, in fact, is around the size of Pugh auditorium, and was home to the many clothes, shoes, accessories, and beauty products that Woman’s Day receives from eager retailers, groveling for a chance to be featured in our magazine. I stood off to the side with my fellow intern, Emily as my bosses conducted their “run-thru,” a showcase of what they had put together for the fashion section of the latest issue. All they needed was the editor-in-chief’s approval. She was trying to decide between two dresses for a color-block story, and suddenly turned toward Emily and me. “Interns,” she said, “what do you think?” It was at that moment when I realized that I was not stepping into a live version of The Devil Wears Prada, but a place where my opinion mattered, and I was a valued part of the team.
Woman’s Day magazine is no ordinary magazine. It has a readership of about 20 million, and just celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. Before getting the internship, I loved the idea of working in New York City in a posh office building, exploring the latest fashion trends and attending work events. When the opportunity to work at Woman’s Day came along, I couldn’t believe my luck. Working in magazines had always been a far-fetched dream of mine, and now it was becoming reality.
My bosses, Donna, the Fashion Editor, and Crystal, the Associate Beauty & Fashion Editor, were wonderful to work with every day. They never criticized my lack of fashion knowledge, and were very helpful when it came to learning the ropes. A typical day would include sorting through the boxes and boxes of clothes and accessories we received and labeling every piece so that we knew exactly where it came from. Not only did we have to send it all back when we were done, but if we chose to shoot a piece, it was essential that we credit the correct retailer. There is no room for mistakes in the magazine world!
I also did a few desk-sides when my bosses were busy working on other projects. A desk-side is a sit-down with a company who wants to preview new products and get them into the magazine. Desk-sides typically happen with beauty, accessory, or gadget companies, where as fashion previews take place in showrooms across the city. There were certainly a lot of perks to this internship! When attending events, I was able to travel to different sections of the city to check out brand-new merchandise. And, they typically gave me a gift bag at the end, so it was a summer full of free swag!
But the best part of my job was how much my bosses trusted me. I got to see how a successful publication is run, sit in on meetings, help with castings, and attend photo shoots. I even helped research and write a piece that will hopefully run in the February issue! To say it was the best summer of my life is an understatement, because boy, I didn’t know life could get this good!