New Delhi, July 27, 2018: When fashion editors are asked how they broke into the business, many of their stories start and end with a single word: internships. An elusive peek into the industry where college students trade (usually free) labor for the opportunity to learn the ropes and make connections that will ultimately lead to a full-time job. The internship model, especially at magazines, has changed drastically over the last few years with some of the bigger publishing companies overhauling traditional programs — like Condé Nast did in 2013 — in favor of fellowships or paid temporary positions.

According to reports published in While it’s easy to see the benefit of internships in the fashion world, they’re few and far between and often geared toward those who live or attend school in New York City, as well as those who can afford to commit up to four months of unpaid work. For a number of top editors and writers, having a job in retail has provided a valuable introduction to the fashion world. Not just in terms of selling trends and styling mannequins, but seeing firsthand how customers interact with product and what they ultimately buy. Everyone has to start somewhere, and these eight professionals are proof that the first step towards your career in fashion could be as close as your local mall.

The retail job: For four months during her last semester at college, Rebecca Ramseyclocked in hours for some extra cash at an outdoor retailer called Bivouac in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I thought it was cool that this outdoor sporting goods store also sold Kiehl’sproducts and the ever-popular designer jeans and nylon totes every girl at Michigan seemed to wear,” says Ramsey according to

How it helped her fashion career: “I learned how women, not just myself, relate to a garment in terms of their identity. Yes, even with things like Citizens of Humanity low-rise boot-cut jeans. I was able to have exposure to how many different types of women use clothing to project their identities and personalities, and later apply that to my work life. One of the first things we did at The Cut was start shooting a large range of real women — not just models — and connecting to whom these women were and having extensive conversations about how women want to portray themselves to society. Hearing each woman explain their likes, dislikes, hesitations, fears, goals and motivations was thrilling and important when trying to capture each individual’s personal tastes and styles.”


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