The Do’s and Dont’s of a Fashion PR Internship

By: Chrissy Tansey, Director of Membership

Fashion shows, VIP events, and designers galore: what isn’t glamorous about working in the fashion world? While working in the fashion industry seems like an attractive lifestyle, fashion PR is no joke. With new competition arising every day, it is up to a brand’s public relations team to maintain the brand’s image, as well as continue to make it grow. Due to the high demand for jobs in this particular industry, it’s becoming more and more difficult to obtain (and keep) a job or internship.

After accepting an internship with GUESS? Inc., most recognized for its iconic denim, I had no idea what to expect, although I couldn’t be more excited. Now that the internship is coming down to its last days, I feel very prepared for whatever the future might hold for me in the fashion industry. The secret is getting your foot in the door, as well as following a few major “Dos and Don’ts” of the industry.

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Don’t: Expect to start out big. You can’t expect to start at Gucci or Prada; with little or no experience, the best idea is to start small. Most brands have some type of PR department, so don’t be afraid to start out at a place you’ve never heard of. While working in a city seems ideal, there are a ton of fashion companies and PR boutiques in smaller towns.

Do: Ask around. Many internship and job openings in this industry aren’t publicly posted because they are so competitive. Instead, people land interviews through a connection with someone who works in the company. If you know someone who works for a brand you might be interested in, ask and see if there are any openings.

Don’t: Leave a bad impression. Everyone in the fashion industry is interconnected with one another, so don’t ever leave a bad impression. Even if you dislike your internship or job, stay composed and stick it out.

Do: Express yourself! After all, you are working in the fashion industry –so feel free to be fashionable! This is one of the only industries in PR that doesn’t typically require business casual, so you have the freedom to wear what you want. However, remember to always dress appropriate for the office. Each company has its own dress code, so make sure to check out office policy on your first day.

Don’t:Slack off. As an intern, you might not be the most important person in the office. Regardless, don’t roll your eyes when your boss asks you to run errands or organize the sample closet. If you want to be at the top, you have to work your way up there.

Do: Network like crazy. Once you have your foot in the door, the possibilities are endless. Network with your coworkers, but also network with those you meet at meetings, events, and any other opportunities that come up. You never know when you might meet your future employer.

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