Subject: Fashion Feud meets The Intern 24/7
Just in case you guys forgot... my name is Hannah. A lot of you guys (people who read this little old website) always email me and say to The Intern, which I find funny - you can call me Hannah.
Anyway - I was interviewed last week by Fashion Feud. This kick-ass company which allows you to vote on fashion designs simply by their sketches and images. Whichever one gets the most votes gets made! How cool is that? Power to the young designers!!
I'll let you know a little bit more on then at a later stage but for now, in case you missed it here's my interview with them. Enjoy!
FASHION FEUD MEETS HANNAH FROM THE INTERN 247
Fashion Industry Insights: The Life of a Fashion Intern
I don’t think there’s a week that goes by where we don’t read something in the media about how hard it is to get a job in the fashion industry or how much fashion graduates feel they are under-prepared for real work in the industry. This is where the value of fashion internships can really come into their own.
The fashion industry is hugely competitive and internships can be the great career stepping stones but more than that, they are essential in skill-building and providing experience in a real-world setting. Doing internships or placements while still studying can go a long way in helping you to secure a job after you graduate. Doing several different internships in different areas of the industry can also be incredibly useful in determining what aspects of the industry you really enjoy and would actually excel in; you can’t know for sure until you actually try it.
So with all this talk of internships, we thought we’d have a chat with Hannah, the founder of The Intern 247: a blog set up to provide insight into working in the fashion industry along with providing inspiration and advice to those just starting out. Now a fashion editor and community app manager, Hannah began her journey into the fashion industry by interning as an undergraduate. She told us about her experiences as an intern and offered some valuable tips to anyone considering (or already undertaking) a fashion internship.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m from London, currently living in gorgeous Shoreditch. I studied Fashion Management in Nottingham.
What first got you interested in working in fashion?
I wanted to work in fashion mainly because I was intrigued. I was fascinated that you could work in an industry supported and surrounded by clothes. Although I wasn’t massively into clothes myself I always admired them.
What areas of fashion interest you the most?
PR, journalism and marketing and the creative fields.
What drove you to start The Intern 247?
The Intern 247 started when I got back from living in New York. I was on the plane home looking through my camera roll on my iPhone looking back on what a mad year I’d had. Truly mad. And I was sending photos to my friends and family and a lot of them said you should share your experiences.
Which I never really thought about doing – I certainly wasn’t a blogger, I spent a lot of the year working with bloggers (big time ones as well) and thought they’re on another planet to me. But after some convincing, I started up an Instagram which simply reflected my camera roll but I explained each photo. I picked up a good following pretty quickly with some key fashion folk like Kristie Clements former EIC of Australian Vogue and Richard Gray fashion director of The Times. That’s when I thought I’d bite the bullet and make a site. So I did.
Can you tell us more about The Intern 247? Who’s it for?
I wanted The Intern 247 to feel like a community. That’s why I have the intern diaries where interns can send in their stories and experiences. I also have the hot seat where I interview girls and guys from all around the world on their experiences.
I wanted to start sharing internship opportunities as well, as too many people email me asking me to hook them up. So I may as well link everyone to great internships.
I decided to remain anonymous for a couple of reasons. Mainly because I hated the thought of me as a blogger, I also didn’t want my bosses to read my blog in case late at night I went on a massive rant (hasn’t happened yet) but mainly I think it’s funny. So many interns out there feel anonymous in their companies or feel that their bosses or heads of departments have no idea who they are. So I thought, I’ll be anonymous with you. It’s not all about me it’s about the intern community.
I ultimately want to keep giving my honest opinion on the fashion industry. The good the bad and the ugly, and slam down any stereotypes along the way.
I’ve gone from intern to boss in a short space of time so that’s a unique opportunity to give everyone an inside scoop.
What’s been your favorite moment so far while interning?
Interning led me to live in New York last year and work New York fashion week. I’ll never forget it.
In your opinion, what are some of the best and worst things about interning?
The best thing about interning is the experiences you encounter, the people you meet and the things you force yourself to do.
The worst thing about interning is the down days when you question why you’re there. Although, they quickly fade and you’re reminded why you are. You’ll never regret interning but you’ll regret not taking a great opportunity.
Where do you stand with unpaid internships?
I wrote a whole article on this on my site. Which as you can imagine getting a lot of negative and positive feedback.
Look, I’m from near London, therefore was extremely lucky to live at home which saved me a lot of money. If you live in London and are interning around the university or part-time work I don’t see any real problems. I do think unpaid internships cut out some amazing talent up north, as they will have to be in a strong financial position to work for free.
If you can afford to and you have financial support I don’t feel you should turn an unpaid internship opportunity.
If you have to get a paid internship there are loads and loads out there, I was one of my only friends interning for free. Asos, Marks, and Spencer, Debenhams, Timberland etc all pay extremely well for interns.
I will be the first to champion paid internships, and I currently do. But until the government and fashion industry make it law, I don’t think anyone should turn down internship opportunities if they don’t need to.
Interning has led me to freelance paid work and now a well-paid job. Which wouldn’t have unless I had the CV I do.
And I have my unpaid internships to thank for my CV.
And myself of course.
What advice would you give to fashion interns just starting out?
Don’t turn down anything without giving it some serious thought.
With smaller brands, you don’t know where they will be in 5 years time. I was at Emilia Wickstead when she first started and it changed my career.
Stand up for yourself and make your voice heard. You are the youngest freshest mind walking into that company, so make your views and opinions known. They will respect you for it.
What one thing would you like to change about the fashion industry?
More female bosses. The fashion industry is run by females except for right hand only 15% of CEOS are female.
Who in fashion are you currently inspired by?
Grace Coddington. She doesn’t give a sh*t what people think.
Iris apfel – just because.
And Christopher Bailey – his work and vision is incredible.
What do you think of the Fashion Feud platform so far?
Inspirational – I’m all about giving young people a voice that’s not normally heard.
People shouldn’t be limited based on their situation or who’s backing them. Too many people are discovered later on in their lives down to chance.
Skilled people shouldn’t be found by chance they should be championed from the start.