Welcome to The Director’s Cut, an interactive column featuring fashion, beauty and career advice from RGNN Director and Founder, @isabelevabohrer.
I previously wrote a Fashion Week internship guide, but since I still get messages about how to find an internship in the fashion industry in general, here is an even more detailed version with my favorite tips.
#1: Go directly to the source
If you are not familiar with big names like LVMH, Kering, Condé Nast, Hearst, and others, now is the time to educate yourself.
Fashion conglomerate LVMH, for example, owns more than 75 brands across six sectors. In fashion, that includes Louis Vuitton (and Moët Hennessy, where the LVMH abbreviation initially came from), Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loewe, Loro Piana, Kenzo, Celine, Sephora, Bulgari and most recently, Tiffany & Co. If you are looking for an internship at one of these brands, head straight to the LVMH website.
Kering, in turn, owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, and others. Job offers at Kering are listed here.
In editorial, get to know Condé Nast and Hearst. Condé Nast owns Vogue, Glamour, GQ, Vanity Fair, Allure, The New Yorker, amongst others. Hearst manages Elle, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Oprah Daily, Seventeen, Women’s Health, and more. You can find the Condé Nast careers website here, and the Hearst website here.
Pro tip: once you have gotten in on one of these big conglomerates, it will be much easier to switch between brands. For example, if you can’t get an internship at Vogue straight off the bat, try a less popular magazine within Condé Nast (or even Hearst, everyone knows everyone) and then move up.
If you are looking for an internship at a brand not owned by one of these, check the careers website of that specific company. For example, Mytheresa lists internships and other job opportunities directly on their career section – keep in mind the location, though; even though Mytheresa sells online internationally, their internships are in Munich, Germany.
#2: On LinkedIn
You can filter by type of job and location. I recommend keeping your search generic – e.g. for the word “fashion” or “fashion internship” and the city.
Before you even apply via LinkedIn, make sure to:
- Have a professional headshot taken.
- Update your profile to reflect your education, current experience and skills.
- If possible, have former internship supervisors or if not, professors, write a recommendation on your profile.
- Follow fashion brands and even fashion internship websites (see point #3) on LinkedIn to see upcoming internship opportunities directly in your feed.
- Connect with people in the industry.
Pro tip: when connecting with people, yes, you might want to be friends with the Editor-in-Chief of your favorite magazine. But keep in mind, the people hiring interns at magazines, for example, are usually the Assistants (e.g. the Fashion Assistant hires fashion department interns, the Accessories Assistant hires accessories interns, etc.). If you don’t know the names of these people, grab a copy of the magazine and check out the masthead.
Final tip for LinkedIn: check out the profiles of people at your dream job. Scroll down to the experience section – where did they start out? Is there a similar path you can take? You might not get your dream job straight out of college, but looking at the paths that others have taken to get to where they are can help you figure out your own.
#3. Fashion and internship websites, newsletters and more
Other useful websites for finding fashion internships include:
- The careers section of fashionista.com
- The careers section of businessoffashion.com. If you are not familiar with BOF, start reading their articles now. They have a bunch of career advice articles available for free, while others require a subscription.
- A special mention to Ed2010 for those interested in magazines because this is where I found my Vogue internship back in the day! For my recent interview with Ed2010 Founder Chandra Turner, click here.
- Emilie Marie Hill, now Social Media Editor at The Telegraph in the UK, has a great newsletter about internship advice and frequently posts about internship opportunities in London on her Instagram and her newsletter, That Intern. You can also read my career advice interview with her here. In fact, when I mentioned to Emilie that we were putting together these guides, she offered some more advice and even offered to keep her DMs open for RGNN students, so please do take advantage of that!
- Emilie specifically recommends taking a look at Fashion Workie for internships if you are in the UK.
- Another recent interview of mine featured Pamela Valdez, she’s only a junior at FIT and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal magazine. Pamela runs @valdezagency, give it a follow, she posts lots of fashion and beauty internships (as well as opps for content creators).
- Intern Queen. I cannot recommend Lauren Berger’s career advice books enough. Her company, Intern Queen, offers paid college ambassadorships, many of which are with fashion companies. (Yes, I know that’s an ambassadorship not an internship, but wait: Intern Queen itself offers internships and is a great place to get to know the behind-the-scenes of influencer marketing, follow them on social to see when internships open up at their company).
- Last but not least, general job and internship websites such as Google Jobs, Indeed.com and even student-specific platforms such as Handshake (this will depend on your university, ask at your career center if you don’t know what platform they use to post internships). We post a lot of our fashion internships at RGNN on Handshake, for example.
#4. Instagram (and TikTok)
The fashion world thrives on Instagram. Tips:
- Follow the brands you want to intern for.
- But more than the brands, follow PEOPLE you want to intern for. In my fashion week career advice series, I already recommended following PR contacts, for example. If you want to intern for a stylist, in turn, follow them.
- Start liking and engaging with their posts. This way, when you finally DM to reach out for an internship, they will have become familiar with your profile picture.
- On your own Instagram, post about fashion. I can’t stress this enough. I have come across so many students who want to work in fashion – but what are you doing TODAY to move forward toward that dream? And that doesn’t mean having to buy expensive clothes from day 1. Tag the brands you are already wearing and owning. And if you do aspire to work in luxury, go to a department store and take photos of the items you liked, and write/talk about what you like about them.
- I have seen more opportunities being posted on Instagram than TikTok, but if you have more time on your hands, definitely scour TikTok as well for internship opportunities and tips. This can be a hit or miss – some brands have a smaller following on TikTok and thus are more likely to notice you there, and others just don’t post about internships on TikTok.
- TikTok is a great way to get insights into “day in the life” videos of current interns. The OG TikTok influencer Kate Bartlett did this when she first started out and so many have followed suit; by using hashtags such as #fashionintern you can find quite a bunch!
Questions or comments? Follow me on IG @isabelevabohrer and say hi! See you soon!