The rough stuff.

Editorial isn’t always easy, and neither is deciding if it’s the right path for you.  One of my closest friends in the industry, Morgan, has had some particularly tough experiences in fashion, both in magazines and visuals.  She interned at a major magazine and is currently in visuals for a major fashion label, and despite the trials, she’s come out stronger and more determined than ever to make it in fashion.

What drew you to fashion editorial?

I was actually never drawn to editorial, I kind of stumbled upon it. I felt it was overly publicized by reality shows and movies and I wanted nothing to do with it. I felt that a lot of girls watched the shows and movies and felt a deep connection with the characters (good acting) and wanted to be in fashion for that reason alone. I steered away from it for that exact reason, even after being accepted into the magazine’s intern program. People suddenly were overly excited for me. This was strange because I had interned at many other companies before and had gotten no reaction. This magazine is a great magazine but it is not the best of the best, I was surprised by people’s reactions. But I also understood if I told people I was interning for visual design at French Connection, no one knew what it was or what to reference.  With the magazine, I immediately got references to “The Devil Wears Prada” and Lauren Conrad’s internship at Teen Vogue. I had applied to a lot of internships and jobs for fun. I threw a magazine application into the mix for random fun. I didn’t realize I would get offered the position the next day. After being in editorial for a day, you’re immediately are drawn in. The excitement, the clothes, the status, and mainly for me, the best part was being among some of the most powerful women I have ever met. They were dressed from head to toe flawlessly but at the same time were ruthless. Every day I wanted to work harder and dress better. It was a new project for me.

What was the best part about editorial? The hardest?

The hardest part is accepting you will never get every single task done in every single day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Also accepting that you can’t be everyone’s friend, you need to be tough and friendly at the same time. You have to steer clear of self-destructive people and also be able to stand alone if needed. The amount of work you get is hard and it always will be. If you try your hardest and your absolute best to genuinely get everything done and be professional towards everyone, you will survive. You have to be able to accept defeat and learn from it. Make mistakes but don’t make them twice. Never burn a bridge. The best part is, it’s like boot camp and when you survive, you are equipped with life and work skills you would have never acquired elsewhere. You truly are prepared for anything.

What is the best part about working for one company? The hardest?

The best part of working for the magazine is that it’s a major name, it’s under a larger company and it can help you segue into the company for larger magazines. The bad part is that the magazine is confused about its direction and its sales have been suffering because of it.

What was the most important thing you learned from your time in editorial?

At the magazine, I learned that I love editorial and I also learned a lot from my mentors. I learned that I’m good at it, and that people do notice if you put in the extra time and effort. You have to be nice, no matter what. You must always be professional and keep everyone neutral. You can’t let others affect your work and if someone’s bringing you down, you need to do something about it and stand apart from the individual. I learned to love fashion even more than I already did; I learned a whole new side of it.

What was the most important thing you learned from your time with one designer?

Before the designer and the magazine, all of my internships have been visual merchandising and display. The magazine was a curve ball and something I did for fun. After the magazine I went back to visuals with an internship at the designer label. I am currently still there but i haven’t learned very much from my mentors.  It is my first experience where no one wanted to use my skills and eagerness to learn. This is not a good thing. I am sad about my experience at the designer label, but glad I did it. I learned that sometimes people only want to benefit themselves and don’t want anyone to overshadow them. You have to smile always and just take it. You can’t burn bridges, like I’ve said many times. Having the designer label on my resume is huge, the work I did there is mediocre but by no means bad. It only bothers me because I work very hard, in everything I do and am normally respected for that. I learned that while I’m good at visuals and trained in it, it may not be where my heart is, or at least this designer’s visuals. I also learned sometimes no matter what you do or how good you do it, some people would rather do it themselves and you must let them. I also learned a lot about processes and procedures of corporate visuals.

Where would you ultimately like to end up?

Right now I am undecided where I want to be, I had always thought it would be visual design, but now I am majoring in a business major and I hated one of my dream internships. Everything I thought I wanted is scrambled. I am very confused but I know my hard work and building of my résumé in the past will benefit me in the future. I am going to intern more before I graduate to help me decide. I will try Public Relations and another internship at a magazine. I have set up a summer job with in-store visuals to help build my sales background. I have made great connections in the past, and have met some amazing people. When I graduate I made sure my résumé spreads over and qualifies me for an entry-level job in any of those fields. If I had to choose right now it’d be editorial, it’s beautifully chaotic and challenging.

*Magazine and designer names removed.

This girl is tough, she’s going to be amazing in whatever she does. What do you think of her experiences?


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