May 18, 2010

Day in the life of a Canadian fashion designer...

...this Op-Ed from Toronto-based fashion designer Thien Le from the Spring issue of Lush magazine was a good if one-sided read. Reminded me strongly of some of the reasons I didn't pursue a career in design after years of interning and then working part-time for another Canadian designer while in school. It's a tough way to make money, and I didn't have the passion for it.

May 13, 2010

True or False

People in the fashion industry are really contaminated with bad habits. A certain human kindness evaporates once you make a career in fashion. In the beginning you’re really treated badly and then you seem to get accustomed to it. - Joerg Koch, editor of 032c (from a New York Times interview)
I don't necessarily think that this is pervasive or true, because gosh knows I've met so many wonderful, creative and nice people that work in fashion and in magazines. But when I saw this quote posted on a friend's Facebook page (who works in fashion at a Conde Nast magazine), it made me really wonder. Maybe it's a self-perpetuating stereotype rather than an actual truth?

May 10, 2010

Advertorials and Editorial Independence

Since high school, I've always loved reading Nylon magazine, which has great fashion news, interesting profiles, and a young and fun take on fashion. As an independent magazine, I've always heard that it is run on a small budget and features the work of up-and-coming stylists and writers, some of whom contribute for free in exchange for the opportunity. Yet, I was still shocked by the plethora of advertorials in the April issue, which I just recently read.
The above advertisement for Nixon, for example (a regular Nylon advertiser), looks almost identical to the surrounding fashion editorial stories in the magazine. Styled by Nylon's own Style Director, the ad is laid out in the exact same way as the magazine's content, in the same fonts and with identical credit formats, making it very challenging for the casual reader to discern its advertorial roots.

I understand that today's economic climate is extremely tough on magazines, and that value-added advertising programs are important; however, as a reader and industry professional I wonder how far the line can be stretched without affecting the integrity of one's perceived editorial independence.

May 5, 2010

Dear Interns

Having gone through over a hundred emails today as part of the fashion intern hiring process today, I was incredibly impressed overall with the enthusiasm and experience of the applicants interested in interning for the company that I currently work for. I'm excited to meet and interview our final candidates, and am sorry that we will only need two or three interns this summer.

That having been said, here is a things of what NOT to do when you're apply for a summer internship (in any field, really, not just fashion or the creative industries):
  • I don't need to see your headshots. This is not a modeling agency.
  • If using a template cover letter, sign your name where it currently says "Sign name here" rather than leaving it as is. Or better yet, skip the jargon and write something authentic.
  • If your job objective says you want to work for a company that is not us...then we probably won't be calling you!
  • If you've attached a resume, there is no need for a CV as well - functionally (for us and really any fashion internship) they are the same thing.
To conclude, a few basic tips for your resume:

  • Your resume shouldn't be longer than a page. If it is, shorten it. Mine is less than a page long.
  • PDF's are preferred, although MS Word is fine too. And definitely send resumes as an attachment rather than in the body of the email. 
  • When in doubt, use spell check! And proof read it a second time!
  • Being enthusiastic really shows, and we appreciate it when your cover letter (in the body of the email) shows a genuine interest in the kind of thing we have to offer you! (Shows you actually read the job posting).
I, too, was guilty of some of these offenses. And although I may interview an excellent candidate whether or not their resume is beautifully formatted and one page long, it can honestly be a deciding factor when a candidate is borderline.

[What do you guys think of these tips? Obvious or interesting?]