Internships: Just Say Yes

Paris Richardson reports on her internship experience.


internshipsOn the 14th September, a much anticipated email came through to confirm my internship with Fashion Scout, a company renowned for championing creative design talent. Fashion Scout have scouted, nurtured and showcased in London, Paris and Kiev, and they are responsible for the launch of a whole generation of fashion designers, including Peter Pilotto, Felder Felder, David Koma, William Tempest, Eudon Choi, Pam Hogg, and many more. My application for digital content provider had been accepted. I was soon to find out that this entailed pretty much everything and anything that included written copy, I had to be able to do two things at once most of the time, and be autonomous in seeking out any interviews I could.

It was the last day of London Fashion Week. I had found myself sat on a lightly scuffed, white geometric bench looking out on to an eagerly awaiting and freshly uncovered catwalk. I had arrived ten minutes early for Serbian designer Marko Mitanovski’s Spring Summer 2016 showcase. Straight ahead and on the opposing side of the gallery, a poster was displaying this years fashion week sponsors. To my left, an out-of-luck intern was wiping the floor and seat where the plastic Pandemonia had been sat and had subsequently seeped latex induced sweat along the surfaces. For those that don’t know, Pandemonia is an anonymous artist who encases him or herself in latex; a 7ft pop art look-alike ‘celebrity’. Thankfully the worst thing I had to deal with was buying the editorial team their lunch round at Léon.

I had been sat strategizing the best way to get a rare but much sought after interview with Marko Mitanovski himself. So far all I had come up with were two possible options as to how to go about getting a minute or two of his time. Option A, I believed, would be the tactic I expected most of my fellow fashion journalists would take: The plan was to walk in a composed but speedy manner, and slyly push my way to the front via the means of sharp elbow jabs, and misplaced stilettos. Option B was to simply leg it, exposing me as the overly keen intern that I am and rely on the authority of my lanyard to get the designer’s attention. I looked down at my notepad, which was strikingly bare, and told myself that the questions would come to me during the show, which thankfully they did. The show finished and I opted for a fail proof combination of both plan A and plan B, landing myself second in the line of ambitious interviewers. Sweaty palms and nervous belly flutters ensued, I had just three minutes in which to compose myself.

I had successfully completed my first interview of note in my fashion Journalism career, and I couldn’t wait to do another. I learnt a lot from my time in London, but the biggest lesson of all was how valuable my time as an intern was. I would urge anyone and everyone to seek out an internship within their chosen industry. The best advice I gained was the quote, ‘Just say yes, and figure out the rest later.’