Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Cosmo fashion internship (afterthoughts)

Hi loves! This post will be dedicated to my afterthoughts regarding my experience as a fashion intern at Cosmo. If you did not get the chance to read about my adventures there, HERE you go!
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Thank you Cosmo, for making one more girl's dream come true.

One day you are pinching yourself because a dream is coming true, the other day you are on both feet again and in disbelief about what happened. Like I mentioned once before, I never regret choices I made because there is always a lesson to be learned from any experience. This was the nth time I got thrown into a sea I never thought I would swim in, not knowing what to expect. I did not have many expectations before I started my internship, because I hardly had the time to process being chosen out of all the applicants. Just BOOM like that, I got an unexpected phone call that I was selected, and if I could start in about 5 days. Unfortunately thus, I did not start my internship the same time most of the other girls started, but two weeks later. But this did not demotivate at all, I was determined as can be to make the most out of it! 

I had no clue as to what an intern's job was aside from what was in the job description, and the only reference I had was my beloved movie about Andy Sachs. The only requirements I was personally looking for were a lot of knowledge to soak up and plenty of opportunities to prove my capabilities.

Highlights

+ Adding value by brainstorming and seeing my initial ideas come to life in the actual magazine.
+ Assisting with styling and production of shoots.
+ Shooting with Sylvie Meis
+ Attending press meetings for the latest collections and launch parties.
+ Meeting people from the industry.
+ Modelling for the magazine.
+ Creating shopping pages, Q&A's, and get the look features.
+ Attending fashion week.
+ Putting my name out there.
+ Understanding the whole process behind magazine publishing.

I must say I have learned a lot about the scenes behind publishing, the work of a stylist and editor, and the fashion industry and its people. Although at times I felt a bit out of place, because I did not have a fashion background and did not memorize the latest fashion shows by heart, I have not changed my opinion that this industry is definitely worth the hassle it costs of working in it. I have grown fond of styling and writing shopping pages, but this alone is of course not enough of a challenge for me. In the future I would love to peek behind the scenes of the business side of fashion again, preferably somewhere in marketing and/or PR. 

Lowlights

- I was hoping to write a lot more—as in actual words—but unfortunately the most I got to write were (sub) headings, intro's, and of course credits.
- The aftermath of shoots (i.e. being a mule).
- The preparation of shoots (i.e. being a mule).
- Not being rightfully credited for my work.
- The lack of intellect sometimes—but hey, what would you expect from this industry?
- Minor opportunities to prance around in heels. I was on the road lifting bags very often, so it would not be practical. 

Of course there are no rainbows without some rain. There are definitely some lowlights that I will not forget about anytime soon. I did not expect to be a part-time courier, and having to physically collect and return all the samples by myself with minor help. Although I did not mind the number of tasks I was responsible for, I do think that it was a lot to handle for one person. I worked over 40 hours every week, of which many were spent running around with heavy bags full of samples. I mentioned before that I did not mind doing this, because I had a bigger picture in the back of my mind and knew what I was doing it for. 

It turned out though, that for much work I produced I was not rightfully credited. Inevitably, this did result in a loss of motivation from my side towards the end of my internship. I worked so hard brainstorming, pitching ideas, collecting and independently requesting samples, assisting with shoots, getting props, and writing shopping pages, only to find out my name was not there. #andysachsmoment

Low lowlights

-- I worked my butt off for the Sylvie shoot, getting props painted gold, scoring 2 out of 4 worn outfits, and assisting at the shoot. When the issue was finally printed, my name was nowhere to be found. 
-- I created a tiny shopping for the coverlook of 4 issues, and although previously the name(s) of the author(s) were mentioned in the sideline, mine was not.
-- For the November issue I not only assisted during the lingerie shoot, I also wrote the corresponding shopping all by myself. I handed the credits for the spread in complete and all, but somehow—once again—my name magically disappeared from the actual printed magazine. 
-- Although I basically created a handful of shopping pages by myself already, with some minor editing from others, the hitlist for December would officially be mine—meaning I would not have to share credits with others that might have edited one heading or image. I was briefed to put together a top 10 hitlist of shoes, and had to relate them to decades they were most popular in. I came up with a list of shoes and icons per decade and fun facts to go with it, and pitched the idea to the editor-in-chief (seen as my supervisor was on vacation). Because of personal circumstances, however, I was not able to finish the shopping completely so I handed it over to someone else. This included the pitched idea, the top 10 of shoes per decade, the corresponding shoe icons, the fun facts, ánd a draft shopping of shoes. The only thing missing were the complete credits, because I did not have any pricing information yet. A few months later, when the December issue was finally in stores, I came to find out that my shopping made it to the pages. Only, my name was deleted from the credits... All this hard work, for absolutely nothing. So other people could take the shine. 

Final remarks

All in all I enjoyed most of my time as a fashion intern. It was hard work, but most of this was physical. Unfortunately, I did not have a limousine to drive me around to parties or to pick up and return samples. I had to use the public transport. The Devil wears Prada is a lie #1

When I got my tasks done, however, I always got the sweetest thank you's and deepest appreciation—disregarding the fact that my name was left out of credits a lot. Most of the fashion people I encountered were not as vile as I expected, but actually quite friendly. The Devil wears Prada is a lie #2

Also, I did not encounter one person that skipped lunch on purpose, or starved themselves. The Devil wears Prada is a lie #3

Another thing, is that only a select number of people at the office actually looked like they walked off the runwalk everyday. Most people were dressed fairly casual. The Devil wears Prada is a lie #4

I had to run many (random) errands, but getting coffee or food was hardly ever one of them. The Devil wears Prada is a lie #5

We could never accept gifts above a certain price point to prevent a cloudy judgement. So unfortunately, no Marc Jacobs bags or expensive phones for me to hand out. The Devil wears Prada is a lie #6 

Fin

Lobi,