My Harper’s BAZAAR Internship: Fashion People Are…
My NYLON Singapore Experience
I’ve written a similar story, “My Life As A NYLON Intern: Love At First Sight Or…”
The ellipsis was meant to say “Hell On Earth.”
Here’s an insight to how I write: I think of the craziest title, giggle, and craft my entire story around it. When I first typed “Love At First Sight Or Hell On Earth,” I actually was shaking with titillating excitement. I sneakily showed my colleagues around the office the “scandalous” story I was about to write.
Days later, I scrapped the “Hell On Earth” part from my title. I didn’t want readers to think I was ungrateful for the lucky chance I had working at NYLON. Also, I knew my editor had to approve the article before it went live; why would I risk censorship from the get-go?
Don’t get me wrong. I was sincere raving about my internship. I learnt a lot about myself, the industry, met professional heroes, arguably received great mentorship from my editor, and made some personal friends I still talk to today.
Incidentally, my original title to this article was “3 Months At Harper’s BAZAAR: Are All Fashion People Douche Cocks?”
I don’t personally, but I understand why people hate the fashion industry. Overbearing company culture was a huge fear factor before I started my internship. I was bracing myself to be bullied. Simultaneously, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
My Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore Experience
My verdict, working with fashion and beauty editors, stylists, hair and makeup artists, the marketing team, PR executives from countless luxury brands, models, celebrities, and other interns?
No, fashion people are not douche cocks. They’re merely religiously dedicated to their jobs. To others, it could appear like everyone in fashion is fake and elitist. I’d argue that we’re merely friendly to a fault and completely enamoured by glamour.
Do I ever torture myself/get tortured in the process? I usually cab three to five times a day, picking up and returning press samples. Wearing Birkenstocks is a comfort thing. It helps that I think they look good too.
I help out on at least three fashion photo and video shoots a week. Upon reaching the set, I start to unpack samples from their luggage. Hang them on racks. Steam them. Dress models. Buy coffee and snacks throughout the day. Help my editors with tasks, like shine jewellery or ransack our storeroom for specific socks. At the end of the day, I fold the samples back in their luggage to be returned.
And I love every bit of it. There’s always laughter, people dancing to whacky tunes, and constant whining during these shoots. Bottom line: I don’t know a more valuable fashion school than interning at an inclusive fashion magazine.
Once, I worked on a photo and video shoot with David Gan. It started at 11am, and ended at 1am the following day. As a celebrity makeup artist who’s also celebrity unto himself, I wasn’t expecting him to be so subdued and helpful. He was everything I aspire to be; he’d hop on set when needed, and fade into the background as swiftly as he appeared right after. He’d observe how the shoot was moving, and step in minutes after to freshen up or suggest ways to better capture “the look.”
The model for that project, Kim Lim, had brought her own Saint Laurent wardrobe – blazers, shorts, tank tops and jeans with price tags still on! There was a pair of lace-up boots, however, that had been worn in, and was coming apart. David kindly offered to fix them; he borrowed a needle and thread, and in five minutes stitched them back alive. I watched silently in awe of his proactive nature, a defining trait I’m sure has shaped his legendary career. I offered help, and we briefly chatted about my career goals.
Another character is Kenneth Goh, my editor-in-chief. Even though we briefly chatted during my internship, I was always charmed by his personable spirit. It helped that he was always in some of my personal favourite It pieces; I remember him once rocking a Loewe Gate bag, oversized paper bag shirt, kawaii glasses; and his iconic Anna Wintour bob.
I even got to be featured on his Instagram stories! Admittedly I wasn’t very prepared. Thankfully I was in a J.W. Anderson hoodie that day. Later on, he wished me well for my future endeavours.
These are but some of the great “teachers” I’ve learnt from during my internships. I hope I’ve dispelled the negative stereotypes of fashion people.
Neither internships were perfect. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend applying for one if you’re interested. In fact, people have asked for tips on getting into a fashion magazine!
Should I share some personal tips?