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A Taste of Working in Fashion PR

**The following is a guest post from Jenny Raja, a junior marketing and psychology major at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Jenny recently spent a summer abroad interning at a London Fashion PR agency. She can be reached at jennyraja[at]gmail[dot]com**

Fashion PR: Beyond the Glitz and Glamour

G.L.A-M.O.R.O-U-S. Similar to Fergie, I too got a chance to taste life in the fast lane. Working for a Fashion PR firm in London last summer, I was exposed to the all of the latest designs from clients such as Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Orla Kiely, and 7 For All Mankind. As the wide-eyed American intern, I flipped out to find Halle Berry’s Oscar gown by Elie Saab just lying around the office showroom. My colleagues may have teased me, but I certainly took pictures to document my findings to share with my friends back home.

hurley.jpgAnd don’t get me started on preparations for In-Style’s Fifth Birthday Party, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which featured the most famous dresses through the years. In the showroom, I held one of Gianni Versace’s most famous designs: the 1994 black dress held together with gold safety pins. Meanwhile, our company co-director nonchalantly recollected the day Liz Hurley came in to the office with then-boyfriend Hugh Grant to find a dress to wear to a film premiere. After many unsuccessful attempts, she found this gown tucked in a corner cabinet and then *poof!* she made it big on the red carpet.

Yes, London had its glamour. Photo shoots at Vogue, spending the day on set with two foreign (and might I add, very attractive) male models, getting pampered by hair and makeup, meeting distinguished members of the press while presenting the new collection at Boucheron. But it wasn’t always fun and games every day. I spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms, being blown off by snobby European photographers, and sorting through piles of clothes in the returns room. Long days at the office were spent organizing clothes and merchandising the showroom and even that I did in the “American” style, sorting things by color and print, like I do in my own bedroom closet, something they didn’t have room for in their British armoires!

Our firm focused on product placement, so I spent my mornings sourcing magazines and sitting in front of the computer creating Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations for our clients. Besides my love for Microsoft Office and trashy fashion/gossip magazines, the work didn’t always live up to my glamorous image of the London high-street fashion world. Although I excitedly brought home the latest Swarovski jewelry and newest John Freida products, my coworkers constantly discussed their jaded attitudes towards their jobs. Even though they were traveling to meet clients in places like Ireland and Copenhagen, they complained that the novelty wore off and the glamorous life got old.manmodel1.jpg

These conversations may have slightly discouraged my interest in Fashion PR, yet nonetheless, I very much enjoyed my learning experience. As a marketing major, I learned a great deal about our clients’ target markets and promotions in the U.K. Additionally, the chance to travel around Europe over the summer made participating in my program a really enjoyable time and a great investment. If you are interested in joining the Fashion PR scene, I would really suggest considering a summer internship in the field: it will provide you to a lot of exposure to the industry and help you figure out what suits your interests. Use your networks and school career center for job contacts. And when you score a position, be sure to get involved. Ask questions and work hard. Remember, although your Fashion PR experience may not always be filled with glamour, there is value in taking a break from the fast lane. After all, it’s important to not just have fun but to learn from your experiences.
(model picture was taken at the AXM shoot for the October issue. Fashion Editor: Andrew Lister, Photographer: Cameron McNee)

14 Comments

  • Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I am a first year Fashion Merchadnsing student, and it is interesting to see the inside of the PR side of the industry. PR is actually something that I am considering as a career path. The internship above sounds like the chance of a life time. My question is when is the best time to start your internship??

  • Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I am a first year Fashion Merchadnsing student, and it is interesting to see the inside of the PR side of the industry. PR is actually something that I am considering as a career path. The internship above sounds like the chance of a life time. My question is when is the best time to start your internship??

  • shikin
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    i am in a huge career dilemma..i am a final year law student and am doing well..but i think i had only just discovered my passion in fashion about a year ago..A fashion PR sounds like a good way to start. i need more information on how and where do i get started to get into the fashion industry.please help.

  • shikin
    Posted August 7, 2007 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    i am in a huge career dilemma..i am a final year law student and am doing well..but i think i had only just discovered my passion in fashion about a year ago..A fashion PR sounds like a good way to start. i need more information on how and where do i get started to get into the fashion industry.please help.

  • Ro
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I’m also a merchandising student, but PR is becoming more interesting to me. Was your internship paid? Can you release the name of the company or at least other names in the UK that offer PR internships?

  • Ro
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I’m also a merchandising student, but PR is becoming more interesting to me. Was your internship paid? Can you release the name of the company or at least other names in the UK that offer PR internships?

  • Tammy
    Posted August 22, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I am going to be a senior in high school this upcoming september. I was wondering if there is any fashion internship for an American high school student in san diego of California.

  • Tammy
    Posted August 22, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I am going to be a senior in high school this upcoming september. I was wondering if there is any fashion internship for an American high school student in san diego of California.

  • Posted September 7, 2007 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Hi all!

    I actually secured my internship by going through a program called University of Dreams. It’s an all-inclusive internship program, in which we had a guaranteed internship, housing, transportation, meal plan, staff assistance, career seminars, and six weekend planned activities — all done for us!

    It was a great way for me to spend the summer in London and get amazing exposure in the PR field. Many other participants in my program did internships at other fashion PR firms and some were placed in the PR departments of places like Armani, etc.

    If you are interested in the program for the summer, please look into http://www.uofdreams.com and apply for the program. Summer ’08 is available in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Barcelona, Sydney, and Hong Kong. Don’t hesitate to put my name down as a reference, so I can follow up on your application for you.

    You can also email me at jennyraja@gmail.com if you have further questions. THANKS!

  • Posted September 7, 2007 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Hi all!

    I actually secured my internship by going through a program called University of Dreams. It’s an all-inclusive internship program, in which we had a guaranteed internship, housing, transportation, meal plan, staff assistance, career seminars, and six weekend planned activities — all done for us!

    It was a great way for me to spend the summer in London and get amazing exposure in the PR field. Many other participants in my program did internships at other fashion PR firms and some were placed in the PR departments of places like Armani, etc.

    If you are interested in the program for the summer, please look into http://www.uofdreams.com and apply for the program. Summer ’08 is available in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Barcelona, Sydney, and Hong Kong. Don’t hesitate to put my name down as a reference, so I can follow up on your application for you.

    You can also email me at jennyraja@gmail.com if you have further questions. THANKS!

  • Ineisha
    Posted October 17, 2007 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I think this is wonderful jenny, and you have inspired me to continue my search for great internships opportunities.

  • Ineisha
    Posted October 17, 2007 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I think this is wonderful jenny, and you have inspired me to continue my search for great internships opportunities.

  • Vish
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Jenny,

    Great writeup! I found it really helpful that you also wrote about the cons of the job, i.e. how jaded the PRs got after awhile…

    Would it be possible for you to let me know what company you interned for? They sound like a really interesting company!

    Cheers! Vish

  • Vish
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Jenny,

    Great writeup! I found it really helpful that you also wrote about the cons of the job, i.e. how jaded the PRs got after awhile…

    Would it be possible for you to let me know what company you interned for? They sound like a really interesting company!

    Cheers! Vish

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  • [...] right?? Wrong it does how you say in order to have such a connection between the two in the Fashion World you have to have experience such as: writing skills, Research ability, Planning expertise, [...]

  • [...] right?? Wrong it does how you say in order to have such a connection between the two in the Fashion World you have to have experience such as: writing skills, Research ability, Planning expertise, [...]

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Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me a note.