As a third year Fashion Journalism student, I’ve experienced first hand what fashion internships are really like, and how most things you believe about the industry turn out not to be true. From fashion people not eating to always wearing heels, here are six myths about being on a creative course.
1. Internships are just for making tea
The myth that you’ll always make teas for everyone on your internship is one far from true. Once you’ve found yourself an internship, they are hard work and almost always unpaid (even travel and food are often not covered). But, as I experienced on mine, interns are not always just tea-makers (what can you learn from making people tea and getting lunch now anyway?) If you find the right place they’ll give you endless opportunities to excel and help staff members in every way. From writing for them, to researching and getting in touch with people for interviews, the right internship will rely on you for more than just their 4pm earl grey.
2. We always wear heels
As a fashion student, work is incredibly hard. Lugging suitcases of clothes from the fashion cupboard across London, to running for skinny lattes, this is no place for heels. Our life is not like The Devil Wears Prada (or any other fashion film) - we dedicate our summers to unpaid work experience placements and our feet to a pair of trainers.
3. Fashion people don't eat
After Moschino dedicated an entire collection to replicating the McDonald’s packaging, people suddenly began to wonder whether people in fashion decided to start eating again. Probably one of the biggest myths about the industry, food is important to those working in fashion- and, not just for collection inspiration. “Anyone in fashion who says they don’t eat needs to leave their mid 90s heroin chic mentality behind and step into the 21st century. They do. We do. People like creating the illusion that you don’t eat, you go out partying all night and then rock up to the office the next morning. It’s not like that,” says third year Fashion Journalism student Hayley Harrison.
4. No one likes anyone
Films and fashion documentary have stained the industry’s reputation, and as prospective students consider studying fashion-related courses, they are left wondering how much like Miranda Priestly we’re all going to be. The industry is a competitive one, but the people in it aren’t at all that bad.
“When I first chose to study fashion journalism I thought everyone would be really catty, but I honestly feel like I’ve made some friends for life. After interning I found that the myth of everyone being unfriendly isn’t true at all. If there’s one thing I’d say about the fashion industry it would be to remember that The Devil Wears Prada is just fiction,” says Fashion Journalism student Natalie Walsh.
5. Fashion courses are really easy
Fashion courses aren’t made up of shopping trips or students sitting around cutting from magazines- they are actually very hard work, and although it’s not maths or history, it’s a course that should equally be taken as serious. If you want to make it in the industry you need to have a broad cultural understanding, this course is much more than just glossy magazines and dressing well. “The term fashion tends to often be idiot-adjacent, but it isn’t like that at all. It is hard and excruciating. Fashion has always cross-pollinated with film, music, art and politics. And as it keeps growing more intertwined with popular culture, so has my general knowledge. Fashion is an invitation to a conversation. For harnessing creative crafts. For expanding general knowledge,” says third year Fashion Journalism student Evangelina Fysa.
6. We're always shopping and we make our own clothes
This is a journalism course, and so the myth that we make our own clothes is really quite laughable. Over the past two decades fashion has become one of the most competitive courses at university, with now hundreds of specific fashion courses on offer. From design, to fashion advertising and journalism, each course specialises in teaching something different. And none of them involve shopping either. Creative courses like Fashion Journalism aren’t full of students who have nothing but an interest in clothes or sit around drinking coffee, so it’s time that myth gets laid down with the others.