Sunday, September 18, 2011

The glamorous life of fashion pr.. or is it?

It's not all freebies, glamor and lunch dates- although that is a great part of it. But the public relations world is also hard work, long hours and as un-glamorous at times as it comes. There's a perception about the fashion world that many people believe. For some reason, (The Devil Wears Prada springs to mind!) the fashion realm is thought of as a bitchy, catty and a competitive workplace filled with shallow people caring only about designer labels and living off a diet of lettuce leaves. I recently discovered working within the fashion world couldn't be more opposite to this. For two weeks I had the privilege of working at a fashion PR company in Sydney and it was the most rewarding and full filling two weeks I could have imagined.

At first I was thoroughly intimidated (we all hear stories after all), but that intimidation quickly turned to admiration as the workplace was filled with laughter, energy and drive. Everyone possessed a commitment to produce the best outcome that I greatly respected and it's this love for the job that constructs a positive workplace. As I got a taste of what really goes on behind closed doors of a fashion and lifestyle public relations company my time was generally filled with sorting through racks and racks of clothes (heaven!) and working closely with magazine editors and assistants packing, sending, receiving and unpacking more bags of clothes than I dared to count! Another major requirement in this world is schmoozing and dining with all the fashion folk (not that I did any of that being at the bottom of the ladder), the closest thing I got to dining was going on coffee runs and getting handed a shopping list for the lunch order. However, it taught me the the importance of building and maintaing a strong relationship with the ones your working with, especially editors and stylists. It is a difficult and strenuous job, with lots of people to please but you quickly realise that pleasing everyone is a hard gig to do.

At the end of the day my expectations about the fashion pr world were morphed into reality and I realised it's not all about scoring awesome freebies, wearing high heels and going out on free lunch dates. It's dedication, commitment and a special love for what you do. It's not a 9-5 job, it's network building and long hours but it's an extremely rewarding world. I met some amazing people and contacts and in the fashion world all you need is that perfectly manicured foot in the door. Oh, and some make up freebies were in the job description too, but who wouldn't expect freebies after two weeks of unpaid work. Ahh the joys of being an intern.

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