I’m an 18-year-old community college student, working as a sales associate at a high end clothing store. It’s a great experience and I’m learning a lot. I’m thinking of expanding my fashion knowledge and possibly interning with a stylist. But I don’t know how to go about asking for an internship. I found one stylist I’m absolutely in love with, but I don’t know what to say in the email, or even if i have the qualifications!! I’ve only been at this job for a few months, and other than being a huge lover of fashion for the past few years, this job is my only real fashion experience. Advice? Suggestions? HELP! I really want this internship, if there’s even one available!
Dear Daniel -
Everyone is willing to lend a helping hand with the right approach. I think a good rule of thumb is to approach a cold-call like you are calling a friend of your mother. Confidence and politeness go an extra long way in any industry, and in particular with fashion which moves so quickly.
Send them an email and give them a follow-up call the following week! Regardless of the situation, you’ve opened the door for your own experience, and the next time you send out a letter with your resumé, and follow it up with a lovely call, it won’t seem so scary. I think it matters less what you say than how you say it. Experience is really ancillary to personal style, bon genre (that’s French for good attitude!), and a willingness to help out. If you’re earnest and respectful, you should have your foot in the door in no time.
Also, try to keep your letters and emails pithy–no need for exhausting verbosity. Getting to the point is very important. My dear friend, fashion historian and author Laird Borelli-Persson, has a great theory that “if a designer can’t make his or her point in about 25 looks then there is more editing to be done. A collection should be like a beautiful sentence, that expresses a point clearly, in few words, and not run on–and on and on….” I think that is such good advice overall, and one that I think of very often in both my approach to design and everything else!
If you want to intern with someone, get to the point and tell them! There’s nothing better than an intern that genuinely admires the company for which they work.
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