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The crazy life of a London fashion PR intern

March 14, 2011

headertreehouse1 The crazy life of a London fashion PR intern

Lucy Hawes (@lucyhawes) offers her hectic account of interning for a fashion PR company during London Fashion Week. For more Fashion Week coverage and personal stories, check out Lucy’s blog.

LucyHawes1 The crazy life of a London fashion PR intern

Lucy Hawes (@LucyHawes)

My internship at a fashion PR agency actually allows for a lie-in: I roll out of bed around 8:30. The first task of the day is making myself porridge: I’ll never know how busy I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, so I pluck for a stodgy breakfast! The unpredictability of the day can also pose a clothing challenge: flats or heels, comfy jeans or smart skirt? Considering this is fashion PR, I make a creative effort: Today I go for lace dress, leather jacket, and block heels that I can still run around in.

At 10 a.m., I jump on the Tube into central London. Arriving at my small office, I am buzzed up in a private elevator, and set up my laptop on the large table where everyone works. This PR agency consists of just a few select account managers. Considering the number of clients, this means it’s go-go-go all the time — ideal for a first-time intern like me, as I get to work across all the accounts!

IMG 0203 The crazy life of a London fashion PR intern

Lucy snapped this photo last month of a model getting prepared for an appearance at London Fashion week.

With MTV playing in the background, I’ll get down to work. The first thing I do is check my e-mails. The company has just had its busiest time of year — London Fashion Week — so I have a few thank-yous from press that I introduced to clients backstage. Fashion Week at a PR company was crazy. We spent weeks prepping and mailing out invites (with frequent cases of hand cramp from addressing thousands of envelopes!), securing gift bag contents and processing RSVPs, followed by an insane weekend of 16-hour days at which we worked shows and after-parties (for me, this was mostly on the door!).

But now, it’s back to normal. I’ve been organizing a digital event for online beauty editors, inviting them to experience and cover the work of one of our clients. I’ll respond to any RSVPs, and use an industry related database to pull more contacts to invite. I’ll also be Googling to check out any bloggers or websites I should be considering.

At the same time, I’ll be fielding phone calls. The office gets calls from press requesting information, the clients themselves, potential new clients inquiring about the company, stylists wanting to use the clothes in a shoot and even people requesting internships! Often, I’ll recognize the voice or the name. Although the company is always making new connections, it also works within an established network of stylists, journalists and clients, so that I have often met the person on the other end of the line at one of the many company events.

Lunch is at 1, and can be a lonely affair. The company only uses other interns for busy events like London Fashion Week, so usually I’ll just pop out for a salad. Once back in the office, tasks are often writing based, from drafting a new press release to editing something that my boss has been working on. Or, the afternoon could mean a trip out of the office, perhaps to drop of some samples, or to shadow an account manager to a meeting.

Today, however, is all about the phone! I’m pitching a book to glossy magazine editors for review, and as a relative newbie, it’s scary! I get the phone slammed down on me once, which knocks my confidence, but after a pep talk from my boss I’m back on my feet and persuading those editors that they’d love a sample! The best part of the job is, for me, seeing the end product of something like this — a review in a publication that I put there. And hopefully, with more practice, it’ll happen more often!

E-mailing, writing, and calling around means that the afternoon usually whizzes by in a blur,  and suddenly it’s 6 p.m., and time to head home. Waiting for me are my housemates, and usually a jacket potato. Interning at a fashion PR firm is glamorous, but doesn’t allow for a luxury food budget!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brink August 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

That is a great story and truly the life of an intern. You never know when and where you will be through out the day, needless to say the task you are about to undertake.

Take a look at http://www.eiabroad.com for some of the very best fashion internship in New York, Paris and London.

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Maggie September 29, 2011 at 6:59 am

Hi Lucy,

I'm looking for a fashion PR internship for the period January – May 2012. I'm a graduating student International Media & Entertainment Management and would love a carreer in fashion PR. Could you tell me what PR company you are interning for ? And do you have any tips on other PR companies ? Thanks !

Best,
Maggie

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