How to Make it in Fashion Magazines—from the Editors-In-Chief

Photo Credit:  The New Potato , Amy Astley

Photo Credit: The New Potato, Amy Astley

This article originally appeared on Ed2010.com.

When it comes to career advice for making it in the magazine world, there's no one better to ask than an Editor-in-Chief. As the leaders of the magazine industry, these editors have worked their way through the ranks, have worked ta many different publications, and ultimately had what it takes to run an entire book.

Below, ELLE'S Robbie Myers, Architectural Digest's Amy Astley, and (formerly) InStyle's Ariel Foxman share their four fundamental tips to help you make your way to the top.

Network With Your Peers

“Be polite to everybody, even as you move up the ladder,” suggests Myers. “There’s no one in the industry who’s beneath you.”

“I think one of the best ways to get a job is to have someone recommend you elsewhere,” says Astley. It will be your peers who pass along those job openings before they’re posted — not the Managing Editor who signed your intern time sheet.

Nail The Interview Outfit

So you landed the interview and have to choose an outfit. The pressure! “If you’re interviewing for a fashion job,” says Astley, “I want to get a sense of your sensibility and style. I feel that your clothes speak volumes.”

But the doesn't mean worrying about labels for entry-level interviews, just how you present yourself. “If you’re thoughtful about your outfit choice, whatever it is, I want to make sure it’s consistent to how you approach content,” says Foxman. “For example, if it’s about representing the magazine, how and where are you repping the magazine and how do you play the part?”

Watch and Learn

As far as entry-level jobs go, assisting a top fashion magazine editor is a great jumping off point for your future career. “It is a nice place to start, as you get a broad view of the magazine,” says Astley, whose first magazine job was at House and Garden as the assistant to the EIC. “For me, it was a great training ground. You get to see what all the editors do.”

Assisting an editor lower down the masthead will lead to a great deal of experience, too. Foxman also worked as an assistant to the EIC at Details, and Myers got her start assisting the head of Rolling Stone‘s music department as an EA.

Stay Humble

Take it from the editors who’ve been there: An A+ employee will stay on top of everything and do it with a smile.

Myers cites Joe Zee, ELLE’s former Creative Director and recent Yahoo! Fashion EIC hire, as an example. “When he started out in New York, the other assistants in the fashion department were complaining because they had to return the clothes to the showrooms,” says Myers. “He loved doing that because he got to know all the people at the showrooms, who know the publicists. That’s really networking.”

Even if you’re not returning samples from the fashion closet, it’s important to be nice. “You really need to be pleasant — and you have to want to be pleasant,” adds Foxman.

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