Interview with a Vogue Fashion Assistant
Welcome to our #joaniegalboss series! We're getting in-depth with inspiring women who are totally working it! First up is certified Joanie Gal, Alice Bell - a Vogue Fashion Assistant in New York.
Alice has us completely enamoured with her retro-inspired style, not to mention her day-to-day backdrop of New York City – an Instagram dream!
We chatted with Alice to find out more about what inspires her fashion choices and the places she’s travelled to for work and play, as well as getting the low down on her tips for cracking the fashion industry.
Check out her interview below. This one's a must-read for anyone who's wondered what a career in fashion would be like!
Left: Alice wears the Janet Cord Skirt
We’re big fans of your style and particularly love your nostalgic look and obvious love of colour and detail. How would you define your style and what inspires your dress sense?
Thank you! I love the 1960s and that very mod style that characterised Swinging London. I rarely purchase trousers or jeans, as I tend to prefer mini skirts and dresses in bright colors and prints. Vintage fashion photography and sometimes other bloggers who have a similar style inspire a lot of how I dress, but I also just kind of buy what I love and what I’m drawn towards.
By day, you’re a Fashion Assistant at Vogue in New York – what led you to a career in fashion and what tips do you have for anyone hoping to break the industry?
I’ve wanted to work in fashion since I was about 12 years old, and I always loved reading Vogue and Teen Vogue. I think the key to landing a job in the industry is to intern…A LOT and be willing to work for very little pay in the beginning. Fashion very much weeds out who actually wants to be there and you have to prove yourself for the first couple of years. Don’t be afraid to send cold emails to people you would want to work for or reach out to people on social media even. I also think everyone wanting to pursue a fashion career should have a blog or website of some sort, it’s amazing what blogging led me to and it still allows me to be a creative in a way I can’t be at my job. My blog got me into Central Saint Martins and it was a great thing to have on my resume when applying for internships.[caption id="attachment_129540" align="alignnone" width="840"] Left image by Julia Meriwether[/caption]
Above: Alice wears the Ariette Top
What does a regular day in the office look like AS A VOGUE FASHION ASSISTANT? Talk us through a typical working day.
Every day varies, usually its super super busy though. I usually show up to work at 9am and don’t leave until 8-9pm. If there are multiple shoots goings on, I am requesting clothing for them and doing a lot of last minute pickups so everything is there in time before the trunks need to be packed. If its slower, I work on writing articles and picking out items to shop to go up on Vogue.com or Vogue’s Snapchat Discover. I also assist an Editor and the Creative Digital Director with their schedules, so I set up meetings, update their calendars, general administrative things like that.
What are your favourite aspects of the job?
I love the exposure it gives me to all these brands, I’m constantly looking for new names to feature on Vogue.com. And I like being able to pitch stories for the website and write. I’m also always learning something new through my job too, I’m never seated at my desk, bored.
Are there any downsides?
Because it’s so busy, I have pretty much no social life. You just have to accept it though, at least in the beginning of your career.
You’ve travelled to a few different places for your studies and work – where do you feel most at home?
Italy. I’m obsessed with everything about that country, and I would immediately drop everything if given the chance to move there.
We’re based in the UK and noticed that you studied Fashion Journalism at Central Saint Martins – is there anything you particularly miss about living in London?
I miss London’s creativity, there are so many great new designers coming out of London and everyone is so much more experimental there than they are here. I also love how easy it was to travel from London to the rest of Europe.
Besides work, what do you like to do for fun?
I read a lot, I work on my blog with my friends from university, I’ve recently gotten super into painting because it’s so relaxing. I don’t go out and party as much as I used to, because I found there’s not really time to be hungover and it drains my bank account.[caption id="attachment_129539" align="alignnone" width="840"] Above images by Christina M. Garcia[/caption]
Finally, what styles will you be adding to your day-to-day wardrobe this season?
I’m super into this bright colored tights trend, so I’m going to buy a pair of bright red ones. I also want some more ribbed knits – coordinating knit sweaters, skirts, trousers - it looks so comfortable and very 1970s.
We hope you enjoyed our interview with Alice! Follow Alice's Instagram for film-like shots of New York City's hotspots and '60s-inspired style for the modern day.