One of our favorite new blogs Into The Gloss sat down with Teen Vogue‘s Amy Astley, and although the conversation was primarily about beauty, the editor spilled a number of valuable tips for young people who are looking to break into the fashion industry. It’s always endearing to hear how super successful power players got their starts, and Amy’s story seems to truly stem from hard work and youthful ambition. Here are the top five career tips from her interview:
1. Network, but be nice you never know who you’ll work with again in the future.
“Its a tiny world; its all interconnected. We all have great opportunities to network in a positive way, I dont mean in an ugly pushy way. A lot of young people arent aware that theyre building their network and you need to maintain a good reputation and really think about what youre doing and what youre saying.”
2. Interning and assisting are far and away the best ways to learn the business.
“Vogue was like journalism university to me. I definitely did not need a Masters from Columbia or NYU; still to this day, young people say, Should I get my masters? And I say, Ehif you want to. But get in there and work and learn from people who know what theyre doing.”
3. Be willing to pay your dues (read: menial and manual labor).
“I went out of my way to give [the Creative Director of House & Garden] help if he needed it; it was a small staff there, and Id be like, Ill Xerox that for you! So thats how I ended up at Vogue, because of him.”
4. Don’t be a one-trick pony learn as much as you can about as many things as you can.
“I always liked the whole picture, and I always liked the business of a magazine too… And its helped me tremendously because my job now is not just a creative job, or a visual job, its a business job. Managing budgets, and looking for new opportunities. Internet, iPad, TV shows obviously, and we did a NY Times best selling book about careers in fashion.”
5. Be yourself in interviews don’t just say what you think employers want to hear.
“I remember being interviewed by Vogue‘s Managing Editor. She said, Why do you think you can do this job? And I said, Well, its a style job thats what Ive been doing at HG. Id been doing little stories on young people at home I was fascinated by peoples style: How they lived, how they dressed, how they entertained. So to me, even though I hadnt thought deeply about beauty, its a style joband I can write about style. And that was the right answer for them.”
Photo: Jeffrey Mayer, Getty Images