Hi Eva! I love your blog and Instagram. I was wondering, what was your first fashion-related job? Did you like it? What made you good (or bad) at it?
I’ve talked endlessly about my first internship at a magazine (visit my Ask Eva archive should you want to read about it… I know I’ve written about it at least 9842 times), but my first real job was at Lucky magazine in the fashion department. I was hired as a freelancer, which means I wasn’t full-time, with benefits and health insurance—but I didn’t care. I was so happy. Why? Because I had spend the last nine months in veritable misery. You see, when I first graduated, the magazine industry was in a time of transition (much as it is now) and magazines were folding (politespeak for going out of business). I couldn’t find a job in magazines and took a job at a law firm. My soul died a little, working at the law firm, but I did learn a lot—how to work 110 hour weeks, how to file and redact like a champ, and how much I didn’t want to be a lawyer. When I got that lifeline from a former colleague at my first internship, I was so grateful. At Lucky, I helped compile the credit (where to buy) information for hundreds of items in each issue (such as: Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette, $90 for 4.2 oz, sephora.com). It was very detail-oriented work, and the sheer volume of it was rather insane, but I loved it. I was so happy just to be surrounded by and immersed in the magazine world again. I suppose what made me good at it was my previous job, actually: the crazy, microscopically detailed work I had to do at the law firm. What made me bad at it? I’m not sure—perhaps the fact that I got a full-time job after just six weeks. So, the lesson to be learned from this rambling response? Find value in every job you do. Even if it’s not strictly related to your field of interest (like, say, working at a law firm if what you want to do is magazines, or temping at a doctor’s office, etc)—maybe it’s organizational skills, perhaps it’s dealing with difficult people (I feel like working in retail or the restaurant business can be so helpful as you have to deal with all sorts of people)—there is always something to be learned.
Hi Eva! I was recently accepted early decision to NYU for the Class of 2017. I wanted to know your advice on how to gain experience in the industry and network as a young student living in New York for the first time. Also I was wondering if you would recommend a journalism major for success in the industry. I am currently conflicted with my interested in journalism, international relations, and economics. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! thank you!
Wow, congratulations! Ah, how am I going to squeeze in all my advice into one little post. Hmm, well, to begin: A) In terms of beginning working and interning immediately upon getting to NYC, I know the first instinct is to be like, “Hooray, my ‘real’ life is finally beginning! Off to work/network I go!” Don’t do it. Give yourself one semester. Your freshman year first semester is a magically fun time. Meet as many people, try as many wacky classes, and enjoy it as much as you can. You will never get that time back and you will not fall behind at all by taking your first semester off. You’ll still have 10+ (2 per school year, 1 per summer) internship semesters ahead of you. B) even though you’ll have friends who know their major (or seem to know it), wait to declare until the last possible second. Again, try as many things as you can before committing to one major. You never know, you might discover you want to be a sociology major and a zoology minor. You never know. And—a minor piece of advice—C) don’t bring too much stuff to NYC. You’re going to end up buying a whole new set of everything—clothes, furniture, cute tchotchkes. Travel light and with your eyes and heart wide open.
Do you have any book recommendations for aspiring editors? I know that a lot of editors (Grace Coddington, Kate White, Jean Godfrey-June, etc.) have written advice/memoir type books. Do you have any favorites and would you consider writing one?
You’ve mentioned three great ones already (I particularly love Jean’s writing style—her columns for ELLE magazine in the 90s were one of the reasons I gravitated towards magazines, and beauty, at all). I would also look into Diana Vreeland’s memoirs, The Teen Vogue Handbook (not just saying that because I worked on the book. It gives a great baseline knowledge of the different careers in fashion, from art department to designer), and—this may seem random—The Mailroom. The latter is a book about working in the mailroom (basically as an assistant) at top talent agencies (CAA, William Morris, UTA) in the 80s and 90s. It may seem like an utter disconnect but when I read the book, I saw a lot of parallels in what it takes to make it as an agent as it does an editor: the same drive, ambition, organizational skills (truth!). Lastly, I would encourage you to be informed about the world as the whole, not just the fashion world. It’s important to be attuned to current events, local issues, and culture—you can live for fashion, but remember that you live in a larger community that informs fashion. Make yourself as well-rounded as possible. (And to answer your last question: yes, it is in the works ^_^)
Hi Eva, I want to express my fashion side more, but I don't know where to start. How do I find my personal style?
Personal style: it sounds (and looks) so simple yet it’s an elusive, tricky thing to nail down. Because, really, at the end of the day it’s personal. There are some people who find their so-called personal style and are self-assured of it from an early age; others, it might take high school, college, twenties, thirties. Really, though, I think personal style is less about a signature look and more about the confidence to wear what you want to wear. Sounds simpler than it actually is, though, right? So, where to begin… I would start by incorporating some fashion items (maybe it’s a pair of boyfriend jeans, penny loafers, overalls) that you love but are somewhat unsure of. The more things you try on and say, “Oh, hey, I loved that! I want to wear it again” or “I didn’t feel comfortable in that”, the better. Personal style is trial and error and, most importantly, ever-changing. Enjoy the evolution—don’t over-think it or worry too much about it. Fashion should be fun, an outlet, not a burden.
Hi Eva! I just read this quote by Kelly Cutrone: "I work in fashion because the world is such a heavy place that I need to be in this industry that fights for five hours to get a dress." Maybe her quote is a bit sacarstic, but it inspired me to this question: why do YOU work in the fashion/beauty industry? :) Love from the Netherlands.
Ah, I love Kelly. She’s in possession of something many, many fashion people don’t have: a sense of humor (which, if you ask me, is essential!). Your question is a good one and one that, honestly, I don’t really have a concrete answer for. It’s odd, because a lot of people I speak to these days will say they want to work in fashion or beauty because it seems fun or cool. “Fun” and “cool” fade. I think it’s important to tap into a deeper calling and reason. For me, it’s because I love to write and to share my point of view with others (it still amazes me that I have followers on this little blog of mine. Thank you ^_^). For others, it might be because of the art of fashion, the transformative qualities of beauty. Find that purpose and let that be your guide.
Hey Eva! What would you suggest to wear for an interview at a magazine? And, out of curiosity, what did you wear to your first interview? Love your blog!! Keep inspiring!! <3
A common mistake, I think, that a lot of girls make is that they confuse working at a magazine for being in the magazine. As such, they’ll dress up in somewhat ridiculous get-ups on a daily basis or to the interview: crazy-tall heels that they can’t walk in, body-con dresses or skirts that are very…er…binding, ornate makeup that requires a ton of touching up. They look very done-up, but not exactly like they can work. And, really, what you’re doing when you’re interning or assisting is running around like a crazy person. You need to be nimble, spry, and dressed (fashionably) for comfort. For an interview I’d suggest a chic but comfortable outfit—I wore Miu Miu kitten heels, a little pleated skirt, and a black sweater, I think. Lots of black! But most importantly—and definitely more crucial: come prepared with a knowledge of the company you’re applying for and a ready answer for why you deserve the job. Good luck!
Dear Eva, I was wondering exactly what a face serum is and if it is necessary in my skin routine? I never really see serums advertised as much as creams and things, so I have no idea what they are. I normally just use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. Is a serum something that could really help my skin glow? I am 20 and have normal skin (just spots and dry skin every now and then). Even if you can't manage to find the time to answer this, I love all of your posts! They make me smile! :))
Oh, I love serums. I have a whole jumble of bad metaphors/analogies for them (they’re like the Swiss Army Knives of beauty! they’re like a base coat for your skin!). But, to break it all down, here’s serum 101: 1) they usually contain a high concentration of active ingredients, that’s why they’re more expensive. 2) the formula is typically sheerer than a cream and they’re meant to be worn as a base layer (if you have super oily skin, sometimes you can get away with just a serum) 3) I have no hard data for this but they’ll just make your skin happier. When I started using serums regularly under my AM SPF and PM night cream, my skin texture improved markedly. here, some of my favorites: *for dry skin, this rose oil serum is divine. I also started using this oil recently and it has really lovely texture. And for the record, no, face oil won’t make your face break out. *for normal skin, I often use this serum in the evening. It smells heavenly! *This one is great for all skin types and really boosts glow. *Have oily skin? Don’t be afraid of moisture. This and this are my two favorite oily skin serums. Embrace serums—they’re an extra step, yes, but really well worth it.
Hey Eva! So...I've never been too big on a lot of makeup. I wore foundation for one bottle worth, and then quit because I didn't wanna buy it again. I also like going a little more natural. I have some freckles & no acne almost always(which is a blessing because I'm 15!) But my skin tone is very uneven. I'm pale, but my cheeks are always really red and my forehead is just blotchy-looking. What would be the best product to use? I was thinking BB cream but wasn't sure?
I love that you want to be more natural—one of my makeup pet peeves is seeing young girls such as yourself with fundamentally gorgeous skin covering it up with a thick layer of makeup. so! BB cream or a tinted moisturizer (let’s be real—they’re basically the same thing. The only difference between the two is that BB Creams always have SPF in them, and often come with one or two bonus benefits, like primer or more moisture, built in) would be a good choice for you. My favorite BB Cream is this one (it’s not too shimmery, just a touch of glow), and a good drugstore alternative would be this! My new favorite tinted moisturizer is 10000% this one, it lets your natural skin shine through. If your cheeks are super, super red, though, I would suggest priming skin with a color-correcting primer or concealer. I highly recommend Clinique’s entire Redness Reducing collection, by the way. When I get spots (sob), I use the foundation in lieu of concealer as a spot treatment. It works wonders.