I recently received an opportunity to meet with someone in the fashion industry. Sadly, it did not go as planned. Upon getting there, I was given the advice to lose 20-25 pounds (I am 5 feet tall and weigh anywhere from 95-100 pounds) and was informed that even so, I may not find success because I am short, have a slightly curvy build, and am not conventionally pretty. Does everyone in the industry think this way? I feel like I've been written off because I am not blonde and blue eyed.
whoever you met with is, pardon my language, a complete dingbat. a complete dingbat. he or she has no idea what they’re talking about. first of all, I am not blonde with blue eyes either. in fact, I’d easily say 95 percent of the fashion world is not. think of the editor in chief of, oh, every single major fashion magazine in the US. I can’t think of a single stylist I know who has that Gwyneth Paltrowy look. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: success is predicated on a) your work ethic b) your ideas c) your ability to fuse the two. whoever you spoke to was projecting their own insecurities or issues onto you. don’t let their negativity derail your dreams.
what are your (concise) handbag essentials? I recently got a mini PS11 and can't fit everything in it! (like I can with my PS1). Also, what are some good, non greasy hand lotions?
let me pose this question to you: is there anything worse than the feeling of chapped lips or hands… or grimy hands? ick! so, yes, a non-greasy hand lotion is definitely one of my handbag essentials. my favorite one is from Jurlique. it’s a splurge but it smells so good and works so well I think it’s worth it (that’s how I can justify anything, haha). other must-haves are hand sanitizer (I use Burt’s Bees) and lip balm (my absolute favorite is Dr. Hauschka). I do tend to carry my Smythson planner and my camera if there’s room. if not, those go by the wayside since, hello, I can use my phone as well. ps: if you find that your PS11 is too small for you, feel free to pass it my way! ;)
Hi Eva! I am super passionate about fashion but I am often worried that I could never make it in the fashion industry because of my height (or lack thereof). I am 4'11", and while I know that the only fashion job with real written height requirements is modeling, I feel as if EVERYONE in the industry is tall. Are there any people in other fashion positions who are short?
oh my darling—have you heard of a little power couple called the Olsens? what they lack in stature, they make up for in taste, power, and influence. I get asked questions all the time about height/weight/haircolor/personal style/schooling requirements to work in fashion and, call me idealistic, but I feel like the most important thing should be intelligence, passion, and work ethic. and I can say that many, many, many of the most brilliant girls I know in fashion are petite—5’3” and under. so go forth bravely, tall-ly (in personality, okay?), in the direction of your dreams
Hi Eva, your advice to those looking for fashion industry jobs is extremely constructive. Having heard many good things about being a Teen Vogue intern, I was wondering what you thought about interns who might feel belittled and humiliated from long hours and menial tasks as well as Grace Coddington's idea that "there are a lot of interns that feel very entitled. They think we owe them something". What considerations should supervisors have for their interns if any?
okay, so, 99 percent of the interns I’ve had have been exceptionally hard-working, conscientious, eager, smart, etc etc. those are the ones who I’ll bend over backwards to help—they’ve gone onto jobs at Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Teen Vogue, ELLE, and more, which makes me really happy! then I’ve had the ones who’ve a) asked when they would be able to write the cover story because they are “an English major at [fill in the blank Ivy League school] and therefore qualified” b) stopped showing up, period c) complained about having to update the contact list or organize the beauty closet d) other horrors I won’t detail (stealing!). sigh. in my opinion, this is what I owe my interns/employees: a learning experience, general civility/niceness, an opportunity to ask questions and be curious. I hope that, even if they have to make a photocopy, do model research, etc, they’re still learning, even if they’re menial tasks. when I was an intern (here’s where I get all old-timey), one of my tasks was to create a filing system for the six hundred or so a month press releases we’d get. that task, to be honest, is the definition of menial. but I saw the silver lining: I got to read every single one and, even now, I have a pretty encyclopedic memory of which publicist handles which beauty brand. long hours don’t feel long, also, when you love what you do! so my advice to you: stick it out. if you love something, you’ll be excited just to be a part of the organization you’re working for. you won’t care about the long hours. you’ll live for it. and that’s how you know when it’s a job that should be your career
Hey Eva! I was wondering how you made your move to NY financially possible? I want to be in the fashion industry doing design and editorial and I know that a move to NY would be a great investment for my career, but money is financially tight for me. Your answer would be most appreciated! :)
I’m glad you’re asking that question because it means that you’re thinking strategically about your future—and not just hurling things into a suitcase and coming to NYC with dreams of a Carrie Bradshaw or Friends-esque apartment/lifestyle (which is really rather unrealistic). I’ll be honest—I was exceptionally lucky in that I grew up in NYC. so when I finished with college in Baltimore, I moved home. I lived with my parents until I couldn’t tolerate any longer (about nine months) and then my friend and I rented a teeny one bedroom in Chelsea, put up a wall, and pretended that it was a two bedroom (each “bedroom” held just that—a bed. that’s it. no room for anything else!). when I was freelance at Lucky magazine in the fashion department, I worked part-time at a restaurant in Chelsea on weekends and evenings as a hostess. I cannot tell a lie—I often went back to my parents and pilfered their refrigerator. my top tip for you—start planning now. get as many part-time jobs as you can to start your NYC reserve fund. with every trip to the mall, ask yourself “would I rather have this cute top or… live in NYC?” try to save up a few thousand dollars (seriously). and if you have the luxury of living with a family friend or school friend, take advantage. the first year is the hardest… but with planning and passion, you will make it work
Hey! I was wondering how you always seem so peppy and upbeat. You never seem sad or anxious or stressed. What are your golden keys to the kingdom of happiness?
like everyone else, I have my good days and my bad days. I’m sure if you speak to, say, my coworker Danielle Nussbaum about how I never seem anxious or stressed, she’d give you a massive eye roll and then secretly tape me during the magazine close (when pages get sent to the printing press) and then post it on youtube and then you’d be like “oh, so Eva does get stressed sometimes.” ^_^ but generally, yes, I am pretty even-keeled. I think it’s because a) I eat a really healthy diet (it really does make a difference, especially getting enough omega-3 fatty acids) b) I don’t take myself too seriously and c) I realize exactly how lucky I am to be on this earth and do what I do! it’s all about perspective
what drew you to the beauty industry? and what could I do to get involved in it? I'm a senior in high school and would love to work at a makeup counter or even at an esthetician's office but I have absolutely no experience (unless watching youtube videos count..). I feel like no one will give me a shot!
my personal entree into beauty was entirely by accident. despite being That Girl who could spend hours—nay, days!—at Sephora, I never put 2+2 together to realize it could be a career. I happened to get an internship at Harper’s Bazaar in beauty and that was my lightbulb moment. nowadays, girls like yourself (smart girls!) are realizing the full scope of opportunity out there. I applaud you for it! here’s my advice: firstly, watching Youtube videos counts—perhaps not as experience, but certainly education. so keep that up—and start one of your own! who knows? you could be the next Michelle Phan. secondly, start small. most of the established makeup artists and hairstylists I know started by working on their friends, their family, their immediate circle. practice makeup by doing it whenever you can—for your friends/yourself at parties, your mom if she has a wedding to go to, etc. start building a portfolio of your work (perhaps you have a friend who wants to be a photographer who can take the pictures?). that way, when you apply to makeup counters, you have something to show them. lastly, don’t give up. the job market is tough, to put it mildly, so the market is saturated with applications. realize that you have time on your side (even if you’re eager to start working). bide your time—because your time will come!