Fashion Assistants -- the Best Jobs in Fashion For the Worst Pay?

by Fran Walker
Fashion School Review Columnist

May 31, 2006

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In the UK fashion assistants are notoriously the worst paid but best dressed people at fashion shows. But ask them how they feel about their career, and they'll say they have some of the best jobs in fashion! Better still, they are in prime position for a later career as a fashion editor.

What Do Fashion Assistants Do?

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Fashion assistants have some of the most varied jobs in fashion. Working mostly for magazines, they carry out many day to day tasks to ensure a successful fashion shoot. Checking stock and carrying boxes will progress to organizing shoots and writing and styling fashion pages. It is undoubtedly hard work -- and is not that well paid, but the travel, experience and networking potential make it one of the best jobs in fashion.

Do I Need a Fashion Degree to Be a Fashion Assistant?

Almost certainly yes. Most people with a career as a fashion assistant, fashion journalist or fashion editor have either a fashion degree, a journalism degree or an English degree. In effect, you either have be a fashion graduate with strong English skills, or an English graduate with a strong love of, and talent for, fashion. Whichever one you are, you will also need to be hard-working, organized, have a good eye and be willing to lift heavy boxes! You may also be expected to undergo an unpaid internship first.

Will I Become a Fashion Editor?

Anna Wintour started her career as a fashion assistant. I hardly need to tell you who she is an editor for now. Fashion assistants get some of the best on-the-job training in fashion or anywhere else. While not all fashion assistants' careers will reach the dizzy heights of Vogue editor, they certainly have the best jobs in fashion to get them there.


About the Author
Fran Walker is a freelance writer, editor and researcher specializing in educational, health, safety and domestic issues. Previously, she spent five years in marketing in the self-help, health and health and safety sectors before leaving to start a family

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