Nine Hours at Vogue
- Annabelle Slator
- On 14th January 2015
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit
I had about hour and a half until the post office closed. They’ve probably already had 250 applicants, I’m definitely too late.
I jumped in the car and stormed into town, one hand on the wheel, the other clutching the tiny envelope stuffed to the brim with printer paper.
If I don’t get it in today there’s no chance.
Little did I know that I would soon be picked to be in Vogue’s top 20 finalists in their ‘Finding Miss Vogue’ competition.
I have been reading British Vogue since the tender and very unchic age of 13. I was a foot taller than most of the girls (and boys) at school and most of the time didn’t really feel like I fitted in. Vogue gave me a sense of escapism for over 10 years, so when it ever came to applying for any of their internship positions I was way too scared. I idolized that stack of glossy paper and felt I would never be good enough. That was until ‘Finding Miss Vogue’ came along.
Below is a link to the job description:
Long story short, after three weeks of twiddling my thumbs and refreshing my email I was contacted by Emily Sheffield (right hand lady to Alexandra Shulman), who invited myself and 19 others to compete for a paid internship at the temple of Condé Nast.
Ten days later I was attempting to walk through the cobbled side streets of London in my most stylish heels (the email said ‘dress to impress’ – kill me). I conjured up worst-case scenario scenes in my head; What if I’ve come to the wrong place? What if I’m the worst one there? What if someone is wearing the same outfit as me?
Luckily as soon as I stepped into the building my fears subsided, I was greeted by a few of my competitors that had already arrived and realised that they were just like me: normal women (and two men) who had a passion for all things Vogue.
The entire day was a long blur of filming, photoshoots and anxious chatting. After the first 4 or 5 hours it started to feel like we were in fashion quarantine; twenty of us slowing going mad with nerves surrounded by white walls, magazines and mirrors.
Finally, I was called through to my interview. I wasn’t sure whether my sweatiness was from nerves or the studio lights, or the fact that my entire interview was about to be FILMED AND PUT ON VOGUE.CO.UK.
(Which you can now watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrz8iZLy6DU)
Fortunately, the interview was not nearly as gut wrenchingly terrifying as I predicted. We had sussed out after the first few candidate’s interviews that the main event was a styling challenge. Create a day look and night look for a photoshoot. Sounds simple enough right..?
Turns out having to create two insane outfits in front of a panel of fabulous Vogue employees whilst being asked about the fashion industry whilst being filmed whilst the entire crew also watches you is not so nice. Nevertheless, I felt (relatively) confident about my outfit choices and then nailed their more standard interview questions.
I came out of the room feeling good. Sweaty and flushed, but safe in the knowledge that every interview I ever do from now on will be nothing compared to that. Phew.
The rest of the day was spent having more relaxed chat with the rest of the finalists, answering some post-interview questions on camera about how I think everything went and eating Pret sandwiches. At that point the concept of ‘Vogue’ had slowly started to become something achievable. Seeing the inner workings and meeting some of the Condé Nast staff brought the whole company down to Earth. I could work there, I could be part of this.
In the end I didn’t win, luckily I’m naturally a pessimist and went in knowing full well the 5% chance I had. The winner was incredible and massively deserving, but talking to that bunch of talented young people, it easily could have been any one of us.
Despite not winning, I discovered that you can still learn a lot from every experience, whether it is stupendously fun or gut wrenchingly terrifying. I learnt that Vogue isn’t this self righteous, deistic, closed up world I thought it once was. I also know that next time a position opens up, I’m going to be there, first in line.