Where 10 Fashion Insiders Interned Before Making It Big
Because we all have to start somewhere, right?
When you see your favorite designers celebrating 10 years of their namesake label or a major celeb stylist dressing Hollywood's biggest names, it's easy to forget that these folks weren't always at the top. They all had to hustle, and most, if not all, interned to get to where they are now.
In celebration of the release of The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, we're looking back at where the industry's biggest names started before climbing up the ladder.
Anyone who has seen The Hills knows that Lauren Conrad started as an intern at Teen Vogue. Since then, the reality star-turned-designer has built her own empire with her fashion lines Paper Crown and LC Lauren Conrad with Kohl's, online marketplace The Little Market and New York Times-best selling books including L.A. Candy.
Before Chloe Sevigny became the fashion industry's ultimate "It" girl, she was an intern at Sassy magazine. According to Sassy's founding editor Jane Pratt, Sevigny was no ordinary intern. "I didn't know what [Chloë] was going to do," Pratt told Opening Ceremony's blog, “but I knew it was going to be something, because when you have that kind of unique vision and you have the work ethic to back it up, you're going to go somewhere."
Ashley Olsen, who co-founded luxury labels The Row and Elizabeth and James and the more affordable brands Olsenboye and StyleMint with twin sister Mary-Kate, got her guidance from red-carpet designer Zac Posen. "She came in person and knocked on the door to get her internship, which is four steps farther than most interns go," Posen told People. She had that drive and that’s what makes someone special."
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Alexander Wang is currently celebrating his namesake label's 10th anniversary, but before he launched his own line and dressed the likes of Nicole Kidman, Taraji P. Henson and Rooney Mara, among many other A-listers, he interned for Marc Jacobs and Derek Lam.
Betsey Johnson has been in the game for 50 years, but before she started busting out her splits at the end of her runway shows, she interned at Mademoiselle magazine.
No one has expressed their affinity for fashion quite as passionately as Kanye West. ("I think sweatshirts are the way of the future. ... Sweatshirts are f—ing important," he said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.) And you can bet he's gone to great lengths to pursue his passion. The rapper-designer, who debuted Yeezy Season 2 at NYFW, once went on a Twitter rant and revealed that he's interned at Fendi before.
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Before launching his eponymous brand in 2006 and dressing First Lady Michelle Obama and Diane Kruger, the NY-based designer interned for Narciso Rodriguez.
Marissa Webb may be running her own private label as well as leading the creative direction at Banana Republic now, but she had to hustle to get there. "I freelanced as a designer for Donna Karan, I interned at Polo Ralph Lauren, and this was while I was a full-time student at FIT!" Webb told Cosmopolitan.
Joseph Altuzarra, who launched his eponymous label in 2008, has interned for Marc Jacobs and worked with Proenza Schouler. Since then he has been honored with the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2014 and his designs have been seen on the likes of Emma Stone, Keri Russell and Lily James, among many other famous faces.
The power stylist to Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto started her career with an internship at Cosmo. After that she began working with the late Annabel Tollman, who was known for dressing Scarlett Johansson. "I worked with her six years and she taught me everything I know," Erlanger, who was ranked at No. 13 on The Hollywood Reporter's 25 Most Powerful Stylists list this year, told Vanity Fair. "She was an incredible talent and teacher."