Thursday, 15 October 2009

Internship at Tank Magazine

This is an article I wrote for my college newspaper, I thought you might like to read it. Tell me what you think! Right now alongside a-level work, watching some "vintage" first season episodes of The OC (never grows old) also trying to sort out more internships for next year. Hoping to go to Paris and also applying for a Vogue internship. Wish me luck!

In the first week of the Summer Holidays I had an amazing opportunity to do a week long internship at Tank Magazine. Even though this may conjure up images of The Hills’ glamorous stars, Lauren and Whitney, interning at Teen Vogue, People’s Revolution and DVF, do not be mistaken. As incredible as it was, it was probably up there as the most stressful week of my life. Tank Magazine has been described as a magazine which “straddles the world of art, architecture, culture, literature and fashion”. I was an intern to the fashion editors whilst glimpsing all the other teams in the magazine.

The Tank office is situated on a side street off Oxford Circus, about five minutes from the tube station, so about as central as you can get in London. I had been to the Office for my interview so even though the first day I was apprehensive I at least knew one friendly face when I got there. I was introduced to all the editors, contributors and other interns, one a year below me, another who had a lot of experience (working at The London Paper and CountryLife in Vogue house) and one girl from Paris whose parents are renowned handbag designers in France.

My first job as an intern was to clean the meeting room as there had been a photoshoot the Friday before and it was full of accessories, jewellery and make-up. I had to prepare the room for a meeting for the editors about the upcoming issue. The next highlight was finally being shown the fashion closet, which was literally the closest I have been to heaven. Chloe Kerman had just arrived back, that morning, from a shoot in LA and my task was to sort out all the clothes from two massive trunks and get them ready to return to the designers. The clothes included mini dresses from Versace and tweed suits from Chanel Haute Couture.
At fashion magazines, all the clothes used for the photo-shoots are samples sent from the designers on loan so a lot of packages arrive throughout the day and there are a lot of returns to be done. So a big part of my week was spent sorting and labelling up clothes that had to be sent urgently back to the designers. I had reps from designers like Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood on the phone frantically waiting for the return of the samples that were needed to be sent to the next magazine in Paris or New York. As it was only a few weeks until the next issue of Tank was published, the whole team were pretty stressed out and it was constantly busy so ended up only taking about a 20 minute lunch break throughout the 9 hour day.

Some of the more stressful parts of the week included trying to find a “lost” Alexander McQueen diamond skull ring, probably worth more than my house as well as taking about 14 bags of returns across London, including walking down the crowded and bustling Oxford Street carrying a bag of Chanel Haute Couture when my shoes broke. Yet there were also some amazingly exciting parts of the week, for example on my first day I got to prepare all the clothes for the cover shoot with Claudia Schiffer the next day and when I got the latest issue I got to see all the clothes the stylist chose, including a beautiful Dior embellished dress that I must have spent a good hour holding wishingly in the fashion closet.

When doing returns, I got to go to showrooms like Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Prada; a massive highlight of the week as I got to see the new collection samples hanging around the room. Vivienne Westwood’s showroom was my favourite as, for one, it was an amazing room with crazy, typical Westwood wallpaper, slogans on the walls and a massive chandelier in the middle of the room. The woman working there was really nice and I had to go there a couple of times so got to know her quite well! Throughout my week at Tank, I had to greet visitors and offer them drinks when they came in. Visitors included two women from Agent Provocateur, and lots and lots of models. Both male and female models would come in from all agencies with their portfolios, which either Chloe or Pandora (fashion editor and vice editor) would look through. Sometimes Polaroid’s would be taken. Two Russian girls had flown in at six in the morning and had been on castings constantly around London ready for London Fashion Week. I took phone calls from agencies like Storm and Select and also representatives from Milan and Paris. Tank does a “models world” feature every issue where they follow supermodels like Caroline Trentini and Iekeliene Stange to see their model style as they go about their everyday life.

Other jobs included, looking through all the new collection look-books to find a select few designers for Pandora for an article she was writing. I also had to do a couple of typical “internship” jobs such doing the coffee run across the road for the editors and getting the editor in Chiefs Prada jacket dry-cleaned. I actually met Masoud Golsorkhi, Tank’s editor in Chief in the kitchen one morning and he was so friendly. He is Iranian born and very passionate about his roots (he often writes about the political situation in Iran in Tank and also for the Guardian). He started Tank magazine and O magazine after being a photographer for magazines such as Italian Vogue and The Guardian. As well as editor in chief of Tank he is also a Consultant Art Director for celebrated designers like Christian Lacroix and Swarovski. Alongside Masoud is the beautiful Caroline Issa who owns Tank. She studied business in Philadelphia and then moved to San Francisco as a strategic management consultant, working with fashion retailers and consumer brand companies on their business strategy before meeting Masoud and becoming part of Tank. She has an amazing style, especially her shoes, and has been featured on style blogs such as Garance Dore and The Satorialist.

The week of experience was so rewarding and has, hopefully, really helped me towards the career that I want to pursue. I think that internships are a really great way to learn how to work in a team and gain invaluable skills for general life. Also I really recommend buying the new issue of Tank which features articles with Vivienne Westwood’s about culture and also a highly publicised photo shoot of Claudia Schiffer where the 39 year old “bares it all” in photographs that were not airbrushed. Also features an editorial in LA and an article about Christian Lacroix’ new collection. Also check out my name under 'interns' on the contents page!!

*Also check out previous issues where cover stars have included Mary -Kate Olsen and Kate Bosworth.


Pippa said...

This sounds SO mega jealous :) <3

Pippa said...

OMG i am SO jealous...this sounds amazing <3

Blonde hair, Blue jeans said...

Hi, I've been searching "tank magazine internship" in google and i came accross your article. It was amazing to read it, sounds like a great experience!
i would like to ask you how you heard about the internship position. Did you write to them befor eor you saw it advertised?
Thank you very much! :)

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