After work this morning I came home to discover that some of my favourite Toronto Tweeters (Twitterers?) were discussing interning. Naturally I reviewed the tweets I'd missed to find that it all began with Lisa Tant's latest blog post. I'm always curious to hear from current/former interns at magazines. What are they up to? Where have they been? My curiosity knows no bounds when it comes to interns, some of the most ambitious and creative of the bunch. Plus, I figure, we should stick together! We're all struggling to work our way up the masthead and may become colleagues soon enough. On that note, meet Alannah, an intern and blogger at http://www.swaggerandgrace.com/.
I'm a bright young thing named: Alannah O'Neill
Current Employer/Position: ELLE Canada Editorial Intern, Editor in Chief of Swagger and Grace
Dream Job: Editor in Chief of a major fashion magazine
Education: Ryerson, Arts and Contemporary Studies
How would you describe your personal style? Downtown girl
What do you think is the most stylish city? Why?
I think Toronto could give other city's a run for it's money. I love sitting on this patio at the corner of Richmond and Spadina to people watch-- I'm constantly inspired by other Torontonians. Paris is very chic as well.
What are your favourite magazines? ELLE Canada, V Magazine, W, Vogue
Other than magazines, what inspires you?
I'm constantly inspired by runway shows. I'm starting to gain a greater appreciation for different aesthetics, and am learning how to translate them into wearable looks. I try and interview as many people as possible for my blog, in different areas of the industry. I always want to be trying new things, learning from new people.
Do you have any favourite blogs or websites? WhoWhatWear is awesome, and I love "The Cut" (New York Magazine's Fashion Blog).
When and why did you decide to start your blog, Swagger and Grace?
I decided to start Swagger in July of last year, to try and get a job at a fashion magazine. I had no experience, and no one would even look at my resume. I thought, "This is a way to create a body of written work and show my love of fashion."
What inspired your blog's name?
The name just kind of came to me one day, but I feel like it is a representation of runway fashion. You need to be graceful, but no one is going to pay any attention to you unless you own the catwalk.
How did you land your internship at ELLE Canada?
I met an ELLE Canada editor by chance on the streetcar on my way to the Joe Fresh/Pink Tartan shows for SS 2010. We talked for a little while, I got her contact information and kept in touch via email. In order to get hired at ELLE Canada you have to complete a big written test: pitch story ideas, do some fact checks, stuff like that. There was an interview component, which was very nerve-wracking, but all worth it in the end.
What’s the best advice you’ve received as an intern thus far?
Never stop moving. Be everywhere, meet everyone.
What do you think every intern must have?
A thick skin and nerves of steel. The ability to function under pressure is essential.
What’s the most exciting experience you’ve had as an intern?
I got to sit front row at VAWK with Lara [Ceroni], the web editor. I also got to interview celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh (Gisele's bff). Hands down though, the most exciting experience has been getting to see my name in print and working with the editors to improve my writing.
What surprised you the most about working for a fashion magazine?
Magazines work on issues months in advance. We just closed the June issue and it's only April.
If you could have tea with anyone in publishing who would it be? Why?
I'd like to sit down with Anna Wintour because I'm fascinated by her reputation. I want her job.
Keep your eyes on ELLE Canada for glimpses of this bright young thing. She has two articles being published in their June issue. Congratulations Alannah!