So it’s your final year at school and you’re graduating soon? What’s a girl to do? Well, take some advice from Hannah Almassi, the Fashion News and Features Assistant at Grazia UK.
* What did you study at school and where?
I went to Nottingham Trent University which has a great art and design school. I studied Fashion Design, it’s a good place to study fashion for the real world – you can be creative but also understand the commercial and business side of things.
* Were you always interested in fashion?
I have been interested in fashion since I can remember! Both my Mum and Nan have always made their own clothes (and mine too when I was younger – I had a great purple and black checked taffeta prom dress, very PPQ!) As a kid I’d always consider what I would wear for the day and would be really picky, then at about 10 years old I started to draw little fashion sketches and spend hours with my nose in fashion magazines. At secondary school I was always really creative and went a bit crazy with my outfits (much to my headmistress’s disgust!) I’ve always been a bit of a shopaholic and love putting clothes together. I can remember the moment that I felt fashion was for definitely for me, was when watching a TV programme on John Galliano and just being so entralled by his flair for creating extraordinary fashion – it looked so fun, so glamorous and sexy.
How many places did you apply before finding a job?
During my final year at uni I applied for hundreds of placements and kept a really open mind about where I could try out working. I was organised about it all and already had a years worth of different work experience placements all set up for when I graduated. But then I came to Grazia first, adored it and was luckily offered a longer internship at the time to be Melanie Rickey’s assistant… which of course, I snapped up!
* What’s a typical day like?
It really varies, being on a weekly mag it’s incredibly busy all the time – every day has a major deadline so that the magazine can go to print. My work spans from doing product call ins, to coming up with stories and ideas for the print magazine and also the website www.graziadaily.co.uk , going to fashion weeks, writing copy and interviewing people to style hunting the public. It’s never boring – I’m always involved in something different.
* What been the most exciting part of your job?
There have been loads of stand out moments. Probably one of the most memorable so far was being backstage at the British Fashion Awards and interviewing the winners on camera – meeting people like Luella, Matthew Williamson and Stephen Jones was an incredible honour. On a daily basis the Grazia fashion team are so knowledgable and talented, so it’s really encouraging and inspiring to be around them. But the best feeling has to be seeing my name in print on Grazia’s masterhead each week (yes, I’m a loser and still look at it each time!) Oh, and working from a perspex pod in the new Westfield shopping centre for a week was pretty unforgettable too!
* What is your official position at Grazia?
Fashion News and Features Assistant
* Have you been promoted since you started your job?
I was originally meant to do one month, then six and now I’ve been at Grazia for about 15 months! Although my job position hasn’t changed, the longer I am there the more I am able to do and contribute and develop.
* What advice do you have to graduates?
The best advice I can give is to just work your socks off. If you don’t turn up for a placement keen and eager and willing to get on with the job, people just won’t remember you – or want to keep you there. Sometimes being an intern can feel awful, but it’s a process to get to somewhere amazing. I still spend hours in the fashion cupboard returning clothes – but I wouldn’t give it up because the perks of doing a job you love in a brilliant, lively industry are immeasurable.
* Who is your fashion icon and why?
I have different fashion icons for different moods – more like fashion moments… I love Marlene Dietrich for her androgynous style which was so revolutionary at the time. I adore the model Verushka for looking so darn gorgeous in YSL’s safari collection. If there’s anyone I channel the most – it’s Dot Cotton! And right now, I’m obsessed with Faye Dunaway in the film The Eyes of Laura Mars – fantastic 70s outfits full of two piece skirt suits, giant throws, fabulous knee high boots and enough hair crimping to make me consider doing it again!