Working in Fashion: Gemma from Little Black Dress Company

Working in Fashion: Gemma from Little Black Dress Company

I’m thrilled to be launching a brand new blog series called ‘Working in Fashion’ which looks deep into the lives of people who make the fashion world spin with hard work every single day. As someone who works in the fashion industry myself, I feel that I have a responsibility to put out those myths about the awesome world of fashion; it really isn’t as glamorous as it looks. There’s a lot of hard work involved but if you work as hard as you play and you worship what you do, you’ll find fulfilment from your career.

Gemma from LittleBlackDress.co.uk is my very first interview victim and she’s here to shed a little light on her life as an Assistant Editor…

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Gemma Lucy Press, Assistant Editor @ LittleBlackDress.co.uk

Loves: “A good ditsy print, the classic black shift dress, tweeting and cool stationery.”

Hates: “Slow computers, Crocs and crinkly fingers after a bath.”

Fave tipple: “Gin and tonic with black pepper & cucumber – try it, you WILL love it.”

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As an assistant editor, Gemma juggles everything from editorial content to social media updates, working with designers to managing a PR agency, attending photoshoots to organising events – and on top of all that, her job requires her to have her finger on the pulse with the latest trends in fashion. I gave Gemma some interview questions so we could dig a little deeper into the life of an LBD girl. Check out her answers below :)

Q1. How did you get into this role?

I actually started out at a medical publishing house in London. Needless to say my English degree and I weren’t very well suited to that and I didn’t last very long! So whilst I was looking for a new job I applied to intern as a fashion writer at LittleBlackDress.co.uk in Manchester. My mindset was really: I’ll apply for my dream job and do it as work experience and enjoy it because I’ll never be able to do it in ‘real life’. Anyway after my internship I was asked to stay and now here we are, a year and a half down the line, in ‘real life’!

Q2. What’s a typical day of work like in the LittleBlackDress.co.uk office?

First things first, a cup of tea! We’ll all have a catch up and talk about what’s been ordered over night – a year and a half down the line and we still get excited about what people are buying! Then I’ll work through my e-mails, get back to our brands and PR agency about any new editorial opportunities and talk to bloggers about potential collaborations. The rest of my day will be made up of researching and writing features, managing the editorial team and our interns and updating our social media. This is the plan but in this job you’ve always got a never-ending to-do list because anything can happen: you can be writing about the best black dresses at the BAFTAs one minute and then be interrupted to start organizing a last-minute-has-to-get-there-now dress call in for Florence Welch.

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(Above: The stylish LBD office)

Q3. What’s the most exciting part of your job?

I really love it when we get a call in for a celebrity I love. Last week we had one for Ella Henderson – I adore this girl and every one of her wardrobe decisions, so I was really excited to choose some dresses for her stylist to see. It’s always exciting doing an interview too. The last one I did was with Jany Temime, the costume designer for Quontum of Solace. It’s all very ‘top secret’ and the film company’s PR always patches you through and listens whilst you ask your questions. And you’re on a time limit! So if your interviewee talks too much about one question and you’ve got 15 minutes it’s really hard getting everything you want out of them. It’s fast-paced, high adrenaline and really fun. It’s also great being the first one to see new styles coming in – during Christmas party season brands were sending us all these gorgeous summer dresses to be shot so that’s strange, but really exciting. That was quite a lot of exciting things, wasn’t it..!?

Q4. What’s your advice for girls who are looking to get into the fashion industry?

Work experience. I think it’s both what you know and who you know. Coming straight out of university of course I could write but I wouldn’t have had the first idea about how to write for a website let alone buy in images, interview dress designers, advise women on which dresses suit which body shapes or even operate a fax machine (though I still struggle with that last one!). I learned all of that during my internship at LittleBlackDress.co.uk. And of course along the way you will meet people who maybe now, maybe three years down the line will remember working with you and recommend you for something amazing you never even dreamed you’d be able to get involved in. Be nice to everyone.

Q5. What is your advice when it comes to searching for the PERFECT little black dress?

Know your body shape. We’ve got a great guide to working out which fruit you are in the body shape bowl here. It’s all about showing off your best bits and smoothing over the bits you don’t like as much. And if you’re looking for that one special LBD that you can bring out whatever the season, occasion or weather then I’d recommend investing in a great quality  designer piece that will last. Cost-per-wear this will work out as a bargain!

Q6. Tell us about SS13 for Little Black Dress – what exciting stuff have we got to look forward to?

It’s funny because we’ve been working on new season since before Christmas so it feels very familiar now but that’s always the way in fashion. We have got some very exciting things in store! Spring/summer is big for us as a special occasion fashion brand; we’ve got race day, summer weddings, proms and parties to deck our customers out for. We’ve also got some really great designers coming on board for the new season with some seriously cool designs which will mean some really interesting photo shoots at our onsite studios. I’m most looking forward to L.2.Mae’s new collection which is a mixture of groovy block print and 70s boho style. Ooh and Bourne will be my go-to for new season shoes!

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(Above: the Hedonia peplum dress & the Glorious dress)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my first interview and follow me on Twitter to see who I’m interviewing next for the Working in Fashion blog series.