Each month, we profile a different type of professional from within the fashion space to get a sense of the psychology behind industry dynamics. This month, an assistant to a prominent fashion journalist, male, 27, recounts the days before and during Paris Fashion Week.
2pm The last day of MFW. The shows in Milan were a bit disappointing overall, and it gave my boss little to write about, which puts her in a bad mood.
7pm She hates going to parties, but is fixated on staying relevant so goes for the Instagram opportunities. Meaning I have to get the shots. She completely forgets an emerging designer's name so I rudely interrupt with the pretence of getting a picture to save the situation.
8:30pm Getting her on a flight in time is the hardest part of my job. We somehow made it on the flight to CDG. We have a rare heart-to-heart on the flight, where she tells me about how she grew up. I love these times when she drops her guard. I tell her some real stuff too, and she listens.
9am There is construction going on outside her hotel suite. She’s livid as won’t be able to focus when writing. I expertly complain to the manager and get her upgraded to a room twice the size. No 'thank you', just mutters something under her breath about “the French” and shuffles upstairs. I don't need a pat on the back for doing my job. But it also wouldn’t kill her to show a bit of appreciation when I pull a move like this. Whatever happened to positive reinforcement?
12pm I'm doing this job because I want an editorial position at a specific magazine she was at for decades. I've been working for her for two years and I keep making hints that it may be time set up a coffee. She becomes elusive whenever I mention it. I’ve also been waiting for feedback from her about an article I wrote for about five months now.
11:30pm She's up late writing reviews and wants me to find some "gummy candy" (she’s American). Something about the slow-release of sugar. I'm sure. It's 11pm and I end up walking to a shop on Rue du Rivoli to find some. I get a sort of half-smile when I return with a bag of Haribo Gold Bears.
10am We’re at a show, and the PRs put her second row to make room for all the influencers attending. Great, she’ll somehow end up blaming me for this to salvage her ego.
2pm At another show, I’m listening to her make forced small talk with other journalists about their respective weeks in Capri. She sees them all as rivals, although of course is trying hard to pretend they're dear friends. Painful to listen to.
10:30pm At the Grand Palais for a show afterparty. I'm actually having a great time, but spot her looking at me funny, and instantly feel weird and guilty. It’s as if she doesn't want me there. The fashion industry is such a mind fuck, it makes me feel like an impostor. I wonder if everyone feels like this. I hit the bar. Then the bathroom.
12:30am Knocking free drinks back like it's fashion week. Cause it is.
8am Feel like death warmed over, but duty calls. Luckily I can order ginger shots on Deliveroo. Paris is changing...
9am She sometimes takes the liberty of contributing to her schedule so that she appears capable. I see that she has already filled in Haider Ackermann (usually her favorite) at Palais de Chaillot, where it normally is. We head over, but are confused at the lack of photographers at Trocadero. A quick exchange with Michele Montagne's people reveals that the show is at the Bercy Arena, on the other side of town. I thought she had checked. She, of course, thought I checked.
9:30am She's incensed about missing Haider, so we sit at Carette sipping coffee (her) and Jasmine Tea (me) in awkward silence. I go on Tinder discreetly to distract myself from this fiasco. She sees me swiping, but whatever.
8am Lots of major shows today - Givenchy, Balenciaga, Céline, Valentino.
4pm Tensions are running high all day about everything from where she is sitting, to her outfit not fitting her properly, to not getting exclusive backstage access.
9pm We’re both working in our hotel rooms. She on reviews and me on next week’s schedule (she’s in Michigan visiting family, which she does once a year.) Thank fuck. I can see friends, which I hardly get to do.
10pm She seems to be in a good mood so I ask her if she read my piece yet. Literally ignores the question and asks me to get her more of the Gold Bears for tonight. I wonder if all this will amount to anything.
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