Q&A with FLARE Magazine editor

Truc Nguyen is the assistant fashion editor at Flare magazine. She studied fashion design at Ryerson University, and has interned for “Vogue”, Marc Jacobs and Joeffer Caoc. Folio fashion editor Christian Allaire asks her about her road to success, the dos and don’ts of interning, and what students need to know about the industry today.

1. You studied fashion design at Ryerson. Has that helped you develop a technical eye as a fashion editor?

Having a design background has been surprisingly helpful in my editorial career. When I am writing copy and need to know the difference between box and knife pleats, or am on set and we have to sew or fix something by hand, it’s been great to have these additional design skills in my repertoire. It also helps me appreciate designers that push boundaries in terms of technique and materials, because I’ve been there and understand a little of how challenging a seemingly simple product can be to develop in an interesting way.

2. Why did you end up making the switch into communications/how did you get to where you are today?

I had a great time when I was at Ryerson interning and freelancing for everyone from Joeffer Coac to Marc Jacobs, but ultimately I decided to turn down a design assistant job in New York to go to grad school. Having worked with designers who are so talented and dedicated to their craft, I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to devote my life to. Luckily, an internship at Vogue during my Masters program was a revelatory experience that led to an assistant position at Vogue Living. It was my first big break and really confirmed for me that I wanted to work in publishing.

3. What are your daily duties as a fashion editor?

As the assistant fashion editor at Flare, I style, produce and write a number of front-of-book fashion pages each month. I also hire most of the fashion interns, manage the sample closet, and cover local events and previews with the other editors of the fashion team.

4. What’s one thing students should know about the fashion industry today?

The industry changes so quickly these days. Be flexible and shape your career in the direction that you want it to go. Recognize opportunities and don’t hesitate to take educated risks.

5. Are internships a necessary evil to get into fashion?

As someone who interned at 7 different companies during college, I don’t think of internships as a “necessary evil.” While I can concede that they have, in many cases, become a prerequisite for entry-level jobs in the “glamour industries,” I have never regretted any of the semesters I spent volunteering and interning for credit and for fun. I learned a lot and met so many amazing people in the industry, some of whom I am still close to today. A few of my internships led to paying part-time employment at the same company, and I feel like I avoided many pitfalls of recent graduates by quickly figuring out which parts of the industry (for example, fashion buying) weren’t suited to my skills and interests.

6. What do you look for in an intern? What’s the key to getting hired?

I always look out for enthusiasm, a positive attitude, and a little bit of relevant experience when I’m hiring potential interns. Also, it’s great when they read and appreciate the magazine.