Donna Ida’s career tips

How to be successful, by London’s denim guru

Have you ever wondered how to make it in the fashion industry? How to get your foot in the door and, most importantly, stay there? Here at ELLE, we have given advice to aspiring stylists and writers many times before on how to impress the right people. We went even further last year by choosing the country’s best interns to edit our October 2012 issue (an initiative that’s back bigger and better this year).

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So, when heard that ‘jean queen’ Donna Ida was hosting a Career Day in her Notting Hill-based offices, we headed straight over…

ELLE: What qualities should interns possess and how should they behave in order to succeed in the fashion world?

Donna Ida: Whatever you do, be professional. Somebody said to me once: ‘Don’t be ordinary, be extraordinary.’ And I couldn’t agree with this more. Be the person that wants to do everything better than the day before. Near enough isn’t good enough. People can easily tell when you are a little bit lazy or pulling away the same way people know when you are trying your absolute best, doing as much as you can, contributing ideas, showing a lot of willing and effort.

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E: When you are looking to hire someone new, what do you look for in that person?

D: If they are on time or even early, I already think: ‘OK, you want to be here’. It matters to me if you’ve done your research, you know about the company and you are showing interest. Some people come to the interview unprepared, they haven’t look at the website, they don’t know anything about you, and you think, why are you even here?

E: Is previous working experience important to you?

D: For me, no. And if you can spell – love that! If you turn up everyday, you are happy, healthy, passionate, you are into it, tidy… All of it matters. As long as you are interested, enthusiastic, helpful, the experience will come.

Edited By The Interns 2013: enter now!

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