New York City, abuzz with an energy that can’t be found anywhere else, is at the forefront of innovation, glamour, and fashion. It’s the place where fashion ideas take root and trends that span the globe are defined. In essence, it is where American style is born.

Living and working in New York is the ultimate goal for many young fashion students. Eager to begin their careers, many simply move to the city, place all their belongings in New York storage and hope for the best. However, there is a more practical pathway to a career in fashion. Many students begin their work in the industry through an internship.

New York as fashion capital

Because New York is at the center of the fashion world, there are plenty of internships available for young students hoping to make their mark on the industry. But what sets New York apart from other cities throughout the United States? For one, New York City has a wealth of design schools, which gives it one of the greatest concentrations of design talent in the world. With so many schools, there is always a steady influx of fresh faces and new ideas.

Fashion activity takes place throughout all five boroughs of New York City, but the heart of the action is in what is known as Manhattan’s Garment District. This is where a majority of the city’s fashion showrooms, major fashion labels, and many other aspects of the industry call home. No other city within the United States can compare with this concentration of fashion business.

The Garment District, in essence, anchors the fashion industry within New York. However, it is worth mentioning that New York is also one of the world’s leading business hubs, which helps the fashion world. The city has an incomparable wealth of wholesalers, designers, suppliers, and support services. This abundance of business and resources makes New York very attractive for fashion start-ups and new designers.

Using an internship

When one thinks of a fashion internship, scenes from the popular film “The Devil Wears Prada” may come to mind. However, this should not deter students from applying. Although many internships are seemingly thankless jobs with a lot of busywork, they allow young fashion professionals the opportunity to relate what has been learned in the classroom to real-world work experience.

If a student hopes to use an internship as his or her career starting point, there are some things to remember. For instance, many fashion students apply for internships at major designers and large companies and choose to bypass the smaller businesses. This is a mistake: it is almost impossible to get a job in the industry without experience, so if the opportunity arises for employment at a smaller company first, students should consider it.

Another key element of succeeding in a fashion internship is to dress for success. While there is no right way to dress for a fashion internship, it is important to fit one’s attire for where the internship takes place. Students should remember to be themselves, but to maintain that extra edge and keep a fashion-forward outlook.