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Posted 13.10.16

Design, street style and cool vibes: Penny Chan at Dazed & Confused magazine

By Sarah Packer

Penny Chan, BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing student. Photo by Marc Marshall.

From pitching video campaigns to creating social content for major fashion houses, we chat with BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing student Penny Chan about her internship at Dazed this Summer.

As we all know, new experiences are incredibly exciting but equally terrifying; that first day at school, the dreaded job interview, the first time you dye your hair - and hope it doesn’t fall out! It was no different for Penny, set to embark on an internship at a magazine founded by the likes of Rankin and with a history of featuring the biggest artists, musicians and models on its front cover.

Penny created collage illustrations for numerous Dazed Digital articles.

In a world where a million voices are all trying to secure that one amazing internship, it takes a lot of motivation and perseverance to be heard. Something Penny knew all too well, “In total I sent out 36 emails and CV’s tailored for the different internships that I had applied for. Most people didn’t reply and I got a lot of rejection, at times it made me feel a bit low but I think more than anything it made me more determined.”

"The design team were really supportive and I learnt a lot of new skills from them, which will be very beneficial to me for the final year of my degree."

After weeks of waiting and numb fingers from typing emails, she finally heard back from an agency. London-based, youth fashion and culture magazine Dazed offered her the position of Junior Designer Intern, “I was over the moon as graphic design is the route that I want to get into when I graduate.”

As a media agency Dazed often creates content for big brands and fashion houses. Penny got involved with many things during her time at Dazed, including illustrating articles, which was the main focus of her time there, “I helped create Instagram content for Miu Miu and came up with and pitched a campaign for Adidas originals.”

“I was sat a few metres away from the founder of the magazine, Jefferson Hack, which meant I got to listen in on a lot of industry-related conversations, which was a great way to pick up the tips and tricks of the trade,” Penny says.

"There was a really cool vibe in the office; it felt great being with like-minded people and it wasn’t at all like the fashion industry stereotype, which can be seen as very ‘catty’."

“I was lucky enough to be at the meeting he holds every Friday in the office and one of the things he said was, “We are one big family here, we’re lucky enough to be an independent magazine which means we have a lot of freedom, but we need to respect each other”. It just felt nice to hear that.”

With social media and apps opening up the ability for fans and students to connect and interact with brands, artists and organisations, networking has become the number one way to get that free pass backstage, secure that coveted internship or be the first to find out about a job opening.

"I still remember my first day at Dazed very vividly, it was really nerve wrecking – almost as scary as starting school for the very first time!"

Penny has taken this in her stride and has already been offered the opportunity to shoot backstage at London Fashion Week 2017, “I met up with some street style photographers, who I networked with whilst I was shooting at London Fashion Week earlier this year, they gave me a lot of good advice and offered to get me backstage at some shows with them, which was quite cool!”

We asked Penny what her top tips are for those looking to get an internship, “One of the most important things I learnt throughout this process is to keep trying. It might seem like a daunting task to email all these different companies but once you begin the process you’ll start feeling really motivated.”

She also recommends heading to London Fashion Week, even if you don’t have tickets, “Go with some business cards because you can meet a lot of fashion’s movers and shakers outside of the show and network with them. I know a fair few people who have gotten internships that way.”

Penny photographed the capital's movers and shakers at London Fashion Week earlier this year.

Here at the college, students are encouraged to think of themselves as practitioners from day one and are encouraged to design and create across all our facilities and disciplines. “I never really knew what I wanted to do within the industry before coming to the college,” says Penny. “It’s so diverse, we get to work with different medias and areas in fashion such as film, photography, marketing and graphic design, so it’s great for people who want to be in the fashion industry, but don’t want to be a designer.  

“I love the vibe of the campus, everything feels very accessible and because it’s a smaller university than most, it feels more personable,” says Penny. “We also get a lot more support and one to one time with lecturers than most universities, which I think is really important.”

"Before this course, I never really knew what I wanted to do within the industry but the diversity here really helped me find where my passion lies."

Penny has just started her third year on our BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Marketing programme and already has ambitious plans for her final year project. “I went to see the Bjork digital exhibition, to gain more inspiration for my 3rd year final major project, and it was this incredible, immersive VR experience.” She wants to pull apart the traditions of interacting through printed media to create something more digital and interactive.

Check out Penny’s Instagram for street style pics and graphic gifs @impennychan and keep an eye out for her next three-month internship with Danish-born and London-based fashion designer Peter Jensen.