So this summer I have been extremely fortunate in that I secured a three-month internship at the vintage clothing brand Beyond Retro. My role was within the press and marketing team to help feature the brand across leading global print and digital channels. It was three days a week and unpaid but this gave me the opportunity to still earn money working as a waitress at home. I spent every Monday in the Beyond retro head office, then Thursday and Friday I was in the press office in the Cheshire street store.
Beyond Retro is unlike any other clothing brand on the high street. It is important to stress the fundamentals that Beyond Retro is built on and how important environment and sustainability are. As a fashion student I am aware of how polluting the industry can be, the apparel industry generates €1.5 trillion revenue annually and sadly fast fashion is seen as one of the highest in the ranks of pollution. I found it extremely refreshing working for a brand that is so focused on changing the industry through second-hand and vintage clothing.
At face value you might think Beyond Retro is just a quirky vintage brand, and of course thanks to the store staff and all the creative people that work and follow the brand it is EVERYTHING that fashion should be. Fun, stylish, creative, unique and most importantly caring. Beyond Retro is continually creating ‘innovative and relevant solutions for the crisis of stuff’, pushing ideals that is shaping the future of fashion.
Not only is every store filled with thousands of second-hand unique garments but they have also created their LABEL range. LABEL are garments and accessories that are made by Beyond Retro from upcycled fabrics and clothes. This is an incredible solution for so much of the waste in this industry. Not only taking the fashionable second-hand items, but reworking other pieces into garments that people will want to buy is genius.
What did I do?:
I had many roles in helping with everything a press and marketing department has to deal with. My Mondays would be spent collecting the coverage that the brand has had online, looking though social content as well as blog mentions and editorials. It really highlighted to me how important coverage for a brand like this is. They don’t pay for advertising so rely on social media in a massive way. The girls that run the marketing do an amazing job of spreading excitement and interest about the brand. In addition, the store staff and customers generate so much of the of artistic social content that the press department is always eager to repost and highlight the work of their creative following.
On Thursdays and Friday’s, I was positioned in the press office out the back of the Cheshire street store, just off brick lane (Such a great area to work in!). My work consisted of taking and docketing press loans and well as other press related tasked. Press loans are a vital part of a brand as they let out clothes to magazines and other big publications for editorials or celebrity shoots. When these loans take place the brand is credited and creates more buzz and interest. I was responsible for managing and building these relationships, working with stylists, bloggers and fashion editors to collaborate and feature Beyond Retro clothing.
Other more general tasks involved content creation for the BR blog and the different social media channels. This would centre around promoting events; such as the garage sales, gay pride or discounts; such as student discounts. I would be doing a lot of research into big calendar days then linking it to the content we were pushing out. Knowing what cultural events and festivals that were coming up is vital to any brand/ business when curating promotional content.
What did I learn?:
Having spent three months at Beyond Retro I have come away having learnt so much! I understood when applying for internships within the fashion industry that it isn’t the most glamorous and in a lot of places perhaps not worth the expense of working in London… only to make coffee and answer the phone. However, this was not my experience! With BR being a smaller brand I was able to meet a large proportion of the entire team. In my interview I was told that I could get as much out of it as I wanted, I could speak to who ever in any department with any questions I had. I was incredibly lucky to have a superior that wanted me to learn how the company works, explaining why we did certain thing and the effect of the overall running of the business.
My aim this summer was to get experience working in a fashion brand in London. I was open to learning as much as I could, applying to as many internships in all sectors of fashion. As a design student at heart press and marketing is not my desired route into the industry. In spite of this I could never pass the opportunity to learn about a part of the industry that id never thought about before. I’m a genuine believer in trying everything, and its so important to educate yourself on as much of the industry as possible. I have come away knowing the hard work that goes into getting a brand press coverage and the thought out process in which it happens.
A HUGE thank you to Neda and Mary and all the team at Beyond Retro, Head office and the Cheshire street store. I had a great summer and learnt so much that I can take forward into the future!
Thanks a million,
The Lanky Giraffe
If your interested in the brand and have a love for vintage or sustainable clothing check out Beyond Retro! https://www.beyondretro.com