Katie Devlin, Fashion Editor Vol. XXIII, reflects on her time in UCD and how working with Otwo led her to a new life in the New York fashion scene.
The day after graduating from UCD with my BA in English, I (impulsively) packed up and moved to New York with just one job interview lined up and no concrete plan to speak of. Thankfully, that interview was successful, and I started my first real fashion job as an accessories assistant at Harper’s Bazaar.
A few months previously, when I was struggling over my dissertation and editing the fashion section at OTwo, I never would have believed that I could actually be working at one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world. Gradually, life in the fashion closet and the multitude of bags, shoes and other miscellaneous accessories that it revolved around, had become my new normal. Most days consisted of running through Times Square to pick up bags of designer samples, endless subway excursions and some very long and tiring days packing trunks for upcoming shoots, but the excitement and awe made up for any fatigue.
A few months later, a dream opportunity arose and a few weeks later, I started my new job as a fashion market assistant at Vogue.com. I now work on the fashion team for anything from video content to shopping stories. I also handle my own markets, most notably the activewear market, which amuses my friends and family as I haven’t played sports since I was benched in under 12’s GAA. As you can imagine, working at Vogue can at times be amazing; spending Valentine’s Day on set with Cardi B and directing Uma Thurman to the bathroom at the Met Gala are among some of my favourite out-of-body experiences. Although it entails a lot of hard work, long days and a thick skin, so far it has been worth it all.
For many reasons, I am incredibly grateful to have started my career at the University Observer. Not only did it give me a platform to openly discuss and analyze fashion, it also helped me to develop my voice and gave me an outlet during college to write about something I really loved, instead of solely Shakespeare (whom I also love, just not as much as McQueen). It let me “play” the role of fashion editor, both testing the waters and laying the groundwork for the future.
People can be really quick to dismiss arts degrees, but they are entirely what you make of them. I thoroughly enjoyed my education and use it at work a lot more than you might expect. I would also definitely not be where I am now if I had studied something more vocation-focused, and would never have found OTwo along the way.