Mumbai is a city like no other: it exudes culture and pride.
I have travelled to this city every year, but actually living here has proven to be an entirely different experience. And what you may think is true. The people are passionate, vibrant, colorful, and just to add the “chutney on the pakora,” they make the most incredible food.
Everyone is always on the go, but the real city comes alive after 10 p.m.
During the day, people acts extremely casual. I’ve seen the pajama trend taken to a whole new level. Comfort is the main priority whilst maneuvering through the endless array of stalls selling everything from denim to GOLA, the Indian version of shaved ice.
But after the sun goes down and the city lights up, the night’s adventures begin.
And this summer even more adventures took place. Get this: I was fortunate enough to get an incredible internship in this city, at Harper’s Bazaar India. I know; I couldn’t believe it either.
Like any other internship, the process was nerve-wracking. I had already met the Editor-in-Chief, but that did not prove to be an advantage when getting hired as every intern candidate goes through the same process.
First came the 9-page form, which included everything from tricky grammar questions to giving my opinions on different fashion-related subjects. Then, I had to send to the company my CV, cover letter, and portfolio. After a final in person interview with the Fashion Styling Editor, I found out that I was in.
A week later, I started working under Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar India Nonita Kalra, Senior Fashion Stylist Yukti Sodha, and Fashion Features Editor Butool Jamal.
Together, they have created an entirely new identity for the Indian section of the magazine, focusing on the modern elite of Indian society. It demonstrates the way Indian women are able to stay true to their culture while still maintaining a persona of strength and independence.
It was inspiring to hear what Nonita wanted to create, and her beliefs that intelligence is intertwined with fashion, and all the seemingly superficial things that come along with it.
I started my internship just as Harper’s was wrapping up the July and August issue.
Most of my work ended up consisting of coming up with last-minute headlines, researching trends for fall, and a whole lot of administrative tasks.
I did get to write a few small sections of the magazine involving upcoming events and fashion launches, which comes with a very satisfying print byline.
In terms of the office itself, approximately twenty other publications are housed on the same floor. As you can imagine, it’s always hectic.
The most valuable thing I learned from Harper’s Bazaar? You should not be afraid to speak up. As interns we often forget that we can let our opinions be heard. And every once in a while, we will even be rewarded for doing so.
Also, a week goes by fast. Maybe I’ll end up back there one day but for now, on to the next experience.
Written by Alyssa Advano
Photos by Alyssa Advano, edited by Lian Najarian