Published on 18 June 2018
In the fast-moving world of fashion, Paige Mooney is making a name for herself with all the right brands.
The University of Sunderland graduate may still be only 23, but she has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry.
And few get any bigger than her new boss – Victoria Beckham.
Life has moved into the fast-track ever since Paige left University following her three year degree in Fashion Journalism .
“Since being 16 I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I knew I wanted to work in London,” said Paige. “Of course, my mum would just nod and smile and say ‘yes dear’.”
Spurred on by her University tutors, Paige spent the last few months of her final year emailing some of the world’s most well known fashion magazines, determined to secure an internship for herself working on the beauty pages.
And it paid off, when she heard back from Marie Claire magazine offering her an internship.
“I was buzzing,” said Paige. “I knew it would only be for six weeks, but when I got there, I just worked as hard as I could.
“By week four, one of the beauty editors asked what my plans for the future were and I just said I wanted to get as much experience as possible. She had a friend who was an assistant at Vogue and would see if I could get a place there.”
Within a few weeks, an email landed from Vogue and Paige secured herself another internship.
“Obviously that was the highlight of my life,” she recalls. “I love Vogue and it was right around the time they were celebrating their 100th anniversary, so there was this incredible buzz about the place.
“Kate Middleton was on the cover of the centenary issue and there were lots of things happening. It was an exciting time, meeting Kim and Kanye at an event and lots of parties; just seeing life from a whole new angle.”
During all the excitement, Paige was slowly starting to build up her contacts and make a name for herself in the industry.
During the course of nine months, she spent time working other well known publications including Grazia, Red, Glamour and In Style magazines.
“It quickly dawned on me how crucial it was to get internships,” said Paige. “The fashion world might seem like a big place, but in reality it wasn’t and everyone knows everyone else. You have to prove yourself.”
It was around this time that Paige saw a fulltime job come up in public relations for fashion label Jimmy Choo. Knowing she had built up a strong book of contacts, she impressed the panel of interviewers and landed the role.
Over the next 12 months, the graduate dealt with designers, organised press meetings, worked on social media and got an incredible grounding in the industry.
“It was amazing,” said Paige. “I was doing a job I really enjoyed and getting paid too. It felt like all the hard work had really started to pay off.”
Often working 12-hour days, Paige built her reputation and has now landed herself a dream job with Victoria Beckham’s fashion label.
“It’s really focused on moving the brand forward, and an incredibly exciting opportunity.
“When I look back it seems like I’ve covered a lot of ground in a relatively short time.”
Life in London may seem like a long way from her university days in Sunderland, but Paige says her degree was vital in securing a foot in the door.
She added: “My tutors were incredibly encouraging and really pushed me in the right direction.
“I loved my time up in Sunderland. I’d looked at courses in Manchester and London but there was just this great feeling about Sunderland that made me want to go.”
So, does Paige have any advice for graduates trying to make their way in the industry?
“Get a degree and then put yourself up for as many internships as you can,” said Paige. “Then just spend your time building your contacts and working hard.”
Carole Watson, programme leader for BA (Hons) Fashion journalism, said: “Paige is an exemplary example of how important it is to use all the fashion journalism skills learned on our course, then be prepared to carry out several internships with a can-do attitude to build crucial contacts and land your dream job. I’m absolutely delighted for her.”