Interning at Cleo Magazine

Alia: How lazy are you?

Me: not that lazy. I cooked and cleaned today. Why?

Alia: Do you wanna intern for Cleo Magazine? They’re looking for interns.

Me: why the hell not.

So I went for the interview. After all the questions and the writing assessments. Turned out they can only hire one intern at a time and they already have an intern coming in June. I was thinking, that’s a bum I could’ve been productive. But she asked me to help out with the photoshoot. So just intern for a few days.

Day one :

Alia picked me up and we went to loan clothes for the big “HOT SHOT” photoshoot. We basically went around to shops, picked out some pieces we liked to borrow it for a few days. It was like shopping, without spending your money! But not really shopping for yourself but others.. Models….

I even got to personally meet a malaysian designer ! Tsyahmi. Who was so nice, and personally picked out some of his pieces to lend to us. Through out the whole time I had to keep cool Hahahaha. We got lost trying to get to the Zalora HQ, and my energy was drained by then. Carrying all the clothes to the car and then going to another shop. In that one day we went to 6 shops ?!!! Finished loaning everything at 9 pm. Alia’s car had enough clothes for her to camp in her car for a whole year!

Day 2:

I had to come to the office to help out with one small photoshoot. It was a pretty chilled environment. It was me, the editor and the photographer. (Alia left me.) What I had to do was, steam some of the clothes and tape the soles of the shoes so they won’t get dirty from the shoot. Other than that, I just stood there watching the shoot and how they instruct the models. One of them was Talitha Tan ! Which was pretty cool because, she was so funny. After hearing her voice on the radio.. To meeting her in real life. And actually conversing. Not like when you meet a famous person on the street and go pointing at them and whisper their name kinda thing.

Also at the photoshoot, I learnt how every small details matters. Like, the string of a hoodie just makes it messy. So they tape it inside. Or how the model’s abs weren’t translating well enough in the photos , they put lotion on it to increase the highlights and definition. Even how someone would stand at the side with a hair dryer, to make the model’s hair wave a certain direction.

Day 3:


It was the Hot Shot Shoot. The mega shoot with 30 models. On that day 13 models. I got to work closely with the stylists. Alia and I was 1 hour late !!!!! I wanted to choke myself because I was so scared. I didn’t know what to expect because everyone was there! The editors and fashion editors. ANDDDD we were scolded. They forgave and forgot about it.

So behind the set, there were all these papers posted. Photos of the models on one side, make up and hair looks on the other side, and also the inspirations of looks for the stylists. And infront, there were photos ideas for the photographer. It was pretty cool. To be on an actual photoshoot set. After watching tv and movies about this.


I had to do the basic jobs.. Like taping 20 pairs of shoes. And then, writing down what the models wore. Keeping the clothes and accessories in order as the style the models. And guiding the models to each step, like hair and make up, clothes, interview and video interview. At one point, my job was literally to hold up the model’s hair while they put on the necklaces on them.
It got pretty cool when they finish and then, scream “YAY ITS A WRAP!” Like I only hear that on america’s next top model. Hahahahah.


Day 4:

I got used to my job and know what I had to do and where I had to be. I observed more of the styling. I noticed the way they match all of the clothes were very unique. Focusing on the texture of each garments and, emphasising on the colour combo. Things people would only wear on fashion week in Paris ! All the accessories and the shoes. Everything counts to make the outfit as it is. It was really amazing to see, how a necklace can change the whole mood of the outfit.


I had to run errands, they gave me a list of things to do. Like go to the office, then take a bag from the table, then bring the bag to klcc, then buy the food for everyone. I went with alia’s driver. Went as fast as I can and rushing through all the places. It took me 3 hours ! Because of all the traffic in KL on a Saturday. Yeap, worked on a Saturday. Who does that right? I had Alia calling me 4 times because they all kept asking me where I was. I felt like Anne Hathaway in devil’s wears prada. But it was fine in the end. When I came back and people went “yay! Alina’s back with food.”

We had to collect all the clothes and put them back in the bags that we got them from. Each designer with their own dust bag, each retail store in their own plastic bag. We had to count them, and know exactly where they are and go through the list. Checking if each item is there. WITH AROUND 300 clothes , guess how long it took us. 4 hours !!!!!!! With 4 people. But we did it in the end. I was the last at the studio, with Stephanie who was soooo kind to wait for my dad to pick me up. We talked about the industry and how she got there. She did bio tech for her degree. And works at cleo, weird right? But she said everyone had a preconception that the fashion industry were filled with mean people, (which was what I thought) but she said they’re all nice people. Like Ofcourse you would eventually come across mean people, but it’s not how people think. And it’s true, I honestly thought this experience would be like the Devil’s Wears Prada. How I would be running around to complete absurd tasks and be dead if I didn’t answer the first call of my name. But it wasn’t. Maybe the people at Cleo were nice, maybe not and everyone is nice.

But the whole experience was the best job experience I’ve had. I learnt so much, and I get to see how the pictures in magazines were created. Not to mention I got to meet the people behind the articles of these magazines. AND ALSO THE models that are going to be in the magazine !

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