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The husky wears Prada

Rebecca Stadlen

“Haute cou­ture,” “on trend,” and “The Sep­tember issue” are now part of the everyday par­lance of third-​​year jour­nalism stu­dent Rebecca Stadlen, who has spent the last year working for Vogue, one of the world’s most influ­en­tial fashion magazines.

From June to December 2011, Stadlen com­pleted a co-​​op at Vogue’s New York City head­quar­ters, writing cul­ture and news sto­ries for print and Vogue​.com and assisting with high-​​fashion photo shoots.

Her tenure was extended to a semester-​​long intern­ship, which ended in June with a full-​​time job offer — as an under­grad­uate — to write for the mag­a­zine over the summer.

“I didn’t always know that I wanted to work in fashion,” says Stadlen, whose child­hood dream was to become a bal­le­rina and a lawyer. “In a way, working at Vogue is a per­fect com­bi­na­tion of the two — there’s an ele­ment of inten­sity as well as this need for pre­ci­sion and poise.

Stadlen was bit by the jour­nalism bug thanks in large part to her step­fa­ther, who pro­duces and edits the leading TV news mag­a­zine 60 Min­utes. “I kind of grew up around it all,” she says. “He taught me to be a storyteller.”

This summer, Stadlen will have the oppor­tu­nity to pre­pare the iconic “Sep­tember issue” — the make or break book of the year for every major fashion glossy. The magazine’s most pop­ular edi­tion was the sub­ject of a 2009 behind-​​the-​​scenes doc­u­men­tary aptly named “The Sep­tember Issue,” which fol­lowed Vogue editor Anna Win­tour and her staff during the pro­duc­tion of the Sep­tember 2007 issue — the biggest in its 117-​​year his­tory and, at 840 pages in length, a world record for a monthly magazine.

Stadlen credits a freshman-​​year jour­nalism course for preparing her to ace high-​​pressure writing assign­ments and giving her the con­fi­dence and expe­ri­ence to com­mu­ni­cate daily with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the fashion industry’s top players, from Chanel to Louis Vuitton.

“We were tasked to step out­side of the box and dig for sto­ries,” she says of the class.  “For one assign­ment I had to call politi­cians at the State House, which was nerve-​​racking at first, but after that and my Vogue expe­ri­ence, I feel like I could com­fort­ably pick up the phone and call the Pres­i­dent of the United States.”

On the sur­face, Stadlen’s expe­ri­ence reflects that of Anne Hathaway’s char­acter in the hit film “The Devil Wears Prada,” which was adapted from the epony­mous roman a clef. In the film, Hath­away plays a jour­nalism stu­dent working for the impos­sibly demanding fashion mag­a­zine editor Miranda Priestly, who is por­trayed by Meryl Streep and believed to be based on Wintour.

But Stadlen says that that depic­tion could not be fur­ther from the truth. As she puts it, “The editor-​​in-​​chief ele­vates the whole team and her example helps to push us to want to be our best.”