Best jobs: Elle
Have a look around the chic office featured in The City.
Mon Aug 2 2010
Photographs: Allison Michael Orenstein
Most people who are fond of reality television are familiar with The City, MTV's spin-off of The Hills that's set, in part, at the offices of Elle magazine. And while PR director Erin Kaplan does appear on the show, often as Olivia Palermo's foil ("I try very hard not to watch it," Kaplan laughs), there's more to the fashion mag than Palermo's pouting. In fact, the series only spends a couple of weeks out of each month—if that—shooting here.
The magazine's U.S. iteration was founded in 1985; now, it's one of the largest women's magazines in the country, with a circulation of more than 1 million. Its NYC bureau, which houses all three Elle publications, as well as the staff of the website, is located in unfashionable Times Square, but make no mistake: The Elle staff takes their work and their style seriously, and you'll always find editors in chic outfits, rushing through the halls to get the mag out on time. "[My style has] been elevated," says associate director of events Caitlin Weiskopf. "I'm more aware of fashion and what's going on, and I take fashion inspiration from my coworkers." And—of course—there are perks, like the magazine's semiannual product sales, during which the Beauty department empties out its closet (and donates any proceeds to charity).
Even though the magazine is published monthly, that doesn't mean that staffers have oodles of downtime. "You really are working up against deadlines," explains deputy editor Candice Rainey. "I've taken work home with me." Weiskopf may be coordinating several events (like Elle's first annual Women in Music concert) at any given moment. "I'm here until the work gets done," she says. For now, some of the staff have individual offices, a layout that encourages a lot of dropping in. "We don't use IM," says Rainey with a laugh. "And I very rarely shut my door. People come in and out very freely." That will change in the next year or so, however, when the magazine moves to a new space with an open floor plan in the Time-Life Building.
Wanna work here?
Don't expect a job to get handed to you, even if you are a wealthy Manhattan socialite. When Elle does have openings, they're posted on MediaBistro and Hachette Filipacchi's corporate website (hfmus.com). Rainey also recommends seeking out informational interviews with current staffers, and that journalism newbies get internships, if possible. "When you land somewhere as an editorial assistant, you'll have an idea of what you're supposed to be doing," she explains.
Number of employees: Approximately 185
Annual circulation: 1,115,552 (from January--December 2009)
How long The City has been filming there: Off and on for just about one year. "We definitely have breaks in between seasons," says Kaplan.
Number of pages in the magazine's September 2010 issue: 382 (Cover girl: Julia Roberts)