When it comes to getting what you want, Kimberley Dyer knows how it’s done. She’s the type of girl with a personality that will literally make you fall on the floor laughing when it’s Fri-yay fun time, but when it’s time to get things done, she keeps her eyes on the prize. Her organization skills are next to none as she names “list-making” as one of her favourite hobbies. Her wardrobe is stocked head-to-toe with notable brands from YSL to Prada, but she knows how to mix her highs and lows. She’s your quintessential “Serena” in your “Devil Wears Prada”. Yep, thats the one who Gisele Bundchen was playing. She’s not the mean one, or the nerdy one. Nope, she’s the one who looks AMAZING, knows her shit, and you secretly wanna be her BFF.
Kim shared with us her journey from Ryerson fashion grad, rising through the ranks of internships to her current position of Art Assistant at Instyle Magazine in New York.
On NYC and Fashion Goals
Tell me about what you are doing now?
I just started a new job in NYC in the Art Department with InStyle Magazine. I love it! I’m busy designing layouts, working on photoshoots, writing for web and assisting the Creative Director who oversees everything visual with the magazine. It’s a combination of everything I love to do in the fashion world and I’m constantly being inspired by the creative people I work with. what made you begin? I remember watching a tv program when I was in high school, and there was a shoe designer on the show. I was so jealous of her because she worked in the fashion industry so I decided I didn’t want to be jealous of anyone and now I’m not!
How did you get started?
I started by enrolling in Ryerson University’s Fashion Communications program. It’s run by brilliant teachers who really encourage you to get involved within the industry not just study it. The program also touched on many areas from event management to typography so it makes you very well rounded and helps you to figure out where you are best suited in the industry. Once I enrolled at Ryerson I started interning at magazines in NYC, like Vogue and Marie-Claire and Toronto, at Flare, in both the fashion and art departments.
What were you doing before?
Before I started at Instyle I held a similar position at Harper’s Bazaar UK in London, England. It was my first real job in the industry and I loved every minute of it! The team taught me so much and became my best friends in the city. I cried myself to sleep my last day!
What are some struggles that made it difficult to get from that to this?
For me the biggest issue has always been the work visas. The rest of the struggles made me stronger but not being permitted to work in the cities with the most magazines made me feel hopeless. tell us a point in your life when you didn’t ever think you would make it After many interviews in NYC and no one able to sponsor me I was wondering how I would ever make it work.
What keeps you going?
I never feel like I’m working. Just having fun all day with great friends helping to create beautiful pictures.
How do you stay motivated?
Motivation was never much of an issue for me. I loved the entire journey. On a late day at the office, taking a break to check in with a friend in the fashion department on a shoot they were working on and planning to attend an industry event with them would always lift my spirits.
3 things that someone who wants to land a career in a magazine should keep at top of mind:
1. There are many different departments in a fashion magazine: fashion, photo, art, beauty, features, etc. Get to know how each department works and keep that in mind once you land in one of them. Being a team player and working for the whole magazine not just your own department will take you far.
2. There are a lot of different areas you can go into in the magazine industry and it’s not all glamorous. Start researching how each one works to decide whats the best area for you and be prepared to start from the bottom.
3. In my mind three things will take you far: having a good eye, a great work ethic and being genuinely nice.
Who told you no?
A lot of people! I had a lot of trouble landing my first job hence me moving to England. The work visa issue because a big problem as there are not that many opportunities in Canada but if you keep trying and aiming high you will eventually get there with a bit of luck and a great attitude.
What was your turn-around point?
Landing my job at Bazaar. I couldn’t believe I was so lucky to work at such a great magazine and with such a great team as my first job. I think I was on a high for about a year and I would get excited on Sundays to go back to work.
Did you always have a dream to become what you are now?
I knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry but I wasn’t sure what specific role I was after. Then I knew I wanted to be working at a magazine but it took a few twists of fate to land me in the art department and I’m so happy I landed here.
What inspired you to start on this journey?
I work really hard when I love something but I quit the things I don’t, so I knew if I wanted to be happy in my career I had to choose something I was passionate about.
What was your yes supply moment?
I was looking for jobs in Toronto and NYC for a while. There wasn’t much available in Canada and all of the jobs I applied for in the US weren’t able to help me with the work visa. So one day I received an email regarding an interview with the Director of the Fashion Photography Masters Program at London College of Fashion. I had applied months before and forgotten I had even applied for it. I was accepted but was hesitant to move to Europe and go back to school when I was so eager to start working. A good friend of mind convinced me that moving to Europe would be the chance of a lifetime. She was right! And that’s what got me in the industry in the end.