How Olivia Palermo Made the Most of a NYC Internship

If you follow fashion, or are a reality show junkie and followed episodes of MTV’s The City in 2008, you might know of Olivia Palermo. She often appears in the Page Six best-dressed lists of the New York Post, and is a formidable socialite. The New York-born daughter of a successful real-estate developer (dad) and interior designer (mom) regularly makes the art/philanthropic rounds and is known as a fashion influencer and entrepreneur on Wikipedia and IMDB, the online entertainment database.

But not many know that this fashion diva, who has five million followers on Instagram, launched her career after snagging an internship at luxe party magazine Quest in NYC. The MTV show The City, featured Palermo’s internship working for international couture designer Diane von Furstenberg. In an interview with the New York Times, January 14, 2020, Palermo talks about navigating life in New York City as an intern and young professional, and the reality show that made her a household name.

Olivia Palermo Got A Lot Out of That Internship

A recent afternoon found Ms. Palermo meeting with her team (the Olivia Palermo Group has eight employees) in her TriBeCa design studio, to select fabrics for her fashion line and choose the exact right shade of green for the branding.

“Of course, it was fun,” Ms. Palermo said of her party days. “But within all of that, it was important to figure out what I wanted to do, other than to run around and have a good time.”

From the first episode of “The City,” when Whitney Port met Ms. Palermo in the offices of Diane von Furstenberg — they were both interns — it’s clear Ms. Palermo’s character is the fashion mean girl with the entitled attitude.

Ms. Palermo did carefully express irritation at how she was portrayed, despite the name building that came from it.

“Whoever sat in that editing room was very talented at creating a human that I was the polar opposite of,” she said.

But all reality shows are at least a little phony, aren’t they? Ms. Palermo couldn’t help but raise her voice.

“No, no, no,” she said. “It was fully phony. There was nothing real about that show at all. Other than our first and last names. Nothing. Absolutely zero.”

The real Olivia is so nice that she brings cookies to the fashion publicists who have lent her clothes. She is so nice that she exclaims “Goody gumdrops!” on hearing happy news. Far from being a fierce fashionista, Ms. Palermo can be a little dorky. Her favorite pastime is playing Mario Kart.

What do we know?

Edward Barsamian, the head of editorial at Victoria Beckham and a former editor, met Ms. Palermo when they were teenage interns at Quest, an uptown lifestyle magazine.

“Her work ethic and drive bonded us,” he said. “Whether it was a C.Z. Guest event or going on a J. McLaughlin market appointment, she put her nose to the ground and did the work.”

Internship + Hard Work Pays Off

It’s not just that Olivia Palermo “got a lot out of that internship”; she did the work that earned her a career after the reality TV cameras stopped rolling. Next up for Olivia Palermo is her own clothing line. After years of collaborations and being a brand ambassador for other designers, she’s launching her own fashion label due out February 2020.

Intern Accommodations in New York City

Whether you intern in fashion or finance, you won’t find better accommodations for NYC interns than at 33 Beekman Street and Kerrey Hall 66 5th Avenue at 14th. Beekman sits in Lower Manhattan and the famed financial district with panoramic views of the Brooklyn Bridge, turnkey accommodations, 24-hour security, plus an on-site laundromat and fitness center. Kerrey Hall is located in Union Square, with great views of the city, fully-furnished suites, with full baths and kitchens. You’ll find a gym, laundry room and lots of amenities, like music practice spaces and an art room. Check out ALL the conveniences at both locations, and book now for the summer of 2020.

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