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CLAS Grad Always In Style

By Tanya Lama

Dana Avidan, CLAS ‘03 has been on set with Uma Thurman, Heidi Klum and Kate Winslet, but she’s not in the film business.

She’s the fashion market editor for InStyle magazine, directly in charge of calling in all the clothes that appear still-life in each issue – story ideas, shopping pages, styling, and fashion features.

Besides working directly with designers, Avidan often helps dress celebrities on set and get them fitted for photo shoots.

The first shoot she ever went on was in Harbour Island, Bahamas for a swim story with Heidi Klum. The crew stayed at the Pink Sands Resort and shot on location.  “I just remember thinking ’I can’t believe this is my job!’” Avidan says.

As editor of the contemporary market, she spends a lot of her time outside of the office, visiting show rooms all over New York City– some just starting out, and some for big names like J. Crew, Gap and Elizabeth and James.

“I like that I’m not at my desk every day. I get to go all over the city and it’s always nice to be ahead of trends before they become mainstream. I love finding new designers.”

Avidan visited fashion designer Gaby Basora six years ago and viewed her collection from her New York apartment. Today, Tucker by Gaby Basora is an international brand, recently signing a collaboration with Target.

“That’s a line I saw so early on. It’s gratifying to feel like you’ve had a hand in getting someone started.”

Like many of the designers Avidan has discovered, she too, started by paying her dues at the magazine and has managed to work her way up. Avidan heard from a friend that an internship was available at InStyle and got hired on the spot as an intern.

After interning for a few months, she was promoted to assistant. Almost three years later, she earned her place in the competitive and tight-knit magazine industry, and moved on to work for SELF magazine as associate marketing editor before returning to InStyle as market editor.

She notes that “it’s a very competitive industry but if you put in the time and effort starting with your very first internship you can work your way up.”

Currently in the midst of preparing the September issue, Avidan is busier than ever. InStyle’s biggest issue of the year showcases fall fashion’s biggest upcoming trends in “Clothes We Love.” She handpicks pieces for the monthly “Deals and Steals” and “Impress for Less” pages, which appear online and in print.

Avidan was recently on set, dressing Ali Fedotowsky and pulling all of the clothes for her InStyle makeover on ABC’s reality TV series, “The Bachelorette.” Her summer schedule includes attending the Miami Swim show in South Beach, and Magic trade shows in Las Vegas.

The best piece of advice she has for college students is to complete an internship. “It’s a great way to explore a career, try something new or find something you love,” Avidan says.

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