fashion + beauty + insider interviews + est 2006

Thursday, January 31, 2008


new york - sometimes life isn't fair. it's one thing to be young. another to be beautiful. and yet another (and total rareity) to have a fabulous job. well carly zipp, 25, has all three. and if she wasn't such a phenomenal person to boot, we'd have a really hard time liking her. but she is! that's exactly why we had to scoop the vanderbilt university grad for our latest edition of "i want that job." as the public relations guru for both real simple and essence magazines, the washington d.c. native, does double duty getting the magazines we love the attention they deserve. but what did it take to get there? danielle prescod, my ace reporter, sat down with carly on a brisk new york day to investigage....

carly is getting enjoying the san diego sun in this photo...

You have a fabulous job that probably a million people want. What did you do to get where you are? Oh man, well this is a little bit of a story so hope I don't ramble too much. I decided to take a year off after High School. I went to a really intense high school both socially and academically (the movie Mean Girls was based off the book that was based off of my high school if that gives you any reference!) and just needed a year off before going to Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN. I decided to intern at the local Top 40 radio station, Z104. At the time, Billy Bush (the co-host of Access Hollywood) was the main DJ and I worked under him and the morning show as a morning intern. I'd get up at 4:00 AM and drive 45 minutes to sit at the station and I'd be their little "go to girl", so any time you hear the radio and they're having some moron do something ridiculously embarrassing on a morning show – that was me. After about 5 months, a new radio station came on the scene called Hot99.5 and it beat out Z104 in ratings; they were looking for a fun midday DJ to act as a sidekick to the host and they had heard about me at Z104. I came in and got the job. So for the rest of my year off I was the DJ and co-host of this "girl power" midday show on the hottest Top 40 channel in DC; we had male beauty pageants, fashion shows, hosted weekly club events, concerts, etc. Through that I met so many amazing people in the entertainment and music industry, and decided to continue with it. The summer after my Freshman year, I went back to Hot99.5 and helped out with the midday show but also interned at CBS in the White House bureau. It was really fun to see another side of the media – they sent me to cover a lot of protests on Capitol Hill and even presidential footage, but I knew hard journalism was not for me. Anyway, I formed a great relationship with the Executive Producer at CBS and she took me to New York with her one day to meet Dan Rather and the whole NYC CBS team. I loved New York, and she knew I wanted to be in entertainment. At the time, Viacom owned CBS and MTV networks and so the Executive Producer made some calls on my behalf and got me an interview with VH1. I landed an internship in the booking department for VH1 and the summer after my Sophomore year interned as a booker for I Love The 80's and I Love The 90's – which means that I helped the booking department to get the comedians and washed up celebrities booked for our shows. It was quite an experience. I became very close with my department and they recommended me for a job as an MTV campus representative, which I did my Junior year at Vanderbilt. It was fun! I basically got to work with MTV to tell them the trends on campus, and then give my friends free MTV swag. The summer after Junior year I was hired as a summer associate in the booking department and worked again to book the comedians and secure some on-air talent. I met a lot of fun celebrities (actual stars, and then of course people who used to be cool) but the best part was how close I became with my department. So, come Senior year my bosses at VH1 got me an interview with CMT (oh yes, Country Music Television) in Nashville – another Viacom connection – and instead of most of my classes I interned for school credit in the publicity department. It was the first time I was introduced to being a part of the press, and I loved it! I mean yeah, I don't have a passion for country music, but it was really fun to be able to publicize events and upcoming shows on the station. I loved it. The highlight of CMT was walking Orlando Bloom down the red carpet for the premiere of Elizabethtown. I'm a sucker for accents. My biggest project was working on the Miss America pageant, which CMT took over. Talk about fashion faux pas. So by the time I graduated, I had an idea that I liked publicity. I had met so many people along the way that by the time I started interviewing, I had so many contacts that I was able to choose the best offer I received – which was at Time Inc!

we are loving this gold and white dress. and loving carly's dance moves even more.

Being young and successful in the fashion industry comes with a lot of territory. How do you dress yourself (mentally and in actuality) for the work place?
Sassy. I like what I wear to reflect my attitude – and everyone expects me to come into work everyday as this young, cute, bubbly girl with edge. That's how I try to dress. Yesterday my coworker said I looked very "Jackie O. meets Katie Holmes" – I try to go for that!

Who are your favorite designers? Miu Miu, Ted Baker, Karen Millen, Theory for the basics, Madison Marcus, Foley + Corinna, Cynthia Steffe. Julie Haus in also my fave designers. She has the most feminine dresses!!!

What is your guilty fashion pleasure? SHOES! They make of break an outfit in my mind. And oh to splurge on a good pair of heels every now and then…yum.

What are your style secrets? Accessorize lightly but with nice pieces. You can be wearing some old t-shirt from a vintage store and jeans you bought for $40 in the early 90's, but if you accessorize with a hot bracelet or sassy bag (there I go saying sassy again), you're golden.

carly strikes a pose a vegas.

How has your job impacted your personal style? Definitely has forced me to step up my game. I keep up with the trends (mainly because I publicize them!) but never go overboard. My mom always told me "the trend is your friend", but I like to be trendy-classic.

What is your typical day at work like? Typical? Ha, I wish any day was like the next. I am responsible for building TV segments off of articles and for publicizing (and working) our large events, so on any given day I'm pitching producers and reporters, running around the city getting samples and props, dressing up for events (most recently we had a Weddings event to promote our new book – I was a bridesmaid), or writing press releases and scripts. Oh, and dancing. We have a radio in the office that gets cranked any time a good song comes on. It's the DJ in me.

How does it feel to make the transition from student (or intern) to employee? Bittersweet. I LOVED college. Loved the theme parties, the carefree attitude and making bad decisions, loved even my classes (yes, I still keep in touch my professors – nerd alert). I loved being the big fish in the little pond. Being in the real world is scary, definitely tiny little fish now! But I really like where I am at, both professionally and mentally. I have worked really hard to move up in the industry and it has paid off!

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