From blogging to professional photo shoots, senior succeeds in fashion world

By Claire Dalzon

Ever since she was a little girl, Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien knew she either wanted to be on television showing off her wardrobe, or featured inside one of those glossy Glamour magazines. So when she announced that she was going to be an intern at Elle magazine last summer, it was no surprise to her friends – it was just part of the plan.

“I applied to Elle because I always knew that I wanted to intern at a fashion magazine,” said Saint-Elien. “I found the position through a web listing. I collect magazines and Elle is one of my favorites. The process was really quick. I emailed the fashion director and she got back to me right away. I went to their New York office for the interview and eventually did an edit test to see if I understood the brand and to show my writing skills.”

From May 2015 until August of that same year, Saint-Elien began the role of fashion intern but soon found herself as the “everything intern” when the fashion editor at Elle left her position to go to a different publication. By the end of the credited internship, Elle allowed her to dabble in editorial, maintain beauty closets, create online galleries for and, of course, master the art of bringing coffee to her superiors.

“The atmosphere was very professional,” said Saint-Elien. “Everyone was doing their own thing, but everybody was willing to help. I met Angela Simmons on the elevator, got to work on a photo shoot with professional ballerinas and got lots of free stuff.”

Though she is a communication studies major and has been minoring in English writing at Rider for the last four years, Saint-Elien has always found a way to combine her love of writing and fashion. While taking COM 106, Writing for the Communication Professions, she was introduced to the world of blogging. In 2013, she launched her own blog called “Adorned In Armor” – a place where she documents her personal style and motivates women through her strong Christian faith. Since then, the site has been featured on the Independent Fashion Blog, the InfluenceHer Collective, and Cosmopolitan UK’s site, and was nominated for the 2014 Best International Fashion Blog.

“Her passion and talent for blogging were evident in my class from day one,” said Adjunct Professor Kathy Magrino of the Department of Communication and Journalism. “It was refreshing for me, and for Tarah-Lynn’s classmates, to have someone so enthusiastic and motivated in our class, and it was a lot of fun to watch her blog ‘come to life’ throughout our time together in COM 106. I was so happy for her — but I wasn’t surprised ­— when ‘Adorned In Armor’ was selected as a finalist in the Cosmopolitan UK blog competition.”

Saint-Elien is currently on her fourth internship. She has interned at the Christian radio station Star 99.1, PBS, and Elle, and now is the assistant for Ty Alexander, expert online lifestyle editor and television personality, on her website Gorgeous In Grey.

“I want to be a major fashion influencer, face of a TV network or work at a fashion publication. If I could touch all three of them at any time or all together, that would be the dream job,” said Saint-Elien. “They say we Millennials are the ‘hyphenated generation’ and I could definitely see why.”

Saint-Elien credits her professors at Rider, specifically Liberal Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Jonathan Millen, for seeing her potential and for constantly motivating her throughout the years.

“Tarah-Lynn was a student of mine during her first semester freshman year. Though I have not seen her in the classroom since, we have stayed in close contact,” said Millen. “She often stops by my office for course advising, mentoring questions, and just to update me on her activities. From day one, I was impressed by her poise and confidence. She has an enviable balance of drive and humility. I have no doubt that she will continue to thrive in whatever career life has in store for her.”

Since Elle, Saint-Elien continues to connect with bloggers from all over the world. Having the fashion magazine on her résumé has not only helped increase her followers and views on social media but also has opened doors to collaborate with huge brands like Banana Republic and ASOS.

“The most important thing is to do your research – know your industry,” said Saint-Elien. “Things aren’t going to be given to you. It doesn’t matter how nice you look or how many things you have on your résumé, it’s about being kind with every person you meet because you never know who you might be talking to.”

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