Fashion and Journalism: The best of both worlds
Fashion journalism is a growing, multi-faceted career option for anyone with a passion for clothing, writing, and creativity. From attending and reporting on the biggest fashion shows to studying designers and spotting the latest trends, this segment of journalism is a highly exciting and a sought-after beat that is particularly competitive. Aspiring fashion journalists can choose to venture into a myriad of media channels to break into the field such as magazines, newspapers, online publications and websites, blogs, social media, books, television etc.
However, fashion journalism is not just about attending high-end fashion shows and travelling to Paris or Milan. Cracking the industry takes time, great determination, passion for the industry, and patience to build a reputation and following by standing out from the competition. It is also important to always be open to learning, trying new things, and approach everything with a positive attitude.
To make your way into the world of fashion journalism and make your mark, here are few basic tips to get started.
Setting Realistic Goals for Yourself
Write down a list of realistic short-term and long-term goals to map out where you are and where you want to go as a fashion journalist. If it is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communication, or a fashion-related program, find out which schools offer the best programs that work well for you and cover writing, editing, photography, marketing or fashion-related classes. JD Institute of Fashion Technology offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Fashion Communication -a two-year fashion Journalism course that focuses on developing the thinking process of selling fashion and lifestyle products in the most efficient way possible.
If you want to get started right away and gain practical experience, explore internships or online publications to obtain editorial experience. If you want to start setting yourself apart from other applicants, design a blog and how you want to promote your material through social media.
Approach every experience realistically and take it on as an opportunity that will get your closer to achieving your long-term goals.
Build a Solid Portfolio
Fashion journalism is an extremely competitive field which means aspiring writers must gain practical editorial experience and develop a unique style that sets them apart from other candidates. Candidates may even need to start their careers in a different sphere like entertainment, lifestyle, or as a general assignment reporter writing about topics other than fashion.
However, practical experience goes a long way. With digitalisation being the order of the day, you can also choose to freelance for a plethora of fashion-based magazines and online publications to build a solid and growing portfolio of work.
To hone your distinct style as a fashion journalist, you can further sharpen your skills and show off your creativity by creating a fashion blog. By doing so, you can consistently build a body of work, experiment with style and tone and use it to showcase your talent and fashion knowledge to editors.
Network, Network, Network
To climb the ladder in fashion journalism, it is vital for any aspiring journalist to build your contacts book and make connections with public relations professionals, designers, stylists, fashion schools, retailers, and other writers in the business. Keep in touch with your contacts, ask to be added to their list for press days, showcases, and other events. Step out of your comfort zone, introduce yourself to everyone and be your authentic self.
Learning the Language
Having a great sense of fashion is not enough to break into the industry. Fashion is rapidly changing and a successful fashion journalist should always stay up to date on new designers, textiles, accessories, and technologies. Besides immersing yourself in a variety of fashion magazines, trade publications, blogs and books, look back and learn more about the history of fashion, changing society, and the influences that have affected the industry such as political, economic, or social issues. To build credibility, read up on current and past designers, learn industry-standard terms and language, and develop your own unique way of translating it to readers in a more comprehensive and interesting way.
Develop Your Own Voice
Be attentive to social media and engage on social platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and more. Social media is a great promotional tool to showcase your work, articles, fashion knowledge and become an influence. Show off your style and knowledge of new trends and the industry in a concise way, but remember to keep it fresh, social, and fun. Whether it is reporting on a new trend, show, doing a collection review, styling, celebrity fashion, or a commentary, experiment with social media and develop your own quality style that sets you apart from other writers.