How to Become a Fashion Journalist

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How to Become a Fashion Journalist: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a fashion journalist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a fashion journalist:

 

• You have a passion for writing and fashion

• You are an independent and creative thinker

• You are willing to immerse yourself in the world of fashion, both past and present

• You are willing to check your ego at the door when it comes to getting interviews

• You are willing to start at the bottom while gaining experience

• You are able to handle professional criticism, and rejection

• You are able to set long-term career goals

 • You are willing to do the little things that will help you accomplish your long-term career goals

• You are willing to endure periods of limited income while building a client base or finding stable employment

 

Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a fashion journalist. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as salary expectations, an outline of the skills you’ll need, educational requirements, a list of possible employer types, and much more!

 

 

Education Needed to Become a Fashion Journalist

The educational requirements for becoming a fashion journalist may vary, typically depending on the requirements of the employer. Many employers however, will expect you to have a degree in Fashion Journalism or Journalism. If you don’t have such a degree, employers may still give you a shot if you have an impressive portfolio of work.

 

Although having a degree may not be a requirement for employment (such as if you own your own fashion blog), it will put you on course to learn the basic skills and competencies required of fashion journalists, and help you progress to the point where you are an independent creative thinker who is capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry.

 

Success Tip: Pursuing any degree in fashion journalism is highly recommended. It is ideal however, to find a program that has an internship or work-placement component built into it. 

 

 

 

What is a Fashion Journalist?

The term “fashion journalist” is a blanket term that generally refers to those who work in published fashion media; fashion writers, fashion critics, and fashion reporters. The work fashion journalists produce may be published in various forms; as fashion features in magazines and newspapers, books about fashion, fashion related reports on television and online fashion magazines, websites, and blogs. 

 

 

Fashion Journalist Job Description

Fashion journalists are responsible for preparing articles, commentaries or critiques relating to developments in the fashion industry.

 

In order to prepare an effective piece, they must first gather information about the topic they wish to cover. This involves performing independent research, attending fashion shows, and arranging and conducting interviews with professionals in the fashion industry, such as designers, photographers, models and public relations representatives.

 

 

Fashion Journalist Job Duties

The specific job duties of a fashion journalist can depend on many factors, such as what kind of employment structure they have. For example, fashion journalists who own their own blog are responsible for such things as hiring writers and monitoring traffic statistics, whereas fashion journalists who work as freelancers must perform duties such as negotiating prices with publishers. In general however, fashion journalists are responsible for performing the following duties:

 

• Interview designers, models and other fashion industry experts in order to gain insight and information

• Attend fashion shows and photo shoots

• Prepare articles and stories on a variety of topics

• Establish contacts within the fashion industry to gain credibility and access to information and events

• May be asked to edit the work of other writers

• Maintain current industry knowledge

 

 

Who Employs Fashion Journalists?

Fashion journalists may either work for others or be self-employed. The employment path they choose may depend on their personal preference, or whether or not they are able to find suitable opportunities with employers.

 

For example, some fashion journalists may choose to be build a portfolio as a freelancer prior to looking for permanent work, whereas others may choose to find permanent work prior to striking out on their own and working as a freelancer. Within the realms of working for others and self-employment, fashion journalists generally have the following career options.

 

• Newspaper reporter, contributing writer or editor

• Magazine reporter, contributing writer or editor

• Fashion blog/website owner, reporter, contributing writer or editor

• TV or radio journalist

• Public relations or communication specialist at a design house

• Author

 

 

 

Experience Needed to Become a Fashion Journalist

Gaining work experience through an internship or a work placement program is a great way to gain career experience as a fashion journalist while you're still a student. Ideally, you are pursuing, or plan on pursuing, a fashion journalism education program that offers work placement or internship opportunities as part of its curriculum.

 

If you're not pursuing such a program, you can still apply to work as an intern with various fashion publications, although such positions are highly competitive, and it would be hard to winning one may be extremely difficult without having relevant education, a very impressive portfolio, or an “in” with an editor or editorial assistant.

 

Whether you gain an opportunity through your school or by your own devices, work placement and internship opportunities are extremely valuable for your future career as a fashion journalist, as they allow you to:

 

• Gain an understanding of how a fashion publication works

• Gain a general understanding of how the fashion industry works in general

• Find out if you really want to pursue a career in fashion journalism

• Develop key industry contacts

• Add relevant content to your resumé/CV

 

Success Tip: Having your passion for writing about fashion clearly communicated in your resumé and cover letter is crucial for getting a job or an internship as a fashion journalist. Also be sure to include why you want to write about fashion and what current topics interest you most.

 

 

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Fashion Journalist?

In order to become successful in a career as a fashion journalist, and perform your job duties effectively, you need to posses a certain set of skills and competencies, as well as a certain knowledge base.

 

Gathering and Communicating Information: If you want to become a fashion journalist you will need a command of investigation, interviewing and writing techniques, as well as the ability to use major writing software. You will also need superior written communication skills.

 

Thorough Industry Knowledge: Fashion journalists need to immerse themselves in current trends and designers, as well as the history of trends and designers. Having historical knowledge of fashion helps journalists put current trends in context, and gives them a greater and more substantial understanding of fashion as a whole.

 

Networking Skills: The ability to network is the lifeblood of a fashion journalist’s career. Being able to introduce yourself to virtually anyone is crucial for developing contacts. You never know who you’ll meet if you aren’t afraid to introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. The next person you meet may be someone who is interested in hiring you, someone that can contact for an interview, or someone that can add you to a list of fashion show invitees.

 

Analytical Abilities: It is important for fashion journalists to have a critical mind, and be an independent and creative thinker. They must be able to analyze information and form their own unique perspective, which they can communicate to their audience. 

 

 

What Characteristics Do Fashion Journalists Need?

Becoming a successful fashion journalist involves more than just the ability to keep up with trends and write well; it takes a certain kind of person to go far in a career as a fashion journalist. Fashion journalists must have a deep-rooted passion for not only fashion, but for succeeding in their field, and doing whatever it takes to accomplish their goals.

 

Setting Realistic Career Goals: Successful fashion writers must be able to set long-terms career goals, but not get so focused on them that they forget about the importance of accomplishing their daily tasks, no matter how mundane they seem to be.

 

Having Patience, Persistence and Self-Confidence: A fashion journalist must also be persistent, self-confident, assertive, and willing to check their ego at the door when it comes to getting an interview with a fashion industry professional. For example, they must be willing to do things like stand in a scrum of reporters for hours just to get a 15 second sound bite from a designer after a fashion show.

 

Be Willing to Start at the Bottom: Not all fashion journalists land their dream job right away, and many never land it at all. To have a long career as a fashion journalist, you must be willing to take what work you can get at first (to a point, of course). With every opportunity you get, go the extra mile; listen, learn, network, and the opportunities for more appealing work will come. After all, it takes time to acquire the skills, expertise and body of work necessary to build a solid reputation in the fashion industry. 

 

 

Fashion Journalist Jobs

Our job board below has "Fashion Journalist" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Fashion Journalist Salary

The salary level of fashion journalists can vary greatly; some may earn an inconsistent income that fluctuates greatly, while others may earn a more stable and reliable income. It largely depends on what kind of employment structure they have.

 

For example, some fashion journalists may work as part-time or full-time employees of an organization, in which case they may earn a more consistent income, whereas other fashion journalists may work as freelancers (contracting their writing and reporting services out to clients), in which case they may earn an income that is reflective of the amount and quality of work they are able to secure.

 

Aside from the structure of their employment, the earnings of fashion journalists can vary on the following factors:

 

• Their level of education

• Their level of experience and aptitude

• The size and type of their employer, or client base

• The region in which they work

 

Fashion Journalist Salary Alberta: According to the 2013 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Journalists occupational group earn an average salary of $45,714 per year.

 

Fashion Journalist Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadian workers in the Journalists occupational group is $56,481 per year.

 

Fashion Journalist Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of American workers in the Reporters and Correspondents occupational group is $44,360 per year.

 

 

Careers Similar to Fashion Journalist

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Fashion Journalist, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.

 

Art Critic

Fashion Designer

Fashion Illustrator

Music Journalist

Sports Reporter

 

 

References: Fashion Journalist Career Information

Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a fashion journalist.

 

Alberta Learning and Information Service website: alis.alberta.ca

Cosmopolitan website: www.cosmopolitan.co.uk

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov

University of the Arts of London website: www.arts.ac.uk

 

 

Scholarships for Becoming a Fashion Journalist

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Fashion Journalist can be found on the following pages:

 

Clothing, Textiles and Material Culture Scholarships

Human Ecology Scholarships

Journalism Scholarships

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!

 

 

Becoming a Fashion Journalist: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a fashion journalist. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!

 


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