All access privileges to fashion shows, talking to the best designers, celebrities, industry fame, success and perks in the form of bags, shoes and apparel are all part of every aspiring fashion journalists daydream. As pretty as it may be fashion is a tough industry—the technological evolution and the death of traditional journalism isn’t helping the armature fashion journalist. It seems as though the the windows of opportunity become smaller and less frequent—how can a dreamer catch a break?
Under the Influence
Women wearing trousers for the first time in the women’s revolution stood for something greater than “just another fashion trend.” Like all art, fashion embodies the attitudes of society at a specific time. Like screenshots along our nation’s timeline, fashion expresses feeling and establishes classes. Fashion is a billion dollar global industry and makes a much larger impact than the small women’s interest industry it’s often passed off as.
“Clothes not only define ourselves, but our position in society and, above all, the times in which we live. . . Fashion mirrors society, but very few people respond to that consciously,”said fashion critic for the International Herald Tribune Suzy Menkes in a European Journalism Centre article.
Your best bet is to acquire great written and industry knowledge, great ways to achieve this are by attending one of many fashion colleges and by, well, writing. Starting a fashion blog gets you out into the world while freelancing and doing journalism related internships keeps you writing, teaches you through editor critique and builds your portfolio.
As a writer it’s important to find your voice, know the audience your writing for, and to really have a passion for discovering that great new story to tell. With the advent of social media pumping through the veins of global society, taking charge and making use of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest, to get your name out there more is pertinent to you as a writer.
Being a Fashion Journalist
Fashion journalists are directly involved in “history in the making.” As gatekeepers, connecting the public to the fashion industry, journalists play a vital role in what is “in” and what is “out,” their opinion changes the industry landscape and impacts careers . Fashion reporters can affect buying patterns in companies and help shape the the hierarchy view of the industry to the public.
Robin Givhan, former Fashion Editor at The Washington Post, and 2006 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, notes in her “How I Made It” video that aside from all else, great writing and reporting abilities are the real substance that makes a successful journalist. Givhan describes Fashion school as being the whipped cream and cherry on the banana split of of your fundamental abilities.
The author: Andrew wants you to know he’s a man’s man who has worked for a national clothing retailer and two major design houses. While he pursues his dream of opening his own men’s shop in California, he’s freelance writing about the fashion industry.