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Writing

How to Become a Fashion Journalist in 5 Steps

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Oct 28, 2019 • 4 min read

Fashion journalism is a field that deals with the reporting and publishing of fashion-related information across a number of media outlets, such as fashion magazines, websites, and television. However, a fashion journalism career is more than just writing about clothes, and often requires an associate or bachelor’s degree in fashion media, fashion design, communications, or a related journalistic field.

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What Is Fashion Journalism?

Fashion journalism involves researching and writing about the latest fashion trends and styles. Journalists get this information by working with stylists, interviewing fashion designers, and attending fashion shows, photoshoots, and events. A substantial knowledge of fashion history is also a necessity to properly view the progression of the fashion world, which can show a journalist not just where fashion’s been, but where it might be going.

What Does a Fashion Journalist Do?

The world of fashion is ever-evolving, and working within it requires a fashion writer who can keep up with the newest styles and the latest trends. Fashion journalists analyze how pop culture and current events affect today’s fashion, as well as report recent fashion news, notes from fashion critics, and any relevant issues related to the fashion industry. When they’re not writing or researching, journalists are networking with others within the fashion business to stay up to date on the latest styles and who is creating them.

What Experiences and Skills Do You Need to Become a Fashion Journalist?

Before you get your first entry-level job as a fashion journalist, it’s good to get hands-on experience. Finding an internship at a fashion public relations firm, magazine, or digital media company can help familiarize you with the fashion world, as well as start you off with valuable connections you’ll need down the road. There are also a few skills you must possess in order to increase your success in the fashion journalism field:

  • Good communication. Honing your writing skills is a great way to prepare for the quality level of writing that will be required of you. Some fashion journalists do this by starting out with their own blog, self-publishing their fashion writing to figure out their voice and style. Being able to communicate your ideas effectively and clearly is a must, especially when writing about something visual like clothing or accessories.
  • Personability. Part of any journalist’s job description is calling or meeting with people and asking them questions. Sometimes interviews can go on for hours, but being personable means you’re able to create a safe and pleasant atmosphere for your interviewee.
  • Multiplatform writer. Fashion journalism has expanded beyond the magazines and newspapers. With the rapid advancement of the digital age, fashion journalism has evolved into other forms, presenting itself on social media platforms like Instagram or blogging sites. Being a writer who can adapt to various new media formats can increase your chances of becoming an essential part of a fashion publication.
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How to Become a Fashion Journalist in 5 Steps

There are a few prerequisites to becoming a fashion journalist people want to hire.

  1. Get a degree. While it’s not absolutely necessary, receiving a certification in journalism or from a fashion school will increase your chances of landing a job in the field. The knowledge and experience you’ll acquire from a degree program will make you a more valuable asset to any fashion publication.
  2. Find work experience. There are many ways to gain work experience as a fashion journalist, including interning with the fashion team of a newspaper, magazine publication, or assisting a stylist.
  3. Build a portfolio. A photographic compilation of your best work that showcases your fashion knowledge and talent. This previous work could come from any projects you completed while getting your degree, or work you’ve done on your own as a freelancer. Becoming a fashion blogger is also a way to build yourself an online portfolio that can be easily shared across the media landscape.
  4. Start small. Before trying to throw yourself head first into the competitive world of fashion, consider becoming a freelance writer. While finding full-time employment at a fashion house sounds ideal, you’re likely not going to start out at one for your first job. Working on a freelance basis or part time allows you more flexibility and ability to set your own pace.
  5. Pick your path. Fashion journalism isn’t just limited to writing, and can encompass a wide breadth of career options, such as fashion editor, stylist, or fashion director. These more senior positions are achievable only after years of experience and a sturdy portfolio, but are how you further your career into the fashion journalism world.

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Want to Become a Better Journalist?

No one knows fashion better than the legendary Anna Wintour, who has served as Vogue editor-in-chief since 1988. In Anna Wintour’s MasterClass on creativity and leadership, the current Artistic Director of Condé Nast provides her distinct and priceless insight into everything from finding your voice and the power of a singular image, to spotting designer talent and leading with impact within the fashion industry.

Want to become a better journalist? The MasterClass All-Access Pass provides exclusive video lessons from editorial masters, including Anna Wintour, Malcolm Gladwell, Bob Woodward, and more.

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