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Fashion Journalism is one of the most coveted career choices for anyone who has a love of fashion, trends and writing. Fast-paced, exciting and saturated by luxury, it’s many a girl’s dream job. But as well as spotting trends and telling your Gucci from your Galliano, it demands a great deal of hardwork, quick-thinking and determination to succeed.

If you think it’s the career for you, here are a few things to consider.

 

Finding your niche

Fashion journalists are no longer limited to print. In the current climate, there’s a whole host of online websites, blogs, magazines and social media platforms to choose from, as well as the traditional forms of newspapers and magazines. Once you’ve chosen your platform, you should look at which type of news you want to tell. Hard news, primarily seen in newspapers, is factual and quick to read. Concise and clear, it provides the reader with everything they need to know about the story at hand and will often contain quotes to add authenticity. Soft news is what you’ll often read on gossip sites and magazines and is much more of a relaxed telling. Soft news contains the facts but will also feel more conversational, as if the journalist is talking directly to the reader as if they’re a friend.

As a journalist, you can often switch between both, but it’s important to find your niche within them. Do you want to cover the catwalks? Work on fashion shoots? Discuss how trends apply to the highstreet? Maybe you want to do all three, but learning what you’re good at and developing your own sense of style is one of the main things that will help you to stand out in an overcrowded talent pool.

 

Expanding your knowledge

Don’t underestimate the knowledge needed to succeed in fashion. Being able to spot a good pair of shoes, or call out the name of a jacket is not enough to make you successful in that industry. To become on point with the trends, you’ll need to have knowledge of what happened up to two seasons prior. You’ll need to know about silhouettes, which designer is currently working at which house and which houses they worked at before. Can you memorise which trends occurred in which decades? You’ll need to. Fashion journalism is informed by not just what’s currently in front of the journalist, but what came before it. This means that each writer needs to have a good knowledge of colours, shapes, decades, influences, patterns and iconic looks, which will all inform how they tell the tale of the trends each season.

 

Grabbing a scoop

The majority of fashion journalism revolves around stories and events that are happening in the moment, but to be a really great fashion journalist, you’ll need to find yourself some scoops. A scoop is a story that conveys something exclusive and exciting. It’s an original story that hasn’t been told before, based on information that hasn’t previously been accessible. Finding it is the hard part. To be in with a chance, it’s important to go to as many events and talk to as many people as possible. Industry contacts are good sources for important information and as we all know – many great stories originate out of simple gossip. Local newspapers, Twitter and stories first published on the web are also good places to monitor for that all important information.

 

Writing for a specific readership

All magazines and newspapers have a specific target audience and reader profile and anything you write or create should be tailored for that. Research yours by focusing on previous content from the platform, the look and style and type of articles that are published. The readership will determine whether your feature is long or short, in-depth or snappy and will dictate what sort of information goes in, depending on what the reader will already know. Ensure you have a good background knowledge of different publications and their readerships before you apply for a position or pitch an article, as it is this which will allow you to nail the content.

 

Time management

As many will tell you, fashion journalism is a job where your life has to be managed around your career, rather than the other way round. Events almost always occur in the evenings and fashion week can see you out of the country for up to a month at a time. While the initial buzz will see you skipping through Somerset House, it won’t be long before the thought of another canapé has you pining for Netflix and a Dominos. This career rarely leaves a choice. As well as attending catwalk shows, press launches and industry awards you’ll need to keep up to date on Twitter, read competitor publications and see how bloggers are styling trends. Most of which, will need to be done outside of work hours. This is why good time management is essential to success.

 

Honing your writing technique

Due to the very nature of fashion, writing about it is extremely fast-paced and as a result, there’s plenty of room for error. Fashion journalists have to be able to write quickly, but with accuracy, constantly checking to ensure the details of the piece are correct. This includes getting those all-important designer names right (which are anything but easy to spell) and double-triple checking the names of places, new lines and backgrounds. Fashion writers must also refine their writing skills, to keep articles short, snappy and concise and using positive, active language to make the reader engage with the piece.

 

What are your top tips for working in fashion journalism? Comment below and let us know!

 

Image sourced c/o WeHeartIt

Beth Gladstone

Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.

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