Fashion

Career in fashion journalism, Steps to become a fashion journalist

Nancy Jaiswal
Nancy Jaiswal
Posted on 27 Aug 2022
15:49 PM
A fashion journalist writes about the latest fashion designs or trends

A fashion journalist writes about the latest fashion designs or trends Source: StockSnap

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Summary
A fashion journalist’s primary responsibility is to report on the latest fashion designs and trends
A fashion journalist, besides having excellent writing skills, also needs to be a keen eye for fashion trends

Journalists who work in the fashion industry are responsible for publishing and producing articles, blogs, and news pieces related to fashion trends. This type of journalism is purely entertainment and promotion-focused, and designers from all walks of life are covered.

As a fashion journalist, you will be writing about the latest fashion designs or trends. This can include reporting on fashion shows or similar events in the field. In order to be successful in the fashion industry, besides having excellent writing skills, one also needs to have a keen eye for fashion trends and be able to identify these even before they go viral.

Steps to become a fashion journalist

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Step 1: Mind set up: An aspirant who looks forward to being a fashion journalist must make his/her decisions right at the high school level. You must be familiar with the different avenues of the fashion industry and decide what will be the route you take into fashion journalism. Furthermore, you should also begin working on skills that you will need as a journalist - reporting, writing, photography, videography, based on the route you choose.

Step 2: Enrol in internships: During your studies, gaining work experience in the form of internships not only makes your resume stand out, but also helps you understand what you want to do with your career and also gain relevant experience that can enrich your work portfolio.

Step 3: Have a clear thought process: Instead of basing your career choice on a mere idea of working in the fashion industry, explore its different facets and opportunities for journalism in the domain. Figure out if you want to be a freelancer, or work with big magazines or even start your channel. Doing your homework and having the wealth of knowledge goes a long way in helping you make freelance pitches, applications, or even crack interviews in big organisations.

Scope of fashion journalism in India

Currently, the Indian job market for fashion journalists is very promising. There are many vacancies in a wide range of fields. Fashion journalists with impressive portfolios have also been promote to the position of Executive Producers for big fashion magazines and firms. With the renaissance that the Indian fashion landscape is witnessing, between fashion photography, accessory design, traditional textiles and handicrafts, makeup trends and styles, and the latest in manufacturing, a fashion journalist can find numerous interesting stories to pen down.

Experience and skills

Like with any other beat of journalism, fashion too comes with it’s specific needs and requirements. When aspiring to make a name in fashion journalism, here are a set of skills you should start to build up as soon as you can.

1. Knowledge of the fashion industry: You can't write about fashion if you aren't fashion savvy. Fashion knowledge doesn't just mean checking out the latest collections from your favorite fashion brands. You need to know the history of the fashion industry, it’s evolution and how it works as a whole. Whether it is the historical perspective you provide, or your eye for trends, you have to be able to find and develop a USP for yourself, which can only come from having complete knowledge.

2. Diverse Writer: Content in fashion journalism extends far beyond magazines and newspapers today. With the steady development of the digital age, fashion journalism has evolved into different forms, which includes writing for platforms like Instagram, Facebook and a variety of differen blogs. Being a journalist who can adapt to a variety of new media formats will significantly increase your chances of becoming an integral part of fashion magazines.

3. Pitching skills: Whether you work as a freelancer or as part of a team, once you have identified an idea, you need to pitch it to the media house who will ‘publish’ it. Fashion journalists need to pitch their ideas at daily or weekly editorial meetings. Hence, the ability to effectively pitch your idea is essential to have more articles published.

Colleges and career ahead:

While a specified degree is not required for employment as a fashion journalist, formal training in the field is available in the form of certificate courses and specialised bachelor's degree programmes. These courses help students acquire knowledge of both the fashion industry and core journalism. The top 5 colleges in India offering courses tailored for those looking to build a career in fashion journalism are:

  • National School of Drama, Delhi
  • Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune
  • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi
  • Xavier Institute of Communication (XIC), Mumbai

Having made your way into the industry, the job roles that a fashion journalist usually fills are:

  • Fashion critic
  • Fashion reporter
  • Editor
  • Photographer
  • Freelance contributor

And of course, some of the top companies that hire fashion journalists today would be:

  • MTV
  • TLC
  • Elle
  • Verve
  • Grazia

As any fashion conscious person will tell you, this industry is here to stay and growing from strength to strength. And with the number of fashion conscious people the country has, the fashion journalism industry is also projected to grow. Among journalists in India, fashion journalism is actually one of the highest paid sectors. So, ready to start critiquing the upcoming fashion collection?

Last updated on 27 Aug 2022
15:49 PM
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