Become a Fashion Editor: Education and Career Roadmap
Research the requirements to become a fashion editor. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career as a fashion editor.
Do I Want to Be a Fashion Editor?
Fashion editors supervise the production of fashion-oriented content for a variety of media, such as magazines, newspapers, television programs, websites and radio shows. This is not an entry-level position, and many fashion editors must first get their start as editorial assistants or reporters before moving up the ladder. The job itself can be stressful and require long hours, but competition for these coveted roles remains strong.
Fashion editors typically have experience and training not only in journalism or communications, but also in the fashion industry. The following table summarizes the core requirements that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists for fashion editors:
|Degree Level||A bachelor's degree is generally required|
|Degree Field||A fashion-related field may be necessary; editors also have educational backgrounds in communications, journalism or English|
|Experience||1-5 years of experience in a related profession may be necessary|
|Key Skills||Fashion editors should have strong language and writing skills; interpersonal skills are also essential, since editors guide and interact with other writers|
|Computer Skills||Experience with electronic publishing and Web design programs can be useful, since more publications are being offered in online formats|
|Technical Skills||Some fashion editors may work outside of an office or with a team of freelance writers; skill with communication equipment may be beneficial|
|Additional Requirements||Editors often work in an environment that may be stressful, with long hours and tight deadlines; the ability to cope with stress in a fast-paced setting is important|
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Fashion editors need to be knowledgeable of the fashion industry in addition to having strong writing and editing skills. Those aspiring to this profession may consider a bachelor's degree program that focuses both on fashion expertise and verbal reasoning skills. Degree programs such as fashion merchandising and fashion marketing may be beneficial for this purpose.
Students in these programs may be required to take courses such as English, history, accounting, textiles, design and marketing. Students may also be required to work with computerized design programs, worksheets and other visual aids to generate fresh themes and anticipate new trends for retail displays, fashion shows and other productions.
- Complete an internship. An internship may enable an aspiring fashion editor to hone valuable interpersonal skills needed for interviewing and for the workplace, to learn more about the industry than what is taught in the classroom and to build a network of contacts. The internship experience may also be a helpful resume builder. Some internship programs require students to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) and complete a minimum number of college credit hours.
- Gain experience with college media. Experience working at a college newspaper or radio or television station may prove very valuable to an aspiring editor's career prospects. Students may use the work generated at this level to show their skills to future employers. The experience may also be an alternative for students who haven't had the opportunity to pursue summer or part-time internships.
Step 2: Find Employment and Gain Experience in the Field
Fashion editors perform a range of tasks, from producing programs for television and radio to supervising and editing teams of writers and photographers for magazines or newsletters to working extensively with advertisers and designers who may want to market products. The aspiring editor, however, may need to work his or her way up to the top level by serving as an editorial assistant for several years. Fashion editors also sometimes get their starts as writers for magazines, websites or other media. Some editors may choose to be self-employed, starting their own publications.
- Sharpen computer and technology skills. According to the BLS, more publications are being viewed online. Fashion editors who are technologically savvy and proficient in navigating online publications and social marketing platforms could have an advantage in the job market as more and more print-based media is converted to an online format.
- Seek out networking opportunities. The fashion industry can be a very competitive field. Aspiring editors should look for opportunities to network with others in the field and build strong connections with other writers and editors with whom they work in the course of their careers.
- Keep up with current trends. It is important for a fashion editor to have a good understanding of the fashion industry and current trends in the market. Editors can keep current by viewing fashion shows and visiting designers' offices and showrooms.
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