How to Become a Fashion Journalist: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a fashion journalist. Learn about the job description, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in fashion journalism.

Should I Become a Fashion Journalist?

Fashion journalists write about clothing and accessories for newspapers, magazines and websites. They might attend fashion shows and study designer and celebrity fashions to pinpoint trends. They also might be required to get information by conducting interviews with designers or researching on the industry. Fashion journalists often get to travel and meet lots of people, but hours can be irregular, and if articles are written on a freelance basis, work might not be steady.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Journalism, English, communication or a fashion-related field
Experience Several years of journalism or fashion experience
Key Skills Excellent written and oral communication, people-oriented disposition, intermediate computer and online publishing skills, understanding of blogging and social media
Salary (2014) $36,000 per year (Median salary for reporters and correspondents)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2014).

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Students can pursue a degree in journalism, English or communication to hone their writing skills. A fashion-related degree program may also be acceptable. Some schools offer programs in fashion communication, which cover print writing and editing, photography, marketing and fashion analysis. Undergraduates can gain a solid understanding of fashion journalism by taking courses in reporting, research, fashion writing, fashion trends, art and product forecasting.

Success Tips:

  • Gain practical experience. Internships at print or online publications offer aspiring journalists an inside look at all aspects of the publishing industry, from marketing to editorial decisions to production. Fashion journalists are typically expected to have completed an internship or obtained other publishing experience before starting an entry-level job. Other options include interning at a fashion house or writing a fashion column for a college newspaper.
  • Develop online skills. Like most journalists, fashion writers are increasingly being asked to upload content to publication websites and promote material through social media. Students can use their time in school to learn basic online publishing and social networking skills.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Fashion journalism is a competitive field, so candidates may need to start their careers as general assignment reporters or write about other topics. Aspiring fashion journalists can make connections with public relations professionals, designers and stylists to get breaking fashion news. They can also build up their confidence in approaching people, asking questions and getting inside tips on emerging trends and markets. Writers who are starting out in the industry may choose to freelance for a variety of fashion-based publications.

Success Tips:

  • Develop a distinct style. Fashion journalists can gain further experience and strengthen their skills by creating a fashion blog. This allows journalists to experiment with style and tone and to develop a unique voice that may appeal to editors. Writers can use these clips and other published articles to create portfolios that best showcase their talent and fashion knowledge.
  • Stay on top of fashion news. Fashion is a rapidly changing industry, so candidates must stay up to date on designers, textiles, accessories and new technologies. Journalists may regularly read fashion magazines, trade publications and blogs to discover what's happening in stores and on runways around the world.

Step 3: Seek Advancement Opportunities

Many journalists advance their careers by relocating to larger cities. Experienced journalists may advance to supervisory roles.

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