Writing is a significant part of everyone’s life — it’s a skill that we all acquire from such a young age. Breaking into the fashion industry as a writer is probably a thought that has never crossed your mind, but in a time where blogging dominates the online world — it’s never been a more realistic career path.
Years ago, you would either need a degree from a high-brow university or come from an affluent family. While this often still applies, the fashion community has become less exclusive and recently welcomed more entry methods for driven fashionistas with a voice.
The fashion industry has gone from strength to strength, showing constant growth and a low unemployment rate. To give you an idea of the scale of work in the UK, there are 555,000 people in fashion, textiles and fashion retail — which is a market with a domestic value of £66 billion.
We take a look at the different routes into the fashion industry:
When you become a fashion journalist, you’re privy to a range of different opportunities. When you think of fashion journalism, your mind will naturally consider print magazines — the likes of Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and ELLE. This is the most dominant medium for fashion communication, followed by newspaper columns and books.
Today, more fashion publications are shifting their efforts online. Writing is a massive part of fashion journalism, especially for well-established publications. It’s a chance for those passionate about fashion to share their own experiences and opinions on the latest events and trends within the industry — building up a loyal community of readers who will likely return to read future pieces.
Although the role would generally consist of writing, becoming a TV presenter is also an opportunity. This in turn has allowed people to further their own career across a range of areas. When TV opportunities do present themselves, you will usually see fashion experts appear as correspondents on news shows where they can express their opinions on any topical areas, or as guest panellists on daytime programmes. As well as those routes of presenting, online video platforms that host interviews or Q&A’s are becoming more common too.
If you’re looking to have a successful career, you need to make good contacts. Taking up new opportunities and gaining experience in an array of different areas will allow you to become one of the most powerful fashion journalists in the world — but drive, passion and attitude all play a significant role in success.
Opening the door…
For most people, forging a career in fashion journalism comes through studying at university. Today, courses will cover a range of print and digital skills, which allows graduates to easily adapt to any working environment and keep up with the constant changes that the industry is facing and making them more employable than any other applicant.
If you’re considering applying, you’ll likely need to have a strong portfolio. With this in mind, it’s crucial to gain as much experience as you can get in the area you’d like to focus on in the future and express this in your personal statement. For writers in particular, having your own blog where you can express your own views is essential. Aside from this, you could even reach out to major publications and ask them to host your work; building up valuable relationships at an early stage of your career.
Experience is key. Although the companies you work for will depend on your location — with many major brands and publications in London — there are still countless opportunities up for grabs. Check out your regional news publications and marketing agencies that work with big brands, where you could become a copywriter!
There are other ways. If you want to enter the fashion industry more naturally, it will take a lot of hard work and dedication, but if you’re passionate, this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s all about studying in your own time and developing your knowledge about the industry itself.
Create a fashion related blog, where you could potentially review men’s shirts or women’s jumpsuits. You can create your own website for free on the likes of WordPress, Wix and Yola, which will allow you to test the waters and publish your work for the world to see. As fashion-focused content is usually visual, Instagram could allow you to create a loyal audience if you’re able to post high-quality images for everyone to gasp over. If you want to create a strong image portfolio for everyone to admire, you should try and stick to a colour theme which allows your profile to look professional — think whites and pastel hues! From this, you’ll be able to direct your following to your website.
If you get your name known, you could have the option to go freelance.. This could be offering expertise on major fashion events for a range of different publications, or editing other peoples work; allowing you to maintain a stable income each month.