Fashion Writers and Editors
Approximately 241,500 writers and editors are employed in the United States. Fashion writers and editors make up only a small percentage of this group. Fashion writers and editors are typically employed by newspaper, magazine, and book publishers; radio and television stations; and online publications. Some fashion writers and editors are also employed by fashion houses and advertising agencies. In the United States, New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles are major fashion centers. Work also may be found in other U.S. cities, although not as many jobs are available in these locations. Many fashion positions are available in foreign countries.
Many fashion writers and editors start out in the industry by gaining experience as editorial assistants. Typically, an editorial assistant who performs well will be given the opportunity to take on more and more editorial or writing duties as time passes.
The competition for editorial jobs is great, especially in the fashion industry, so it is important for a beginner who wishes to break into the business to be as well prepared as possible. College students who have gained experience as interns, have worked for fashion publications during the summers, or have attended special programs in publishing will be at an advantage.
Jobs may be found through your school's career services office, classified ads in newspapers and trade journals, specialized publications such as Publishers Weekly (http://www.publishersweekly.com), and Internet sites. Many publishers have Web sites that list job openings.
Employees who start as editorial assistants and show promise may be given a wider range of duties while retaining the same title. Eventually they may become editors or staff writers. They may progress from less significant stories and tasks to important fashion news and feature stories. As they accrue experience, they may be promoted to other editorial or writing positions that come with greater responsibility and pay. They may also choose to pursue managerial positions within the field of fashion editing and writing, such as managing editor and editor in chief. These positions involve more management and decision making than is usually found in the positions described previously. The editor in chief works with the publisher to ensure that a suitable editorial policy is being followed, while the managing editor is responsible for all aspects of the editorial department.
As is the case within many editorial and writing positions, a fashion writer or editor may advance by moving from a position on one publication or company to the same position with a larger or more prestigious publication or company. Such moves may involve an increase in both salary and prestige.
Tips for Entry
Write as often as you can and create a portfolio of your work to show potential employers.
If you are an expert regarding fashion, start a blog or Twitter account to raise your profile and attract the interest of potential employers.
Read fashion journals to learn what types of topics they cover, as well as obtain contact information for editorial staff members who are responsible for hiring.
Apply for entry-level jobs in the fashion industry in order to gain experience in the field.
Join professional associations to access training and networking opportunities, industry publications, and employment opportunities.