A fashion journalist is an expert researcher and reporter who focuses on trends in the fast-paced fashion industry. Depending on his or her place of employment, a professional may have a variety of different responsibilities. Some journalists spend most of their time in offices, browsing online resources, and conducting phone and email interviews. Others have the opportunity to travel and attend high-profile fashion shows and insider meetings. It is important for a fashion journalist to have excellent communication skills and the ability to present interesting information to a general audience through words and photos.
Fashion journalists are usually employed by specific magazines or online companies to create exclusive pieces. Under the direction of their employers, journalists conduct interviews, write original articles, and create attractive layouts of text and pictures for publication. Many professionals are given monetary allowances so they can travel to different cities and report on the latest fashion news.
A skilled, business-savvy fashion journalist may be able to work as a freelancer, providing content for many different companies at once. A freelance fashion journalist might submit original ideas and pieces in hopes that they will be published or take on assignments that are designated by different contractors. In addition, many freelancers maintain their own blogs that help to generate interest in their work as well as gain revenue through advertisement sales.
A number of important skills are needed to be successful as a fashion journalist. Writers need to be friendly, knowledgeable about the industry, and dedicated to their work. A journalist must be able to network successfully with important people in the fashion world to be granted interviews and access to exclusive events. Most professionals are responsible for producing their own pieces, so strong computer proficiency and creative writing skills are very helpful. Finally, it is essential for a journalist to keep up-to-date on trends, buzzwords, and popular culture in general so he or she can stay relevant with the target audience.
The requirements to become a fashion journalist can vary greatly. Many professionals hold bachelor's degrees or higher in journalism, publishing, or a similar major. In order to land an entry-level position in the field, a hopeful journalist may be required to submit a portfolio containing writing samples and a comprehensive resume. Many new workers begin their careers as interns or assistants and gradually earn more responsibilities as they gain experience. With time and proven skills, a journalist may be rewarded with opportunities to advance to senior writing and editing positions. Some professionals are eventually able to become book authors or start their own businesses in the fashion world.