Tyrone Lebon for British Vogue

Fashion communication concerns the way in which a brand shares its message with the world – whether that’s through marketing and PR, or through how products are described and showcased anywhere from in stores to social media. How successfully a brand communicates can influence whether it succeeds or fails – much of the way we feel about our favourite labels is to do with the way they’ve been marketed, the visuals chosen, the message we receive from advertising, even their choice of colour and font. Fashion communication grapples with all of these considerations.

Needless to say, to work in this area, you have to be a genuinely strong communicator, with the ability and willingness to translate sometimes abstract ideas into words and imagery. Creativity is also a must – fresh, innovative ideas are essential for helping brands stand out in a crowded marketplace. As is commercial awareness, to ensure that your messaging helps your brand achieve that vital aim – to sell. Social media skills are also highly valued, and experience with content management systems (CMS) is also a huge plus, as updating a brand’s website, blog or other platforms is a common task you might need to perform. Here are our tips on starting your fashion communication career.

What to do

Though a degree is not essential, a relevant BA and/or MA in marketing or a related discipline will prepare you well for a career in fashion communication. The respected BA (Hons) Fashion Communication at Condé Nast College provides a detailed introduction to areas including marketing, branding and communication and graphic design, standing students in good stead to secure rewarding roles after graduation.

For those who are undecided as to whether fashion communication is right for them, the Vogue Foundation Programme, Vogue Certificate, or Vogue Intense Summer Course can provide an opportunity to get a taster.

Those without a related BA or MA shouldn’t be disheartened. Due to the broad scope of fashion communication, there are roles for people from all different educational backgrounds. Do you have a maths degree but also write a fashion blog? Or a business degree, but also a portfolio of fashion-related projects you’ve worked on? As long as you can prove a genuine love of fashion, you’re in a good position.

For those looking to transition from an unrelated discipline, the 10 week intensive Vogue Fashion Certificate, that focuses on Fashion Media, Marketing Fashion and Visual Communication for Fashion, enables students to build a strong portfolio of relevant work.

Appropriate experience is vital to getting a job in fashion communication. Be as proactive as possible and reach out to anyone who might be able to connect you to opportunities. Don’t be afraid to think laterally – anything that gives you exposure to the day-to-day workings of the industry is relevant, whether it’s organising events and openings within a fashion retail job, supporting new designers at fashion weeks, or short-term paid internships. Start small and see your career as a ladder, where every role will take you a step closer to what you want. As experience is so essential in the industry, placements and hands-on projects rooted in the real world are a core part of the Condé Nast College offering. The BA (Hons) Fashion Communication includes a four-week industry placement, and students are also supported in securing a placement as part of the MA Fashion Communication.

Understanding what kind of communicator you are can help you identify which roles might be right for you. It can also help you talk about yourself less generally when you receive that oh-so-common interview question: “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” Personality tests are a respected resource used in a variety of industries, and can help you understand yourself and your individual skill set from a more interesting perspective.

Many are free to access online, and can shine light on anything from how you relate to others, to the working situations in which you might thrive. Knowledge is power…

It might sound obvious, but a huge part of fashion communication involves interacting with others in a positive and professional way. Think very carefully about each and every interaction you have during your job search. From the tone of your emails to how you phrase your cover letters, are you presenting your communication skills in their best possible light?

Being polite, kind and grateful gets you a long way, and makes people more likely to help you out – you never know which person you speak to might end up recommending you for a role.