Tyrone Lebon for British Vogue

As the media landscape evolves, so do the types of roles within it. Fashion journalism is now a broad term that can mean anything from writing for print and digital to creating podcasts, video and social content. As a journalist, you might specialise in features, interviews or trend stories, and when you take into account the huge number of media outlets that cover fashion, it’s clear that there are many different routes to follow. What is consistent across all roles within fashion journalism, though, is a desire to tell compelling stories and a commitment to the concepts of journalistic rigour and integrity.

In terms of skills required as a fashion journalist, as well as being a strong writer who’s full of creative ideas and able to think critically, being digitally savvy is essential (it’s rare to find a journalism role these days that doesn’t have a digital aspect). A head for numbers is also useful, as many journalists spend a lot of time analysing SEO data in order to plan content that will drive traffic. Interpersonal skills are also required as you will often be dealing with people, whether it’s interviewees or public relations teams. If you are considering a career in fashion journalism, here are our tips for getting started.

What to do

It goes without saying that to be a fashion journalist you need to be up to date with the latest developments in the industry, and have an understanding of fashion history. But it’s also vital to be informed on what’s going on outside of fashion, too, in terms of culture, society, economics and the arts. This will not only help you contextualise the latest trends, it will also make you a much stronger writer. Consume all you can, follow industry insiders on social media, and stay connected.

Relevant BA and MA degrees are frequently sought by employers. Subjects like English Literature or History of Art are helpful, and more specialised degrees like the Condé Nast College BA (Hons) in Fashion Communication and MA in Fashion Media Practice will set you on a strong footing. Both courses offer in-depth study of fashion journalism, access to feedback and opportunities from industry professionals, plus the benefits of being part of the most renowned fashion media company in the world.

Some of the most successful fashion journalists are are those that have a niche. What aspect of fashion are you most interested in? Fashion business? Streetwear? Catwalk trends? Sustainable production? Beauty? Developing expertise in a particular topic is likely to set you apart from the crowd. The BA (Hons) in Fashion Communication and MA in Fashion Media Practice at Condé Nast College focus on helping you identify your niche and find your unique voice. Discover more here.

Most potential employers will expect to see examples of your past work. This might seem impossible if you haven’t yet been published anywhere – but this shouldn’t stand in your way. The fact is, the best way to start out as a fashion journalist is to just start. Set up a site, blog or channel, and populate it with your own content that demonstrates your skill and fashion knowledge. Sharing your work can help you gain visibility and establish your voice, and potentially even lead to a full-time blogging career, should that be what you want. Either way, your strongest pieces can form the basis of a portfolio.

Though it’s great to be ambitious, not all fledgling fashion journalists can score their very first jobs at Vogue. When starting out, it’s important to keep your eyes open for opportunities with lesser-known publications. Do your research on jobs and paid internships with indie magazines and niche sites, many of which are regularly seeking new talent. To learn more about fashion journalism and get a flavour of the industry, Condé Nast College offers a One Week Fashion Journalism course.