Fashion

SO YOU WANNA BE A FASHION EDITOR

Guest blogger Liz Cabral on how to get hired as a fashion editor

Photo by Norman Wong

Most people think working at a fashion magazine is a dream job. And they’re absolutely right! Editing gorgeous clothes and accessories, traveling the world, and creating beautiful pictures with creative people is a dream. That’s why eager young fashion lovers clamor for the opportunity to work in Flare’s fashion department. I’ve just recently hired an exciting new team – all of them former interns. Here’s what it took for them to make the cut:

PASSION: Working in a creative field, you acquire certain skills over time, but you can’t “learn” something like fashion. The superstars live, breath and eat fashion. Your passion for the subject is what makes the magazines pages come alive – just don’t use the clichéd phrase “passion for fashion” in your interview! Editorial isn’t exactly financially lucrative and requires many long hours, unglamorous tasks of schlepping, lifting and sometimes working on unpleasant shoot locations. So to survive you really have to LOVE what you’re doing.

FASHION KNOWLEDGE: If you’re just starting out I don’t expect you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion. But you do have to have a point of reference for style through the last few decades. You MUST be fully up to speed on all current collections, new designers, relevant photographers, stylists and hair and makeup artists. With websites such as style.com there’s no excuse for not knowing what’s happening around the world. My team looks at the new collections over breakfast – before they come to work.

RESOURCEFULNESS: What you lack in raw talent, you can make up for in resourcefulness. Thinking one step ahead and not waiting to always be told how and what to do demonstrates creativity and ambition. Keep your ear to the ground. Look in unexpected places for information, story leads and market contacts.

SELF-PRESENTATION: Looking polished and professional will cut it at any other corporate job but in the fashion world your “look” is part of your package. In other words, practice what you preach as a fashion authority. That doesn’t mean wearing head-to-toe designer, it means having good taste, looking current and showing creativity in the way you dress.

CONFIDENCE: Don’t mistake entitlement for confidence. Entitlement turns me off, but confidence that you can do the job makes me believe in you. The fashion world is an intimidating place so you need to be able to hold your own in a room full of strong, loud personalities. Have a point of view and believe in your talent but don’t be afraid to humbled. I always say confidence is your best accessory.

THAT “JE NE SAIS QUOI”:  It’s an unquantifiable quality but I can spot it within the first five minutes after meeting the right person. It’s a combination of raw talent, an innate sense of style and creativity and boundless potential. I can’t explain it, but you either have it or don’t and in a subjective, fickle industry like fashion, you won’t survive without it.

Follow Liz and the whole fashion team on twitter. Don’t forget to follow Lisa, too, for even more inside scoop!