MAKE THE LINES WORK FOR YOU

FASH­ION IS AN IN­SPIR­ING AND END­LESS REALM OF CRE­ATIVE POS­SI­BIL­I­TIES. MAKE SURE THE ROUTE YOU CHOOSE AND THE WORDS YOU WRITE RE­FLECT THIS.

India Today - - COVER STORY -

Images and re­al­ity

Fash­ion jour­nal­ism—what’s the im­age that comes to mind? Sit­ting front row at fash­ion week, in­ter­view­ing fa­mous de­sign­ers, at­tend­ing cham­pagne-fu­elled brand launch events whilst nib­bling pretty pas­tel macaroons, af­ter-show par­ties and cor­po­rate gift­ing and cup­boards full of clothes and cos­met­ics? Re­al­ity can be some­what dif­fer­ent. Fash­ion is a fast-paced in­dus­try based on dis­cov­ery and ex­pec­ta­tion of the new and the quick dis­card­ing of what is ‘old’. This cre­ates pres­sure—pres­sure to meet dead­lines, the bur­den of dis­cov­er­ing some­thing new or re­port­ing on what ev­ery­one else is re­port­ing as new. Fash­ion jour­nal­ism can be like a game of Chi­nese whis­pers, and find­ing your own voice within that echo cham­ber can be a chal­leng­ing (and some­times im­pos­si­ble) process. It is im­pos­si­ble be­cause fash­ion me­dia (es­pe­cially print me­dia) de­pends on ad­ver­tis­ing, and ad­ver­tis­ers must not be up­set.

The big is­sues

Then there is the ques­tion of fash­ion’s role in the econ­omy, so­ci­ety and the en­vi­ron­ment. Fash­ion is not only one of the world’s largest em­ploy­ers, but also one of the big­gest cul­prits of en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion glob­ally. So, when a young as­pir­ing fash­ion writer is think­ing of what ca­reer path to take, one of the most fun­da­men­tal ques­tions might be ‘how will you use your role and power within the in­dus­try for pos­i­tive change?’ We will never es­cape the fact that fash­ion (and fash­ion writ­ing) is about in­cit­ing de­sire, but ex­actly what it cre­ates a de­mand for can be in­vested with val­ues of so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and con­sid­er­a­tions of en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts. Th­ese will be­come de­fin­i­tive is­sues for the in­dus­try in the fu­ture, as global warm­ing wors­ens.

Re­mu­ner­a­tion

This can vary very widely but ex­pect to earn around Rs 30,000 as a young fash­ion re­porter and up­wards of a lakh as a beauty or fash­ion fea­tures ed­i­tor. But you prob­a­bly won’t get there un­til your early thir­ties. The chief ed­i­tor of a fash­ion mag­a­zine may earn up­wards of 5 lakhs per month, but those po­si­tions are few and far be­tween. Then come the perks. Free­bies in­clude trav­el­ling for events, brand gift­ing, or even spa breaks if your re­mit in­cludes lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ences. You may gain ac­cess to ex­clu­sive spa­ces and events, but fash­ion will rarely re­ward you with a suf­fi­cient salary to pay your way through this ex­clu­sive elite world.

The ed­u­ca­tion re­quired

A fash­ion jour­nal­ism de­gree is an im­por­tant route for many fash­ion writ­ers, but it is not the only one to take. Given the com­plex­ity of fash­ion as a cul­tural, so­cial and eco­nomic phe­nom­e­non it would be wise to be­gin with a de­gree in phi­los­o­phy, english lit­er­a­ture, art his­tory or en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion. Then a masters in fash­ion jour­nal­ism would pro­vide a unique set of skills and spe­cialised knowl­edge to de­velop your ex­per­tise as a fash­ion writer. Imag­ine how study­ing art his­tory could in­flu­ence your per­spec­tive as a beauty ed­i­tor, for ex­am­ple, or how a ground­ing in en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ver­sa­tion could add depth to your role as a fash­ion jour­nal­ist. This will also broaden the kinds of pub­li­ca­tions you can work for. You may choose to write about fash­ion from a busi­ness per­spec­tive for an eco­nomic news­pa­per or from an art his­tory per­spec­tive as a free­lancer for cul­tural mag­a­zines. Take as many op­por­tu­ni­ties to write for dif­fer­ent plat­forms which will help you build your voice and pro­file.

PHYLLIDA JAY FASH­ION SCHOLAR AND WRITER, UK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.