“The woman is the most perfect doll that I have dressed with delight and admiration.” — Karl Lagerfeld. Ever since I was a young girl I enjoyed playing dress up with my two sisters. I enjoyed the fact that we were like big dolls and how a whole different world could be created with our imaginations when we wore a certain outfit. Little did I know that I would never grow out of playing dress up, and that I could enter a world that would be perfect for me. Although, being a fashion editor has always been my dream it comes with many roles, expectations, and requirements I must get used to.
The first thing that a Fashion Editor should get used to is the many roles they have to encounter. Someone aspiring to be in the position of a fashion editor needs “an ability to work under pressure, as all magazine publishers give their writers firm deadlines” (Giacobello 66). Since, they have to work with firm deadlines they also have to assign what articles they want to give their staff or freelance writers. “Editors are responsible for making sure that each issue is attractive and readable. They maintain the stylist integrity of the publication” (Rocha 21). In order to check if the issue is attractive and readable the editor must proof, write or write an article for that issue. Editors do not only work close with their writes to see if the issue is attractive and readable, they might also work with the sales, art, and production department to make sure that everything in the issue is presented in a readable manner. In order to do all of this a Fashion Editor should attend at least four years of college with a major in English, journalism, and communications if you want to work in the highly competitive field. “Experience working in retail sales is also helpful, as well as classes in computer literacy, word processing, and desktop publishing” (Giacobello 67).
Having computer skills is very important because Fashion Editors report on everything that has to do with the fashion industry. Which includes more than just clothing they give their reports by using word processing and desktop publishing programs. “Fashion journalists need to be familiar with all of the trends and happenings before anyone else picks up on them, since they are the ones keeping the rest of us posted” (Giacobello 66). Editors should also study politics, history, and business. Having writing skills is also very important, to improve your writing skills read all kinds of writing, write every day, and try to join your schools year book, newspaper, or magazine. Another thing that can help you is participating in an internship, so you can also know how the fashion industry really is.
Ruth Basole, the 25-year-old fashion editor at Cosmopolitan states that, “There’s nothing more important than to intern at a magazine during college” (n. pag.). Interns usually get very low pay, or they don’t get paid at all. Assistants are also very similar to interns, but they get paid, “in the high teens or low twenties” (How n. pag.). Many people would describe being an intern or assistant as mindless and menial, they usually steam-clean clothes for photo shoots, open mail, and answer their boss’ phone calls. Assistants also keep the fashion closet neat, the fashion closet is, “where all clothes and accessories are kept between shoots” (How n. pag.). Some assistants, if they’re lucky, can view fashion shows in their boss’ place. Ruth Basole recounts, “I went to my first fashion show because my boss couldn’t go . . . I was so used to sitting in the back for Redbook” (n. pag.). The Fashion Industry environment is endlessly catty, but being an intern or assistant will help you adapt to the environment. A Fashion Editor Environment is typically filled with woman, can get nasty and competitive quickly and can be similar to a sorority in college. Even though the environment can be very crazy, it varies widely. Most editors work in cubicles, but most of the time they don’t spend their time there. Being a fashion editor requires people to go to, “fashion shows in other cities, visit fashion houses or department stores, attend social functions, or make less glamorous visits to the library for research” (Fashion n. pag.”. Usually the fashion editors that become celebrities in the fashion world work for fashion-specific print publications such as Vogue. Others work for publications that focus heavily on fashion, but not exclusively, such as Cosmopolitan. Some may also work for online or print trade publications, while others work in general- interest newspapers and magazines. Just like the environment, the fashion industry has changed over the years.
Over the years the fashion industry has changed, for example, around the 14th century fashion trends were shared with words of mouth or exchanging fashion dolls. “The development of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the middle of the 15th century fostered the growth of printing publications, which eventually lead to publications dedicated to fashion” (Fashion n. pag.). The first fashion magazine began in the late 16th century, and is generally thought to be created by Germans. More recently, according to the Department of Labor, the employment opportunities in writing and editing are expected to increase as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012. However, like I said before the fashion industry is filled with woman and there’s a narrow scope for fashion writing and editing, which means competing for jobs will be very intense. “The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the median annual salary for editors across all fields and levels was $43,890 in 2004. In its 2005 “Editorial Management Salary Survey,” Folio magazine found that managing editors earned an average salary of about $49,000 a year, whether they worked for business-to-business or consumer publications” (Vogt n. pag). If you are a higher-level editorial director, you may earn an average salary of $86, 000 if you’re doing business-to-business publications, or an average of $97,000 if you’re doing consumer publications. Over all, interns and assistants earn salaries on the lower end of the scale, while higher- level editors get the highest salaries.
Fashion editors oversee the creative side of magazine publishing, which is one of the reasons I believe this job is perfect me. Even though, fashion editors encounter many roles, expectation and requirement this job is still my dream job. Being an intern doesn’t really sound fun, but it’ll help me accomplish my dreams at the end. I love to travel, and document my everyday life which is another reason this job would be great for me. Over all, I never grew out of playing dress up, and now I’ll just be playing dress up in a grown up way.