Fashion journalism

Fashion journalism is a component of fashion media with a focus on writing and photojournalism. Fashion journalists essentially serve the same purpose as other journalists, but focus specifically on fashion trends and events. Strong contacts in the fashion industry, such as relationships with designers and stylists, are a must. In addition to having inside industry knowledge and a love for fashion, a fashion journalist will need a strong capacity for writing, reporting and narration. In the mass media age, a fashion writer should also be digitally adept and comfortable with modern technology. More and more, publication houses are choosing job candidates who have skills in creating web-based content. A fashion journalist may be employed by a publication or work on a freelance basis.[1]

The job of a fashion journalist is to report on the latest fashion trends. A fashion journalist has knowledge of fashion history, stays up to date on industry trends/forecasting. The majority of a journalists time is spent doing research, fact-checking, and attending events. Fashion journalists are either employed full-time by a publication or they submit articles on a freelance basis.


Fashion journalism developed during the 18th-century, when the fashion dolls was replaced by the fashion magazines, notably the Cabinet des Modes. During the 19th-century, numerous fashion magazines were published, employing fashion journalists reportin on the latest trends from Paris. Among the earliest in Great Britain were Ann Margaret Lanchester, who published her own fashion paper, the Le Miroir de la Mode, and Mary Ann Bell, writing for the La Belle Assemblée in the early 19th-century.[2]

The impact of the internet on fashion journalism

As society increases its dependence on the internet, the journalism industry is becoming far more fluid. Print, being more costly and less convenient, many publications (such as Nylon magazine) have opted to focus on a digital publication. Digital journalism gives the writer unlimited space (rather than forcing an article to fit in a magazine or newspaper layout), allows for links to external resources, and a number of images. Another major advantage of digital media is real-time updates/corrections to misinformation.

Major fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Paper Magazine have altered their business models due to the onset of the digital age, creating an online component in addition to print. Social media has also contributed to the rise in these digital magazine platforms, allowing them to be far more interactive than they have been in the past.

The internet and social media have made it possible for industry outsiders to view fashion shows without an invitation. Shows for buyers became a source of entertainment, becoming more elaborate and often including an element of performance art or a popular musicians making an appearance. The front row is not only fashion journalists, they are for celebrities and influencers. This invites outsiders acting as citizen journalists to write articles on collections and either self-publish or pitch to larger publications. Since anyone with a computer can sound off about a fashion trend, journalism is becoming an increasingly competitive field as writers try their best to break through the noise.


Journalism is a general liberal arts major that can be studied at many universities. A concentration in fashion journalism is specific to a number of fashion schools. Generally, a fashion journalist needs at least a BA in fields such as journalism, communications, fashion or other related areas. A strong portfolio and experience in reporting on fashion is key to being hired as a fashion journalist post-grad. [3]

While these schools are specific to the fashion industry, numerous other universities such as Columbia University or New York University offer programs in general journalism.[4]

The Pulitzer Prize

Robin Givhan is the first and only fashion journalist to win The Pulitzer Prize for Criticism as of 2006. She drew attention to her work after criticizing former US Vice President Dick Cheney for wearing casual attire (a ski cap and parka) to a ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. In this piece, Givhan stressed the importance of how political leaders choose to present themselves. [5]

Notable Fashion Journalists

Vanessa Friedman is the chief fashion director and fashion critic for The New York Times. Before joining the team at the Times, Friedman was the first fashion editor at the Financial Times, alongside her job editing the pages of Luxury360 vertical. Perviously, she was the features editor for InStyle UK . She was the 2012 recipient of the Front Page Award for fashion writing and the 2013 Fashion Monitor Journalist of the Year award.

See also


  1. "Fashion Journalism - What is Fashion Journalism and Fashion Media?". LIM. 2018-04-18. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  2. Ashelford, Jane, The art of dress: clothes and society, 1500-1914, National Trust, London, 1996
  4. "Fashion Journalism Colleges and Degrees" Check |url= value (help). https. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
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