Fashion editor

Shelly Vella is fashion director at Cosmopolitan. Danielle Radojcin is fashion editor at Handbag.com


Why you should consider fashion journalism



Shelly Vella: With very few key writing jobs in fashion, this is a challenging, exciting and competitive industry. Covering international catwalk collections is one of the jewels in the crown, as is travelling, meeting eccentric characters, and defining how the trends you see on a Paris runway become a commercial enterprise that “real” people will buy into.



Danielle Radojcin: If you want to write for a living and you are interested in fashion and lifestyle, then you’ve found your match. It’s a very attractive industry and, as a result, it’s really competitive.

What we’re looking for

SV: On a monthly magazine, our focus is on supplying headlines and short, sharp news pieces, rather than lengthy features. Therefore, someone with a flair for the written word and an awareness of what’s going on in fashion, television and film – and with celebrities – is essential, as is an ability to relate to and understand our readers.

DR: A nice writing style, lots of ideas, good networking skills, confidence, a sense of style and a sunny outlook.

What my job involves

SV: My main responsibility is interpreting the trends for our readers: we might see sci-fi fashions gracing the catwalk but I must ensure that what we put in the magazine is relevant. The team and I attend press days and events to keep abreast of what’s happening, working closely with public relations people as well as model and photography agencies.

DR: Working online is usually fast-paced and fun. A typical day could start with breakfast with a PR, then morning meetings at the office, followed by an afternoon of researching and writing copy. With Handbag TV, I even get to interview designers on camera. In the evenings there is usually some fashion event to pop along to, but don’t be fooled: these are not considered fun by the fashion sisterhood! They are just another opportunity to network so can be dull, but a glass of champagne always helps!

How much you could make

SV: Newspapers usually pay more highly than magazines. Generally, the industry isn’t very well paid but the higher you climb – and the more you move about titles – the better your salary. Freelancing is not for the fainthearted, but it can be lucrative if you're prepared to go the extra mile: being seen everywhere and submitting to a broad spectrum of titles.

DR: Unless you’re Suzy Menkes [fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune] at the top of the fashion food chain, you shouldn’t expect to earn a lot. However, there are often opportunities to bump up your earnings by freelancing for non-rival publications (always check with your editor first).

Tips from the top

SV: Work experience is key. The more knowledge you’re armed with, the better prepared you are. Making cups of tea, doing endless cupboard returns and making yourself indispensable to a fashion team will always stand you in good stead, not to mention giving you a way of finding out what aspect of the job you’d like to focus on.

DR: Be sure to leave your shyness at the door: fashion journalism requires confidence. Be professional at all times; it doesn’t matter if you’ve been dancing on tables all night, you still need to rock up to work on time and on form for those all-important brainstorming sessions. Finally, dress sharp: this is an industry that judges you by the cut of your jacket and the shape of your heel. Anyway, you’re a fashion editor, so you’re supposed to look damn good all the time!

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Executive / Marketing Assistant

£18 - 23k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Executive / Assistant is n...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider to the fa...

Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Analyst - Global ERP Implementation - London

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable global business is l...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map