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Fashion Editor - Career Profile

Written by FS StaffJuly 7, 2011
Fashion Editor

Also called: Apparel Editor, Accessories Editor, Fashion Producer

Job Description: Fashion editors supervise the process of creating, developing and presenting content for fashion-specific magazines, photo shoots, websites, newspaper sections, or television shows. Editors occupy the mid to highest-level positions at publications. Under guidance of the editor-in-chief, they are responsible for deciding the creative influence and direction that their departments will pursue during a given season or issue. Editors may specialize in apparel, accessories, beauty and make-up, and so on. Some fashion editors choose to be freelance, working on a per-contract basis and assuming all of the costs of the fashion shoot (e.g., clothing and accessories).

Due to the deadline-driven nature of their work, both salaried and freelance editors should enjoy a fast-paced environment. In addition, editors are often required to travel to keep up with the latest fashion trends through meetings with designers and visits to fashion shows throughout the world (e.g., New York, Paris, London, and Milan), retail stores, specialty boutiques, and vintage clothing stores. They also rely on the content of designer "Look Books" and apparel and product samples to select content to be featured in their publications.

Salary Range: $30,000 to $100,000+
Entry level pay may range from $30,000 to $40,000
Experienced may range from $40,000 to $60,000
Top level pay may range from $70,000 to $100,000

Outlook: Employment of editors and writers is expected to increase 10% to 20% between 2002 and 2012, according to the US Dept of Labor. There are a variety of outlets in which prospective editors may seek employment including but not limited to: fashion magazines, fashion sections of news, entertainment and lifestyle magazines, newspapers, television shows, websites, etc. Growth in any of these sectors means an increased demand for experienced writers and editors. Because competition for these jobs is fierce, aspiring editors must be creative, hard working and willing to start at the bottom and take opportunities as they arise. Once in the system, opportunities for advancement become more readily available.

Programs to Consider:

Qualifications: Education - A 4-year bachelor's degree in Fashion Design & Merchandising or Journalism is required. Coursework in both fields is a plus. A Liberal Arts degree with the necessary related coursework is also a good option.
Experience - Internships with fashion publications is a good way to get a foot in the door - and often the only way. However, any journalistic internship can be a launching pad for an eventual career as a fashion writer or editor. A portfolio of previous written and published work is required for higher-level writing and editing jobs.
Personal Characteristics/Skills - Passion for fashion; broad knowledge of fashion industry trends and forecasts; excellent writing/journalistic talent with the ability to communicate effectively and clearly; great organization and planning skills; excellent interpersonal and management skills; competitive spirit; ability to perform well under stress.

Career Path: Associate Editor > Editor > Senior Editor > Editor-in-Chief

Famous Fashion Editor-in-Chiefs:
Anna Wintour: Vogue Magazine
Cindi Leive: Glamour Magazine
Robbie Myers: Elle Magazine