How to Become a Fashion Editor (Curating Couture Content!)

how to become a fashion editor

If you’ve ever dreamed of shaping fashion trends or wondered what it takes to become a fashion editor, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll explore the EXACT steps you need to take to launch your career as a fashion editor. We’ll talk about:

  • The skills you need.
  • The education that can help you get there.
  • How to land a job as a fashion editor.

So, whether you’re a style novice or a fashion-savvy individual looking to advance, stay tuned.

We’re about to unravel the blueprint to become a fashion editor.

Let’s get started!

Steps to Become a Fashion Editor


Step 1: Cultivate a Strong Interest in Fashion

The journey to becoming a Fashion Editor starts with developing a strong interest in fashion.

This may manifest as a passion for clothing, trends, and designers, but it’s also broader than that.

It’s about understanding the cultural context in which fashion exists, being aware of the industry’s historical changes, and keeping abreast of the new designers, models, and movements that shape it.

You can cultivate this interest in numerous ways.

Start by reading widely about fashion, which could include books, blogs, magazines, and other industry resources.

Attend fashion events, such as runway shows, exhibits or fashion weeks, if possible.

Take note of fashion trends, learn about different styles, and try to understand the inspiration behind various designs.

Creating your own fashion blog or social media channels could also be a great way to exercise your interest and share your ideas.

This can allow you to start building a portfolio and a reputation within the fashion community.

Remember, as a Fashion Editor, you will need not only to follow fashion, but to interpret it, critique it, and present it to a wider audience, so start developing these skills early on.


Step 2: Pursue Relevant Education

To become a Fashion Editor, it’s essential to have a strong educational foundation in fashion, journalism, or a related field.

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design, Fashion Communication, Journalism, or English can provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills.

These programs will typically cover areas like fashion history, textiles, color theory, graphic design, and the principles of journalism.

During your undergraduate years, take advantage of any fashion-related courses your university might offer.

This could include anything from fashion history to visual merchandising.

This will not only deepen your understanding of the industry but also help you develop a unique point of view – a vital trait for a Fashion Editor.

You might also consider postgraduate studies in a specialized area like Fashion Journalism or Luxury Brand Management.

This will provide a more in-depth understanding of the industry’s nuances and trends.

Furthermore, many postgraduate programs offer internships or industry projects, providing invaluable hands-on experience and networking opportunities.

Regardless of the specific degree you pursue, it’s important to focus on improving your writing and communication skills, as they are critical for a Fashion Editor.

Classes in creative writing, journalism, public speaking, and even marketing can be incredibly beneficial.


Step 3: Build a Fashion Portfolio

Building a fashion portfolio is a crucial step for those who aspire to become a fashion editor.

Your portfolio will showcase your sense of style, creativity, and your understanding of the fashion industry.

It’s a physical proof of your skills and is your chance to impress potential employers or clients.

Begin by including any fashion-related projects that you have worked on.

This could include articles, styling projects, photographs from fashion shows you have attended, or any designs that you have created.

It’s important that your portfolio demonstrates your unique perspective and interpretation of fashion.

Remember to include examples of your writing.

As a fashion editor, strong writing skills are a must.

Your portfolio should include examples of any fashion articles or blog posts you have written.

If you have had any articles published, these should certainly be included.

Also, consider showcasing your knowledge of fashion trends, your ability to forecast future trends, and your understanding of different fashion styles.

This could be demonstrated through mood boards, trend analysis, or fashion predictions.

Lastly, make sure your portfolio is professional and visually appealing.

You can use tools like Adobe InDesign for creating a print portfolio or website builders like Wix or Squarespace for an online portfolio.

Remember, your portfolio is a reflection of your fashion sense, so make it as stylish and polished as you are.

Once your portfolio is ready, ensure it is easily accessible to prospective employers.

If it’s online, include the link in your resume and LinkedIn profile.

If it’s a physical portfolio, carry it to interviews and meetings.

Keep updating your portfolio as you gain more experience and work on different projects.


Step 4: Gain Experience with Fashion Internships

In order to pursue a career as a fashion editor, having hands-on experience in the industry is crucial.

This is where fashion internships come in.

Participating in fashion internships will help you understand the nuances of the fashion industry and how it operates.

You will also learn about fashion trends, fashion journalism, styling and other essential aspects of the industry.

Internships can be found in various areas of fashion such as fashion magazines, fashion houses, fashion PR firms and more.

These internships will not only give you a practical understanding of the work but also help you make important industry connections.

Moreover, these internships often lead to job opportunities.

Many fashion companies prefer to hire from within, and a successful internship could lead to a permanent position.

During your internship, ensure that you showcase your passion, dedication, and creativity, as these are qualities highly valued in the industry.

Additionally, as an intern, you will have the opportunity to build a portfolio of your work.

This could include writing samples, styling projects, or other relevant works.

This portfolio will be a critical tool in showcasing your skills and experience when applying for fashion editor roles.

Remember, the fashion industry is highly competitive, and any edge you can gain through internships and practical experience will be invaluable in your career progression.


Step 5: Develop Editing and Journalism Skills

Becoming a successful fashion editor requires more than just a deep understanding of fashion.

You must also have solid editing and journalism skills.

You can develop these skills through coursework in journalism, communications, or a related field.

You’ll need to learn how to write clear, concise, and engaging articles, often on tight deadlines.

Your journalism courses will likely cover the basics of news writing and feature writing, both of which are useful for a fashion editor.

In addition to writing, you’ll also need to learn about editing.

As an editor, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that your publication’s articles are free of errors, factually correct, and well-structured.

You may also need to work with writers to help them develop their ideas and improve their writing skills.

You can also gain practical experience by interning or working at a newspaper, magazine, or online publication.

This will give you a chance to apply your skills in a real-world setting and gain a deeper understanding of the editorial process.

Remember, a successful fashion editor needs to have a solid foundation in both fashion and journalism.

So, while you’re developing your fashion knowledge and sense of style, make sure to also hone your writing and editing skills.

This will make you more versatile and increase your chances of success in the fashion industry.


Step 6: Network in the Fashion Industry

Networking is a crucial part of any career, but it is especially important in the fashion industry.

Networking can open doors to opportunities you may never have found on your own.

Start by attending local fashion shows, industry events, and parties where you can meet designers, photographers, models, and other fashion industry professionals.

Join professional organizations related to fashion and participate in their activities.

This can lead to relationships with key people in the industry and give you access to inside information about job opportunities.

In addition to face-to-face networking, you also need to build an online presence.

Engage with industry professionals and influential figures on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, where a lot of fashion conversations happen.

You can start by following and commenting on their posts, and then gradually begin to share your own thoughts and ideas.

Don’t be shy to introduce yourself and tell people about your aspirations to become a fashion editor.

Remember, the fashion industry thrives on individuality and creativity, so let your personality shine.

You never know who might be able to help you get your foot in the door.

In networking, remember that it’s not just about what others can do for you, but also what you can do for them.

Offer your skills and services, such as writing or styling, to help others in their projects.

This could not only help you build strong relationships, but also provide you with valuable experiences that can enhance your portfolio and increase your chances of landing a fashion editor role.


Step 7: Stay Abreast of Fashion Trends and News

Being a fashion editor requires not just an understanding of fashion, but also a finger on the pulse of the industry’s latest trends and news.

You will need to stay current and ahead of fashion trends to ensure your publication’s content is relevant and fresh.

This requires regular reading of fashion magazines, blogs, and websites.

You should also follow fashion influencers on social media, attend industry events and fashion shows to get first-hand experience of what’s new and hot in the fashion world.

It’s equally important to understand historical fashion trends and how they influence contemporary styles.

Moreover, understanding the business side of fashion, including marketing strategies, brand management, and retail trends, can give you a more comprehensive view of the industry.

Remember, your goal as a fashion editor is not only to report on fashion trends but also to predict what’s coming next.

Keeping a keen eye on the fashion landscape and spotting emerging trends before they become mainstream is key to excelling in this role.


Step 8: Start with Entry-Level Positions in Fashion Media

Starting your career in fashion editing often means beginning with entry-level positions within the fashion media industry.

This could include roles such as a fashion writer, editorial assistant, or even a fashion intern at a magazine or fashion website.

These roles provide a platform for learning the ropes of the fashion industry and give you a firsthand view of the workings of a fashion editorial team.

In these positions, you are likely to assist with tasks such as organizing photoshoots, researching latest fashion trends, and writing and editing articles.

This hands-on experience is invaluable in building a foundation for your future career as a fashion editor.

You may also get the opportunity to network with industry professionals, designers, and models, thereby expanding your professional connections.

Remember, perseverance is key.

It might take some time to climb the ladder, but the exposure and experience you gain from each role will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to eventually step into the role of a Fashion Editor.

It is also important to be open to constructive criticism as it helps in refining your skills and understanding of the industry.


Step 9: Create Content and Build Online Presence

As a prospective Fashion Editor, developing a strong and consistent online presence is crucial.

Start by creating a blog or a website where you can publish your own fashion-related content.

This could include articles, opinion pieces, fashion trend analysis, personal style posts, or even interviews with industry professionals.

The key is to showcase your unique perspective and understanding of fashion.

Engage with your audience through various social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Regularly posting high-quality, fashion-related content and interacting with your followers can significantly boost your online presence.

Be sure to keep up with the latest fashion trends and incorporate them into your content to show your knowledge and passion for the industry.

Moreover, consider utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to increase the visibility of your content online.

Many fashion magazines and brands are on the lookout for editors with a strong online following as it’s a testament to their influence and knowledge about the latest trends and styles.

Also, building an online portfolio is a great way to showcase your work to potential employers.

This should include examples of your writing, editing skills, creative ideas, and style aesthetics.

The more diverse your portfolio, the better your chances are of being noticed in the competitive fashion industry.

Finally, always be open to networking and making new connections.

Attend fashion events, webinars, and seminars, and don’t hesitate to reach out to industry professionals.

Your online presence combined with a strong network can open doors to exciting opportunities in your journey to becoming a Fashion Editor.


Step 10: Climb the Editorial Ladder

As a fashion editor, it is important to continue to grow and develop within your role.

This involves continually enhancing your skills, expanding your fashion knowledge, and maintaining an updated and attractive portfolio of work.

Climbing the editorial ladder in the fashion industry often requires both persistence and versatility.

Begin by seeking out opportunities for growth and advancement within your current organization.

This could involve taking on additional responsibilities, leading projects, or suggesting improvements to the publication process.

Always aim to make a positive impact on your team and the overall success of your publication.

Networking is also crucial in this step.

Building strong relationships with designers, photographers, and other influential figures in the fashion industry can provide valuable opportunities for advancement.

Attend fashion events, shows, and industry parties to meet and connect with these individuals.

You should also consider furthering your education in fashion or journalism.

Many fashion editors hold advanced degrees, which can boost your credibility and open up new job opportunities.

Lastly, always stay updated on the latest fashion trends and the evolution of the industry.

This will help keep your work relevant and exciting, setting you apart as a fashion editor who is in tune with the current zeitgeist.

Remember, climbing the editorial ladder involves more than just moving up in rank – it’s about refining your craft, expanding your influence, and contributing significantly to the fashion industry.



Fashion Editor Roles and Responsibilities

Fashion Editors are responsible for shaping a publication’s fashion coverage, deciding which designers, models, and trends to feature.

They use their expert knowledge of fashion and trends to create engaging content and design appealing layouts.

They have the following roles and responsibilities:


Fashion Trends and Content Development

  • Identify, track, and interpret fashion trends.
  • Create engaging fashion content for the publication.
  • Collaborate with writers, photographers, and designers to produce content.


Editorial Direction

  • Shape the publication’s fashion coverage and design aesthetic.
  • Make decisions about which designers, models, and trends to feature.
  • Plan and coordinate fashion shoots.


Networking and Relationship Building

  • Establish and maintain relationships with designers, models, and other industry professionals.
  • Attend fashion shows, exhibitions, and other industry events.



  • Select clothing and accessories for photoshoots and editorial features.
  • Collaborate with photographers and models during photoshoots.


Management and Leadership

  • Manage and mentor junior staff members and interns.
  • Ensure the fashion department meets deadlines and stays within budget.



  • Work closely with cross-functional teams (photographers, writers, sales and marketing teams).


Visual Design

  • Work with graphic designers to design appealing page layouts.
  • Ensure visual elements match the tone and style of the written content.


Brand Representation

  • Represent the publication at industry events and in media interviews.
  • Promote the publication’s brand and fashion coverage.



  • Stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, designers, and industry news.
  • Research and pitch story ideas.



  • Communicate effectively with team members, contributors, and stakeholders.
  • Provide clear briefs to writers, photographers, and designers.


Continuous Learning

  • Stay informed about changes and developments in the fashion industry.
  • Attend workshops, seminars, and training programs to improve skills and knowledge.


What Does a Fashion Editor Do?

A Fashion Editor typically works for fashion magazines, online fashion publications or in the fashion department of newspapers.

They coordinate, oversee, and direct the fashion-related content that appears in their publication.

This can include arranging photoshoots, selecting clothes and accessories for photoshoots, and writing articles about the latest fashion trends.

Their job involves working closely with photographers, models, and designers to ensure that the visual elements of the magazine align with the fashion trends they are presenting.

They also work with a team of writers, guiding them in creating engaging fashion content that appeals to the target readership.

Fashion Editors are expected to have a strong understanding of current fashion trends, as well as a keen eye for detail.

They are also responsible for attending fashion shows, interviewing designers and influencers in the fashion world, and acquiring new fashion items for their publication.

They also edit and proofread fashion articles to ensure they meet the publication’s standards and style guide.

Occasionally, they may also contribute articles, opinion pieces, or reviews on specific fashion trends or items.

In the digital world, many Fashion Editors also work on the online presence of the publication, writing blog posts, managing social media accounts, and ensuring that the publication’s website is up to date with the latest fashion news and trends.


Essential Fashion Editor Skills

  • Communication: Fashion editors need to communicate effectively with designers, photographers, and other team members to ensure everyone is on the same page. They should also be able to present and explain their ideas clearly.
  • Trend Forecasting: Being able to identify and predict future fashion trends is crucial for a fashion editor. This involves staying updated with the latest fashion shows, street styles, and designers’ collections.
  • Styling: A fashion editor must have a keen sense of style and an understanding of what looks good. They should know how to put together outfits and accessories that reflect current trends and enhance the overall look.
  • Visual Creativity: Fashion is a visual medium, and a fashion editor should have a keen eye for aesthetics, color, and design to create engaging layouts and style guides.
  • Fashion Knowledge: A deep understanding of fashion history, designers, fabrics, and fashion terminologies is crucial. This knowledge allows them to make educated decisions and produce relevant content.
  • Editorial Skills: Fashion editors should be proficient in creating and editing content, whether it’s for print, digital, or social media. They should have a command over language and a knack for storytelling to engage their readers.
  • Networking: Building and maintaining professional relationships with designers, photographers, models, and PR agencies is important. A good network can help in gaining exclusive information, collaborations, and securing resources for photo shoots.
  • Project Management: Fashion editors often work on multiple projects simultaneously. Skills in planning, coordinating, and overseeing projects from conception to completion are essential.
  • Photography Knowledge: Understanding photography techniques and editing software can be beneficial, especially when directing photo shoots and making decisions on final image selection.
  • Decision Making: Fashion editors make numerous decisions daily, from selecting outfits for photo shoots to deciding on the layout of the magazine. Good decision-making skills are necessary to ensure the end product is as envisioned.
  • Commercial Awareness: Fashion editors need to understand the fashion market, consumer behavior, and business trends to create content that resonates with their target audience and drives sales.
  • Adaptability: The fashion industry is ever-changing. Fashion editors need to be adaptable and open-minded to keep up with the latest trends, technologies, and industry shifts.


Fashion Editor Career Path Progression

The Foundation: Assistant Fashion Editor

Your journey in fashion editorial typically begins as an Assistant Fashion Editor.

In this role, you are akin to a sponge, absorbing industry trends, learning about designers and brands, and assisting with content production.

Here are some tips for success in this role:

  1. Stay Informed: Keep abreast with the latest fashion trends and industry news.
  2. Build Network: Make connections with designers, photographers, stylists, and other professionals in the field.
  3. Attention to Detail: Accuracy and precision are key in putting together fashion features and articles.


The Ascent: Fashion Editor

With experience, you’ll evolve into the role of a Fashion Editor.

You’ll be responsible for creating engaging fashion content, overseeing photo shoots, and collaborating with designers and models.

Here’s how to thrive in this stage:

  1. Creative Vision: Develop a unique perspective and voice in your fashion content.
  2. Collaboration: Work effectively with photographers, stylists, and writers to produce high-quality fashion features.
  3. Branding: Understand and maintain the aesthetic and tone of your publication or brand.


Reaching New Heights: Senior Fashion Editor

The next step in the career ladder is the Senior Fashion Editor position.

At this stage, you’ll be recognized for your expertise and creative vision in the team.

You may guide the work of junior editors, decide on the fashion narrative for issues, and represent your publication at fashion events.

To excel as a Senior Fashion Editor:

  1. Mentorship: Share your knowledge and help junior editors to grow.
  2. Strategic Thinking: Consider the larger narrative of your publication and how your fashion content supports it.
  3. Leadership: Lead by example and inspire others with your creativity and work ethic.


Beyond the Horizon: Fashion Director and Beyond

As your career progresses, you may choose to become a Fashion Director or a Creative Director.

These roles involve greater responsibilities, decision-making, and the strategic direction of the fashion content.

Here’s what to focus on:

  1. Creative Leadership: Drive creative initiatives and shape the visual direction of your projects and teams.
  2. Management Skills: If you transition into management, develop strong leadership and communication skills to guide your team effectively.
  3. Innovation: Continue to innovate and stay at the forefront of fashion trends.


Pinnacle of Success: Editor-in-Chief

You may reach the role of Editor-in-Chief at the highest levels of the fashion editorial career ladder.

Here, you’ll be responsible for shaping the overall editorial strategy of the publication, making critical decisions, and managing larger teams.


Fashion Editor Salary

Entry-Level Fashion Editor

  • Median Salary: $35,000 – $50,000 per year
  • Entry-level fashion editors typically have 0-2 years of experience and may hold a bachelor’s degree in fashion, journalism or related fields. Their tasks often involve assisting senior editors and working on smaller pieces.


Mid-Level Fashion Editor

  • Median Salary: $50,000 – $80,000 per year
  • Mid-level fashion editors have 2-5 years of experience and often manage individual sections within the magazine or online publication. They may also assist in shaping seasonal trends and fashion narratives.


Senior Fashion Editor

  • Median Salary: $80,000 – $120,000 per year
  • Senior fashion editors possess 5+ years of experience and are responsible for developing fashion content strategy, directing photoshoots, and mentoring junior editors. They also play a significant role in trend forecasting and decision making.


Editor-In-Chief / Fashion Director

  • Median Salary: $120,000 – $180,000+ per year
  • These roles require significant experience and often involve leading the entire editorial team, making executive decisions about the fashion content, and representing the publication at fashion events and shows.


Fashion Editor Work Environment

Fashion Editors typically work in offices located in cities where fashion is a significant industry such as New York, Paris, or Milan.

They can be employed by fashion magazines, newspapers, websites, television and radio stations, and sometimes fashion houses.

They often work long hours, especially during fashion weeks or when deadlines are approaching.

This job often involves travel to fashion shows, photo shoots, and meetings with designers and other fashion industry professionals around the world.

Fashion Editors often work with a team of writers, photographers, and designers to create captivating content.

They may spend a significant amount of time in meetings, planning and reviewing content, and giving feedback.

The work environment is often fast-paced and highly competitive, as they strive to stay ahead of the latest trends and ensure their content is fresh and appealing.

Despite the high pressure and demanding nature of the role, being a Fashion Editor can be rewarding for those with a passion for fashion, creativity, and the ability to influence trends in the industry.


FAQs About Becoming a Fashion Editor

What is needed to become a Fashion Editor?

Becoming a Fashion Editor requires a mix of formal education and relevant experience in the fashion industry.

Most Fashion Editors have a bachelor’s degree in fields such as fashion, journalism, communications, or a related field.

Key skills include a deep understanding of fashion trends, styles, and designers, excellent writing and editing skills, creative thinking, and strong leadership abilities.

Knowledge of digital media and proficiency in software like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign can also be useful.


How long does it take to become a Fashion Editor?

The time it takes to become a Fashion Editor can vary widely depending on the individual’s career path.

Typically, you will first gain experience in entry-level roles such as Fashion Writer or Assistant Editor, which could take several years.

As you prove your skills and gain recognition, you can gradually move up to more senior roles.

Overall, it could take anywhere from 5 to 10 years or more to become a Fashion Editor.


Can I be a Fashion Editor without a degree?

While many Fashion Editors hold a bachelor’s degree, it is not always a strict requirement.

Employers generally place a high value on relevant experience, a solid portfolio, and a strong network within the fashion industry.

If you’re able to demonstrate these, you may be able to become a Fashion Editor without a degree.

However, having a degree can provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, and may give you a competitive edge.


Is being a Fashion Editor a stressful job?

Being a Fashion Editor can be stressful at times, as it involves meeting tight deadlines, managing multiple projects, and staying ahead of rapidly changing fashion trends.

Traveling frequently for fashion shows and events can also add to the stress.

However, if you have a passion for fashion and enjoy the creative and dynamic nature of the job, these challenges can also be exciting and rewarding.


What are the prospects for Fashion Editors in the next decade?

The prospects for Fashion Editors in the next decade are largely tied to the overall health of the publishing and fashion industries.

While traditional print media is facing challenges, the rise of digital media offers new opportunities for Fashion Editors.

There is a growing demand for unique and engaging fashion content across various platforms, from websites and blogs to social media and online magazines.

Those who are able to adapt to these changes and leverage new technologies will have the best prospects.



And voila!

Taking the plunge to become a fashion editor is not a walk in the park, but it’s undeniably thrilling.

Equipped with the right skills, education, and passion, you’re on the precipice of making a significant impact in the fashion world.

Remember, the road may be demanding, but the opportunities are boundless. Your creative flair could give rise to the next big trend that revolutionizes how we perceive, wear, and appreciate fashion.

So, take that initial stride. Immerse yourself in learning. Network with industry insiders. And most importantly, never stop innovating.

Because the world is eagerly anticipating what you can design.

And if you’re seeking personalized guidance on commencing or advancing your career in fashion editing, take a look at our AI Career Path Advisor.

This complimentary tool is designed to provide customized advice and resources to help you navigate your career path effectively.

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