Working at a fashion magazine seems like the dream job for a lot of young girls. You get to see closets filled with designer clothes, attend fashion and celebrity events, witness high-fashion photoshoots, etc. Being employed at a fashion magazine comes with a lot of perks, which is why getting your foot in the door is very competitive. There are numerous people vying for the same positions and sometimes it seems like you will never get the chance to get in. These steps may not guarantee admission to the world of fashion magazines, but they will surely give you ideas about the different paths that people have taken towards working at a fashion publication.
How to Work for a Fashion Magazine
Intern your way to a position. Most people in the magazine industry gain experience through various internships. It is very difficult to enter the industry without any experience in the field that you want to break into. If you're eyeing the fashion department, you can intern for college credit as a fashion assistant who helps in fashion shoots. If photography is your arena, you can contact a fashion photographer and work as an apprentice. Since the industry is very competitive, it is not uncommon that aspiring fashion assistants are willing to work in unpaid internships.
Build reputation through related experiences. You can break into the industry by taking another route, by way of advertising, event planning, project management, and the like. There are different departments and functions within a magazine and gaining experience through a previous job can land you a position either in the editorial side or the business side of a publication. You can start in ad sales with an account executive or media buying experience at an advertising agency, for example. If you'd like to get into editorial, you can build knowledge and connections by being an editorial or executive assistant.
Freelance. Another entry point in the world of fashion magazines is to pitch ideas as a freelance writer. Be inquisitive and observant. Follow the trends in school and in your neighborhood and be up to date on the latest news in the fashion sphere. If there's a fashion show at a benefit or high school nearby, be willing to cover it. Long hours await, but the motivated build rapport with a publication by networking with the editors through constant contact and communication.
Develop a portfolio. If you have varied experiences in the different departments that a fashion magazine has, you can create a portfolio through mock mags. If you have an eye for photography and a way with words, you can design a mini-magazine that features your photos and writing. You can also develop skills in layout and typography, which helps in the aesthetic aspect of your publication; this skill is useful at any magazine. A versatile employee is attractive to an employer since he or she can be placed in various functions within the company. He or she can also train other employees by drawing on her past experience and expertise. Making yourself marketable this way is a good step towards your goal.