How to rise to the top in fashion: tips from industry insiders on how to make it in fashion

Invitations to the best fashion shows and parties, discounted designer clothing, champagne everywhere. A fashion editor’s life may sound amazing, but the journey to the front-row  is not easy. With movies like the ‘Devil wears Prada’ sometimes it’s easy to get a somewhat negative perspective on this industry and the people who run it.

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Being a Fashion Editor is alluring on the surface: there are photo shoots, designer interviews, goodies and events. But what does it take to get to the top in the fashion industry? Unlike some career paths like medicine or law, there isn’t a formula that equates success. Sure, you can follow a course in fashion and internships, but what happens after that?

4 Tips from industry insiders:

#1 – Andrea Lavinthal, Style Director, People.com

Biggest tip to becoming a fashion editor? Never limit yourself to doing just one thing. Meaning if you’re in print, familiarise yourself with web and vice versa. It strengthens your skills as a journalist and makes you a more desirable candidate. Also, get involved in as many social media platforms as possible, especially Twitter. It’s the absolute best way to communicate with people in your industry. And last, if you’re ever feeling ‘over it’ or jaded by all the amazing opportunities in the style industry, it’s probably time to move onto something else.”

#2 – Amy Odell, Editor at BuzzFeed, previously Fashion Editor at NYMag’s The Cut

What to avoid when becoming a fashion editor? “Don’t have an attitude or act entitled. You should never act as though you’re above a task. You simply won’t start out writing Marc Jacobs profiles — the people who do that work hard for years and years to get there and you have to respect that. Remember, if a superior asks you to pick up something from another office or transcribe a tape, you’ll just piss them off you put it off or say no. (I would also add if ALL you’re doing is picking up coffee and sushi orders and getting yelled at, quit because that’s just inhumane).”

#3 – Simone Oliver, Online Fashion Editor, The New York Times

Biggest tip to becoming a fashion editor? “Be a team player. No matter how smart, creative and hard-working you are, to be an editor is to work with others to produce something that best represents your publication and would be most informative for your readers. So many of the best photo shoots, newspaper sections or magazine issues are the result of collaborations. Don’t overlook how much of a resource a groupthink can be. When working in an editorial environment, ideas and responsibilities are meant to be shared.”

#4 – Internships, Career Girl Daily team

There’s nothing more important than to intern at a magazine or other fashion company during college.  Your internship can lead to a job as an assistant at another company, and you can even go back.

What is your ultimate tip on working in the fashion industry? Let us know.

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Featured Photo by Tommy Thon

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