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From fashion editors to influencers: What aspiring fashion journalists need to know

The fashion-media industry is ever changing, even more so with the digital era.

The fashion-media industry is ever changing, even more so with the digital era.

Published Nov 8, 2021


We all have our own unique and intricate fashion preference and style, and it has evolved as we have in all our years. Some claim fashion as their passion and create masterpieces, while others make it their career and inform the public of the latest trends. The fashion-media industry is ever-changing, even more so with the digital era.

Like most industries, the smartphone has disrupted the fashion world, and editorial shoots that used to be seen exclusively on the pages of a glossy magazine are now too on our personalised screens.

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Whether we’re scrolling through social media or following a fashion influencer’s YouTube channel, we are consuming fashion media in an entirely different way.

“We have moved from the big screen to the small, and today’s fashion journalist needs to know how to showcase the latest season’s styles through an Instagram story,” says Nande Sulelo, head of STADIO School of fashion’s Media Department.

“Today’s fashion journalist is no longer pigeon-holed into working for a magazine or brand. They have a vast array of options available to them, thanks to the explosion of digital media. This could mean representing a brand’s label online by becoming their social media manager, or even starting their own fashion platform, therefore becoming an influencer themselves who curates their own stories.

“So, even though our media may have changed, the world of fashion remains as relevant today as it did at the height of the magazine era and is still a very exciting career choice.”

Sulelo believes that it could be said that fashion is the purest sense of relevance and among the most adaptable industries; it is the epitome of being current and captures the moment’s Zeitgeist. Fashion is news. It is constantly changing and is an embodiment of our times.

From the 1800s, when fashion was reserved for the select few, to currently, when we are now wearing tech – it is never static. Fashion journalists must therefore evolve and constantly reinvent themselves to make it in the fast-paced and energised fashion media world.

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It is important then to choose an institution that will best position the fashion journalists-to-be for the realistic world of work.

“A writer who can take a sterling photograph can hold the audience of a blog, while a fashion reporter who can apply make-up and edit visual content will always have a long list of brands waiting to collaborate. In fact, collaboration is at the heart of everything that the fashion journalist does.

“It requires different skill-sets and is why our degrees train students to be fashion reporters, stylists, photographers, filmmakers, fashion marketers and make-up artists all in one curriculum,” says Sulelo.

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Collaboration among students was most recently seen through STADIO’s partnership with the Open Windows Institute. Teaming up its make-up and fashion design students with the latter’s photographers and set designers, they produced incredible pieces of fashion art that were recently showcased at the STADIO School of Fashion’s Open Day held in October at the Randburg campus.

“Working with others is a core component of being a fashion journalist and is part of the Fashion Media degree training. This specialisation encourages collaborative practices so that students can develop their own styles. They need to know how to integrate with new teams of people, from stylists to photographers, and create magic together.

“In the real world of work, whether you are an influencer yourself or a brand manager, you will be working with new sets of people all the time and enabling collaborations – not to mention building a bank of contacts – is, therefore, a key part of our Fashion Media curriculum,” says Sulelo.

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