How can you be a successful fashion editor?

What comes to mind when you think of Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada? An astute editor-in-chief, whose fashion sense combined with business acumen, made her magazine the sole authority on fashion trends. Her character may be fictional, but her job is not. Read on to know what you can glean from the right fashion degree to set you on a successful career path in this glamorous industry.

Be it in a traditional fashion magazine or an online fashion blog, the role of the editor-in-chief remains pivotal. Here are the significant roles donned by the chief editor, along with the skills you will need to fulfil those roles.

Decide the scope of the issue:

The person adorning this post gets to determine publishing guidelines. Specifically, she gets to decide the scope, the tone and the consistency of opinion throughout the publication.

You will need to have a keen sense of branding and brand development. Some prominent decisions you will make are: What niche will your magazine fill? How will its identity be different from its competitors? Will your subscribers identify with the vision you have set for the magazine (or blog)?

Layout the editorial board:

The chief editor creates a monthly schedule or an outline for the publication. She determines the content and ensures it is palatable to her subscribers. In online content especially, a schedule helps the publication stay relevant. Online readers tend to have lesser ability to recall than print readers, so your publication will have to appear on their feed often and with new content for readers to remember your stories.

To fulfil this role, you will need to have psychological insight into consumer behaviour. You must gauge your readers’ personal tastes and preferences. You should also know the external factors that determine your readership – such as, is your magazine available in their geography, etc.

Write and review content:

The editor-in-chief is in charge of writing an opinion piece and a prologue to the rest of the magazine. She also reviews the rest of the content. She ensures that the articles written by her team are free of libel, copy errors and copyright infringement.

Apart from a course in fashion writing and digital media, an introductory course on law and ethics will take you far in filling this requirement. Fashion, being a form of art, is subject to international intellectual property rights. You will need to know the rules and their enforcement in different regions, so your magazine or blog does not violate them.

Hire and lead an editorial team:

The leader for the publication is the keystone of a team consisting of senior editors, junior editors, and writers. The team dynamics determine the office environment, and the editor-in-chief is responsible for providing a conducive work atmosphere.

A course in fashion management will help you become a dynamic captain, putting to good use your creative and managerial skills.

Manage the Budget:

One of the main roles of the chief editor is setting a budget. She allocates revenues and donations into those aspects of her magazine or blog that fetch her maximum returns.

A course in accounting and business marketing is a must to equip you well for this rather technical role.

In conclusion

As a fashion entrepreneur or leader, your role will demand much more than a good aesthetic taste. If you love fashion, but don’t find fashion designing to your liking, then a career in the fashion business might be perfect for you. Look specifically for programmes that equip you with the skills mentioned above. Not only will you graduate with the necessary expertise to excel in your career, but you will also enhance your network. You and your classmate might just command the next big fashion start-up. Talk to your career counsellor and find out which fashion degree is best suited for your ambitions.

Sylvia James

Sylvia James is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.

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