Fashion Journalist Salary and Career Facts

Learn about the career options and creative duties associated with fashion journalism. Find out how degree programs and internships can help you enter the field and what kind of salary you can earn as a fashion journalist. Schools offering Digital Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Fashion Journalist Do?

Fashion journalists provide news, commentary and opinions on the fashion industry for print or broadcast media. Some fashion journalists may work specifically for fashion magazines and media outlets, while others may provide a fashion column or component for other publications. As a fashion journalist, you will be required to stay on top of trends and current fashions, and may be required to coordinate photoshoots, work with photographers and designers, and arrange displays of fashion items for photo shoots. Like other journalists, fashion journalists need to be have strong research and communication skills. As many fashion magazines have a commercial component, fashion journalists may need to have good copywriting abilities and be able to maintain good relationships with brands. The table below provides some detailed information about a career in fashion journalism:

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Required English, Journalism, Fashion Merchandising
Key Responsibilities Write articles on the fashion news and trends, conduct interviews, develop relationships with brands and companies, coordinate photoshoots
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% (for all writers)
Median Salary (2015)* $60,250 (for all writers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Where Will I Work?

Many fashion journalists work for fashion magazines, though some may cover fashion for more broad-based general interest publications. If you're interested in being a fashion copywriter, you may work for a retail organization or a fashion marketing company. According to career information published by Teen Vogue, many fashion magazines are headquartered in Manhattan, making New York City an epicenter for those interested in fashion journalism.

What Training Do I Need?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most journalists are required to have at least a bachelor's degree. Because fashion journalism encompasses more than one academic discipline, however, you can go in a few different directions with your college major. Teen Vogue indicates that aspiring fashion magazine journalists may want to study English or journalism, while those working with fashion photography may pursue design-related degrees. Fashion merchandising bachelor's degrees are another option for those aspiring to enter all fashion journalism fields. Because the job markets in the fashion and journalism industries can be competitive, you may want to pursue a college internship in your professional area of interest.

Some journalism degree programs may offer concentrations in fashion or magazine writing; the latter may be appropriate for those aspiring to work for fashion magazines. If you pursue a degree in general journalism, one or several fashion writing classes are likely available to you. Some schools may also offer special seminars, clubs or other activities for journalism students interested in fashion. Fashion journalism courses or concentrations teach you about relevant general and journalism-specific concepts, such as visual merchandising, textiles, fashion marketing, event reporting, trend analysis and designer collection reviews. You also study basic journalism topics like news reporting, mass media and society magazine writing, opinion commentary, copyediting, promotional writing and media law.

In a fashion merchandising degree program, you undertake a multidisciplinary education in the visual, marketing and retail aspects of the fashion industry. You learn about the technical production of fashion apparel and the business functions of the fashion industry. Commonly required courses also cover fashion marketing and promotions, textile style and color analysis, visual merchandising, apparel selection, fashion display arrangement and consumer behavior.

What Is My Salary Potential?

Specific salary data for fashion journalists is not readily available; however, the BLS reported that writers--an occupational classification that would include both journalists and copywriters--earned a median yearly salary of $60,250 as of May 2015 ( More specifically, newspaper and periodical writers earned average wages of $59,860 per year while advertising and promotional writers earned average annual salaries of $77,450.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are many different options available for those interested in working in journalism and adjacent industries. You could also become a news reporter, researching and presenting stories on current events for the consumption of the public. You may also want to become an editor and curate your own content. Editors work for a wide range of publications and media outlets, including fashion magazines, and have control over a publication's overall brand and message. Both of these paths are suitable for graduates of a bachelor's degree in English or a related field. If you are interested in the style aspect of fashion journalism, you could work as a sales representative for a fashion brand. These professionals liaise with magazines, advertising companies and stores to sell and promote their clothing. While there are no formal requirements for sales representatives, earning a bachelor's degree in fashion merchandising or a similar field can be a significant asset when seeking employment.

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