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27-05-2010
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Thank you BetteT!!

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30-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missnyc View Post
I have a question. What's better to work in a magazine, to study Art History or Journalism? I mean, I know it's different but I love both degrees and I don't know what to do. I don't wanna write or do interviews, I want to style photoshoots (so, fashion editor right?) And, what's the different between a stylist and a fashion editor?
Many fashion editors appearing on magazine mastheads began as freelance stylists. They are still stylists but are known as fashion editors. One sometimes sees the title Style Editor but this is rare. Freelances are often described as Fashion Editors once they have a suitably impressive body of work, although this promotion in the eyes of the industry is usually accorded to those who have held a couple of staff positions on magazines.

However, many magazines will credit a freelance stylist as "Fashion Editor" or "Editor" in the credits on a fashion story. Here's a tip for you: start making friends with up and coming photographers or those who have the potential to be successful.

Forget about doing journalism at college because it's often a waste of time and money even if you did wish to write for magazines. You don't even want to be a journalist so why would you even think of losing three years of your youth being put through the sausage machine by teaching staff who probably couldn't scrape together half a dozen bylined pieces between them?

Do a proper fashion-related degree if you really must. But in the end, just get out there and start styling. Start developing your style and vision. At the same time, study commercial fashion stories, where the clients or advertisers expect to see safe, non-controversial images, as well as doing your own off-the-wall stuff, which is fine for indy magazines and great for showcasing your talents.

Just do it. If you're any good, your talent will be evident and people will start noticing you. You may even end up earning enough to pay the rent. Just remember that all of the diplomas in the world don't cut it when you're actually out there, dropping from fatigue, and on the spot to come up with superlative ideas and visions, often with inadequate funds and materials. There's the rub.

PK

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30-05-2010
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Hello Prosperk, I really found useful what you said. So you dont think studying is worth it if I want to end up being a fashion editor? I was thinking about studying the 4 year degree in journalism and then doing a Master in Beauty and Fashion Communication (1 year) offered by Vogue Spain. I think it may be too much time and the Master it's not really a must-do but it's the only degree related to fashion that I could find.
Should I look for some styling degree then?
TIA.

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30-05-2010
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Oh, and another question, I'm posting it here because I couldnt find a thread dedicated to it. I'm more interested in Beauty Journalism, well actually I dont know if that would be its name but I cant find a degree or a career based exclusively on that so I'm looking for a lot of help here. The work I would like to do is to write 'reviews' about beauty products, well actually everyone knows what the beauty section of a fashion magazine looks like. Do you know what I should study? A friend of mine recommended me putting up a beauty blog then beauty brands would notice me and would start sending me samples to try out and review, but that its quite unlikely to happen.

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30-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prosperk View Post
She may have written for French Elle for five minutes before going into styling but I can assure you that Carine Roitfeld is not known as a writer in fashion media circles. People were very surprised when she was appointed Editor in Chief of French Vogue. She had initially been taken on as Creative Director but then Joan Juliet Buck and Condť Nast separated and the publisher took a chance on Carine. It was very tough for her in the beginning precisely because she is more of a stylist than an editor and someone of Joan Buck's intellectual calibre was a hard act to follow.



Aliona Doletskaya does indeed have a doctorate in languages or linguistics. She speaks English to a standard that would shame many English people, who have forgotten how to speak and write their language. She is also perhaps the only chief editor of any of the major editions of Vogue with the levels of intellect, education and style that used to be required of Vogue chief editors, which is why she was promoted by the gossips as the next chief editor of US Vogue. She could probably do the job standing on her head because she also understands the commercial angles required to keep a magazine successful in the States.

However, let's not forget that there is no set rule that stylists have to be intellectually shallow and one-tracked. Some of the stylists posting here are clearly very educated and smart. And then we have iconic stylists from the past, like Florentine Pabst, who also managed to make the transition from draping clothes and accessories over models to the editor's chair. However, she was never going to be 'in fashion'. Like many others, she drifted into it.

The point here is that you should not worry too much about your academic qualifications. The only thing a degree - vocational degrees apart - tells most employers is that you are not likely to bolt after five minutes on the job, requiring them to advertise the position all over again! They know they will have you onboard for a while. Many fashion-related degrees are really an utter waste of time, although the schools and colleges won't tell you that because they're making money from this sausage machine, churning out young fashion industry hopefuls with a diploma and little if any practical experience of any use to a front line manager looking for new recruits.

I told one of my assistants the other day to forget about media studies and do a law degree instead, specialising in intellectual property and copyright. After all, she was getting the necessary journalistic experience as an assistant/intern that would give a commissioning editor the confidence to try her out so why not do something useful at university that might pay her rent or mortgage the day she realises that journalism might not cover the lifestyle to which she aspires, unless she marries a moneybags or pairs off with some rich old lesbian? As a lawyer specialising in IP etc, she could not only protect her interests but those of all the other writers whose work is being appropriated by firms like Google, for instance.

It boils down to this: either you can do the job or not. If you have talent, you will get ahead because, pre-emptive cynicism notwithstanding, talent always was and always will be a rare and precious commodity above a certain level in the business. This applies to writers, stylists, photographers, editors, copy editors, translators and just about anyone involved in the creative process of producing any form of high end media. The two editors you cited here are outstanding examples of the point I am making.

PK
I had no idea you ever replied to this! I just discovered your input upon reading the posts on this thread!

As always, you give fabulous advice. I totally agree that confidence and talent are the two main keys to success in the fashion world. Without these two crucial ingredients, one would sink quite quickly.

You mention that I should not worry about my academic qualifications, something that many people have told me. This notion is very frustrating for me, as I know I do not need to be extensively educated to be a fashion editor/stylist, but also, I do not have the experience or connections to make my way into the industry. Not to sound cliche, but it is quite difficult to gain access to the fashion industry from Midwestern America. As a result from being so isolated from fashion centers, I have consequently treated my education as a means to enter into the fashion world. I believe that a fashion editor should have a distinct point of view and a noggin full of knowledge and references, a belief which led me to major in English literature and minor in art history for my undergraduate studies.

After completing three years of university studies, I am now in a huge dilemma. I applied to graduate school, something I never wanted to do before, because, at the time, I thought it was my only way of getting to a place like NYC. Also, I have zero internship experience, something that, as I have heard from countless sources, is mandatory to get a job at a fashion magazine. I have been admitted to NYU for journalism and was unfortunately not accepted off of the waiting list at my top choice, Parsons. The thought of studying journalism and "learning" how to write for two years does not excite me nearly as much as it should, but the internships I can secure through the program are quite attractive. I have weighed the idea of applying to Parsons again next fall, but now I am wondering if I should even go to graduate school at all. My dad said that I should just go and work in NYC for a year, which is certainly an option. It seems to me, however, the best way to get an internship at a fashion magazine is through an academic institution.

I have read everything I can get my hands on focused on the topic of entering the world of fashion journalism, and yet I am still flustered and perplexed. I think you are quite right that most fashion school programs are worthless and useless. It appears as if most of the people working in fashion--or at least the most successful and respected figures-- didn't go to college in the first place. As I think about going to NYU in the fall, the more it seems wrong to me, and also a complete waste of money. Still, I don't want to move to NYC with no connections, no job prospects, and no money in my pocket, so NYU is my most viable option at the moment. Being in the city alone will bring me closer to the magazines and individuals I would like to work with and while I am not in school, I can network like it's my profession. And if it's not what I want, I can always either transfer or terminate my enrollment.

Sorry for rambling on, I just have a lot of stress and frustration I needed to get off of my chest and it all sort of spilled out . Thank you so much for all of your input. It is truly invaluable.

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15-06-2010
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I originally posted this in 'what to do about school' thread but I think this is a better place to ask my question:


Are there any London College of Communication MA Publishing alumni here? I'm considering applying for the Magazine pathway. I have a degree in Design & Art Direction (my specialism was editorial design and magazines). It's now 2 years since I graduated and I've since realised that whilst I enjoy doing practical design work, I don't want to do it on a daily basis. I was always good at writing and critical thinking and my tutors suggested I should do an MA, but I didn't listen!

I would still like a career in magazines and I want very much to use my skills as a designer and problem solver just not at the mac monkey end of things. I have been working as a freelance graphic designer, in a bookshop and as a library assistant since I graduated. Is it worth me doing this MA in Publishing at LCC (or University of The Arts as they're now all called) or should I attempt to find work now somewhere on the bottom rung as an intern?

The course: http://www.ma-publishing.com/pathway...ne-pathway.php

To summarise my waffle: is this MA valuable to starting a career in Magazines? (both fashion and other.) I would like to be a features editor or art director.

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15-06-2010
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I moved it here ... because you are asking about education.

I can't offer an opinion about the course other than to say it looks like it's a good overview of magazine operations. Which will be helpful to anyone who is interested in a career moving up the ladder towards managing editor. It sounds like geared a bit towards the business and financial side of working for a magazine.

I would say that you need to evaluate if you want to take the route up the ladder. The other two routes would be creative (art director, fashion editor, you already said that you don't want to be a graphic designer for a mag) or journalism and writing. Either one of these can also take you up the ladder ... depending on your management skills too.

You might want to review this thread too for ideas about how people break into magazines: How to Get Work in Fashion Magazine Publishing (see Post #1 for related threads)

Hint: In fashion, it's usually who you know, not your education (not to say that education doesn't help) that gets you in the door. So Internships are indispensible for that reason. The sooner you get your self in the right environment the better ... to start building contacts.

Many fashion editors, art directors, and managing editors don't have a specific education for fashion or publishing ... they come from all sorts of educational backgrounds. They got hired at a magazine and began their career because they had connections ... and of course, had the talent too.

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Last edited by BetteT; 15-06-2010 at 01:58 PM.
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27-12-2011
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So the degree tittle doesnt rlly matter? Theres a school in my city (Chicago) that offers both graphic design and Art Direction in Advertisement and I wanted to ask which one would help me out more in landing a job at a magazines creating the layouts and covers. I would love to eventually become an Art Director but of course that takes time. There arent really any big fashion magazines here so I dont know I would go about getting a job at a major fashion magazines when their offices are all located in NYC.


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27-12-2011
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My thoughts (I'm not an expert here, at all) regarding which courses to take:

As I understand it ... graphic design is about the actual manipulation of shapes, type, photos, etc. to create the cover (or ad, or web site, etc.). It might be a great thing to be able to do, just to get hired at a magazine at entry level ... with a possiblitly of working your way up.

The Art Director would be in charge, telling the graphic designer what the general look should be and directing the changes, and giving final approval. Of course Art Direction can encompass lots other things too, like editorials (they would direct the photographer and stylist), store layouts, windows, look of the ads or a campaign for any company ... things like that. It will probably be a much wider field of study than graphic design. Not too likely that they would hire an "Art Director" right out of school ... so you'd still need a way to get in.

Not much help, I know. I'd say you need to to more research regarding how Art Directors actually got their start. That information might paint a clearer picture for you as to a good potential career path.

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Last edited by BetteT; 27-12-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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29-12-2011
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I read somewhere that you can have a Fashion Merchandising degree if you want to be a fashion editor? Is that true? I'm planning to get a fashion degree and working as an editor at a magazine. Is journalism really necessary for styling people...

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29-12-2011
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Journalism is for writers. Styling ... well that's a whole different career and so is being a fashion eiditor.

Don't know about Fashion Merchandising for fashion editors ... it dsoesn't make sense. But on the other hand, fashion editors don't have a pre defined educational requirement so they seem to come from various educational backgrounds, including the liberal arts ... which is also just loosely related. So it's possible. It's mainly about having a good styling eye, having the right connections where someone realizes that you have both the talent and the skill to get the job done effecitvely. You have to get your foot in the door ... so you have to start somewhere ... but I don't see why a magazine would hire someone with no experience, but who had a Fashion Merchandising degree, except that it shows some interest in fashion and the fact that you were able to finish college.

Fashion Merchandising is about retail sales (we have a thread here about it). It's about the retail business from the inside out .... and lots of numbers: how to interpret prior sales, how to forecast sales trends, how to order the right merchandise in the right amount to make a profit for your store. It also includes store displays ... how to get the customer in the door, how to arrange the racks to move them through and how to get them to buy the items with the highest profit margin.

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Last edited by BetteT; 29-12-2011 at 03:58 PM.
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03-01-2012
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To CrisGalaxy- I would go with the graphic design degree. I am studying graphic design right now, and to become an art director, graphic design experience is a must. Most art director jobs require at least 5-10 years of experience in the field, since you essentially are directing other designers on how they should conduct their work, etc. It's kind of a practice what you preach kind of deal. In order to direct other designers on how the layout and designs should be, you need to be a skilled designer yourself and now what works, etc.

If you want to design layouts and covers, that falls under graphic design. Art direction in advertisements, is essentially just directing ads. If you major in graphic design, it'll be easier to get a job in editorial work since you learn layouts and other important skills, that will help you work your way up.

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Last edited by superbeautiful; 03-01-2012 at 12:33 PM. Reason: more
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03-01-2012
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^ Thanks for the advice! and thank you as well BetteT

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19-04-2012
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Has anyone participated in or heard about the Columbia Publishing Course? It's a summer graduate course at Columbia in NY designed for people who recently got their Bachelor's and are interested in book and magazine publishing and/or digital media. Many of the speakers are from the fashion industry, including the editor-in-chief of ELLE. Here's more info: http://www.journalism.columbia.edu/p...escription/234

I would love to know if anyone has any thoughts on this or experience with it, as it's something I may consider for 2013 after I graduate

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10-05-2013
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Would an Advertising and Marketing Communications degree from FIT be useful for fashion journalism?

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