Fashion Editor/Stylist Job Description, Education, Training Requirements, Career, Salary, Employment

Job Description: Editors review, rewrite, and edit the work of writers. An editor’s responsibilities vary with the employer and type and level of editorial position held. At fashion magazines, editors also decide what material will appeal to readers, review and edit articles, offer comments to improve the work and suggest possible titles. In some instances, fashion editors are also stylists at the magazine where they are employed, in which capacity they view the latest collections by all the designers to help decide what should be featured in the magazine. They often write about fashion for the magazine as well.

Training and Educational Qualifications: A college degree generally is required for a position as a writer or editor. Although some employers look for a broad liberal arts background, most prefer to hire people with degrees in communications, journalism, or English. For those whose training involved specializing in a particular area such as fashion, business, or law additional background in the chosen field may be expected. A background or dedicated interest in fashion is advantageous for working as a fashion editor.

Job Outlook: Employment of salaried writers and editors is expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations. Magazines and other periodicals increasingly are developing market niches, appealing to readers with special interests. Businesses and organizations are developing newsletters and Web sites, and more companies are experimenting with publishing materials directly on the Internet. Online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring the demand for writers and editors, especially those with Internet experience. Advertising and public relations agencies, which also are growing, should be another source of new jobs.

Salary: Median annual earnings for salaried editors are $48,640. The middle 50 percent earn between $34,850 and $67,820. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $25,430, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $97,700. Median annual earnings for those working for newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers are $50,650.

Significant Facts:

•    Most jobs in this occupation require a college degree in communications, journalism, or English, although a degree, interest or background in fashion might be particularly useful in pursuing a job as a fashion editor.

•    The outlook for most writing and editing jobs is expected to be competitive because many people are attracted to the occupation. This is especially true for fashion magazines.

•    Online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring the demand for writers and editors, especially those with Internet experience, which may provide more opportunities for people putting fashion content normally seen in print into an online format.

CAREER LADDER:

Intern, Nylon magazine; fashion assistant, Men’s Vogue; fashion stylist, represented by Timothy Priano of ARTISTS; market editor, OUT

Did you have an internship in this field prior to starting your job?

Yes, I was an intern for Nylon magazine where I assisted Fashion Director, Kusum Lynn (now at JANE magazine).

Which companies have the best internships in this field and are known to help launch successful careers?

I did several internships in different areas of fashion until I found something that I love in the fashion editorial industry. Some people prefer to work at Vogue or for other large publications that are very corporate. The name definitely says a lot on a resume and the contacts you could meet are priceless. However, smaller magazines usually need things from an intern and your day-to-day duties are much more interesting and educational. As long as people know and respect the publication, you can’t go wrong.

Where are the best cities to live to find jobs like yours?

It is basically limited to large cities for most work (New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Dallas). But every region has a magazine and it basically depends on where you prefer to live and if there are any jobs available in that market. In New York, it is a bit easier to find opportunities for employment because the number of jobs available is much greater than other areas. But it is also the most competitive market.

What is your typical day like?

Being the market editor, I have to go out into the city on appointments to view the latest collections by all the designers. This includes fashion week and private appointments for smaller labels that do not have fashion shows in the tents. I also style for the magazine. So on any given day, I can be in different places looking at a collection, on location doing a shoot (either in New York or out of town or overseas) or I could be sitting in my office doing credits for photo shoots and requesting garments for a shoot. I also have to attend certain events with PR representatives.

What are your job responsibilities?

I make sure certain advertisers are featured in our fashion pages while also creating interesting visuals for the pages something to keep readers interested in what we are showing them. I also write for the fashion advice column of our Web site (www.out.com). And I attend editorial meetings that keep everyone up to date on the progress of any pertinent issues.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Traveling, going to fashion week (New York and Europe), parties, free stuff. I love my job in general. It’s a great environment.

What do you dislike about your job?

It’s editorial, so I don’t get paid enough.

Have you had any turning point or “light bulb” moments in your career that have helped you get to where you are today?

Absolutely. I had a relatively unfortunate experience with a previous job, but it was totally my fault for being inexperienced and immature. I really realized that I had to grow up and become a professional.

How did you know you wanted to pursue this career?

I started with the internship at NYLON and it felt right. I felt comfortable and confident that I could do what was expected of me.

Describe how you got into this industry and how you got your most recent job.

In fashion, it’s 40 percent education/experience and 60 percent who you know and if they like you. I started with the internship at NYLON. Someone there helped me get the job at Men’s Vogue. From there, I started styling with an agency. Then I applied for an open position at OUT magazine. I had a letter of recommendation from Timothy Priano and a personal reference who knew the newly appointed editor in chief of OUT, as well as my experience, education and portfolio.

If you weren’t doing this job, what similar careers might you consider?

I would most likely stick to doing freelance styling with artists.

What professional magazines/newspapers/journals/Web sites do you read?

I read most of the magazines on newsstands today, especially men’s fashion books. Since that is where I am, I like to know what other publications are doing and if I’m actively competing with larger publications.

What advice do you have for others who would like to pursue this career?

Do internships! Unless your last name is Hearst or Fairchild, you need to start making your connections as soon as possible. Intern all throughout school (I did three internships during winter breaks). Don’t wait until you graduate. If you intern early, you can start working soon after graduating and start getting paid.