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How to Become a Fashion Critic
For some people, nothing sounds more glamorous than viewing a parade of models wearing fresh haute couture on a catwalk. Fashion critics are paid to review current designs and fashion trends after attending shows, meeting with designers or attending events with high-profile celebrities. Traditionally, fashion critics wrote for magazines and newspapers. Today’s fashion critics might work for TV stations or publish online critiques. Learn how to become a fashion critic in order to steer your professional goals along this career path.
Develop Knowledge & Credentials
Immerse yourself in fashion by reading fashion journals, studying the biographies and clothing lines of respected fashion designers, studying historical fashion periods and learning how clothing is made. Understanding terminology related to cloth type, seams and sewing techniques will make you a more informed fashion critic.
Study your preferred media platform. If you plan to become a fashion critic who writes about fashion, hone your writing skills by breaking down published fashion articles. Critics may incorporate a certain percentage of journalistic-style facts in their pieces, injecting their opinion and viewpoint into only a few sentences, for example. If you’d like to work for a fashion-based TV show, observe how fashion critics moderate their voices and interview celebrities.
Attend fashion school. Not everyone completes this step, but some individuals may want earn a college degree in fashion design or related field, or take classes through a fashion school. Examples of courses of study include fashion journalism and fashion merchandising. Fashion education can give you formal experience and training; this can help you compete with other job candidates for competitive internships and job opportunities.
Earn valuable experience through a job internship. Many fashion critics get their start by completing internships in the field, such as working for a magazine, fashion designer, or TV station. Job internships might be paid or unpaid, but you’ll get valuable first-hand experience and have the opportunity to make industry contacts.
Publish your own blog. Bolster your experience by becoming an online fashion critic. You might not make money from your blog, but attracting a loyal following that respects your opinion can later help you persuade employers to pay for your viewpoints. Don't publish shoddy work; you're building a reputation based on quality and professionalism.
Write a fashion critique; then submit it to local newspapers, fashion websites or other fashion platforms in the media. Editors might purchase your critique, helping to establish a freelance relationship that could transfer into job opportunities. Even if your first submission isn’t published, fashion editors might remember you for future assignments.
Submit work samples along with your resume and cover letter when applying for job positions. These don’t have to be published work samples, although it helps if you can demonstrate that you’ve accumulated bylines. Submitting work samples allows fashion editors to get a sense of your writing style, viewpoint and credibility.
The majority of fashion editors live in California and New York, so relocating might help give you an edge on the job market.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.
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