Fashion Journalism: A Big Part Of Fashion Industry That Isn’t Talked About Enough
'Fashion needs the press just as much as the press needs fashion - if not even more. The two are profoundly intertwined with each other, and just like the whole concept of Fashion and the fashion industry, Fashion journalism has changed in ways that no one expected.'
Journalism, as we all know, is a big part of the media and the press - perhaps the biggest part of them all. All the writing content, photo taking - not the paparazzi ones - and so much more, the only reason we have all that is because of the journalists. And as Fashion is an industry that is based almost solely in propaganda, marketing and all kinds of making news, fashion journalism has to be one of the biggest parts of this big industry. It is a component of fashion media, focusing mostly on writing and photojournalism - but we do make a lot of interviews and other things. Fashion journalists focus mostly on staying up to date on trends and covering events, and it’s also our job to create and maintain close relationships with designers, stylists and other Fashion professionals - there’s no story without them. In a nutshell, it is the job of any fashion journalist to have a deep knowledge of fashion history and to stay up to date on every trend, and that’s just on daily tasks.
That kind of journalistic writing became a thing during the 18th century, when a small number of fashion magazines started to get published, especially in Europe. And right now, as society increases its dependence on the internet and virtual platforms, the journalism industry is becoming more and more fluid, so we’re no longer writing a few articles for monthly magazines, but daily stories for websites that are constantly updated - as we still write for monthly magazines at the same time.
The biggest difference is how that change of views made many publications choose to focus on having a solid, strong online publication rather than keeping the physical ones – some are still going both ways and making both online and on paper content, such as ourselves here. As much as we do get to work more when online publishing, it’s also a fact that digital journalism gives the writer unlimited space to write and create, along with the possibility to make real-time updates at any time, and also corrections can be done a lot easier if necessary. Another thing that has also contributed a lot to the rise of digital platforms and the preference for online content is social media, as they are a form of allowing all stories to be far more interactive than they have been in the past. Now, the public can make comments on an article or a piece they like - or dislike - and create a deeper bond with the writer and the vehicle they read.
The internet and social media are actually a great thing when it comes to fashion communication, as it has made it possible for industry outsiders to watch fashion shows without an invitation, just by logging in on their Instagram account and watching it live, allowing everybody to discover their passion for Fashion and bringing the subject to daily conversations. Everybody can love Fashion, not just the people who work in the area or have the money power to actually buy high fashion garments and attend the physical shows. Also, anyone can read about it – and that’s thanks to Fashion Journalism. But it’s not all flowers, and at the same time that it’s great to have the public participate in journalism and communication, it also opens some doors that shouldn’t really be that open. The easy access to all kinds of Fashion performances and the accessibility to writing invites outsiders to act as journalists and write articles about new collections or anything else they want to write about. And that shouldn’t have to be a bad thing, everyone has the right to speak their voice and be heard, but that made the journalist job a little harder. Since anyone with a computer or a smartphone can now sound off about a fashion trend or a fashion show, journalism is becoming an even more competitive field, and the writers have to work double time to break through the noise - and it can help creating even more professional and capable journalists, but it also turns then into workaholic, burnoutted bombs.
The thing is that Fashion needs the press just as much as the press needs fashion - if not even more. The two are profoundly intertwined with each other, and just like the whole concept of Fashion and the fashion industry, Fashion journalism has changed in ways that no one expected. The rise of social media has led to publications catering more to their digital-driven audience en masse. With a click of a button, every publication is available at anyone’s fingertips from anywhere in the world. This is great, because it allows people to see and know things as if they are standing there, but it’s also alarming: how can we publish something new when everyone can see everything as soon as it happens?
That’s the power of Journalism and that’s the real future of it: to be able to see that unique thing in every event that will make you different, that will make your story just different enough from the rest to get the public to choose to read what you write. To be a Journalist without it is just to be someone else in the crowd. And we’re talking about a profession that covers the fashion industry, which is worth over a trillion dollars. If you don’t have that spark, that power to make everything you write desirable to the readers, the future of Fashion Journalism might not be not for you. While often associated as a shallow form of writing, all due to stereotypes and retrograde ideas of how fashion is ‘not a real career’ and other things that are not true, fashion journalism has quite a lot of depth — more than most are willing to admit. So what exactly will be the future of fashion journalism? What’s certain is that no one can say it for sure, no one can concretely predict the future, but if anyone has the answer, it’s the current emerging writers and editors, and especially the young ones - myself included, if I might.
I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that the youth dreams of a Fashion industry that is more than just an industry, but is also about art and passion, where Fashion is more than clothes and styling. So if you ask me about the future of Fashion Journalism, I would say that, more than turning into a digital focused area - as it already is - it is for the ones who are ready to think out of the box and see the hidden beauty of Fashion, the ones who can make a difference, the ones who know that to write without passion is just typing words.