What is Fashion Journalism?
Journalism is the umbrella term under which fashion journalism can be categorized. Communicating about relevant and current developments in the fashion industry, constitutes fashion journalism. Researching, critiquing, analyzing, reviewing, interviewing and reporting about fashion are the primary responsibilities of a fashion journalist. Apart from a passion for the subject and love for writing, a fashion journalist would have to possess a basic understanding of fashion trends, art, forecasting, and certain aspects of fashion design and the skills to network with professionals in the industry. I believe that to be a decent fashion writer, one should have an eye for what makes an interesting story, a sense of morals and ethics, knowledge of which medium and outlet suits the story best, and the ability to organize ideas in a concise manner. Because fashion is considered a frothy subject, a good fashion writer will think visually while writing and support his/ her views with relevant media (pictures, videos, GIFs) if required. The world of fashion involves big names, celebrities and sometimes, big egos. This requires an additional skill: to be able to justify convictions and opinions. Substance is key; anyone can be fluffy about fashion.
Participatory journalism and technological developments have radically changed journalism in today’s digital age. A plethora of multimedia elements exist to allow information to be disseminated through social media and other outlets. The ability to create stories that become viral lies with any person with access to the Internet. Smartphones, smartphone apps and social media are fabulous in many ways and have brought about exhilarating changes to the manner in which we consume information. Perhaps the biggest change to the definition of fashion journalism is brought about by the birth of bloggers. They are, in my opinion, a new generation of fashion journalists. Many (not all) bloggers are fashion aficionados that succinctly articulate about fashion and are ethical when it comes to disclosing their relationships with brands. This is what makes them fashion journalists - they are informed and know how, when and what to communicate.