Last updated on Feb 22nd, 2018 at 09:35 am
Growing up reading glossy magazines and watching notorious fashion movies like The Devil Wears Prada can certainly shape a little girl’s career ambitions. I mean who wouldn’t want to play dress up every day?
The long, beautiful dresses, the fierce and killer heels and the crystal studded bags are more than appealing to most. But it’s not always glitz and glam.
Just like any other job, being a fashion editor has its ups and downs.
Here’s a peek into the fashion world, from a fashion editor’s perspective:
You get a first look at what’s to come
This is probably one of my favourite parts of the job. It’s like knowing all the fashion secrets before everyone else does.
Attending fashion shows, next season premiers and designer showcases is great.
You get a peek into what all the stores will eventually have, before those trends are even on the rack. You get to see what’s out and what is about to explode.
First to see, is first to wear, and in the fashion game (where being one step ahead is very important) that’s your ticket to success.
I’ve had more hand blisters than I can count
Clothing doesn’t come pre-pressed, and shoes don’t come pre-taped. So that is your responsibly. The steamer is a real and present danger in my industry. And your hands become less dainty every time you use it.
Taping shoes becomes the norm, and don’t get me started on the amount of laundry I do – make-up stains on couture are a no-no! So if you’re not domesticated and willing to get a little burnt (literally), this is not the job for you.
You get to travel
Traveling is always super fun. Besides the long hours getting there and back, getting to go to new places, to see great views from beautiful sky-scrapers and shooting at beautiful venues is a definite plus. Nothing beats looking at the ocean while viewing a brand’s latest collection.
There’s A LOT of admin
Shopping for cute outfits and shooting days is really only a third of your work. The other two thirds of your time will be spent processing invoices, returning clothes, researching trends, locations and themes, writing reader relevant articles and building your fashion contacts. Staring at a computer screen for half your day is not all that glamourous.
Two words: Free. Stuff.
Ok, yes, fashion editors do get a lot of free goodies! Cute sneakers, beautiful dresses, jewellery, you name it, we get it! That’s usually pretty cool… but not always (which brings me to my next point…).
Yes, size matters
Most of the free clothing you get is model sized. That means if you want to wear it, you have to be model sized, AKA trim. But unlike models, we fashion editors aren’t predisposed to being a size two.
I will say, walking around shopping for shoots helps – on a good day, I walk about 15 000 steps just walking around the mall and designer studios.
You get to rub shoulders with fashion elite
I’ve been quite lucky to have had really positive experiences with celebs and designers. They are more often than not, just regular women with fears, insecurities and ambitions, just like the rest of us… they just happen to be way more beautiful and stylish. Learning better business skills, branding and patience from them has truly been a highlight for me.
Unfortunately, yes, the industry does have some very Mean Girlsesque women. There are loads of fashion cliques and rejects; and if you aren’t careful you can get sucked into that life. Just keep a level head, and remember why you enter the fashion industry to begin with.
You see your name in print
Ok so it may not be in flashing lights, but it’s still something. Seeing your name on a by-line or next to the work that you put together is amazing! All the research, taping, blisters, walking thousands of steps and travel, suddenly seems worthwhile.
You don’t get to keep all the clothing
Sorry to burst your fashion bubble, but no, you don’t get to keep any of the samples, appro purchases or designer gowns you source for a specific shoot. The first question most people ask when they hear what I do for a living is “You must have so many designer threads…”
But that’s just not true, it all has to go back the designers at the end of the shoot.