Being a fashion journalist isn’t all glitz and glam and creating a killer career requires some serious elbow grease.
Brazilian writer Larissa Lima said three key things help kickstart her career which saw her go onto to interview some of the industry’s most influential figures like former Victorian Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, beauty expert Julia Petit and jewellery designer Ana Khouri.
Now pursuing the freelance dream in New York City, Larissa kicked off her career in fashion journalism in Sao Paulo.
So what is Larissa’s tried and tested formula for getting started in fashion? And how did a famous horror and sci-fi author help her stay motivated on honing her craft?
1. Know your industry
To do well as a fashion journalist Larissa said you need to know your craft inside and out.
“Study and read everything you can about fashion,” Larissa said.
“You need to keep in mind that fashion is definitely not ‘just fashion’.
“It is majorly influenced by other disciplines and what is going in the world.
“So make sure you’ve got your finger on the pulse when it comes to things like art, culture, politics and even the economy!
“My advice is study hard and stay tuned in to what’s going on around you.”
2. Develop your writing and embrace other skill sets
When it comes to your skills set, Larissa believes its a constant evolution.
“Continually work on improving your writing skills,” Larissa said.
“Don’t be afraid to try different styles until you find ‘your voice’.
“And another thing, whether you’re in fashion journalism or just fashion itself, being considered to be a ‘multitasker’ is a BIG plus.
“It will give you more chances to be noticed which means more chances to score work.
“So don’t be afraid to foster other skills that might come in handy like the ability to track emerging trends, brands, and initiatives that are happening in fashion
“Or an understanding of different ways to write for social media – Instagram stories is the new gem in fashion journalism!
3. Put yourself out there
Although it might seem obvious, Larissa said that networking in the fashion industry is super important.
“Go to all the fashion events that you can,” Larissa said.
“Introduce yourself and try to meet new people.
“As you’re chatting, remember that every conversation is an opportunity and you need to build up the courage and put yourself out there.
“Also, if you want to write or work for a specific publication, reach out to the editor.
“If cold emails don’t open doors, they might at least open a window!”
So how on Earth does a horror and sci-fi author fit into Larissa Lima’s career success?
Larissa said that the best piece of advice she ever received came from the book “On Writing” by Stephen King.
“The book is about writing but it can fit in any context,” she said.
“In the book Stephen says… some of this book—perhaps too much—has been about how I learned to do it [write].
“Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it—and perhaps the best of it—is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.
“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”
Inspired by Larissa’s experience as a fashion journalist? Read her full Career Chat and learn how she landed her first big job in fashion at 16 years old and how she made the transition from in-house journalist to freelance writer.