Being a fashion editor means your influence is undeniable. Bringing forward a new and unique vision, increasing publication’s circulation and expanding its business reach is a hard work. But, it pays off. As editors (and writers) women have impacted fashion over the years and their influence reached a global scale- using their opinions, sharp eyes and even a little controversy to do so.
If you are into fashion, you surely remember Diana Vreeland’s infamous column “Why don’t you?” For 25 years she ruled the style pages of Harper’s Bazaar, during which she wrote an advice column with (at that time) unusual ideas for the modern women. You must admit that an advice such as “Why don’t you paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys’ nursery so they won’t grow up with a provincial point of view?” sounded progressive in the middle ’40s. She was often referred to as the Empress of fashion. So, if being fashion editor is your dream career, you should definitely research her early works. Why don’t you?
Other fashion editors, such as Ingrid Sischy or Franca Sozzani, are known for groundbreaking points of view, democratizing fashion and raising awareness about important social issues- such as gender or ethnic discrimination. Sozzani once devoted the entire issue to all-black models. There is a common misconception that fashion editors write only about fashion. If used properly, your pen and your voice can go a long way. Being an influential editor means your features are being read globally, so why don’t you use your power the right way? (see, I am already being inspired by Ms. Vreeland)
However, there is one fashion editor that changed my perspective on writing for fashion magazines. Grace Mirabella was appointed as editor in chief of Vogue in 1971. Former Vreeland’s assistant, she shocked the publishing world because of her personal and professional background. Coming from a business world, and having Italian immigrants for parents, was not a “typical” fashion editor profile at the time. But, in 17 years she tripled Vogue’s circulation and proved that business skills are vital in the editorial world. Being and advocate for “wearability” of the clothing, she often supported designers such as Geoffrey Beene and Calvin Klein.
Besides Mirabella, I really admire work of Liz Tilberis, former editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar who transformed the magazine into a major, influential voice in the fashion space. Her goal was to make the magazine most beautiful in the world, and in doing so she inspired competitors to rethink their visual designs. The first cover she did was a legendary cover photographed by Patrick Demarchelier with stunning Linda Evangelista. Using minimalist approach, there was only one coverline: Enter the Era of Elegance.
I know many young journalists and fashionistas worship the shrine of notorious Anna Wintour, but I prefer researching the work of these empowering ladies that inspire me to work even harder and to step out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. Nurture your unique voice and a unique vision because that is the only right way to become successful. I guess that is the only secret of becoming globally recognized.