To many, the job of a fashion journalist often seems shrouded in mystery, and its true nature is obscured by films like “The Devil Wears Prada.” For students looking to break into this elusive industry, this skewed perception can be confusing and frustrating.
To provide some insight and advice for those hoping to break into the industry, A Magazine chatted with LaRa Adekola, the social media manager at Allure Magazine.
As the social media manager, Adekola has responsibilities ranging from posting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to creating content for the site.
“No day is the same,” she says. “…It’s fast-paced, and I love it.”
Adekola studied American studies and media studies at Macalester College and went to New York University for her master’s in media communication. She held a number of various media-related jobs and eventually joined Allure as an associate producer until transitioning to her current role.
For students aspiring to break into the field, Adekola recommends getting as much relevant experience as possible.
“Interning is really, really helpful,” she says. “Reach out to publications and influencers; find their contact information. If you don’t hear back right away, keep following up.”
But traditional job experience isn’t the only kind of experience that appeals to potential employers, she says. She recommends advocating for yourself by keeping a personal blog. This, she says, shows employers a level of self-motivation and resourcefulness—both qualities important to one’s success in the industry.
“Create an avenue for yourself,” Adekola says. “You don’t always have to intern for a major publication to get your foot in the door. If they see you’re proactive on your own and have a voice and are making a platform for yourself, then that’s also really helpful.”
As social media manager, Adekola recognizes how vital it is for potential employees’ social media accounts to reflect the image you want companies to see. She sees social media as a window into who people are, and now more than ever is the time to use it.
Once getting in with a company like Allure, the plethora of responsibilities is balanced out by the creative and exciting environment that fashion journalism offers.
“I’m a beauty junkie,” she says. “…I’m learning something new every single day and that’s what I love about it but the best part is getting to play with makeup.”
Although working at Allure is enjoyable for Adekola, she does warn that just like any job, it has its drawbacks. She says the hardest thing about her job is balancing her time and working outside of traditional work hours.
Despite the sometimes-challenging schedule, Adekola is content with her position, calling it “a really cool job.” Plus, she only has to sit behind a desk for about half of her work schedule.
With the right combination of attitude and experience, Adekola says that getting a job in the world of fashion journalism is a real possibility for anybody, especially if you dress the part and be persistent.
“If you get rejected or don’t hear back, don’t take it personal,” she says. “Having a great attitude makes a huge difference—that’s the one thing I’ve learned in this industry. As long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing, that will shine through.”