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Breaking Into Journalism The Condé Nast way

Conde Nast College of Fashion Design

One of the best decisions I made this year was signing up to a Fashion Journalism course at Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design. I came across the course by chance but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to sign up. With just one week to go before the starting date I realised that I had no background in the subject, imagining a nightmare situation where everyone else is a journalism pro, reeling off mountains of knowledge while I slowly sink into my chair. So, to avoid any embarrassment, I did what I often do and bought myself a book.

Conde Nast Fashion Journalism Julie Bradford Book

This book – Fashion Journalism by Julie Bradford – was a godsend. Not because everyone turned out to be the all-knowing monsters from my nightmare, quite the opposite. Everyone I met was super friendly and pretty much in the same boat as me. It was because the book is simply amazing. Somehow, I found myself with a well-rounded background in the journalism industry in just a week’s time without having been overwhelmed by information. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject.

Armed with my new-found knowledge, I happily made my way into the heart of London’s Soho to spend a week at one of the most enjoyable courses I’ve ever taken. The course was broken down into a series of lectures from a variety of industry professionals. The topics covered were broad, ranging from generating ideas, blogging and writing skills to trend reporting, interviews and readership profiling. And during all this we also managed to fit in a trip to the V&A to see two exhibitions – Shoes: Pleasure & Pain and What is Luxury?

Conde Nast College of Fashion Design Vogue House Paul Tierney

With journalist, Paul Tierney, at Vogue House

Unfortunately I can’t give you a step-by-step of everything I learned and I can’t replace the experience or the expertise of the college lecturers but for anyone considering taking a course involving fashion journalism, styling or business, Condé Nast is a great way to go. Have a look at the range of courses offered on their website and I’ll end with my top 5 things I learned whilst studying there:

  1. Ideas are worth more than good writing. This did surprise me slightly although it seems obvious now. Good writing – though essential – isn’t worth a lot if you haven’t got a great idea behind it.
  2. Be aware of your environment. Pay attention to your surroundings to help you spot emerging trends in wider culture. Inspiration can come from anywhere, be it furniture, music, lighting, anything!
  3. Don’t be a show off. Being an expert will naturally make you use technical language and terminology when writing about a subject. However, this will limit your readership to people who understand the topic as well as you do. Be inclusive, try to act as a bridge between the experts and the general reader.
  4. Write how you talk. Instead of worrying over which word makes you sound the cleverest or which sentence goes before the other, write similarly to how you speak. This should result in a more natural and entertaining style of writing.
  5. Inform or entertain. A general rule to keep in mind when deciding whether an idea is worth sharing. Your writing should have a sense of value for the reader.

I hope this post has helped any other budding writers out there. If you have any tips of your own, please leave a comment below and share the wisdom!

Vogue Postcard Vintage Cover 50s Conde Nast College of Fashion Design Certificate

(left) 50s Vogue cover postcard courtesy of Linda Watson, (right) Certificate

 

If you liked this post, check out: Behind the Scenes at Fashion Street

xo Sunna

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