Digital Commentator - Fashion

"Fashion is both my passion and my profession. I started out by simply blogging my thoughts on men’s fashion, and soon others began listening to my opinions on emerging trends for men. I built a circle of peers who respected my judgment and provided new opportunities and contacts. My writing skills combined with my expertise in fashion have made me a trusted informant for my legions of followers. Today, my full-time job is to tell my stories across different digital platforms from YouTube to Snap to my website and blog."

Salary Range:

Will depend on numerous factors

The Tip

We are all storytellers. But storytelling is a skill you need to learn and practice. Take courses and find opportunities to practice your storytelling.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media

 

Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Formulating research questions

  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to develop and execute qualitative research

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources

 

Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

 

Additional Skills
  • Excel at core communication, interpersonal and organizational skills

  • Fundamental business acumen

  • Marketing expertise

  • Ability to monetize content

  • Systematic understanding of current events

  • Ability to use specialized communications technology

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (English) with a minor in innovation & entrepreneurship

  • Instead of working a part-time job during university, I spent my evenings earning my diploma in fashion at the college across the city concurrently with my BA

  • The one thing I learned early was education is lifelong and you are in control of what you learn. Today, my education comes from being engaged in my industry through fashion shows, networking and media like podcasting.

  • Currenty, Pop Fashion is my favourite podcast

 

"During high school, I started a blog and a website on fashion trends for teenagers and it started to attract some traffic. After high school, I decided I didn’t need any more school because some of the biggest people in tech from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg didn’t do a degree. But after two years, I decided if I was going to make this work, I needed more education, so I took an unusual path. I decided to do a BA in English to develop my core writing and research skills. I also did a minor in innovation & entrepreneurship to support my goal of running my own business. At the same time, I did a diploma in fashion to go deeper into context of my industry."

Employment Experiences:
  • Worked in fashion retail right through high school to graduation from university. It paid the bills (and added a lot of stress) but it also let me embed myself in the industry and better understand how consumers think.

  • I did one work term as a marketing coordinator for a men’s fashion designer in London (U.K.)

  • I began a blog in high school on teen fashion trends. I was averaging $100 a month in Google Ad revenue. In university, I repositioned this blog to focus on men’s fashion and then focused heavily on video, imagery and podcasting. My various digital fashion mediums now generate $12,000 a month in revenue.

 

"I needed to understand how stories are sourced and told, so I leveraged university to learn how to curate content to drive engagement. I then sought jobs in organizations to allow me to apply my skills in photography, videography and copywriting. Growing a digital business as an entrepreneur is a lot of work. It is not just about staring at a screen, I need to be out every day networking or travelling to industry events. This has let me grow my business to a sustainable level, but I still have a long way to go."

Community Experiences:

 

"One thing few people appreciate is that fashion is a major socio-economic barrier. If you can’t afford to dress the part, you will never be able to progress professionally. I started in university volunteering for Dress for Success, where we collect professional clothing donations and provide them to people in need. This allows me to use my expertise in fashion as an asset to my community."

Contextual Experiences:
  • The work term in London was both humbling and inspiring

  • Voracious consumer of local, national and international fashion news

 

"My work term in London was shock therapy. I always saw myself as a trendsetter and knowledgeable about fashion, but London taught me how much I had left to learn. It inspired me to dive deep into building a fashion network. I now attend fashion shows in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo annually to see future trends and build my network."

Relationships:
  • Fashion and technology networking

 

"I have built what I call my personal advisory team. This team is made up of senior designers and technology professionals who mentor and advise me on my career and my business."