How to Start a Fashion Magazine

Starting a fashion magazine is an amazingly exciting prospect for those who love style, creativity, clothing and glamour. Of course the world of fashion publishing isn't just about creating stunning layouts and highlighting the latest trends to hit the runways. Publishing has traditionally been a high-risk field and building a new magazine from the ground up and achieving success in the process can be a bit of a Herculean task.

The good news is, it's certainly not impossible. With a good idea, proper business advice, the right "look", talented employees and a successful marketing campaign you could be on your way to achieving your lifelong fashionista dreams.

Envisioning Your Fashion Magazine Content

The first step is to define what fashion means to you and how it will translate into a magazine. Decide what type of publication you want to start. Fashion itself is a broad concept and isn't defined solely on high-end couture and glossy magazines with supermodels gracing the cover. Fashion is also about everyday style and design for the average person out there in the "real" world.

Fashion magazines can be written to appeal to specific genres and populations. For example, your fashion magazine could cater to teenagers, children, baby boomers, pregnant women, petite women, plus-sized women or people from specific cultural or religious backgrounds.

Creating a Concrete Plan

Once you've come up with the core idea and premise for your magazine, make a list of your goals and expectations for it, both in the short term and long term. Decide what you ultimately hope to accomplish and ask yourself:

  • What kind of fashion content will you focus on?
     
  • Will you hire in-house writers, photographers and stylists or outsource everything to freelancers?

  • What are magazine startup costs, and how will you obtain financing?
     
  • Is advertising to fund the magazine your best option?

  • How will you market your magazine? 

  • Where do you see your magazine this year, next year and ten years from now? 

  • Do you feel that you need to start a traditional newsstand magazine straight away or are you open to the idea of beginning as an online fashion magazine, or operating as a digital publisher for the long term?

Seek Professional Guidance

After your goals have been clearly outlined and you have a better idea as to what your magazine will entail and the direction you want it to go in, it's time to make a game plan. Figuring out how to take your concept to the point of reality is going to require some serious thought as well as a cohesive and well laid out business plan.

Make an appointment with an attorney who can go over the steps that you will have to take towards opening your own magazine. You'll need to go over things such as establishing a company, hiring employees or freelancers and any business licenses you will need for your magazine including possible distribution permits. Work on determining how you will finance your venture as well.

Marketing and Distributing Your Magazine

Curating fashion magazine content for an online or print publication is just the beginning. You also need to attract an audience to improve your profits. Even if you distribute a print magazine, have an online edition so that you can take advantage of inbound marketing tactics like SEO, email newsletters, and social media campaigns. Consider advertising your magazine in other magazines if possible.

Build professional relationships as well. Social media influencers can help you get in front of your target audience, and you can develop a cross-promotion campaign with fashion or beauty brands. Join industry trade organizations, befriend others in the fashion and publishing world through networking. You never know who you might meet who can help you make your dream of a fashion magazine a reality.

References

About the Author

Faith Schuster is a freelance writer from New England whose craft, gardening and lifestyle articles have appeared in newspaper, print and online publications for more than 10 years. She holds a degree in English from the University of Hartford.