What have other fashion journalists done to start their career?
While Sykes career can be seen as an example of entering the field of fashion media conventionally, many current fashion journalists decide to go digital from the start. Bloggers specifically encourage young fashion journalists, who did not possess high amounts of capital at the beginning of their careers, to participate in fashion with their own media platforms. An example of this is Leandra Medine, founder of successful media website Man Repeller, who launched her site in 2010 after graduating in journalism. “As junior studying journalism at a liberal arts school in New York City, I hoped it might open doors when I applied for writing jobs following graduation,” she explains on the about page of the site.
While this has not increased Medine’s economic capital in the beginning, the website came with the opportunity to reinforce her social capital. As with Sykes’ Twitter example, engagement with Medine’s audience through her website enabled Medine to the network via Man Repeller with other key agents of the field. This resulted in collaborations with brands such as Madewell and Gucci to name a few. In this context, Medine’s social capital was constantly exchanged for that of economic capital. This was clearly evident in the engagement of her audience seen in articles on Man Repeller, which has led to an increase in her social media followings. In addition to this, Medine has seen a rise in the symbolic capital, through her exchange of cultural capital – that of her journalistic professionalism and degree – to the one of status within the field of digital fashion media. Moreover, the increase in social media followers benefited her when securing paid collaborations with other agents of the field, which finally started to increase Medine’s economic capital.