What is the place of The Sunday Times Style in the fashion world?
A UK print publication like The Sunday Times Style is regularly invited to cover fashion shows, to report on brands and collections and expose “new products and new ways of dressing” to the fashion consumer. Therefore fashion publications, specifically editors and journalists, act as intermediaries between fashion producers and the consumer to “construct style and fashion as insider knowledge” which generates profit for fashion brands and at the same time symbolic meaning for the fashion industry.
Given the status and prestige of such a print publication, it can provide an in-house fashion journalist with a significant amount of cultural capital; this means access to exclusive shows due to status and prestige – symbolic and economic capital – seats in the front row next to the elite – social capital – and connections to other key agents in the industry. However, this is dependent on publication, country of residency and the prior accrued symbolic capital of the fashion journalist. In other words, only fashion journalists who align with the above and possess high amounts of cultural capital are likely to be invited to fashion shows to represent the publication.
Having studied English literature at the University of Leeds, Pandora Sykes’s degree makes her possess a considerable amount of cultural capital. Now a freelance journalist, Sykes started her career at an early stage. While she has not attained a degree in journalism specifically her higher education in English Literature opened up opportunities to gain work experience in the field of fashion media. Hence her first positions were rarely focused on writing but rather more on styling and assisting on photoshoots Her roles at InStyle, GQ and the Evening Standard Magazine provided her with comprehensive first-hand experience as well as an opportunity to write. This aligns with Bourdieu’s argument that working one’s way up the career ladder might not be the usual way but is still considered as a form of cultural capital, one that is gained through work experience rather than education. Despite not having specialized as a journalist, her educational background counterbalanced this, leading to her first approved writing trials. Albeit not having the possibility to write on a daily basis, assisting feature writers built the foundation for her career in journalism.