What I Learned Being Editor-in-Chief of a Student-Run Fashion Magazine

When I entered college, I was determined to set my foot into every open door whether it was by joining a club or by making new friends. So when I heard that my school (University of California, San Diego) had its own student-run fashion magazine called Trend, it felt like the holiest of holy grails had appeared right within my reach. I immediately applied as an apprentice and for my first year, I learned a little bit about each position (writing, marketing, etc) before deciding to play a part as a stylist. Fast forward a few semesters and here I am as the Editor-in-Chief of Trend Magazine—a title I am forever grateful and honored to have.
For those who are aiming to take over their own school’s fashion magazine and/or would like to start their own, here a couple lessons learned and my two cents on how to be the best Editor-in-Chief you can be.
1. A Great Leader Is A Great Listener: Perhaps the most important advice of all is to be a great listener. You are a facilitator of a variety of great ideas coming from your team so it’s up to you to listen to them and curate the best list for the new issue.
2. Trial-And-Error Is OK: No one is perfect and your magazine may not be either. You may realize certain aspects of your work are not as good as you thought it could’ve been and that is OK. It’s all about learning from mistakes and creating a better product because of it.
3. Be A Team Mascot: You should be your team’s #1 supporter. Even though everyone is already invested in the magazine, your encouraging spirit will help push the team to go beyond what was expected and create something extraordinary.
4. Organization = Top Priority: If you are a mess, the team and the magazine will be too (tough words, but very true). Keep a calendar of deadlines especially if your magazine is sponsored financially from other organizations or from your school. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
5. Remember To Breathe: Indeed, it is important to understand that your work is something worth reading to your target audience, but it’s never a good idea to become too engulfed in it either. Take a break and have a team dinner. Check in with all your members and schedule in time for rest when you need it.
6. Have Fun: Dovetailing the previous note, remember that you are doing this project because you love it and you want to see it grow. Getting caught up in the faults and obstacles may cause more harm than good. Stay positive and enjoy the creative process!
Are you involved on your campus? Let us know how in the comments below for a chance to be featured in an upcoming article!