Interview with Larissa Lima, Fashion Journalist

Not everyone wants to be a fashion designer. And with the multitude of roles to form a long career in, fashion has plenty to offer young talent that seeks more to life than design. 

In this month's interview, Larissa Lima gives us a look at what inspired her into choosing fashion journalism as a career, what it's like working in fashion, as well as some tips for achieving success in the field of fashion media.

How would you describe yourself as a fashion journalist? 

First of all, I love to write! And because of that, I describe myself as a passionate writer. My skill is in being versatile as a writer. My career has enabled me to work in fashion, beauty, marketing, culture, and lifestyle. All those segments are so important because they make my writing skills more enriching.

What is your background and what training have you had?

I started my career early, at 16 years old, and my first job was as a sales associate for a luxury multi-brands store (Prada, Valentino, Marc Jacobs) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Through the store, I met the Brazilian-born and New York-based jewelry designer Ana Khouri, who sold her collections there. I knew that she had an open position for an assistant, then after a couple of months, I started working for her. Basically, everything that I know about design, stone, metal and the jewelry production I’ve learned from her.

After my first year in college (I graduated from FMU, a Brazilian college, with a degree in Fashion Business), I decided that I needed to develop my skills as a fashion writer. Then, I finally found a job to work as a fashion journalist for the PR Agency for C&A Brazil.

I worked writing the press releases and notes of the collections, and also in the strategic planning of the brand in the media. I think I consolidated my career two years later when I a got a position as a fashion writer and copywriter for South America's largest fashion e-commerce, Dafiti.

I was responsible for all the texts of the blog, and managing the entire flow of the channel. Also, I wrote for the fashion magazine, distributed eventually in the stores. Through Dafiti's magazine, I had the amazing opportunity to interview most of the famous models like Alessandra Ambrósio, Marlon Teixeira, Bruna Tenório, and the Brazilian actress and one of the Chanel’s Ambassador, Laura Neiva.

And last but not least, I covered many runway shows of Sao Paulo Fashion Week!

When did you know you wanted to be a fashion journalist?

To be precise, my relationship with words starts in my adolescence when I used to read and write about poetry and literature. But I just realized that I could combine my passion for writing and for fashion when I started college.

Was there anyone in your family who made you want to design?

Actually no. I’m the only one in my family who holds an art degree, but my Mom always supports me to do whatever I feel that I should do. So here I am!

What’s it like working in the fashion industry?

First of all, nothing glamorous!

Most of the people think that when you are in the fashion industry you have glamour; celebrities around; looks of the day; etc as it looks like in the magazines or on tv.

It's not 50% of the daily work, believe me!

From my perspective and my background, it’s more about love, hard work, and initiative to make the things happen.

However, one of the best parts of working in fashion is that you can play different roles, so there’s space for everybody, you just have to find your path and even a mentor!

The fashion industry is going to be faced with enormous challenges and changes around ‘ethical and sustainable’ fashion. How are you preparing for this?

As a fashion journalist, it's part of my job to keep people informed about ethical and sustainable practices. Personally, I care about which companies and brands have transparency in sourcing, manufacturing, designing and other processes.

So I think everybody has to know if the brands they consume are delivering what they have promised and, at the same time, minimizes the impacts on the environment.

How important is developing a network of professional contacts in your career? 

Definitely, it is at the top of my list!

Most of my job opportunities came from the people that I’ve met in my life. So I think it is really important to be open and nice to everybody around you!

What three skills would you advise university students to develop which they can’t directly develop on their fashion courses, to help them in the industry?

Continuing the last question, number #1 is networking!

Go to all the fashion events that you can; talk with people; introduce yourself to them...make that moment (minutes maybe!) the opportunity for you to be remembered!

#2 study: Read and study a lot about fashion, But keep in mind that fashion is definitely not just fashion! This area depends on other disciplines to get knowledge as art, culture, politics, study and stay tuned as much as you can about everything!

#3 skills: work to improve your skills; Focus in on your strengths; know your weaknesses; try different styles; Find the gaps in your skill set; and no matter what position that you might have, in the fashion industry if you can be considered a multitasker, then the more chances you have to get there (aka your dream job)!

Just remember to be humble!

If you could have started to study fashion design when you were younger, say whilst still at school how would this have helped you? 

First of all, I'm grateful to start my career so early. But If my High School had taught fashion courses, I think I could improve my skills earlier and maybe, at that moment, I'd know exactly which path in the fashion industry I would want to follow.

If you could talk to your ten-year-old self, what would you like him/her to know?

Well, I'd say never let people put you down. Keeping dreaming and studying hard. You are just a kid, and you have a whole life ahead, just believe in yourself and your potential!

What was your first impression of The Fashion Student Hub and how do you think it can help young designers and others seeking a career in fashion?

I got so excited and happy for discovering a platform for fashion students! 

Nowadays, we have many kinds of blogs and magazines, but I think we have been missing content focused on teaching about the Fashion Industry properly.

And no matter if you are a students or future student, I believe that anyone who wants to know more about fashion apart from the “look of the day”, should check The Fashion Student Hub out, because it can help them improve their skills in fashion and also get more advices to build a successful career.

For further info about Larissa visit her portfolio here.



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