Happy Birthday Fashion North.
The popular fashion and beauty website, created and run by students studying Fashion Journalism at the University of Sunderland is celebrating a milestone.
Launched back in December 2013, with the full online launch in January 2014, the site is playing a key role in helping students break into the highly competitive fashion world.
Five years on, it remains a force to be reckoned with videos, podcasts and content which is helping set the fashion agenda.
Every week, the fashion students hold an editorial conference to brainstorm ideas that will appeal to 13-35 year-olds interested in style, beauty and homeware.
They then use the skills they’ve been taught on the University’s Fashion Journalism course to write catwalk reports, produce trend mood-boards, style and organise fashion photoshoots, and record podcasts – as well as running the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts.
So far, the team has created 2,894 pieces of content and their graduates who’ve learned “on the job” here have ended up in dream fashion jobs such as glossy magazines like Stylist, Elle, You magazine at the Mail on Sunday and Vogue, social media platforms, and even public relations working for Jimmy Choo and Victoria Beckham.
Fashion North Fact box
Fashion North has published 2,894 stories – with a further 86 in draft waiting to be edited!)
Since their first post, there have been over 100,000 page views.
Fashion North’s most-viewed YouTube videos:
Primark’s cutest hot water bottles
Fashion North go to Clarins Spa at John Lewis Newcastle
University of Sunderland fashion journalism freshers’ trip to John Lewis Newcastle
Fashion North podcast figures: Total plays 162, minutes listened 569.
Four babies! Yes, four of the programme’s graduates are now proud mums.
Living the high life
Case study: Paige Mooney
In the fast-moving world of fashion, Paige Mooney is making a name for herself with all the right brands.
The UoS graduate has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry.
Life has moved into the fast-track ever since Paige left university following her three year degree in Fashion Journalism.
“Since being 16 I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I knew I wanted to work in London,” said Paige.
“Of course, my mum would just nod and smile and say ‘yes dear’.”
Spurred on by her tutors, Paige spent the last few months of her final year emailing some of the world’s most well known fashion magazines, determined to secure an internship.
And it paid off, when she heard back from Marie Claire magazine.
“I was buzzing,” said Paige. “I knew it would only be for six weeks, but when I got there, I just worked as hard as I could.
“By week four, one of the beauty editors asked what my plans for the future were and I just said I wanted to get as much experience as possible.
“She had a friend who was an assistant at Vogue and would see if I could get a place there.”
Within a few weeks, an email landed from Vogue and Paige secured herself another internship.
“Obviously that was the highlight of my life,” she recalls. “I love Vogue and it was right around the time they were celebrating their 100th anniversary, so there was this incredible buzz about the place.
“Kate Middleton was on the cover of the centenary issue and there were lots of things happening.
“It was an exciting time, meeting Kim and Kanye at an event and lots of parties; just seeing life from a whole new angle.”
During all the excitement, Paige was slowly starting to build up her contacts and make a name for herself in the industry.
During the course of nine months, she spent time working other well known publications including Grazia, Red, Glamour and In Style magazines.
“It quickly dawned on me how crucial it was to get internships,” said Paige.
“The fashion world might seem like a big place, but in reality it wasn’t and everyone knows everyone else. You have to prove yourself.”
It was around this time that Paige saw a full-time job come up in public relations for fashion label Jimmy Choo.
Knowing she had built up a strong book of contacts, she impressed the panel of interviewers and landed the role.
Over the next 12 months, the graduate dealt with designers, organised press meetings, worked on social media and got an incredible grounding in the industry.
“It was amazing,” said Paige. “I was doing a job I really enjoyed and getting paid too. It felt like all the hard work had really started to pay off.”
Often working 12-hour days, Paige built her reputation and went on to land herself a dream job with Victoria Beckham’s fashion label.
“It’s really focused on moving the brand forward, and an incredibly exciting opportunity.
“When I look back it seems like I’ve covered a lot of ground in a relatively short time.”