Speaker Recap: Rachel Raczka, Fashion Correspondent at The Boston Globe

By Ludovica Tronci

Pictures: Julia Edgar

Meet Rachel Raczka: Ex-Northeastern Alumni And Current Lifestyle and Fashion Correspondent at The Boston Globe

Working in the world of fashion is something that many people have dreamed of. The fashion environment is a thug one and you have to be ready to compete with people from all around the world that have probably started interning at Vogue in New York when they were sixteen. But as Rachel Raczka, 28, reminded us on Wednesday 21st January, it is something that is really worth fighting for and eventually obtainable.

Before starting her job as Lifestyle and Fashion editor at the Boston Globe in 2011, Rachel was just like one of us. She graduated from Northeastern University in 2008 with a double major in Journalism and History, despite having started as a Music Industry major. “I thought I would be a tour manager on the road, which eventually I did for a summer, but living with six boys in a bus turned out to be the worst thing ever!” she said.

Rachel has always loved writing, she just didn’t know that she could have made a career out of it, but life proved her wrong. She did a co-op for a year at Inc magazine and different internships, including one at Moschino. After living in New York for a couple of years working as a shopping and fashion correspondent for NBC, she returned to Boston. Since 2011, she has overseen all the fashion sections for the Boston Globe magazine, the lifestyle section at boston.com and has been writing for the Thursday’s and Sunday’s edition of the newspaper. But as Rachel reminded, “it takes a long time before you get to the point where you are the top person and everybody else is running around doing things for you. One time when I was an intern I had been forgotten about for eight hours! Everyone thought I went home but I was putting labels on dresses.”

Indeed, co-ops and internships might be giving students and young fashionistas a hard time but, according to Rachel, are also a way to get to know different editors. If you really want to get the best out of these experiences, Raczka says, “pitch, pitch, pitch and get to know the editors and the digital editors as they are the people that are most likely to take your stuff.” Also, “try to take everyone out for a coffee, sit down with them and make sure that you are reading what the other people are writing. Tell them what you liked and what you found interesting. It is important to get to know the people you are working with.” Fashion, indeed, is also about creating contacts and a good network: “once you find a stylist you also a photographer who also finds common ground.”

Rachel grew up in the generation of live journals but she never really had a blog. Apparently though, if you want to pursue a job in fashion, having a blog is something that every aspiring fashion journalist or stylist or photographer should aim for. “Don’t do like me, open one now if you haven’t done it yet as everyone is looking for that.”

Rachel left us with some words of wisdom and five brilliant tips for anyone who wants to pursue a career in this mad fashion world that yet is the dream job of many of us:

  1. Write a lot
  2. Start a blog
  3. Start tweeting- especially if you are a writer they want to know how many people care about what you say
  4. Call the editors- it is always important to have an editor on your side as they are the ones who can help you how to pitch an idea and can tell you if the story is going to work out or not
  5. Read everything- you want to know what every person in your market is doing. It is super important to be always on top with things because there is always something you are going to be missing. I start off everyday with Women’s Wear Daily, the Washington Post’s Style section, Teen Vogue and Oprah Magazine because I feel that somewhere in between there is the Boston audience, a mix of things that are cool but also super obtainable but also some others that are not practical but also very beautiful

And also remember to always be nice: “There is this weird idea that people in fashion are mean and cold, unfriendly and snobby and that is just not true.” And Rachel proved this to us all.

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