Sharon Green is a print and online journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. She has written across a variety of Fairfax community newspapers including Melbourne Weekly Magazine, City Weekly and The Melbourne Times specialising in fashion.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Sharon Green and I’m a Melbourne based journalist. I have written extensively across a number of leading Australian publications including The Age, Herald Sun, Geelong Advertiser, Fairfax Weekly newspapers, Bride Magazine, Fashion Journal and Onya Magazine among many others.
I have done a range of fashion writing including features and profiles on some of the country’s renowned fashion labels, designers, and events.
How did you get your start in fashion?
I first entered the fashion scene back in 2005 when, after much fascination with the inner workings of the industry, I decided it would be a good idea to volunteer at the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival. I worked backstage as an assistant and dressed models, taped shoes, organised garments, and got my first real insight into how a fashion show is put together.
I came back to volunteer at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week that September but tried my hand at front-of-house duties and found myself enjoying the pre-production tasks of setting up catwalk spaces, seating plans, and show bags just as much as backstage. The following year Pronto Productions approached me to work on contract as a backstage assistant at these two major fashion festivals in Melbourne, as well as a number of corporate and independent events, and I stayed on with them for about three years.
At the time I was studying a media degree but had no idea where it was going to take me. I’d enjoyed the event management and production side of things and knew I wanted to stay in touch with the fashion industry. I started doing a bit of freelance writing for some fashion publications and really enjoyed the process of sourcing information from an ever-changing industry and meeting talented designers to get their story.
When I enrolled in a Masters of Journalism, I knew it was time to get serious about my writing. I did a host of fashion features and profiles for online publication Onya Magazine, and later began a monthly feature for street press magazine Fashion Journal. It was most exciting when I was invited to cover fashion week for Onya Magazine and to this day I am still searching for interesting stories with a fusion of fashion.
Sharon Green fashion journalist
Why did you choose fashion?
I’m not sure that I ever really “chose” fashion per se. It wasn’t like I woke up one day and decided “I’m going to work in fashion!” My journey into the industry certainly stemmed from curiosity and fascination, and when I realised that I had an extensive network of people working in fashion at my disposal, the shift to into fashion journalism was a natural progression. Having said that, I wouldn’t still be writing about fashion if it didn’t continue to inspire and fascinate me. And I suppose that is one of the reasons I am still drawn to it.
Is the fashion industry what you expected it to be?
To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. Apart from the high fashion scenes we see in movies and on television, I never really had an image in my mind of what to expect. The only thing I expected was to feel excited and inspired when surrounded by people working in the same field, and it’s definitely lived up to that.
What does your job consist of?
Each day can be different and that’s the beauty of doing journalism. One day might consist of solid research where I’m looking for someone unique to profile, or a fresh angle for a story, or a new breakthrough in the fashion industry. Other days might consist of organising and securing interviews with fashion designers and other industry experts.
Then there are occasions when I’ll spend the day meeting with people, getting their story, or attending fashion shows and other events. Then of course, there are days when deadlines loom and I’ll be busy writing articles and chasing up photos to ensure I can submit the story to the relevant publication on time.
Describe a typical week
There is no such thing as a “typical” week because it changes all the time. But that keeps the pace interesting and there’s never a dull moment. But generally, I’ll start my week sourcing story ideas and teeing up interviews, and by mid-week I’ll usually be doing an interview and starting the writing phase.
Then I’ll spend some good time editing and proofing the piece and tweaking it as much as I can. Of course, this stage of the process can vary greatly depending on how much time I have up my sleeve before deadline. I generally have weekends free because most people are not usually available for interviews and to do business during this time.
Yeojin Bae article
Roughly how many hours do you work per week?
Depending on how many commissions I’m juggling at once, the hours can vary. On a steady week, I’d work your average 38-40 hour week. But in the world of freelancing, it’s always a case of feast or famine and the trick is to be flexible around the work flow.
Sometimes I’ll have quiet weeks that get me worried whether I’ll have any work the following week and sometimes I’ll get 3 commissions assigned all on one day.
During busy weeks, I can work in excess of 60 plus hours especially if we throw fashion week into the mix and events held on weekends and after hours. It’s therefore very important for me to make the most of relaxing when I do get some down time.
What are the key skills you need for your role?
In order to thrive and survive in fashion and in journalism, you definitely need to be tenacious, organised, resourceful, and at times patient. I often find myself in situations where I’m juggling multiple stories at a time and so having the ability to prioritise is important too, as is the ability to multi-task when I have conflicting deadlines.
I also think having a reliable and varied source of contacts in the industry is key – if I’m writing a fashion article and require comment from industry experts from different backgrounds, I need to refer to my network of contacts to help me out. As they say these days, it’s all about networking, networking, networking!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love the variety because it leaves little time to be bored. In my time as a journalist I can’t say I’ve ever written the same story twice, or met two people who are the same. Every day is different. And fashion is always changing. There’s always something to excite and surprise. And I’m always learning something new every day. That’s what I truly love about what I do.
What do you find challenging?
I find the biggest challenge always lies in finding the next story. And by that, I mean a story that has something special or unique about it. It’s easy to find an average story but to meet someone that has something different or fascinating to share is quite rare. I’m always on the search for that unusual, distinctive or exceptional factor in someone’s story that I can share with my readers.
What do you do in your time off?
I enjoy nothing more than waking up on a lazy Sunday morning knowing that I can indulge in a delicious breakfast and mull over the Sunday papers. Because journalism is so fast-paced these days, particularly with publishing online and always meeting a deadline of some kind, I relish in taking a slower pace.
I also have a permanent stash of magazines sitting under my bed and quite enjoy some quality magazine reading time. Watching movies is also one of my favourite past times.
What’s the highlight of your career so far?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced many highlights throughout my career so far.
Certainly, being invited to cover L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as a media representative has been a privilege and an experience I’ve been most grateful for. It’s given me a different perspective of the industry attending as someone who is not there to simply enjoy the show, but as someone who has to walk away with a story to share with readers who are so incredibly passionate about fashion.
Another highlight was interviewing Yeojin Bae for a profile article because, in my eyes, I feel she is a designer with outstanding talent. Since she released her first collection, I’ve always found myself relating to her design style – I really like her sophisticated touch. Yeojin shared her story with me and it was humbling to discover how she made a start in the industry and worked her way up to international success.
I’ve also had the chance to collaborate and work with some young, emerging fashion designers including Tash Witzleb (Miss T) and Eva Q Huynh (Eva Q Design). It’s been refreshing to watch these labels grow since their beginning and to see the tenacity and creativity of these young designers. I’m sure the future of the fashion industry will be bright if they are anything to go by.
At Melbourne Spring Fashion Week with the Onya Magazine team
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in fashion?
Get involved in the industry as early as you can. Make a start while you’re still studying and begin accumulating experience. This will allow you to network with the right people in the field who you may later work with. Building a pool of valuable contacts in the industry will also be invaluable.
Finish this sentence: Fashion is…
… a way of life.