Katharina Pfannkuch earned a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies from University of Leipzig, Germany, in 2011. After graduation, she worked in a lawyer’s office in Dubai before she started working as a freelance journalist. For print and online newspapers such as Spiegel Online, Zeit Online and Die Welt, she covered developments in Egypt and Tunisia and in Muslim communities in Europe. After working on the growing industry of modest fashion, especially for Muslim women, she turned her focus on fashion journalism. Today, she conbtributes to the fashion and lifestyle departments of FAZ, Die Welt, ZeitMagazin Online, Spiegel Online and others.
When it comes to fashion journalism, many journalists face prejudices, misunderstandings, and very often a high level of ignorance. Fashion is seen by many as an issue that cannot be taken seriously – despite the fact that the fashion industry is one of th largest and most powerful industries in the world, providing countless jobs, causing pollution, setting trends and making social codes and classes visible through clothing. Fashion journalism is more than writing about the latest collection and trends in glossy magazines, as Robin Givhan and Vanessa Friedman prove with their work for The Washington Post and The New York Times and with their books. But there are also some examples in German media that show that fashion journalism cannot only escape the powers of marketing, but is also able to raise awareness on social responsibility of the fashion industry. Sometimes, editors and publishers seem to be unsure what exactly the audience expect from a fashion and lifestyle section in a renowned newspaper: Just enternainment and gossip or also social and political information related with fashion? Taking into consideration the readers‘ reaction, the answer has to be: They want both.