1. How did you initiate a career that combines both fashion and publishing?
I did a Masters in Journalism after my undergrad degree, then worked my behind off for whoever would hire or publish me until I was offered the opportunity of a young fashion journalist's lifetime: becoming the Editor of seventeen magazine, South Africa. During my time with seventeen, I worked with an incredible team (a few of whom I rehired a couple of months ago!) and we worked really hard at upping the ante of teen fashion in SA through this remarkable international title. We also launched a fashion annual, called Deluxe, that was aimed at a slightly older, edgier consumer – a very fun project that introduced me to some of the best photographers, make-up artists etc in this country. After I went freelance, I started blogging – what started out as a hobby quickly became an all-consuming passion and through my blog (IFor1), I met, interviewed and spent time with very interesting people in the fashion and beauty industry. All of this experience culminated in my newfound role of Editor of Edgars Club that we launched last month as a new-look magazine and supplements, digimag and in-store experience.
2. You have done a fantastic job with the stylish makeover of the Edgars Club magazine. What were your top priorities when tasked with the redesign?
The magazine was an already powerful vehicle with almost a million subscribers but tried to satisfy every customer's needs. My team and I were tasked with transforming the magazine into an aspirational multi-channel shopping brand aimed at women – Edgars' largest consumer base. To this end, we have invested in the best creative teams and have worked hard to ensure the content offering is relevant, exciting and current. The magazine brings the exciting world of Edgars to life – and it's amazing how the longer I work on this brand, the more I understand how rich this offering really is to everyday shoppers. Similarly, the digimag aims to bring the brand's content offering to life in digital and we've created some really fun, interactive content like behind the scenes videos of our cover and fashion shoots. Club's cover look is also now available to buy in selected stores – a first for the brand. It's hugely exciting to see it all come to life…
3. What can regular readers expect from the newly revamped Edgars Club magazine?
On-trend fashion, beauty and décor buys; educational how-to tips from my editors as well as styling tips from industry and Edgars experts; interesting and relevant reads about the people, events and brands making waves within the world of Edgars and, of course, beautiful editorial to inspire and tempt (!) would-be shoppers.
4. What do you love most about the creative process of putting a magazine together?
Having an idea in my head that, through a collaborative effort with some inspirational talents, comes to fruition.
5. And what do you least like about it?
The anxiety of deadlines
6. What makes the Edgars Club Magazine different from other similar publications on the market.
Our readers – we have 1 million loyal subscribers to Club and they are beyond passionate, as I'm starting to find out from the letters I receive every day. I also have a wealth of in-house consumer research at my disposal that I am able to tap into at any time. As a result, I believe that while Club is a custom title produced for a client, our new, targeted content strategy puts the consumer first.
7. Where do you find your inspiration?
I am constantly inspired by the wonderful women I work, and have worked, with. Many of them are friends and always impress me with their innate sense of self and style. I do believe that fashion is less about following faddish trends and more about embracing the opportunity to express yourself through clothing – something South African women are often hesitant to do, yet when they do, they do it very well.
8. What is a typical work day like for you?
Um, ridiculously crazy
9. What is the South African fashion industry like at the moment?
I've been saying for years that the local industry is incredibly talented but lacks backing, education and opportunities from our national retailers so it was wonderful to be part of the launch of the SAFW designers at Edgars Melrose Arch store last month. I hope this is just the beginning of great designers like Black Coffee, Clive Rundel and Colleen Eitzen having rail space at a national store like Edgars.
10. What are some of your favourite fashion trends for Spring 2011/12?
Neons and nudes. White. Ballerina skirts. Mens-style smoking slippers.
11. What beauty products do you favour?
I love Bobbi Brown make-up and Filorga skincare products.
12. What are your hopes for the future of the magazine and for yourself?
Well, I hope the Club brand continues to grow and do well under my editorship. As for me, I hope I remain calm, sane and serene with all the supplements and exciting Club initiatives planned for next year!
*Special Thanks to Justine Stafford and Nikki Versfeld for enabling this interview.