LPA: What was your first job in fashion and how did you get from there to where you are today?
CN: This is my very first job in fashion! I’ve run magazines in a variety of business sectors before but when I arrived last March at Drapers I was completely new to the fashion sector. Let’s just say that luckily I’m a fast learner….
LPA: Talk me through a typical day as Editor-in-chief of Drapers…
CN: There are no typical days at Drapers! One day I might be looking through the latest shoot images for one of our seasonal special issues, the next I could be furiously tweeting from a catwalk show or working with the news team breaking a news exclusive online. That’s what I love about it.
LPA: For it’s 125th anniversary, Drapers has re-launched with a new look. What particular changes have you made to the magazine and why?
CN: We re-launched both the magazine and the website with a new look at the end of March to better reflect the style and pace of today’s fashion industry. The magazine design offers a mix of bite-sized news and views with some in-depth interviews and reports that readers can kick back and spend some time on and we have injected a lot more Drapers opinion to give our readers a good filter on what they really need to help them in their businesses. The look is very clean and modern, and we use our own photography as much as possible.
LPA: Why did you decide to announce the nominees for this year’s Drapers Awards via twitter?
CN: Twitter is a global phenomenon but within the fashion sector in particular it seems to perfectly fit the culture. Our @Drapers account has 30,000 followers and we get a lot of our news tip-offs through Twitter now so what better medium to use? It also creates an immediate buzz around this year’s nominees and starts a conversation around the awards.
LPA: What are your thoughts on the relationship between print and online journalism? Do you think online will eventually replace print or the two can continue to co-exist?
CN: I am quite unusual in that I’ve worked as a journalist across print and web since the mid-1990s so this is not a new issue for me. I genuinely believe the two can co-exist, particularly in the fashion sector where, for the time being at least, there is still a strong love of the tangible paper product. However, our job is to provide our subscribers with information and analysis through whatever channel they choose to access it, be that a magazine, a website or a social media feed. We need to evolve as they do.
LPA: Do you think the rise of online magazines and blogs has forced print magazines to structure and approach their content in a different way? I imagine that the instant nature of online journalism could be an issue, especially when it comes to news and fashion week…
CN: I think the rapid advance in technology and speed of communication has massively impacted the way journalists work – but this has been happening for 20 years so I doubt its come as a sudden shock to any current magazine teams. Most of us now work over both mediums. I actually think it has made our jobs much more exciting. We are able to give our subscribers news as it happens, literally, and also get the industry’s feedback on it instantly. It’s something that I will never get bored of!
LPA: When you’re adding to the Drapers team, are there any particular qualities or qualifications that you look for in potential employees or interns?
CN: Personality and inquisitiveness. Everything else can be learned. I look for people with bags of energy, enthusiasm and a penchant for asking a hell of a lot of questions!
LPA: What advice would you give to someone hoping for a career in fashion journalism, or maybe even aspiring to one day be an Editor like yourself?
CN: Be the first to suggest changes and improvements. Good ideas can get you a long way.
Love Ella. X
Ps) The entry deadline for this year’s Drapers Fashion Awards is just 2 days away (friday 27th) and nominations are announced next month so if you think you, or someone you know, deserves one then now is your moment, nominate away!