So you want to work at one of the most popular and influential magazines? Do you live, eat and breathe fashion, and can you work harder than you ever thought possible? Are you willing to give up your summer holidays? Not many people have what it takes, but here’s one: take a lesson from Lucy Wood, Fashion News Editor at Look Magazine!
What got you interested in fashion?
LW- Glossy magazines. I started reading Vogue religiously from the age of twelve and have every issue since archived in my flat. Each time I flicked through a fashion mag I’d get a real kick and soon became addicted to clothes. I think if you have style, that it is instilled in you and although you can learn to understand what shoes go with what dress or what trends are key each season, it’s not the same as being born with an eye for fashion. I still get that buzzy feeling reading a glossy fashion mag.
Where did you do to school/university?
LW – I studied fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, leaving with a BA (Hons) in Fashion Promotion – Journalism. At college I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go to university because I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do for a living. What I did know it what made me tick: art, graphics, media and fashion. When I heard about the Fashion Promotion course at LCF I made a decision that it was either going to be that or nothing. It’s lucky that they gave me a place (there were sixty applicants to every place available!) because I was adamant I wouldn’t study anywhere else!
Talk us through your fashion CV.
LW – Being a student at the London College of Fashion means you are instantly thrown into work experience placements. They encourage you from the off set to spend each holiday working at a magazine, in a photographers studio, in a PR agency, whatever you were interested in. To come back to a new term from the summer break with your holiday snaps instead of a glowing reference from a placement was like committing a crime! My first placement was at Mandi Lennard Publicty during London Fashion Week where I worked on fashion shows for Karen Walker and Eley Kishimoto. There were so many creative people packed into one place and I loved every minute. Doing the shows is still one of my favourite things about my job. Next, I went onto the press office at Oasis for six weeks one summer before going to Grazia (I’d decided at this point that PR wasn’t for me and that my heart belonged to mags.) After a few months working in the fashion cupboard I met my old Editor, Melanie Rickey, who took me under her wing and trained me to be a fashion journalist. Eventually I became her assistant and was spending more time in the Grazia office than I was in the lecture halls at university. I figured that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not turn down because I was studying to do this job and here was an amazing, well respected editor saying that she would train me. Uni were great about it and I actually spent my final year finishing my degree from the Grazia office. It was pretty tough but I tried to think of the final results! After two years as Fashion News and Features Assistant at Grazia, I was offered my current job as Fashion News Editor at Look. It’s great working for a magazine with instant results. If I write a story on Friday morning, it will hit the newsstands four days later on Tuesday – instant gratification! I’m also Editing a new style publication called RANDOM (www.random-magazine.com) which comes out twice a year. It’s a high-end magazine full of amazing shoots and interviews but still quite underground so go check it out – you won’t be disappointed! I really don’t know how I find the time but seeing the final results on the stands makes all those nights spent in, editing pages when my friends are in the pub, well worth while!
What is your job title?
LW – I’m Fashion News Editor at Look and Editor of RANDOM magazine.
What is a typical work day like?
LW – Varied! One day I’m writing a story about a new collection hitting the Topshop rails, the next, giving my verdict on Angelina Jolie’s latest red carpet gown, the next, interviewing Todd Lynn in Soho House.
What is the best thing about your job?
LW – Seeing all of the new lines before everyone else! Shopping all day, everyday. Interviewing designers and celebrities. Lunching with PR’s. Discounted clothes. Trips abroad… There really are so many perks and when I struggled to get out of bed in the morning I try to remind myself what a brilliant job I have and not to get slack!
What is the hardest part about your job?
LW – Probably the pace and trying to juggle it all. I never get to respond to all of my email and it really worries me that people think I am being rude – there just aren’t enough hours in the day! Also, having to say no to PR’s, photographers, models and so on… It’s pretty horrible being the decision maker all of the time and having to turn people down when you would prefer to use someone else.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
LW – On one of the monthly glossy magazine like Vogue, Elle or at one of the newspaper supplements. I love Sunday Times Style and The Telegraph’s Stella. I also really want to be a consultant for Topshop, I’d love to be a part of bringing trends to the masses.
What advice would you give someone who’d like to work in the fashion industry?
LW – Start as quickly as possibly because it’s inevitable that you’ll have to work for free at first. Also, take everything with a pinch of salt and don’t get involved in the cattiness of it all!
What is your favourite high street shop?
LW – American Apparel for their cotton body con dresses. I have about four of them and they form the foundations of most os my outfits. I also think New Look do great shoes in you’re on a budget – apparently they sell a pair every three seconds!
What is your favourite trend for Spring/Summer 09?
LW – I love the sporty crop tops and bra tops thing but am not sure if I’m actually brave enough to rock them! I’ve been breaking myself in slowly with a Toshop faded crop top over a tight jersey dress and a M&S floral bra-top under a semi-undone denim shirt but that’s sort of cheating! Unfortunately my midriff isn’t what it used to be!