Jess Cartner-Morley is the fashion editor for The Guardian. So many people want to be a fashion editor but they don’t really know what an editor does. It used to be that a girl growing up wanted to be a princesses or a vet and now everyone wants to be a fashion editor.
What is your fashion background?
I didn’t study fashion at college – I have a history degree. When I graduated I started out doing work experience on Just 17 and progressed from there. I came to the Guardian as a researcher 13 years ago but moved back into fashion soon after, as Deputy Fashion Editor. In June I will have been Fashion Editor here for for ten years
Most people don’t really understand what a fashion editor does. Can you tell us what your job entails?
The Fashion Editor title can mean two totally different jobs. Fashion Editors on magazines are usually stylists, on newspapers it usually means you’re a writer, like me. Not very many people do both. My job is to cover the fashion beat for the paper, which means reporting on everything from the haute couture shows to X Factor to street trends to politicians’ ties. I have a brilliant team, there are 5 of us including a stylist and a fashion assistant, and between us we produce all the fashion pages for the paper and for Weekend mag and provide fashion content for the website.
What is a typical work day for you?
No such thing, which is why it’s such a great job. I could be in the front row in Paris, or interviewing a new designer in Dalston, or at my desk with the team writing a column and having a laugh putting the measure together. It’s all fun.
How many hours per week do you work?
I’ve got two children, and so I work part time – for ten weeks a year during the shows I work full pelt, and the rest of the time I work a three day week. If I’m in the office it’s generally a 9.30 – 6.30 job but there are often evening events to cover, and during catwalk season I’m generally working till at least 10pm every night of the week.
You’ve worked for the Guardian for over 10 year, what is the biggest shift you’ve seen in the fashion world?
How fashion has gone from being a niche subject to something everyone talks about. It’s great.
Is there a fashion moment that stands out for you?
Some of the great catwalk shows I’ve seen will stay with me forever. McQueen and Galliano stand out. When a catwalk show is really incredible, you just can’t beat it.
Did you know you have a fan club on facebook?
I do! Someone told me about it. I’m thinking of joining.
What’s your favourite place for breakfast?
For a working breakfast it’s got to be The Wolseley for scrambled eggs and people-watching, two of my favourite things. If I’m not working my dream breakfast is Ottolengi on Upper Street – toast with mashed banana and honey, a couple of flat whites and all the papers. Heaven.