We're delighted to be supported by Grazia for Aspinal's London Fashion Week pop-up launch event in House of Fraser Oxford Street! We took the opportunity to chat with Charlie, Grazia's Executive Fashion and Beauty Director, about how she made it in the fascinating world of fashion.
How did you begin your career in fashion journalism?
I studied English Literature at University, but decided post graduating that I'd have some fun first, since I hadn't had a Gap Year. So I started working in fashion retail, first in a boutique on the Kings Road, then ending up in the legendary Way In, Harrods. After a chance meeting with someone connected to the BFC (British Fashion Council) I decided to buckle down and try my hand at Public Relations. I had no experience whatsoever, so started as an intern at a cool fashion PR company, followed by a couple of other placements at other agencies. I worked my way up the fashion PR ladder over a number of years and enjoyed roles as Head of PR at Selfridges, European PR Director at Tommy Hilfiger and The Communications Store. In the summer of 2004 I was approached to be the Executive Fashion & Beauty Director of Grazia, where I've been ever since.
What advice would you give someone looking to break into the fashion industry?
Make yourself indispensable once you get a foot in the door, show that you're a team player, read everything related to fashion, including business and retail features, so that you arm yourself with a 360 knowledge of the industry, have a 'can do' attitude.
Have there been any pinch me moments throughout your career?
Corny as it sounds, I thank my lucky stars that I was given this opportunity at Grazia, especially as I was there for the launch of the title and have experienced the ups and downs of a new magazine! Grazia has given me countless opportunities - the chance to work with a bunch of seriously talented, dynamic people to 'pinch me' moments meeting some of the fashion world's most influential designers, as well as great trips to some pretty far flung places in the world.
What is your favourite fashion city and why?
London - there's no place like home. Walk the streets and you feel the whole world is represented here.
What is your typical day like?
No two days are the same, which is another reason why I love what I do. Communication and transparency is everything on a fast paced weekly, so daily conferences are essential. Aside from that, it depends on what editorial special I'm working on; this week it's the Boot Special. I'm on the precipice of the International Collections right now, so I've got my head down putting together our show schedules.
What is your favourite piece from Aspinal's autumn/winter '14 collection?
The Letterbox Saddle Bag in moss green.
How do you define style?
Style isn't for sale - it's something you create for yourself.