As the reality of Condé Nast leaving Vogue House edges closer, our BA Fashion Communication & Industry Practice, Vogue Certificate and Vogue Diploma students were delighted to visit Vogue House as part of their Fashion Media module. BA student Florence Webber recaps her experience.
Visiting Vogue House for the first & last time…
Setting foot in the nexus of fashion journalism felt daunting, but we were all buzzing with excitement. The atmosphere of creativity, innovation and style was palpable and although the walls could not talk, the vintage black and white photographs that adorned them expressed a riveting tale: Vogue’s ascension to greatness.
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A sense of awe enveloped us as we pictured the glamorous models and visionary designers that had walked the very same halls we stood in. First big breaks, dreams realised and moments of genius reside beneath the roof of the iconic Vogue House and to share in that was an immensely special experience.
Meeting the Editors behind the titles…
The pinnacle of our visit arrived with the opportunity to meet some of the brilliant minds at the forefront of fashion journalism.
First on the roster of speakers was Jasmine Parker, Sub Editor of Tatler. Jasmine spoke about her career journey to sub editor and the skills required, such as a keen eye for detail, an excellent command of spelling and grammar, a fantastic ability to apply house style to a wide range of details and fact check articles.
Complimentary to Jasmine’s talk, we then heard from Eilidh Hargreaves, Features Director on Tatler. Eilidh spoke about her busy role and how closely she works with the Editor-in-Chief to ensure their content appeals to the Tatler audience. She spoke about her love of the high/low journalism and celebrity and socialite news, and mentioned the importance of loving your job as it is a lifestyle.
Condé Nast Traveller
Next up was Pete Winterbottom, Global Creative Director for Condé Nast Traveller. Pete took us on a whistlestop tour of his journey from a small town in the north of England to eventually landing at Condé Nast where he has been for the past 22 years. Pete emphasised the importance of passion and hard work, and talked us through how he coordinates Traveller teams across the UK, US and the Middle East, and the impact this has on his lifestyle – citing shockingly early 5am starts.
We were then joined by Condé Nast College alumna, Robyn Brady, who dropped in to talk us through a typical day in her role as Marketing Manager for Vogue Business. Robyn spoke about her journey from graduating from the Condé Nast College BA (Hons) in Fashion Communication to landing her job for Vogue Business and how her analytical skills get put to the test every day in her busy and dynamic role.
Alex Kessler, the very stylish Junior Fashion Editor for Vogue, arrived in the Vogue House Boardroom to talk us through his busy role as writer on the fashion team and lifted the lid on the reality of attending fashion shows and high profile fashion events. He stressed the importance of trying various roles to find your niche, staying focused and prioritising the task at hand.
Georgia Shepheard, Social Media Manager for British Vogue, told us about her exciting and busy job, and the need to keep abreast of social media trends and how the team coordinates content across their channels globally. This is a 24/7 fast-paced job and requires total commitment to the role, and most importantly how the data analysis of where engagement is focused helps direct the teams and provides insight into what content is most successful.
Lifestyle Director for GQ, Mike Christensen stopped by to talk about his no-nonsense approach to securing a job, and told us about his journey to becoming the Editor-in-Chief for GQ Australia, before returning to the UK.. He spoke about being true to your vision and not always doing what is expected, especially when it comes to editorial decisions and how surprising people can give a fresh new take. He also spoke about the importance of realising the commercial aspects involved when coming up with dynamic editorial content.
Condé Nast College connecting students with industry
The speakers shared stories of how they found their way to the top of the fashion industry, and gave us insight into what their roles entailed, helping us to figure out what path is best suited for ourselves. For many of us, it was the first time meeting thought leaders of the fashion industry.
The only glimpse I’d had into their world was through movies. The Devil Wears Prada, Confessions Of A Shopaholic, Ugly Betty and 13 Going On 30, all shaped my preconceptions of the fashion world and whilst they depict journalistic excellence, they portray fashion leaders as cold and intimidating. Perhaps this gives insight into our apprehensive feelings prior to the visit, but rest assured these notions were soon dispelled by the kindness of the fashion maestros we met. Listening to each of them speak, we came to the realisation that not too long ago they were just like us: young, passionate, students with big dreams of working for an organisation like Condé Nast. It was instilled in us that with hard work and focus, there may come a time when we are the ones giving a talk to spritely Condé Nast students too.
@florence__webber Day in the life of a Conde Nast Student. #fashion #fashioninspo #fyp #foryoupage #devilwearsprada #condenast #voguehouse #vogue #condenastcollege @Condé Nast College London ♬ My Love Mine All Mine – Mitski
This visit wasn’t just a field trip to the Vogue House; it was an insight into what’s possible. Looking to the past inspired us because it illuminated the vast spectrum of pathways to Vogue’s hall of fame and whilst it’s sad to see the end of an era, this marks the beginning of a new, exhilarating, chapter. On behalf of Conde Nast College, we want to thank the exceptional minds that gave meaning to the emblematic Vogue House.
By Florence Webber, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication & Industry Practice student
Edited by Hannah Shakir