THINGS DONT HAVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD TO BE IMPORTANT
What you wear, your hairstyle, your make-up: if it is important to you, then it is important. To be confident and comfortable with your own image is so powerful. When Louise Wedderburn, who suffers from a debilitating autoimmune condition, visited ELLE in 2012 for a documentary about her daily battle to live a normal life, we were blown away by her positive attitude but, more than that, it was fashion and beautys power to change her world that struck us as amazing. Her love of clothes and make-up was perhaps the most empowering thing in her difficult life. I was proud to offer her the chance to realise her dream of coming to ELLE. When people (mostly men) denigrate the power of fashion, I think of the positive impact it has on women like Louise. But it makes a difference in every womans life and you have no need to apologise for that. You dont have to be anti-feminine to be a feminist, do you?
WHAT WOULD MADONNA DO?
I was a teenager in the 1980s. Shes my hero she personally signed my 40th birthday card, which is framed on a wall at home, alongside a picture of Courtney Love
hugging me tightly. If in doubt when it comes to making a tough decision, I have always asked myself the above question.
Should I put Miley Cyrus
on ELLEs cover before anyone really knows her name, because I have a gut instinct shell be huge in six months? What would Madonna
do? So, we shot Mileys first UK fashion magazine cover and the rest, as they say, is history. We like making history at ELLE.
Were the first integrated, hot-desking fashion magazine. I dont have an office and we work around a glass-enclosed Fashion Cupboard. This 360° way of working means Team ELLE is innovative in a way no other luxury fashion magazine is. I like to think its what Madonna would do if she were Editor-in-Chief (although shed probably do it in thigh-high leather boots and carry a whip. Im mostly in my running gear or McQueen shirt dress).
STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH (as Steve Jobs once said)
We eat a lot at ELLE. I even have a Krispy Kreme Gold Card, so deep is my love of doughnuts. And I often recite the above quote when people ask me how Ive stayed in the job so long. Never stop believing that big thinking is possible. I suggest all sorts of never-been-done-before ideas every day (which my boss, Group Publishing Director Meribeth Parker, cleverly filters). Some of them are extremely foolish. Some are great.
I wore jeans on my first day at ELLE. I had laid out designer pieces the night before, but I decided to just be me. Now, after a decade of editing the worlds biggest-selling fashion magazine, I believe the most important thing you can be is yourself. I didnt become an editor to get a front-row seat at Fashion Week, meet famous people or collect bags and shoes. None of the successful editors I count as friends, or the incredible editors Im inspired by, went into magazines for those reasons.
The question Im most asked is: How do I become an editor? Would-be editors who chase that lifestyle, in my experience, fail to achieve their dream. A good editor lusts after just one thing: to make the best magazine possible every month. A magazine and website their readers love and look forward to. I really hope thats what Ive spent 10 years doing and what I will continue to do, because Ive enjoyed every stylish minute of it. Even the time we lost a cover star in an underwear store when her pet monkey escaped
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