Alison Taylor is a published author, columnist and Senior Digital Editor at Topshop. Here the busy LCF alumna talks about her time at LCF, what is necessary to achieve success and why studying a PG Cert worked for her.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us about what you’re up to now?
I am currently Senior Digital Editor at Topshop, heading up the editorial team. I also keep busy with freelance journalism, writing a column for the Independent and recently stories for Elle and ES magazine. I’m working on a follow-up to my 2012 book The Still Single Papers, too, but if you asked my agent that she wouldn’t believe you.
How did you find your time at LCF?
I loved my time at LCF. I did the post grad in fashion and lifestyle journalism which was an intense course – there wasn’t too much time to procrastinate which is good.
How was the teaching?
The teaching was great. The course leader at the time – and esteemed journalist and author - Nilgin Yusuf scared me at first when she asked “What have you got to say” but that was what we needed – a bolt of lightening that gets you thinking for yourself and finding your voice. Plus all the industry insiders that come and teach on the courses too are really inspiring and make you think, yeah, maybe I can do this.
What are the three things you took away from your experience at LCF?
1. Have some balls. If I can say that. You have to have confidence in your ideas and pitch them!
2. What’s the fresh angle? What’s new? What’s now?
3. Anything’s possible. I found myself in New York interviewing Debbie Harry for Elle. I had a book published. I don’t think either of these things would’ve happened had I not had my eyes and mind opened at LCF.
What skills did you learn from the course and are still using today?
Definitely the importance of fresh ideas and working the right angles for different publications. I learned how to edit my work and cultivate interviewing skills. I learned what makes a good story and how to challenge myself to be original.
Why did you choose a Postgraduate Certificate over an MA or other type of postgraduate course?
I wanted to cross over from trade journalism into consumer and I wanted to do it quickly so I chose a shorter post grad course.
Tell us about an average day at your job?
Editorial ideas meeting, homepage planning, signing off copy on features or emails, meeting freelancers, working on campaign strategies….then there’s London Fashion Week, which is crazy and fun running around to all the shows and managing content for Topshop’s Unique show. I spend a lot of time working closely with my amazing editorial team, too. And eating Mini Eggs.
How would you define your own personal style?
I asked my very fashionable friend how she would describe my style and she said: “British rock and roll with a Scandi twist”. So I’ll go with that.