Inside the Industry: In conversation with Katie Baron
Last month , Katie Baron came to LCF’s Lime Grove to do a talk to School of Media and Communication students.
Describing Katie Baron as a multitasker would be an understatement. Having studied graphic arts and design at Leeds Beckett University, she now holds numerous job titles such as Journalist, Author, Consultant and Editor, as well as holding the position as Head of Retail at Stylus Media Group, a trend forecasting company. How does she do it all you may ask? By constantly switching between projects to avoid fatigue.
After beginning her career as a visual merchandiser at Habitat, Katie moved on to work at Liberty as a visual coordinator which she believes was an important time for her. She was brought in as part of a new creative team that focused on changing tradition by organising external collaborations with the likes of photographer Nick Knight and stylist Katie England. From this role, Katie Baron’s interest in promoting fashion evolved. She is constantly searching for new multidisciplinary strategies to incorporate into fashion.
“I love fashion, but I love applied fashion”
This interest of Katie’s coincides with all the work that she does today. As part of her position at Stylus, a role which she has held for five years, Katie examines cultural, social and technological shifts in the world in order to project possible changes in the retail landscape. Alongside this Katie has furthered her interest into other aspects of fashion. Her love for writing has opened many editing and writing jobs, such as being the features editor for Volt magazine, as well as writing her own pieces for magazines such as Dazed & Confused and Esquire.
For Katie, it is important to understand the meaning and context of fashion, something that resonated with students in the audience as well.
Her first book ‘Stylists: New Fashion Visionaries’, which came out in 2012, focuses on the importance of the styling industry. Katie is currently working on a new book project that will discuss the relation between music and fashion, going all the way from punk to today’s music idols.
At one point, our interviewer Johannes Reponen, course leader of MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism, questioned Katie on what she believes the fashion industry will be like for LCF students as they begin their careers.
“I think we are in a really interesting place because of the virtual digital world”
It is exciting to think that as time goes by, new channels will emerge as a platform to present fashion. Katie is now questioning the space of the traditional magazine; she believes we need more spotlights on fashion than what’s currently out there.
“We want constant content, a mixture of short form and long form content, posting things that are daily, bi-daily or weekly”
Already we are focusing on celebrities and bloggers a lot more in terms of getting our information and the retail sector in constantly broadening. SHOWstudio is a prime example of new media outlets and Katie often takes part in the live fashion show panel discussions.
For a magazine to stay current and popular, Katie believes that monthly pieces should be on really well digested thoughts, because if not, other types of media will soon replace it.
Thanks to Katie Baron, the thought that fashion will not be what it is today when we enter into our careers was reinforced into us. The end of the Q&A refuelled every student with motivation to continue to reinvent what we see today.
Words: Ruyi Meer
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