Last month, London College of Fashion’s Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism students had the very special opportunity of exploring the recently refurbished head office of Britain’s number one women’s magazine, Glamour.
The selected group sat down with Glamour’s Features Director, Claire Matthiae and Deputy Features Editor, Gemma Askham who shared their knowledge, their stories and plenty of pearls of wisdom.
‘Trawling through the daily newspapers’ and having monthly brainstorming meetings is how Matthiae described the process involved in creating each month’s issue. Ideas are shared with the online team to ensure ‘a rounded Glamour voice on the website,’ said Matthiae while pointing out the different content featured on the magazine’s print and digital platforms. ‘It’s really important to have an awareness of how [print and online] work,’ she noted.
Askham then gave her essential advice:
‘The biggest thing is to have loads of ideas, to constantly be thinking of ideas… A lot of the best ones come from drunken nights out with your mates.’
She informed students that the best way of pitching any article concept is by describing ‘in as much detail as you can’ exactly how you’d shape the piece. ‘Editors love that,’ affirmed Matthiae.
Other tips for would-be contributors included having an online presence and platform to show your work, and finding out the specific person you’re pitching to. PA to Editor, Amy Warren, added that internship applicants run a far higher chance of receiving a reply if they provide specific times of availability.
Not being too closed-minded with respect to where you apply to is essential to successfully launch your career, warned Matthiae: ’Don’t constrict yourself to the obvious contenders, because everyone is applying to them.’ And what to do when you land the opportunity?
‘Being proactive really comes across. It does really stand out. Be brave. Get up, get some face time,’ said Matthiae.
And what of the infamous fetching tea task? As they all hesitantly concurred, that kind of consideration goes ‘a long way.’
- Words by Stephanie King, Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism