Lindsay MacPherson is Fashion Features Editor at Harrods Magazine, where she leads on all of the fashion writing in the publication – from designer interviews, to trend reports and fashion news. She studied Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism at LCF in 2007 and since then has worked for a number of publications before landing her current role. We spoke to Lindsay about her time at LCF, an average day in her job, and her top tips for students who want to study fashion journalism.
Could you introduce yourself and your current role?
I’m currently Fashion Features Editor at Harrods Magazine, where I’m responsible for all the fashion writing in the magazine: everything from designer interviews to trend reports, to writing about watches, fine jewellery or fashion news. We actually have quite a big portfolio of publications, which includes Harrods Travel, Harrods Man, Harrods’ Watch Newspaper and Harrods Watches & Fine Jewellery, so I also contribute to those titles.
What did you study before Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism?
Before LCF I went to fashion school in Scotland to do my undergraduate degree and, while I loved it, I realised pretty early on I that I wasn’t cut out to be a designer. I was much more interested in fashion theory and writing about clothes than actually making them. In my first year I got really involved in the university newspaper and also started writing for a few different fashion websites.
What was the best thing about your course at LCF and what did you find most challenging?
Initially I found sheer volume of work challenging, but I soon realised that time management is a skill you need to master if you want to get ahead in journalism. Doing the course probably killed my procrastination tendencies! LCF teaches you to get out of the classroom and be really proactive about finding stories or pitching to editors, which has been incredibly helpful.
If I had to choose the best bit I’d say the teaching staff, who were amazing, particularly Nilgin Yusuf who had endless amounts of time for her students. My university in Scotland was much smaller, so I was worried that, in comparison, there wouldn’t be much contact time at LCF, but that wasn’t the case. Also the visiting lecturers were great. Magazines are changing so much at the moment so its helps to have teaching staff that are tapped into industry trends.
Why did you choose to study at LCF?
I liked the fact they had a shorter course, as I knew I would have to spend a fair amount of time interning at the end. I also liked that LCF has such close ties to the publishing industry – I didn’t know that many people in London before I moved so the contacts I made were invaluable.
Did you find London inspiring while studying?
London is an amazing city: it still inspires me. It’s so important to make the most of it while you’re here. Even if you’re skint there’s always loads of free events on and during fashion week there’s always opportunities to help out or get involved.
How did you get to where you are today? Did you do any work experience?
I’d done quite a lot of interning before my course, and after LCF I interned at quite a few publications, such as Vogue.co.uk, Company Magazine, the Observer and Time Out London. I also worked in a clothing shop and assisting a freelance stylist during that time. In 2008 I got my first job at the Financial Times’ luxury supplement magazine How To Spend it, where I was lucky enough to be allowed to write. I stayed there for almost five years before I joined Harrods as a fashion writer.
What were your biggest challenges along the way?
It’s just so hard to get your first job and it’s really easy to become disheartened, when you spend ages applying for things and don’t hear back. Also when you’re giving your all to interning it’s difficult to find the time to do lots of applications or do freelance pitches.
Tell us about an average day at your job…
My job is really varied, which I love, and there really is no average day. I might be writing up a feature at my desk or out and about in London at press days or fashion shows. And I’m lucky that I get to travel quite a bit with my job. For this month’s issue I went to Paris to profile Christian Louboutin and I’ve also been sent to Milan to meet Dolce & Gabbana and Beirut to interview Elie Saab. Harrods is a really creative place to work, and it’s collaborative too, so I might be working on a project that involves online or social media.
What are your ambitions for the future?
There are SO many designers I’d love to interview. And I’d just like to keep learning and trying new things – it’s an industry that thrives on change, so it’s never boring.
What is your top tip for people who want to get into roles like yours?
Internships are really important! Not just for experience but also because of the people you meet: I met some of my best friends from interning and I always bump into people I interned with at the shows or at industry things.
- Find our more about Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism
- Find out about MA Fashion Journalism
- Find out about BA (Hons) Journalism
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