Living Fashion: An Industry Perspective

Hannah Yakobi is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist. Throughout her career, she has written for National Post, OK! Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, Canwest newspaper network and dozens of publications around the world. Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief of FAJO Magazine, a Canadian publication with staff in Canada, US and UK.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to my first Notable column.

Every week, I will be writing on fashion topics that I think can benefit or be of interest to Young Professionals, ranging from tips, advice and trends, to major hot topics and news.

As we kick off this adventure together, I thought I would start on a more introductory note and talk about the fashion industry.

I often get asked what it’s like to be the Editor-in-Chief of an international magazine. Some people want an elevator pitch, because they are curious to know what the whole experience can be summarized as. Others want every minute detail – from the latest runway gossip, to the behind-the-scenes look, to tips and advice on what they should wear to some big event on the weekend. 

hannah

Many view the fashion industry as a very glamourous one – filled with parties, photoshoots, celebrity interviews and front-row spotlight. That, it certainly can be. But what many fail to realize is that it also requires an immense amount of dedication and patience, 16-hour-long work weekends and an endless co-ordination of schedules. It is all about miscellaneous timetables and trying to make them work in unison. Fashion journalism is also all about multi-tasking. This weekend, I was writing a story, doing an interview, holding an editorial meeting, reviewing archive stories and simultaneously Tweeting, texting, e-mailing and BBM-ing my team. Often, I wish I had six hands but, frankly, I think it’s more fun to do all this when you only have two!

So how would I describe the life of a magazine editor in one sentence? I think it’s a combination of high heels, a spoonful of daily stress, a frequent lack of sleep, an opportunity to work with incredibly creative people and an inexplicable pleasure of seeing the latest issue go to press.

hannah

I love working at FAJO Magazine and I love my team. I have been glued to this industry for over 10 years, letting my career take me around the world, and I continue to learn something new every single day. I know people who have been doing it for 20, 30 years, and they often tell me that they feel the same way. Fashion is ever-changing, ever-evolving. We have to keep up with the latest fashion trends, the latest technology. The style icon 50 years ago was Grace Kelly, today it’s Lady Gaga. The main medium of communicating fashion used to be magazines, today it’s the Internet.

I like to quote Dominique Szabo, who I interviewed about eight years ago, when she was the Senior Vice-President of EstÄ“e Lauder. She told me: “I always say to my colleagues and myself: ‘Be a sponge’ – absorb, absorb and then squeeze out your knowledge to create.’” And as fashion journalists, that is what we have to do every day.

Hannah bio photo: Dmitri Moisseev
Top left photo: Kareen Mallon
Top right photo: Alex Mouganis
Bottom photo: Alex Mouganis