Pandora Sykes: What It Takes to Be a Fashion Editor

She's been tapped as the next Alexa Chung.
Image via Pandora Sykes

Pandora Sykes is living proof that bloggers and fashion journalists can not only coexist, but cross over.  At only 27, Pandora is the Fashion Features Editor for Britain's largest newspaper, The Sunday Times, and an accomplished personal style blogger whose wardrobe is equal parts 1970's goddess, Iris Apfel, and vintage-high-school-movie-protagonist.  Seeing herself as first and foremost a journalist, Pandora brings her insight into dressing and how it moves us to her lauded editorial work, and today, she let us into her world.  Words by: Tia Elisabeth

TIA: Hey, thanks for chatting with us. What are you working on right now?  I'm doing my day job at The Sunday Times Style, but today I am prepping a few lookbook shoots for designers and assembling blog posts.

TIA: You've made it such a long way in the fashion industry - how did your love of fashion begin?   Slowly, without my necessarily realizing. I've always loved the composition of things and been incredibly interested by trends whether fashion or social.


TIA: What kind of training and skills did you acquire to get where you are now, at The Sunday Times Style?   A series of small steps. I was head hunted from my job as Fashion Editor at thedebrief.co.uk and before that I had freelanced for publications like Spectator, Cosmo, Company, Times, ran a fashion-sharing website called Today I'm Wearing, and did Features assistant internships at InStyle and GQ. Having my blog as a showcase for my writing and style indubitably helped accelerate things though.


TIA: What lessons have you learned?  Be patient, most things can be solved so try before you panic (something I wasn't great at), tomorrow is a new day, kindness and generosity of spirit is key. 


TIA: That's so important.  What is one of the most difficult aspects of your job?  Trying to speak to as many women as possible. It can be hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes but I try to do that because fashion isn't just about teenagers [or] trends, it's about every woman.

TIA: What three things should a fashion editor always be equipped with?  I'm never without a pen, MAC Cosmetics concealer in NW20, and a great pair of shoes.


TIA: What is the key to writing a good fashion article?  The same as any article: have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Don't just talk about a trend, but how a woman could wear it, how it may translate emotionally and socially (in culture), and stay true to your argument in an intelligent and grammatically accurate way!

TIA: How do you see the industry changing in the next 10 years?  It will be interesting, that's for sure, but I imagine it will become increasingly digital and democratic, with a more global outlook and the emergence of new retail models. Shopping will also be instant - look at Amazon Prime now delivering in 30 minutes! And who knows if shops and fashion shows will still exist... 

TIA: It's pretty surreal to think about, but 10 years ago, the Internet and fashion were still very much strangers.  Now there are people like yourself who have had successful style blogging careers. Why did you decide to start up your blog?  Simply to say things in my own words. When you write for a publication you have to adhere to their tone and I wasn't necessarily writing about my passions when I was interning, so it gave me a good place to say the things I wanted to say. It's also a good portfolio for future employers; they can see your writing and aesthetic immediately.   


TIA: Now fashion bloggers have risen to sit front row at fashion week and score major magazine covers.  What do you think about all this?   I think they provide a much needed service. It makes fashion accessible. [Although], I think sometimes a heavy social media presence can be placed above experience, which isn't always right.

TIA: Do you think they make the industry more democratic?  100%.


Thank you to Pandora for talking with us about her career.  We will have more fashion industry interviews all week, including an exclusive chat with Tanya Taylor tomorrow.



WORDS BY:
WHO: Tia, Editor at Couturesque magazine
WHERE: Toronto
OBSESSED WITH: Adidas Originals
CAN BE FOUND AT: @tia.elisabeth

2 comments:

  1. I have always loved her blog, these are such nice interviews.

    ReplyDelete

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I founded Couturesque Magazine when I was 15 years old because like many of my peers, I felt ignored and talked down to by all of the other teen fashion publications out there. I figured that at the end of the day, the people who knew the most about my generation, were the people who belonged to it. The fashion industry is becoming increasingly dependent on the creativity of younger voices who challenge the status quo and make us rethink what we wear and why we wear it. And that is exactly what Couturesque set out to celebrate - authenticity, intelligence, originality, and diversity... in other words, what makes Gen-Z tick. Fast-forward to 2016 and we now have a staff of more than a dozen fashion distruptors contributing to our daily content from all around the globe, 100K+ readers following us from Toronto to New York, to London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv, and a plethora of big-wig industry fans and collaborators. But what matters to us the most is the responsibility that our publication has to make a positive impact in the lives of those who come across it - we stand against retouching our photoshoots and we stand for sharing the beautiful, individual, complex voices of everyone, especially those who feel marginalized by mainstream fashion media. We hope that you love our site as much as we do and that you take the time to follow us (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Tumblr / Snapchat / YouTube) throughout our journey to make fashion accessible to the powerful young adults of today.

xo,
Tia Elisabeth Glista
Editor in Chief