Stay Sunny Girls Interview Series

Pt. 5 - Alexandra Fullerton at Stylist Magazine

Pt. 5 - Alexandra Fullerton at Stylist Magazine

 Fullerton

Photograph: @fullerton_fash on Instagram

Alexandra Fullerton is Fashion Director for Stylist magazine, a free weekly magazine for women aged 25 to 40, and published in the UK.  The magazine features fashion, beauty, health and travel among other areas but it also describes itself as taking an “intelligent approach over a broad range of cultures, tackling issues women face in their professional and personal lives”.

Alexandra is also a committee member (press) on the British Fashion Council. 

Her very popular Instagram is dotted with cute and wacky pieces of advice/quotes among the series of beautifully styled photographs of new looks and shoes. Our favourite is this one –

instagram

 

Photograph: @fullerton_fash on Instagram

But behind the cute sayings is the story of a very talented woman whom Stay Sunny Chicago is immensely impressed by. We asked her about herself and how she got to where she is today. 

At what age did you have your first foray into fashion? Were you one of those little girls intensely captivated by your own sense of style, choosing what to wear to Nursery School and getting your look just right?  Maybe helping your mother choose her clothes, and offering her fashion tips? 

I was obsessed with what I was wearing from a very early age, going so far as to rip up something my mum had laid out for me to wear – with my bare hands – because it wasn’t ‘right’ in my eyes. I also was putting on fashion shows and doing an early version of the flatlay with my clothes. Although I spent age 8-18 in jodhpurs and smelly horse-riding jumpers I would still look at Vogue and dream about the way they created a narrative through the clothes they used.

What was your pathway into the fashion business? 

I started doing work experience in fashion PR aged 16 and then got a work experience placement at Arena aged 18 as part of my degree in Fashion Promotion at The London College of Fashion. I started going on more shoots and was learning so much from being actually in the industry, I dropped out of my course to work full-time.

 Did you have an interest in art and design or photography – and if so, do you think that is important for someone wanting to be a stylist/fashion editor/fashion director?

You need to have an eye for composition, mood and also you need to have taste and to know what works together – and that’s not necessarily perfect, ‘good-taste’, ‘so wrong it’s right’, bad taste is also useful. It also is crucial to know about the history of art, fashion design and photography to help with references and knowing where collection ideas / images / shoot concepts stem from.

Alexandra Fullerton Stylist Magazine

Photograph: @fullerton_fash on Instagram

 

Do you think there are certain personality traits that suit the role?

Tenacity, creativity and positivity are key.

Is there a typical day as a fashion director and can you describe it?

There isn’t! I might be travelling. I might be on a shoot or at the shows, I might have an office based day of admin and creative brainstorming. I might be meeting PRs on the bi-annual seasonal press days or doing a studio visit with a designer. I could be doing HR reviews for my team or working on a strategy for the future fashion pages in Stylist.

September Issue Stylist Magazine

September Issue Stylist Magazine

September Issue Stylist Magazine

September Issue Stylist Magazine

September Issue of Stylist Magazine - Photography Victor Demarchelier, Fashion Alexandra Fullerton

Can you tell us what your role on the British Fashion Council Press Committee involves?

This morning I hosted an interview with Molly Goddard and Tom Shickle as part of a seminar for students and new business for the BFC but essentially it’s supporting the BFC and their initiatives – and sharing my experiences as a member of the press attending London Fashion Week. I also get the chance to vote for the nominees of the upcoming Fashion Awards (December 5th).

Stylist magazine advocated for and took part in Equal Pay Day for women this year, and along with your female colleagues you left work 18 percent earlier than on a normal day. This was to recognise the pay gap (18 per cent) for full time and part time women in the workforce in the UK (and elsewhere).  Are there any other issues you feel strongly about?

Personally I feel that maternity benefits need improving. While way more advanced than many countries. 

How far ahead do you need to be to forecast fashion trends? How do you research this? Any predictions?

I just work six months in advance as this is how far in advance I need to work to for my job – I get the insider track on the trends from attending the international fashion weeks – and then work out what is relevant – and most importantly, not – for Stylist’s readers. But trade fairs, fabric fairs and trend-prediction companies like WGSN work years in advance. 

Shoes feature strongly on your Instagram pages. What’s your favourite pair, and dare we ask, how many pairs do you own?

I can’t play favourites! And I have no idea how many I own. #thedailyshoe aren’t all mine though, often I snap a pair I’ve seen on a shoot or in the fashion cupboard.

What’s your one or two pieces of advice for someone wanting to follow you into the fashion industry as a stylist or fashion director/editor?

Be realistic – there are many other routes into working in the fashion industry and perhaps your skillset might be more suited to be a PR or an agent. You also need to do as much work experience as possible to understand how a magazine works, if this is the route you want to take.

 

 

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