08 Feb My Big Career – A Day at the Vogue Headquarters
9:30 pm – the night before: Half of my wardrobe scattered across my bedroom floor, shoe boxes open and strategically colour coded to match the specific colour ‘pile’ of clothes placed next to it. Items sourced from my mother’s wardrobe, even my brothers – All to end up with an all black outfit at the end of it (with some killer heels to match).
8:30am – the day: Meeting up with everyone else who was going to the trip at school – everyone was either nervous, excited, tired or as I was, an equal hybrid. Being the only Year 13 amongst the 5 other Year 12’s was at first daunting but the more time I spent with them the more I realised we have a lot in common. In the sense of career goals a lot of them wanted to work in the fashion industry themselves, specifically the journalism side. It was interesting to hear what inspired them during this trip. I feel this opportunity really enlightened us all and showed a different side to the fashion industry – the reporting and ‘study’ of fashion trends, designers and models.
When we got to the actual headquarters and sat down in the meeting room and met with Mark Russell that’s when it really hit me – I’m sitting in the Vogue Headquarters. As he was speaking about the history of Vogue everyone sat in awe (probably having the same realisastion as me) and nodded and smiled. He took us up to see the ‘main event’ – Edward Enninful.
The anticipated first impression, everything was at stake. My mind raced with thoughts such as ‘do I smile with teeth or not?’, ‘how do I shake his hand?’, ‘do I mention how much of an inspiration he is now or do I just wait?’ etc..
He was wonderful. He took time to answer a few of our questions and wasn’t afraid to be one of us for a few moments. His personality does match what is displayed in the current Vogue prints, you can see his twist really radiate through.
Personally as a black, Ghanaian student, I was particularly happy to see how much Edward has achieved and how happy he was in the fashion industry. It was an eye opener getting to meet such a relatable character and I am truly grateful to have been in that position.
After a brief meet with Edward, Mark took us around the offices to meet the wheels of the machine. Department by department, we were introduced to everyone’s roles as part of the image ‘Vogue’ – my favourite department being the fashion reporters who go to the fashion weeks and spot out the new trends , interview designers and observe street styles.
It was either due to it being extremely hot in the offices or being overwhelmed by the talent in one building that I fainted, either way it became a memory I will never forget and something I can mention whenever being asked about this experience (thank you to all the lovely people who helped and offered me sugar afterwards).
Back in the meeting room we spoke to Kate Berrington and Deborah Ababio. They explained their lives before coming to Vogue and how they got in this situation. Deborah in particular sparked my interest as she went to study fashion at London College of Fashion which is something I want to do this year. Deborah’s life pathway really intrigued me at how similar it was to what I am trying to achieve, the amount of work experience and exposure she accumulated before she got to this successful position is really motivating. I think one of the best things about having this opportunity was being able to see and meet such relatable characters in positions of influence. Again something I am entirely appreciative of is Deborah, for her organising the experience with Vogue and my teacher Miss Thomas for getting this opportunity.
We got to socialise with students from the other schools in the end project where we had to create a mood board with old issues of Vogue and other Condé Nast magazines (the most painful experience to cut them up) – also an informative moment of finding out the future pathways of other students in the same age group.
We made some friends and exchanged social medias around the end which rounded off the day with the overall thought – fashion really does bring people together.
- Thank you to Vogue for having us.
- Special thank you to Mr Mark Russell who accommodated us throughout the whole day.
- Thank you to My Big Career + Deborah Streatfield for organising such a delightful day.
- Thank you to Miss Thomas for getting us these places.
Edwina A, Year 13