It’s the penultimate week in our “LadyM Connects” Interview series. We’ve had a blast meeting fashion photographers, Butlers in the Buff, the Director of Polo in the Park and lots of fabulous people in the fashion and beauty world.
LadyM Connects with Rosalind Shimmen, Fashion Editor
This week we touch base with Rosalind Shimmen, Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Editor of Verge Magazine and she writes her own fashion blog too! She tells us about how sometimes it pays off to take a risk, and it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!
Q. When did you first start working in the fashion journalism industry?
Only quite recently actually. I’ve always been from a fashion background. From studying at The Fashion Retail Academy for 3 years to working in Buying and Fashion PR. While working in PR I started writing my own fashion blog from this I was approached by Andre, the founder of Verge Magazine. He asked me to write and manage their fashion pages. It’s gone from there really, I haven’t got anything fancy like a degree or honours in journalism. A lot of the time it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Q. What encouraged you to get into this industry and what was your route into it?
Like I said I’ve always been interested in fashion, it just took me a while to work out which sector of fashion was for me, it’s such a huge industry. I lost my mother at the age of 18, which was tough. I had a lot of decisions to make at that age, I had finished studying and had to work out what was next, normally mum would point me in the right direction so I found it hard not having her there. I was offered a buying position at Arcadia, which was great experience, but the job wasn’t right for me. I had to decide whether to stay for the money or take the risk and leave. Loosing mum gave me a different outlook on life, I realised that you only live once and if you’re not happy you have to change it as no-one will do it for you. Luckily I have a very supportive father, I remember him sitting me down at dinner (After one or too many glasses of wine) and telling me that I was at the right age for a career change, I had no ties- No mortgage, no children, no bills to pay – It was either now or never. The next day I handed in my notice… and the risk paid off.
Q. What is a typical working day for you?
Writing freelance is great as it gives you so much freedom, every day is different. I currently write for Verge Magazine which is great as everything I write is personal and all my work is in association with my own website rosalindsfashionunion.com. I am really strict on myself I made sure I work the same hours I would at any other job. As Dolly Parton would say “Working 9 to 5.” I try to upload an article every day, I have a handful of girls who write for me covering everything from “Street Style” to “Get The Looks.” I probably take a trip into London around 3 days a week, either meeting up with potential brands, PR agencies, attending events or interviewing celebrities. I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with Jessica Mauboy, the Britain’s Next Top Model girls and do a behind the scenes video with Louise Thompson for her Goddiva collection.
Q. What do you love the most about working for a fashion website and blogging and being in the fashion industry?
I love that I am on the front line of everything. The Fashion industry has such a fast turn around, trends change hourly, collaborations are announced daily, fashion is never boring.
It’s great being able to know the latest news in fashion first. I love that I can share and excite readers with the stuff that I know. Hearing everyones comments is amazing, it’s great to know there are people out there who get as excited about this stuff as I do!
Q. Where are you based, how much of an inspiration is your city and what are your favourite cities around the world?
Where I’m freelance I get to work and write from my little office at home. I’m based in Epping, so I’m an Essex girl, born and breed. I would have to say London is my favourite City, but obviously I’m going to be bias as I’m very protective of my homeland. I love the buzz of London, different areas of London attract different people, different styles which creates different and unique atmosphere’s. I go to the Docklands for sophistication, Soho for fun and West End for serious shopping. Every part of London excites me, I could sit in Starbucks and happily people watch for hours. I take a lot of inspiration from sitting back, watching and admiring people who make the streets their runway.
Q. How would you sum up what you do in one sentence?
Research, admire, collect and create.
Q. Where would you like your work to take you?
My dream job would be to work as a Fashion Correspondent. I was lucky enough to interview Louise Roe last week and her job sounds like my dream. The Fashion Correspondent role would allow me to combine my two passions – Fashion and Performing arts. I’m currently studying part time at The Sylvia Young acting school and am trying to interview as many people as possible for our Verge and Rosalind’s Fashion Union Youtube Chanel.
Q. Have you seen the fashion industry change in the last few years, have you had to adapt?
Fashion will never change, fashion and style is personal to the individual. It’s a way of expressing yourself. The industry however, yes totally. It’s getting faster, people are becoming less patient and technology is evolving. Young girls who blog are becoming just as influential as Fashion Editors at Vogue and Bazaar. My prediction for the future is that hard print will die out, everything will be available on either apps or the internet. Youtube is booming at the moment, people don’t have the time to read, why read an article for 10 minutes when you can visually watch a video on Youtube in fewer than 3? Yes, I’ve had to adapt. I’m tapping into different trends in technology to stay on top of things. I used to only use Youtube for music, now it’s one of my most visited websites.
Q. What’s the most rewarding part of your work? What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
The most rewarding part of my job is reading peoples comments. The higher the website visit count the better mood I am in. I love to think that people are reading and are taking interest in the articles that I write.
Greatest accomplishment so far would either be being approached by Andre to write for Verge magazine or being mentored by Bel Jacobs, Fashion and Beauty Editor of the Metro Newspaper. She’s so inspirational, the lady knows what she’s talking about!
Workwise I loved working with Louise Thompson from the hit TV show Made In Chelsea. I covered a behind the scenes video and interview on her Goddiva collection photoshoot. The video was such a huge success it went on to be featured in the Dailymail.com
Q. What is next for you? What are your goals for 2013?
Hopefully things for Rosalindsfashionunion.com will evolve, it would be great to team up with a couple of brands, sponsorships etc.
Me personally I would really love to break into presenting, I love the whole atmosphere and buzz behind the camera and the adrenaline rush under the studio lights. Be great to tap into television or Youtube channels. Keeping my fingers crossed for that Fashion Correspondent role!
Q. If you didn’t do the job you do now – what would be your dream job and where?
Modelling, for the exact same reason, the adrenaline rush and buzz on set. Unfortunately I hate exercise, I am not 6ft tall and I do love a doughnut now and again.