We are incredibly lucky to feature this wonderfully interesting Q&A with the Editor of Company Mag, Victoria White. This may sound a little clichéd but she really is a woman that needs no introduction. She took time out of running the incredibly creative and equally unique Company Magazine to answer a few little questions for us.
Let’s get down to basics:
Your role at Company and day to day roles: Editor. Every day is different. My favourite days are brainstorming with the team ideas for fashion shoots or features, but some days involve meeting advertisers, attending press launches or boring finance stuff!
How long have you been there? I’ve been Editor for 8 years and before that I was the Deputy Editor for 3.
How did you get there? I went to Sussex University and did work experience at a magazine called Inside Soap who offered me a job once I’d been there off and on for year (this doesn’t happen much anymore!). I worked there for four years and was then offered an Editorship in Australia for a TV Mag which I jumped at. From there, I moved to LA to be a Showbiz Correspondent and finally returned to the UK to become Deputy Editor on a woman’s mag called B. Then, I moved to Company.
What would be your main career tip? Make contacts with people and keep in touch.
Let’s talk Company Grad Takeover!
Can you tell us why Company decided to start this unique scheme?
We wanted to get more involved in Graduate Fashion Week as we’ve partnered with them for many years and had a presence at the event. This year, I wanted to take it a step further and let fashion grads have their say about Company.
How long has Company Magazine been running the project?
This is our first year but we had such a ball doing it that I’m sure we’ll do it again!
We’ve heard from Lucy about the application process, but what was it like at your end? What were you looking for from the applicants?
The applicants had to submit a mood board or a piece talking about A/W12 and what it meant to them. We received hundreds of applications but we chose the best 20 and invited those 20 to Graduate Fashion Week to take part in a workshop with myself, our Associate Editor and
our Web Editor. They then had to work in groups to do their dream Company Cover and we pulled each girl aside to discuss feature ideas with them and do a general interview. It was pretty tough really, which is why our final 8 were so amazing.
Bit of a cheeky little question, but on the very first day you met the graduates, who was the person who stood out the most and why?
Oh no! That’s like asking me to pick one of my children. What I would say is how impressed we were with the standard of all 8.
How did it feel giving full responsibility to the graduates? It must have been hard letting them loose on your magazine after you spend so much time making it as amazing as it is.
Actually, it was quite liberating and in some ways they didn’t really take it as far as I’d have liked. They were quite conservative with my flatplan really. Though we have gone back to normal for the next month I must confess.
Can you tell us how you feel the week went? What time of roles/jobs did the graduates undertake and how much power did they really have? How hands on were the graduates?
I hope they felt very hands on. They came to our initial planning meeting for the issue and then all had various jobs to do on the mag. Several of them got involved in styling and they all had a go at writing a feature of interviewing various people. One of them created all the mood boards for a special fashion piece across 8 pages. Oh and they all interviewed Fearne Cotton for the cover story!
It sounds amazing. Why is it important for you as an Editor and for Company as a magazine to give graduates this amazingly hands on experience?
It’s important for Company to listen to what young women have to say as this is a magazine for them. It’s also important to support up and coming fashion talent because they are the future of our industry. For me, I just love having fresh ideas all the time, it’s the most exciting bit of my job.
Allowing young graduates to completely take over a magazine is incredibly brave and daring, yet shows how much faith Company has in young journalists. What inspired Company to stand apart from the other high street magazines and start this unique competition?
I think because Company is unique, it’s not like any other women’s magazine and we do feature so many inspiring real women all the time.
This is taking it to the next level.
The October issue that the grads designed is out today, what can we expect?
Well as I mentioned a gorgeous fashion special designed and created by one of our Company Grads, an interview with Fearne Cotton done by the grads PLUS, it’s a new season so a bit of a beauty special.
As we’ve had a little chat with Lucy (Company Grad), we’d love to hear what you think of her!
I loved Lucy at the interview stages as she was so bright and sparky and produced a brilliant magazine as part of her course. Once she was here, what we loved was hearing about her model brother!!! (Lucy’s brother Rory Smith is a young up and coming model)
For the aspiring young journalists who are thinking of applying next year, what advice would you give them?
GIVE IT A GO!!
The October Issue of Company Magazine is out today.