Q&A with Lucy Smith

Lucy Smith is a name you should remember, for I personally think she has an exciting career ahead of her. Not only did she graduate with a First Class Honors in Fashion Promotion, but she also created an entire magazine, called Grandeur, as part of her course at Atrium. 
The first edition of this magazine featured an array of articles from contributing writers, eager to work with Lucy, as well as her own words. She not only features Q&As with some of the industries talented writers, she also interviewed the Art Director of Russian Vogue (yes, I said Vogue) Fiona Hayes.
Here, we ask Lucy some of the questions that guys wanted answers to.
Let’s get down to basics:
Name  Lucy Smith
University  Atrium, University of Glamorgan
Tell us about your previous internships: Asos, Daily Express, LynkU (FashionForLunch Fashion Blog), Assistant to Journalist Lynnette Peck Bateman at LFW, Backstage with ASHISH at LFW
What are your aspirations? Fashion Features Writer -> Accessories Editor -> Editor At Large at a high fashion glossy
Now let’s talk Company Grad Takeover!
Tell us how you heard about the Company Takeover comp and why you decided to apply?
YOU! Haha, you posted the link via Facebook. I was on the verge of graduation and in the midst of applying for any and every job I could find. It looked like such a great competition, and I’m such a huge fan of Company anyway, so I figured it would be pretty great to live out my dream job and guest-edit a whole issue. I never actually thought I’d be shortlisted though, let alone win!
Talk us through your own personal application experiences. What did you have to do?
Firstly I had to create an A/W ’12 mood board. I have been obsessed with those shows since February, so jumped at the chance to pour over the collections again. I also wrote a trend report to add weighting to the image I had created. This resulted in being chosen to be in the final round at Graduate Fashion Week, where we were interviewed by the judges (including the Ed, Victoria White) and had to pitch our feature ideas for the October issue to the judges.
After all that hard work, how did you feel when you found out you’d been selected to guest edit the issue?
Elated! Even though I have had internship experience, this was my chance to really live out my dream job and experience the environment I have worked so hard to be part of! Another step up the ladder!
As part of the final 8, you were asked to travel to London and work at the magazine for one week, compiling the October issue of the magazine. How did you feel arriving on your first day?
Slightly nervous as I wasn’t too sure what to expect. There is a Pret right next-door to the Hearst building, which seemed to be the unofficial meeting point for us grads before we headed in. A green tea and excited exchange of predictions of the day later, it was nice to have the other girls in the same boat as me!
How about the rest of the week? What type of roles/jobs did you do? Can you talk us through one of your favourite days?
The first day was great as it was the big features/editorial meeting to discuss ideas for the issue and how they would be realised. My favourite day has to be when we shot the cover with Fearne Cotton. We spent all day in the most amazing studios in Hoxton, shooting looks for the editorial. We then got to interview her which was so great! She’s really lovely and… I hate this word… but so COOL! Her answers were perfect, -she’s obviously well practiced! I had to remind myself that it was not socially acceptable to stare at her constantly.
How did it feel knowing that the work you were doing during your time at Company would be read by thousands of readers within a few months? 
In a word: amazing. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to write my own feature, that they decided to use! It will be my first published piece of work. I’m so excited to see it in print!! The team let us grads have such a hands on role. I couldn’t believe it!  
Do you feel other magazines should put the same amount of faith in graduates as Company Magazine? And do you think Company were brave to put their trust in grads?
Even if they had hated everything I had done I would probably still be gushing about the experience! Haha. I think opportunities like this are important to graduates. After all, they are the next generation of writers, art directors, stylists etc. The opportunities we are given today will be the ones that mould us into the professionals we will hopefully be in the future, so why wouldn’t you want to provide the strongest foundation possible? It’s so hard to get into any industry these days, and fashion had been branded as notoriously competitive even before the budget cuts. There is also barely any government funding for fashion students… especially in Wales. For an industry that impacts so heavily on UK tourism and the image of the nation to the rest of the world I think it’s pretty poor. I read the other day that the fashion industry’s impact on the UK’s GVA is £37.2 billion. Yeah.. definitely not worth investing in the future decision makers of that industry. (Pulls face, rolls eyes). Ok ok.. I’m going to stop now! Let’s stick to the topic in hand or I will bore you to death with the politics of it all! ha!
We love your passion!
So talk us through your career path. How much of an impact do you think this week will have on your future career?
It looks pretty great on my CV. And as I said before, the experience was so hands on. I would say it’s a step between interning and actual paid job. Pretty unique in that respect as people usually just have either or… If you know what I mean! It also meant that I got to meet the other lovely graduates! Whom I hope to be working alongside with one day! Refreshingly lovely, talented girls. 
We can see you’ve taken a lot from this unique experience. For those reading this who are budding writers like yourself, would you recommend the competition to them and what advice would you give to those thinking of applying?
Absolutely. I would say be as creative as you can. Remember you need to stand out against hundreds or thousands of entries so go that extra mile. Remember your target audience. 
You can read all about Lucy’s experience in her own wonderful words at her blog: http://stylebysmith.blogspot.co.uk/

And check out her magazine here: http://issuu.com/lucysmith_fashion/docs/grandeur

4 thoughts on “Q&A with Lucy Smith

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