Name and occupation?
Vanessa Craft, editor-in-chief, ELLE Canada
What does your day-to-day look like at work?
I lead an incredibly talented team in creating content and experiences that inspire and empower women to live the life of their dreams. My day-to-day looks like: meetings, constant decision-making, editing, collaborating, managing and guiding my team, understanding the big picture and directing a strategic editorial vision, reading everything that has ever been written on the internet and saying “no” a lot.
Describe what you usually wear to work.
I think there is an expectation that I go through my days wearing a flouncy cape and huge dark sunglasses, and, well, sometimes I do. [Laughs] What I wear to work depends on my schedule – whether it’s a day spent at my desk or running to meetings or hosting an event. Typically, I’ll be in heels – as I came out of the womb with my feet shaped like Barbie – and most likely in black. I wear a lot of dresses because I like the ease of a one-piece grab-and-go outfit. If we’ve just shipped the magazine or I’m jet-lagged, expect to see my weekend style creep in with a pair of trainers or flat booties and a comfy sweater. I’m not a huge jewellery person, so I keep my pieces and approach simple. I’ll forgo a necklace over earrings, and I rarely, if ever, wear rings.
“I think there is an expectation that I go through my days wearing a flouncy cape and huge dark sunglasses, and, well, sometimes I do.”
There have always been two sides to my style. I love glamour and dressing up, and I live for the statement entrance. But at the same time, those closest to me know that really I’m an around-the-way girl at heart, with a very deep and pure love of tracksuits and baseball caps and oversized sweatshirts.
I used to struggle with this because image is such a powerful mechanism, especially in the fashion industry. I’m aware that having a signature look, something memorable and consistent that people associate you with or that speaks for you, is important and powerful. But I had to make peace with the fact that my signature style encompasses more than one mood and more than one message.
How do you shop for clothes?
I look online a lot and will shop from brands where I know fit and sizing, but I do love the social aspect and the immediacy of shopping in person. After seeing the trends emerge at fashion week, I usually have a few fave pieces that I target and keep my eye out for, but I don’t do a huge seasonal shop. The goal is to have good key pieces that transition and work for more than a few months. Cheap knits when I need a quick cozy comfort hit are never, ever worth it.
“The goal is to have good key pieces that work for more than a few months.”
What has been the most “worth it” purchase for you?
When I got the job as editor-in-chief, I bought myself a Chanel 2.55 at the historic Rue Cambon shop in Paris. The entire experience (they bring you champagne and treats while you browse, your purchase is wrapped up like a gift for you, etc.) felt celebratory. I chose a bag that is subtle with a black chain because I loved how it whispered – not shouted – luxury. I carry it all the time, whether with jeans or an evening dress. It felt like an iconic and perfect “fashion” present I could give myself for my new role at an equally iconic fashion magazine.
“It's nice to have something that, whenever you look at it, reminds you of what you were able to achieve.”
It’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought for myself. I never felt guilty about it. I worked my ass off. Also: cost-per-wear. [Laughs] It’s nice to have something that, whenever you look at it, reminds you of what you were able to achieve.
Real talk, though: It’s a lot of money. I come from a humble background, and I think your perspective can get skewed in this industry – you can quickly become numb to the value of items when you’re constantly bombarded with beautiful new things. You don’t want to just fall victim to newness.