ANALYSING THE PUBLICATIONS AND JOURNALISTS I ADMIRE.
TIME OUT NEW YORK: “ELLE IS ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WORK” (2010)
ELLE was founded by Hélène Gordon in France, where the first issue was published on October 1, 1945. It later acquired by Daniel Filipacchi and Jean-Luc Lagardère in 1981 and relaunched in the US, with the first issue published in 1985. Following the success of the American edition, ELLE established many international editions and websites.
Today’s ELLE boasts a large readership and international audience, with over 43 editions being distributed in over 60 countries and 33 websites. The segmentation of the publication into geography, age and interest contribute largely to the brand’s huge success.
Coming from an international background myself, diversity is of great personal importance and priority, so ELLE’s global reach is a huge selling point. Though there is still much to understand about the world of fashion and lifestyle journalism, I believe ELLE could be a window of opportunity to meet and communicate with audiences of different cultural backgrounds.
ELLE claims the title of the “number one fashion magazine in the world”, as taken from their Facebook about page. Despite this, their publication isn’t restricted to just fashion and beauty-related content; they touch upon topics including politics, relationships and more. I also consider the woman’s outlook at ELLE important in a world where feminism still struggles to establish itself.
SHINI PARK: 15.7K TWITTER FOLLOWERS AND COUNTING
Shini Park was born in Seoul, raised in Warsaw and currently lives in London. Shini is the big brain behind popular lifestyle blog, Park & Cube, a blog I frequent and enjoy immensely.
L’Envol de Cartier is a delightful feature article, currently headlining her website, recounting an afternoon spent with the Cartier in-house perfumer, Mathilde Laurent. In this piece, Shini successfully conveys the image of an eccentric office-space and the warm ambience of the encounter – both with and without the aid of the gorgeous photographs strewn about the page in an artistically careless manner.
Like any master of colour, Shini appeals to her audience’s senses for a vicarious experience. She notes the distinct lack of smell before startling readers into an “explosion of senses” upon reaching Mathilde Laurent’s office. No detail is spared as Shini describes the office – the handwritten philosophical quotes garnishing the windows, the abundance of flowers amongst the laboratory tools, the shoes and magazines scattered about. The tea shared between Shini and Mathilde takes an “earthy, almost cake-like smell” and blends in surprisingly well with the “crisp November air” and the comfortable ambience is further established with the triviality of the orange blossom macarons that both Shini and Mathilde share a liking for. The descriptive language used shows movement and warmth that cannot be captured by camera lens, despite the impressive attempt enclosed in the piece.
In addition to mastery over descriptive language, Shini was obviously equipped with the right background information and specialistic knowledge to ensure the smooth flow of her conversation with Mathilde and the resulting fluidity and completeness of her feature piece.
If unfamiliar with the fashion articles that frequently headline Park & Cube, Shini makes clear her ease in the fashion world as she recognises and points out the name brand shoes behind Mathilde’s desk. Her knowledge on fragrances also impresses as she identifies some of the key ingredients in L’Envol: “Gaiac wood with notes of honey on intense musk and patchouli”.
Shini also shows she did her research on Mathilde’s personal life, as she mentions Mathilde’s previous work experience at Guerlain and her long-time career at Cartier. The recounted exchange between the two women also suggest Shini knew enough about Mathilde personally to inquire about her family life, which laid groundwork for a pleasant chat over macarons and tea – a testament to Shini’s confidence and fluidity in leading conversation.
Shini’s specialist knowledge on the French and Korean languages also helped show Shini to be cosmopolitan in her knowledge, as Shini was able to recognise the Korean tea Mathilde provided and show her approval for the French names assigned to some of the perfumes. Her description of L’Envol touches upon Greek mythology and shows a unique understanding of the fragrance that you can’t find on an in-store display.
Above all, Shini’s pleasant afternoon with Mathilde reflects her ability to establish connections and take full advantage of them as a journalist – skills I admire and hope to acquire.