Digital publications are changing the game when it comes to the future of fashion media and Who What Wear is the ultimate example of this. What started as an email newsletter has quickly grown into what we now know as one of the top online destinations for celebrity style, runway trends and online shopping.
Having your brand featured on Who What Wear is definitely an accomplishment but with editors receiving hundreds of emails a day, it can be difficult to get their attention. We had the opportunity to chat with Who What Wear's Fashion Editor, Aemilia Madden about her career, what it's like to be a fashion editor and what she looks for when designers pitch their brand to her.
LAPTOPS & SMALLTALK: I READ THAT YOU HAVE AN ACADEMIC BACKGROUND IN POLITICAL ECONOMICS. HOW DID YOU END UP BREAKING INTO THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
AEMILIA MADDEN: I had always been interested in working in fashion, my childhood room still has stacks of old issues of Vogue and Elle. But, coming from the Bay Area, the opportunities were limited. I was lucky enough to intern for POPSUGAR in San Francisco and work across all their editorial sites. After graduation, I was looking for positions in New York, and was actually hired by POPSUGAR post-internship for a role in NYC and so began my career. I cannot stress enough the importance of internships when it comes to finding your first job.
YOU RECENTLY ATTENDED THE CFDA AWARDS & WENT ON A WEEKEND GETAWAY HOSTED BY INTERMIX WITH A FEW OTHER EDITORS. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS ONE OF THE COOLEST PARTS/ YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING IN FASHION?
There are plenty of cool things that come with working in fashion, but to me, nothing tops the opportunities I've had to meet and talk with empowered, inspiring women all carving their own niches in this industry. Interviewing, chattings to, and even becoming friends with these women has been so rewarding.
WHAT'S ONE PART OF YOUR JOB THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST?
I can't promise this is a total surprise, but one interesting thing to note is how varied the duties of the job can be. I could spend a whole day at my computer writing. Other days, I could be out at market appointments, meetings, or events almost the entire day. Every day is a new challenge which keeps it exciting.
WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS THE FASHION EDITOR? WHAT DOES YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOK LIKE?
Unshockingly, one large part of my job is writing. Every day I am working on both longer lead, "jucier" stories along with covering the news. Additionally, I may be working with a freelancer, leaving the office to see the newest collections from designers, going to an event after work, or working on other projects internally. Every day is so different, there is no one formula.
TOTALLY! THE OTHER DAY I THINK I SAW FOUR POSTS FROM YOU IN ONE DAY! HOW MANY STORIES DO YOU PUBLISH PER DAY AND HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO YOU WORK?
I'm constantly juggling a mix of both more time-intensive stories and quicker newsier posts. Every day varies, but I usually write 12 stories a week in total.
I'M SURE YOU RECEIVE A LOT OF PITCHES FROM BRANDS AND DESIGNERS HOPING TO GET THEIR PRODUCT FEATURED ON THE WWW. WHAT MAKES A GOOD PITCH? WHAT GETS YOUR ATTENTION?
Pitching can be tricky since every publication is different, but for me, I'm often working at a quick pace and juggling multiple projects at once. Unfortunately, I don't often have time to stop and compose a response to anyone simply reaching out to ask what I'm working on. The best pitches are thorough (include links to brand, imagery etc.) and acknowledge why it's a good fit for the site. Understanding the company that you're pitching to is so important, make sure what your pitching feels relevant and on brand.
DO YOU TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION HOW MUCH PRODUCT A DESIGNER HAS IN STOCK OR THEIR PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES WHEN DECIDING TO FEATURE A BRAND?
Since product is always in flux, knowing stock is something I keep in mind but wouldn't necessarily stop me from including a brand in a story.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BRANDS/DESIGNERS REACHING OUT TO YOU VIA INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER TO PITCH THEIR BRAND?
I'm definitely ok with people reaching out over social, it's a great way to discover new connections and have instant insight as to exactly what a brand is about. Usually, when someone reaches out via social, I'll share my email and ask them to follow up there, otherwise, things can get lost.
IF SOMEONE SENDS YOU AN EMAIL BUT DOESN'T GET A RESPONSE HOW SOON/OFTEN SHOULD THEY FOLLOW UP WITH YOU?
I would say that something around a week is a good time to follow up. Usually, I would say if you've sent one or two follow-up emails with no response, I wouldn't pursue it any further. Editors are often flooded with so many emails, it's impossible to respond to every pitch that isn't a current fit.
Stay connected with Aemilia on Instagram (and prepare to totally fan-girl)!
Did you enjoy this interview? Share it with your fashion bestie who would enjoy it to! Do you have any go-to advice on pitching the media and getting press? Join the conversation and leave a comment below.