Jennifer Dickinson, the editor of Net-A-Porter’s The Edit and editor at large of Porter magazine, is the quintessential English rose: well-mannered, eloquent and chic. She’s also a seasoned journalist who understands the fashion industry inside and out. She’s now harnessing that power to help boost Net-A-Porter’ reach to global fashionistas to meet their style needs.
We sat down with her to discuss the latest fashion trends and what it’s like working for The Edit, a lauded weekly e-commerce magazine.
How is working for an e-commerce magazine different from traditional print media?
It’s really different. When you’re working on a magazine usually you’re putting all these elements together: the pictures, the words, the shooting. And then you put it out there and you never hear anything back.
With The Edit, you can see whether they’re reading it in Hong Kong but they’re not reading it in New York, or whether they’re bouncing straight out, coming into the page then clicking straight off. It just means that you see the whole process and that you’re much more involved with the woman, what she wants, what she likes, and what she’s not so keen on.
What do you think is something interesting that’s happening in the fashion industry right now?
This season, I love the fact that it’s very diverse and I think you can be all sorts of different women. At the same time there are brilliant embellishments that are coming with Gucci and pieces that really feel like works of art. It’s not just about “I need a great phoenix sweater and a great pair of jeans,” It’s now actually, “I want something that I just love.” And there’s more of that around this season than there has been for a long time. I think fashion of that kind really makes you fall in love with it because it’s so beautiful.
What are some challenging trends for this season?
[An issue of The Edit] we decided to do, to time it with Art Basel, “Visual Optimism”, which is picking up on the trend that’s all about graphic prints, Stella McCartney stripes, Missoni’s bright colours, Christopher Kane’s [coloured fringes] – so it’s picking up on a lot of those graphics and brightness. And I think people always find that tricky to wear. But when you can pull it off, it makes that immediate impact.
What advice would you give to a woman venturing into fashion for the first time?
Accessories are a really great way to dip in. Those amazing Gucci slipper behind you, the red ones with the bees on them? I’ve got those and you can literally wear them with a pair of jeans and a sweater and everyone’s going to notice your shoes. You can kind of dip your toe in - quite literally! - an amazing shoe or bold-coloured bag or perhaps a bag with some fringes on it. And what’s quite amazing with fashion is that the more you try with little things, the more confident you feel.
Do you have any advice for women in Hong Kong seeking to keep their style alive in the upcoming summer without breaking a sweat?
I think skirts are really good, like a long skirt, because it’s swishing around you and if you want to sit down then you can actually tuck it between your legs and stop yourself from getting too hot.
You’re always jetting off between London and LA for interviews and shoots. Do you have any travel tips you swear by?
In terms of beauty bags, I keep three that are already packed. One is for overnight, one is for weekends, and one is for longer trips. I keep everything I need in them so I don’t forget anything. Otherwise I’d always find that whenever I go somewhere, I’d forgotten something and would always have to go straight to a chemist and buy whatever it was that I’d forgotten.