Few things make me happier than listening to people’s stories, learning about things I knew nothing about before, discovering unique perspectives and writing about them. This year I’ve been lucky enough to produce some great features that tick those boxes and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them:
Freed of London for The Holborn
Stepping into the Freed of London factory in Hackney was like stepping back in time. I’ve always loved the enchanting world of ballet and I felt like I was in ‘The Elves and The Shoemaker’ inside this 86 year old dance shoe makers. There I met Classic Pointe Shoe Manager Gary Higgins, who has been working for Freed of London for 33 years, and Jimmy Fenn, Pattern Cutter and Designer, who has worked for the company for 12 years (a relative newbie compared to most of the staff). I walked around the factory floor wide eyed, observing the craftsmanship that goes into making shoes for some of the world’s prima ballerinas and it felt magical.
You can read my Freed of London feature inside issue four of The Holborn which is available to buy here.
Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri for Creative Artists Foundation
Beyoncé for L’Oréal shot by Indrani
Photographer Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri’s first celebrity client was David Bowie when she was still a student. Since then she has gone on to photograph Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian to name just a few. More interestingly, in my opinion, is her philanthropic work. She runs a school for impoverished children in India, with a key focus on women’s empowerment, and has also worked on several campaigns for the UN.
I was interested to find out how she balanced the glossy world of celebrity photoshoots with the gritty realities facing the people she helps and she said something which has really stuck with me. “Throughout the world women’s potential has really not been realized and that’s due to a lack of imagination. There’s a lot of social conventions that tend to hold women back and so it’s really a process of education and creatively inspiring both the societies, and women themselves, to realize their potential,” she said during our interview. Before this interview, I had often thought that creativity’s role in helping other people lay in marketing and promoting causes, which is partly what Indrani does, but she also made me see that creative talents are also crucial in reaching the people you’re trying to help by inspiring them to imagine a better like for themselves and see that there is an alternative.
Read the full article here.
The Power of Baobab – Beauty Secrets for Suitcase
I enjoyed writing this short piece for Suitcase online for very different reasons. You may have come across Baobab in last week’s farcical ‘Health Snack’ episode of The Apprentice; I got fairly well acquainted with the superfood this spring. When a press release landed In my inbox about a new baobab spa treatment, I was intrigued. When I looked into it a little further, there was a lot of buzz about baobab as the new ‘it’ superfood and there were a lot of beauty brands using it as an ingredient in their product but no articles explaining the benefits of baobab as a beauty ingredient. It felt really good to spot a trend before anyone else and come away with some niche knowledge.
Discover which brands are using Baobab and why, here.
Why Western Brands Fail in the Middle East for Creative Artists Foundation
It’s a hot topic right now and the Middle East seems to be more embroiled in stereotypes and misconceptions than anywhere else in the world. So who better to speak to about this topic than Saudi Arabian marketing consultant Marriam Mossalli. She was smart, she was opinionated and she didn’t hold back, including slating Karl Lagerfeld’s Dubai show. So often we hear these topics discussed by other Western companies so it was great to hear it from someone who knows the market first hand, and has also helped brands like Christian Louboutin, Burberry, Clinique and Prada to execute their marketing campaigns in the Middle East.
If you’re interested in the business side of fashion, you can get a taste of Marriam’s expert advice for free in this feature. Click here to read.
Thank you to all the magazines I have worked with this year and the people I have interviewed, you keep me inspired and passionate.