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Passionate about fashion since her childhood, Scottish-born Joanna Reid graduated from IFA Paris with the MBA in Global Fashion Media and tells us how positive of an experience it was.
Michel Temman: Joanna, could you first introduce yourself, your background and Parisian life?
Joanna Reid: I am 25 and come from a small village outside of St. Andrews in Scotland. I have been living in Paris for almost five years, which is largely thanks to studying History of Art and French at Edinburgh University. This allowed me to spend a year studying at the École du Louvre in Paris, which was an incredible experience. At the end of my year, I stayed for the summer and interned in a PR agency that represented brands such as Yasmine Eslami, Jaquemus and Zana Bayne. This internship and living in Paris made me want to do something more creative with my career and learn more about the fashion industry. When I finished my degree in Edinburgh, I then moved back to Paris to do the MBA in Global Fashion Media Studies at IFA Paris and pretty much have not left or looked back since! I also spent 3 months in Shanghai, that was part of the MBA and this was my first time in Asia so it was a real eye-opener!
Joanna Reid in Paris
M.T.: What about starting your career?
Joanna Reid: My career to this day has been a pretty mixed bag. I began by working in retail in Scotland for some brands I didn’t really like but it was good experience anyway! During my MBA I did a couple of internships working in showrooms, and for brands during various Fashion Weeks. After my MBA, I interned with the online fashion magazine NowFashion.com, assisting the Head of Public Relations and Digital Content. I loved my time there. Day in, day out I was in contact with photographers, stylists and journalists but best of all the NowFashion team who are a creative, smart and most of all fun bunch of people who I hold in high regard. In Paris, I have also worked for the concept store Merci, showrooms, the website Semaine.com and I have been writing for various publications. Today I work full time for IMG Models in Paris in the Scouting and Development team. Working here alongside a lot of freelance writing can be tiring but I would not have it any other way. I love the combination and it means I see the industry from so many different angles.
Joanna Reid with one of her stories
M.T.: You’re now a freelance writer. For which media and what topics do you cover and write about? Fashion and lifestyle especially?
Joanna Reid: I have written for print publications including DULL, Alla Carta and Bespoke and for online sites such as Semaine, The Public House of Art, Ten Days in Paris, Studio International and The Telegraph. I have covered a range of topics from analyzing art works to trends and technology. My preferred style of writing is doing features on brands or designers. I really like interviewing people and getting to know the mindset and stories behind them and their work. I think it is more fun looking at their work after talking to them, as you understand a lot better where they are coming from and what makes them who they are resulting in what they put on the runway or present to the world. Additionally, I write some press releases for brands, it is an easy way to stay up to date with collections, which is cool!
M.T.: Do you have any favorite fashion and lifestyle magazines/online medias worldwide, that you admire and follow?
Joanna Reid: I used to read online fashion blogs but I could not give you a name or site that I follow religiously today. I think the world of fashion blogging has died down a bit. When I do read fashion and lifestyle news to catch up with everything. I head to BoF, Dazed Digital or i-D. I like Le Monde Mag online and the New York Times for art, culture and travel too. I read a lot of magazines or fashion books. People complain about the numerous editorials before you get to any content but I love this part of publications. The photography, set design, models, artistic direction, I use many of these campaigns for references. The amount of work captured in one shot is insane and it represents so many people who make up the fashion industry today. I am obsessed with the artist Prue Stent so I look at her website and Instagram a lot.
Her work is so vibrant and cheeky which I love! I want to buy a huge print of one of her works for my apartment soon. Lauren Fay’s Instagram account is without a doubt my favorite thing to follow online. Her eye is so consistent for effortless elegance and luxury. I read many print magazines too. Being British I enjoy AnOther, Dazed, LOVE and in France I read Jalouse, Dull, Modzik, Antidote, Mastermind, Numero, Self Service… luckily, at work we have most in the office! Ofr Bookshop in Paris is the best place to go to discover new publications and books and to find some general arty inspiration. They usually throw a soiree every now and then, which is never a bad idea!
M.T.: You graduated from our MBA in Global Fashion Media program in 2014. How valuable was your experience with us at IFA Paris?
Joanna Reid: Extremely valuable! Before I studied at IFA Paris, my background lay in History of Art and I had little experience in the industry other than reading magazines and the short internship I did during my Erasmus. The best thing about the MBA at IFA Paris is that you cover a wide range of topics. From e-commerce and consumer behavior to styling and photography and even digital design, you really do it all. A lot of simultaneous presentations and projects, but it was definitely worth the time I spent there. It gave me a good grounding and all-round knowledge of the fashion industry before entering into the working world.
M.T.: You both write for print and digital media. How do you consider the recent trends in fashion media and journalism?
Joanna Reid: Yes, I am currently writing for both which is interesting, as the two require different styles of writing. Online is more about the word count and getting to the point a lot quicker, whereas I feel in print you have more of an opportunity to expand. Most recently, I interviewed Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund from the menswear brand CMMN SDWN for a focus feature in the last issue of the magazine DULL. Fashion media and journalism is becoming faster and distinctly digital. I think the rules have changed because of this and it has opened up a new type of fashion journalism. Direct streaming, Snapchat and Instagram has changed the eye of fashion to a certain extent but has also made it so much more accessible for anyone to comment on. The problem for some is trying to distinguish the difference between good fashion journalism and the enormous amount of crap online. I will forever be a fan of the print publication and I think it is encouraging to see the number of prints still in existence and fashion books appearing.
M.T.: Do you have any special wish or project in mind these days?
Joanna Reid: I am very happy with everything I am doing right now. I love the mix of working at IMG in Paris and writing alongside this. I feel like I am seeing the fashion industry from many different angles. In the future, I would love to do consulting for brands and continue to write for fashion publications. Another goal is to eventually write a novel and do the illustrations for it. Above all, I want to keep working in the creative field. That is the best thing about fashion, it is constantly changing and minds are evolving so there is always something new or different to discover.
For more info on Joanna’s program, please see IFA Paris MBA Global Fashion Media