News & Scoops

2013 September 7

Fashion Media Awards: Jane Bruton, Editor In Chief Of The Year, International, Grazia U.K.

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Jane Bruton Jane Bruton
Courtesy Grazia
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Watch the Fashion Media Awards in full, with winners Stephen Gan, Joe Zee, Jane Bruton, Heidi Klum, Ingrid Sischy, Karlie Kloss, Carol Smith Emily Weiss; presenters Lady Gaga, Jessica Biel, Marc Jacobs, Tim Gunn, Bruce Weber, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Stefani Greenfield, Maybelline New York's David Greenberg, and many more! 

 Every week, Grazia head girl Jane Bruton churns out the most addictive fashion glossy on planet earth—an ad-packed rebuke to the idea that print is dead. Perhaps she could teach us all a thing or two? BY SARA LIEBERMAN

Let’s get this out of the way: What’s the difference between a London fashionista and a New York fashionista?
Oh, my goodness. Traditionally, I’d say New York fashionistas are more groomed.

How so?
Everyone I know that’s gone to New York and come back always comes back with super-blown hair. You’ve got loads of blow-dry bars! If you go for a blow-dry here, you’re talking 50 pounds. That’s a lot of money—especially if you have hair like mine that’s really fine and it doesn’t last!

How does Grazia’s fashion coverage set itself apart from its UK competitors?
We’ve got the highest number of fashion editorial pages in the market by a long way: 791 pages compared with Elle’s 454 or Vogue’s 384. The way we approach fashion reflects the content of the rest of the magazine. We can talk about anything from opera to what we’re watching on TV to what’s going on in Syria to whether Jennifer Aniston is ever going to get married. That’s how modern women talk. So we’ll take you from a super-rarefied, expensive 50,000-pound bag to shopping pages where you can pick up the best of the High Street to real people dressed in their own clothes like in the Style Hunter section. It’s a mix. We recognize that people buy across the board. Even if readers don’t have access to couture, they still want to know about it.

And they also want the dish on the celebs...
The celebrity gives you that weekliness. Those people have their own soap opera going on. Grazia is about the moment, and capturing the moment in time is really important to us. You don’t get that often from a shot cover. Before we launched, I don’t think anybody had used papp shots in the same way. They were for trying to catch people out or show them in a bad light. But we gave it from that magnum reportage-y approach. We wanted people to look glam and fabulous, but to feel real and believable and timely.

Do you have any favorite covers?
My favorite covers are the ones that taught us something new. The Victoria Beckham one taught us we could pull out further on shots to give it a sense of fashion. Initially, we did just head-and-shoulders shots, but they ended up looking quite similar week to week. I loved the one we did on the WAGS [footballers’ ‘Wives and Girlfriends’]. In America you won’t get that! Not that long ago we did our first Cara Delevingne cover and used a picture of her at the Burberry show. We’d never done a catwalk shot before, but it felt totally right.

How are your dedicated fashion issues received?
We assumed they’d be lower selling issues than celebrity covers, but we quickly noticed they became our biggest selling! And we were the first people in the weekly market to do perfect-bound weekly issues. They became something everyone looks forward to. We’re now going to do an extra fashion issue because it’s apparent that there are more than two seasons, with resort and pre-collection. Eighty percent of retail spending is on pre-collection. We want to tell people about that.

Where do you shop?
I have two boys, 12 and 9, and neither of them will go into a shop, so I do quite a lot of online shopping. At the beginning of the season, I try to think, “What do I need for Fashion Week?” I get that sorted and then I just kind of add to it during the rest of the season. I get obsessed with something and I wear it and wear it and wear it and then I’m bored.

What do you have the most of?
I quite like mixing and matching bags. I’m not the sort to have one bag for a month. But I’m not a collector. Though, I think my husband might disagree with that.

Any favorites?

My black Louis Vuitton pouchette is totally chic, and a perfect day-to-night bag. I love, love, love it. Also, the Asprey Wiltshire designed by Katie Hillier, which is just the ideal size as it fits [wallet], make-up, phone and notebook without having to pack it like a game of Tetris! Plus, it has a great across-the-body strap.

What about apparel?
Definitely my Jonathan Saunders green-black skirt and vest top. It’s great for cocktails, but equally fabulous for day. I’m wearing it with neon-pink Nike Flyknit One trainers today.

Sneakers in the office?!
I am totally for wearing trainers to the office right now, because a few of us have got into walking to work. We start news conferences on the way—multitasking!

Wait, stop right there. No black town car?! Where do you walk from?
From Highgate to Tottenham Court Road. I’ve only just started walking, and I’m not sure how long it will last! I meet my assistant editor on the way so it’s more chatting and gossiping.

OK, back to sneakers…

Usually I change out of them, but other people in the office don’t, and that’s cool by me. There are no rules here. Our fashion director, Susannah Frankel, had a monochrome pair of Nike Flyknits on the other day with a navy Margaret Howell dress and looked amazing. I personally think function is more important than fashion.

Let’s talk about Royal Baby Day! How did you prepare a cover that looked so fresh, seeing as you ship on a Friday and King George was born on a Monday?
Everyone was working around this date—the 13th of July—but it wasn’t confirmed, so no one really knew. We got a lot of our issue ready to go, and I had contingency plans if it happened on a Thursday, and another if it happened on a Friday, and if it happened on Saturday it would’ve been a big disaster! By [Monday, July 15], when it still hadn’t happened, we thought we just had to go with it rather than miss it completely. We had this great shoot…

A baby wearing a crown sitting on the throne?
Yes. We shot it with a baby boy and a baby girl. I went with it, but feeling a bit ‘Oh my god, oh my god.’ And then we came in on the Monday morning and it was announced she had gone into labor, so I was punching the air! So Tuesday morning, we looked like we were super- quick on it when the issue came out.

But who did you choose, the boy or the girl?
I put the one you couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl.

Smart! So it looked as if you scooped ’em all...
We weren’t pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes. It was all relevant information, true at the time we went to press. I made it about royal baby mania, which had been nonstop all week. It was all anyone was talking about.

While you have a leg up on the monthlies, how do you keep up with the ever-changing news cycles of the Web?

This isn’t the right place to work if you’re the kind of person who hates doing something and having it thrown out. You have to be flexible to change. But we love working quickly. It’s more like a newspaper than a magazine in that way. Either we get new information on a developing story, or we take a more thoughtful look behind the headlines. Often the angle that newspapers or other magazines take isn’t the angle Grazia readers are interested in.

Which is what?
It’s a gut reaction to life, really. When I look back at the magazine, it’s like a diary of a reader’s life over the last eight years, put together by people who
really absorb culture and reflect it back—people who can reflect what’s going on. That’s what keeps it fresh and exciting. 

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