2012 November 9
Meet Kelly Talamas, Vogue Mexico's Wunderkind EIC
Patrick McMullan View Gallery
(NEW YORK) While your Daily was weekending in Mexico City for the Moda Nextel show, we gleaned some insights into the country's fashion mag landscape. Firstly, there were fried grasshoppers to be gobbled down with an Elle Mexico fashion editor (the verdict? delish) on Saturday afternoon; that evening, The Daily chatted with Vogue Mexico's lovely EIC, Kelly Talamas. The Miami native filled us in on what sells on the newsstand, why Opening Ceremony needs to head south—and tipped us off to the slang way to characterize a prepster whilst in Mexico. Illuminating!
BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV
How long have you held the editor-in-chief title at Vogue Mexico?
In January, it will be a year. I've been at Vogue for five years; I used to be a fashion editor and then they promoted me to editor-in-chief.
At 28 years old, you're quite a young for an EIC!
I've been very lucky, but it's been a lot of hard work. Since I was very young, I've known I wanted to work at a magazine. I spent a year at Ocean Drive in Miami, which is where I'm from, and then moved over to Vogue Mexico; our offices were based in Miami back then. My mom is Cuban, so since I was young I've spoken Spanish.
Do people have incredulous reactions when they hear you're 28 and in charge?
Always! When new friends ask me where I work, I say, 'Oh, a magazine.' Some people will pry and ask which magazine, and then when I say Vogue, they ask what I do for them...and that's when I'll tell them I'm editor-in-chief. I enjoy the crescendo!
Who's your editor role model?
It's a clichéd answer, but Anna Wintour has had an incredible career. Her power and influence in the industry is amazing.
Would you ever copy her bobbed coif?
I don't know if I'd look so good with that style! I'll have to find my own style staple; it probably won't be the bob.
So when did you make the move to Mexico City?
Two years ago. I'd traveled to Mexico for work before, but didn't have much of a history with the country. It's been constant inspiration since I got here, from the artisans to the craftsmanship.
Do you head back to Miami often?
I thought I'd be going back more, but I actually haven't! I do go to New York for fashion week and for certain events.
How does your mag chalk up to the myriad global Vogue editions?
Mexico is [Vogue's] strongest market in Latin America apart from Brazil, and we don't cover Brazil at all.
Which style scenes are your readers most interested in reading about in your mag?
They do like to know what's going on in the international scene; New York is really popular. And Europe, of course. Milan is very close to the Latin culture—it's showy, flashy, experimental. Paris is more reserved.
Does Vogue Mexico's office culture at all resemble those from The Devil Wears Prada?
I saw the movie just as I was about to start working at Vogue, actually! I mean, Vogue is the most prestigious fashion bible in the world, so we do have high standards. That prestige isn't for nothing! But we do have fun, and we're passionate.
What's special about Vogue Mexico compared to the many other editions?
We do a lot of shoots in Mexico, and there are such amazing backdrops in this country; the contrast between the old and new worlds is incredible. As beautiful as Europe is, I don't think you can find the same charm that you find here.
What's your cover strategy?
We feature top models on our covers, as opposed to the celebrities featured on Vogue's U.S. covers. The entertainment industry is probably the reason for Vogue's success with celebrity covers in the U.S. Top models work for us because Vogue is fashion; that's what our readers look for in our magazine, and that's what models represent.
How do Mexican women like to dress?
It's a very sensual culture, so people like sexy, colorful clothing! There are a lot of tight dresses. There is definitely an emphasis on looking perfect all the time, so the makeup is very important to Latin women. Nails are always done, too, and hair is always styled.
So sweatpants don't fly? Even for, say, a grocery store run?
What are your favorite locally-sourced wares?
I'm a big fan of the jewelry; there are designers like Gabriela Ortigas. And recently, really cool concept stores have opened up in Mexico City; I love places like Celeste and Common People.
Mexico just nabbed its first H&M location. What else should head south of the border, retail-wise?
I'd love an Opening Ceremony here. Mexico lacks great multi-brand stores, and the popularity of the concept stores shows that there's a need for places like Opening Ceremony.
Lastly, teach us a fashion-skewed slang term in Spanish!
It's not my favorite word, but a fresa. Its literal term is 'strawberry,' but it describes a very preppy, snobby style; more Upper East Side. It's a very unique term to Mexico; there are the hipsters and the fresas.
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