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Trendsetters at Work: Seventeen Magazine

Trendsetters, Seventeen Magazine Jennifer Cooper, E!

Seventeen magazine will always hold a special place in our hearts.

After all, like many fashion-obsessed teens, we relied on this glossy publication to help us survive those trying years in high school as we discovered our personal style, tested every beauty product out there and lamented about the trials and tribulations of adolesence. 

So when we had the opportunity to get to know three of the mag's top editorial staffers in the beauty, fashion and accessories departments, we jumped at the chance!

Here's what they shared with us: 

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Trendsetters, Seventeen Magazine Jennifer Cooper, E!

Jasmine Snow, Accessories Editor

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How did you get started in your career?
I interned with a designer and a stylist and met the team at Seventeen through that. I started modeling as a real girl for the mag during my last year of college. When I was graduating they told me about an open position as a fashion assistant so I applied and got the job. After a lot of hard work I was promoted to accessories editor three years later!

What is a typical day like for you?
I usually start my mornings at an appointment with a designer or press showroom to look at a new collection or pull new samples for a shoot that I'm working in. Once I'm in the office, I check e-mails, request more samples and organize all of the new accessories that have come in for our photo shoots. I handle all shoes, bags, hosiery and headwear.

Describe your work environment.
Our office is a really fun environment because everyone here really loves their jobs and loves the magazine. There are definitely stressful days when we're working on lots of shoots at the same time, but it's all always worth the hard work and I love the energy that it brings out!

Tell us about your office décor or creative inspiration.
The office has solid glass windows so we see everything outside and have an amazing view of New York. For me it's the most inspirational view because no matter how crazy of a day I'm having it always reminds me that this is exactly where I've always wanted to be, and I'm so lucky to be here. Plus it's always nice to have good scenery and lots of natural light to look good in our videos and Instagrams we take in the closet!

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Describe your office style. What do you typically wear to work?
I'm a jeans and a tee kind of girl. As much as I love cute skirts and dresses, the truth is, that is when I'm most comfortable is when I feel most confident. Luckily for me, Seventeen is a pretty relaxed fashionable atmosphere so I will usually wear skinny jeans, with a cute top and a bright blazer to work. I'm all about keeping my look simple and effortless and then making a statement with cool shoes or a statement piece of jewelry.

Where do you shop for work clothes?
Zara because they have great pieces that are on trend, but good enough prices that I don't feel guilty if I only wear it five times and then get over it. I love Shopbop.com because they have everything so I can splurge on good jeans or an investment piece. Barney's or Saks for shoe shopping. I love the big end-of-season sales. I have smaller feet so I tend to find some gems there that no one else buys!

What are your favorite brands of accessories?
It changes constantly, but right now it's a mix of Eddie Borgo, Dannijo, Philip Lim, Aquazurra, and Sophia Webster.

My favorite thing in my office/on my desk is:
My Noir Editor Necklace. It was left here by the accessories editor here before me. I always used to look at it and think it was such a cool necklace, and couldn't wait to be a real editor to have something like it. I think she may have just forgotten it here when she left, but I like to think it was her way of passing the torch to me.

The best part of my job is…Access! I love that I have access to so much information even other things aside from accessories just because of working in the magazine industry. I am a person that always has major FOMO (fear of missing out) so I love that I am right in on a lot of things going on that no one even knows about yet! I get to see things ahead of time and tell readers about how cool it is! 

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I never leave home without…An extra pair of shoes. I'm constantly changing or switching from heels to flats so I always have an extra pair in my bag.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Keeping up with the Kardashians. I can't get enough and love that it gives me and my girlfriends something to always talk about.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Surround yourself by people who are good at things that are your weaknesses. Not only will you learn from them, but also it will help you to build a better team and ultimately will make you more successful.

What is your go-to lunch or snack?
I always have a soup or a sandwich. I switch it up. I love peanut butter and pretzels in the afternoon when I have a sweet tooth. I drink a Venti Zen green tea every morning on my way to work. 

Can you share some advice for aspiring career girls?
Intern! Try out as many real life job experiences as you can so that you know what you want to do when you graduate, and you can make contacts and build a résumé on the way.

Trendsetters, Seventeen Magazine Jennifer Cooper, E!

Yesenia Almonte, Beauty Director

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How did you get started in your career?
In college, I majored in English and minored in Journalism and really focused my energy on studying magazines and their different departments (and of course the mastheads!) I wrote to those editors at my favorite magazines. I landed a job soon after graduating at InStyle magazine as an assistant in the beauty department. It's been a beauty love affair ever since.

What is a typical day like for you?
 My day is broken up into editing, writing, planning stories and photo shoots, attending events and testing beauty products.

Describe your work environment.
Fast!

Tell us about your office décor or creative inspiration.
I have pictures of my son, Hudson, and my husband Edwin, all around me. I'm obsessed with them. I think of them all the time—they inspire me to be and do my best! I love having pretty beauty products around me. It just makes me happy to put on a pretty lip color or spritz on a new perfume.

Describe your office style. What do you typically wear to work?
My style is super classic and sophisticated: Diane von Furstenberg dresses are my favorite! They fit my body/curves really well are super flattering. I love flowy silk tops and straight leg pants (those that make me look taller!) and pointy 4" manolo blahniks are my go-to shoes. I accessorize my look with cool jewelry (Eddie Borgo, Tiffany & Co., YSL, and Chanel jewelry are my favorites!)

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Where do you shop for work clothes?
Diane von Furstengberg...I hit up the sample sale twice a year and get tons of pretty dresses and pencil skirts. I love Zara! I get pretty tops, dresses and skirts from them—and at great prices! Barney's is my favorite for shoes.

What are your favorite brands of accessories? 
Chanel and YSL for bags, Manolo Blahnik, Prada and Jimmy Choo for shoes. 

The best part of my job is…That I get to help all teenage girls feel, look and be their best!

I never leave home without…My hefty makeup bag! I use everything in it—foundation, blush, mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss, highlighter, eyeshadow. I take it with me and do my makeup on my commute to work.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I love wine! I don't only love drinking it, but I love learning about it—the different varietals, regions, history, etc.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
This advice was given to my husband and I think it's so right on: People work for people. Meaning that you may work for a company that you love, but if your boss and the people around you are mean and not encouraging or inspiring then what's the point? When you work for someone that respects your life and time inside and outside of the office, then you inspire them to want to do amazing things!

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What are your beauty must-haves?
My God! There are so many:  Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation (I have pimples but you wouldn't it know it. That's how good this covers!); Makeup Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer (I use this around my eyes and where I need extra coverage. It doesn't budge/melt at all!); La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Peach Glow and Berry Glow—they give the perfect amount of dewiness/glow to the skin in the prettiest colors for my olive skin. Flower Zoom-In Ultimate Mascara—I've tried every mascara on the market and this one is amazing—thickens, lengthens, is buildable without getting dry, flaky and is super dark black. Mally's shadow sticks are the best! One swipe and you get a beautiful wash of shimmery color, Too Faced Perfect Eyes waterproof eyeliner in Perfect Espresso (I love a little smokiness to my eyes, and this one stays all day); Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland—it's a pale gold shimmery color that I use on just my inner corners to brighten. Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment is the best lip balm ever!! It brings out a rosiness to my lips so I don't need much of anything else. For fragrance, I'm loving Chanel Coco Noir right now!

Can you share some advice for aspiring career girls?
There's a difference between being self-conscious and being self-aware. When you're self-conscious, you won't make a move without thinking about who's thinking what about you or who is going to say something negative about you. When you're self-aware you know your strengths and weaknesses and can be self-deprecating about yourself. Aim to be on the self-aware side. It doesn't happen overnight but make it something you work towards everyday. 

Trendsetters, Seventeen Magazine Jennifer Cooper, E!

Gina Kelly, Fashion Director

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How did you get started in your career?
My first job was actually at Seventeen! I started on the advertising side, I assisted an ad sales rep. I interviewed for the position right out of college and was hired that day. I knew that it wasn't my dream job—as I wanted to work on the edit side—but I thought I was incredibly lucky to get my foot in the door. I worked on the business side for a year then made my move to edit.

What is a typical day like for you?
It varies—I oversee freelance stylists who come in, read over copy folders for stories that are shipping out, attend designer appointments with my team, work on trend boards for upcoming fashion stories—and that can all happen in one day.

Describe your work environment.
It's very collaborative and supportive. We have quite a small staff, so it has to be. I trust and rely on everyone in my department.

Tell us about your office décor or creative inspiration.
My office is actually in the fashion closet. Sometimes it's quite hectic, so I put on my headphones and tune out the noise. Truthfully, I like to be connected to that energy, though. It forces me to be involved in everything—from what the interns are doing, to stylists working on a story to new cool stuff that gets checked into the closet.

Describe your office style. What do you typically wear to work?
I'm lucky enough that I can wear jeans every day to work if I wanted to! But I try to mix in something that feels on trend. If I have out-of-office meetings I do tend to step it up more with a designer dress. Honestly, a lot of my work can be physical too—styling and laying out stories in our closet—so what I wear is more on the comfy side. 

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What is your guilty pleasure?
British gossip weekly magazines.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Don't be mean to people!

What is your go-to lunch? Favorite snack? Morning beverage?
For lunch, soup, iced coffee and some sort of chocolate. I snack on corn chips and salsa. In the morning, I love coffee and apple juice.

My favorite gadgets for work and play:
I used to DJ, so I totally need my iPod with the newest music downloaded. For work, I'm addicted to Instagram—It's like an instant visual report on what's happening in fashion.

If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…I have my dream job. Does that count?

Can you share some advice for aspiring career girls?
Work hard and treat everyone with respect and kindness.

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