It's not every day that a busy fashionista opens up her posh New York City office and offers us an insightful glimpse at her exciting career; so when Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, did just that, we jumped at the chance.
Myers has made herself a household name thanks to her accomplished career in the magazine biz for years, and it goes without saying that we could all learn a lot from this stylish powerhouse, who sits at the helm of a major fashion book.
Here's what she shared with us:
What was your very first job?
Babysitting, of course! But professionally, it was an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone.
How did you get started in your career?
I called Jann Wenner, the iconic founding editor of Rolling Stone, and introduced myself as the cousin of one of his close friends. (Which was true.) He told me to send my resume and slammed down the phone. I showed up at his office the next day, CV in hand. I started the following Monday.
Who are some of your career heroes?
Jann Wenner, Richard Ben Cramer, Carolyn White and David Carey.
What's a typical workday like for you?
Atypical! One of the things I love about coming to work everyday is that no day is exactly the same. When I'm in the office, there are always meetings and the actual editing of the magazine--and we cover such a mix of fashion, beauty and what's happening in women's lives that one moment I'll be reviewing a fashion shoot and the next discussing the political and cultural issues affecting women and how best to cover them in the magazine and online. And then there are lunches, dinners, events, travel...right now I'm in Milan for Milan fashion week, on my way to Paris next.
Describe your office décor.
It has some personal touches. I'm particularly fond of the two portraits I have of Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington shot by Gilles Bensimon, and my Mirabella magazine poster. I was the editor there for five years and loved it.
Did you decorate it yourself?
Really just a few key things that I have brought with me from office to office. My Mirabella poster, my Jonathan Adler vase, which was a gift, photos of my husband and children, a baseball signed by St. Louis Cardinal great Curt Flood given to me by Chris Connelly back when we both worked at Rolling Stone. I also have a newsstand, where I put up ELLE against all the competitive magazines. I like the constant reminder of how tough this business really is.
List five things that are on your desk right now: iPhone, iPad, Mac desktop computer, Bulgari perfume and the layout for a great story by Jessica Pressler on Pam Anderson that's going to be in the April issue.
What do you typically wear to work?
Simpler silhouettes with clean lines, usually in black, navy or white and the occasional print. I like a high heel--I don't think I've ever worn a flat inside the Hearst Tower. My go-to piece is definitely a dress because it's one unit—fast to put on and easy to wear.
What are your favorite stores to shop for work clothes?
Celine, Gucci, Burberry, Helmut Lang, Givenchy in Paris, Net-a-Porter, Saks.com, Neimanmarcus.com.
What¹s the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
Make sure you're editing for your readers, not your peers.
Finish the sentence:
Today for lunch I had: a cheeseburger
The first web site I log onto every day is: ELLE.com! (Then the NYTimes, Atlantic Wire, WWD, Politico, The Cut...)
The beauty product you can always find in my purse is: a Napoleon lipstick and Lancöme's Le Correcteur Pro.
My must-have work gadget is: an iPad mini with retina display
My usual Starbucks order is: tall latte with half and half
If I need a quick break during work, I usually: go on Billboard.com and listen to all the new music that's starting to chart.
If I wasn¹t doing this job, I would be: um, President?
The best part of my job is: all of the smart people who work with me.
There's nothing more satisfying than: an inspired ideas meeting. I learn a lot, and love how differently people analyze a problem and come up with unique solutions.