Annabel Stevens has turned a childhood love of all things fashion and beauty into a career, as Lifestyle Editor of weekly women’s magazine love it!
But she credits her background in PR for the most important learning curve of her career and now works closely with PRs representing major fashion and beauty brands as she helps shape upcoming trends.
She also gets to test new make-up. What more could a girl want.
What’s your job title?
Lifestyle Editor for love it! Magazine
What are your primary duties?
I’m responsible for all fashion, beauty and travel features within the magazine, as well as sourcing giveaways and reader offers for print, online and our social channels.
Talk us through a typical day/week
The main bulk of my time is spent is writing and researching for upcoming fashion, shopping and travel features, and testing products for our beauty columns. Liaising with PRs is a big part of the role, as I rely heavily on them for imagery and beauty samples, as well as key seasonal trend forecasts and information on new ranges.
What’s are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
As we’re a weekly magazine, it can be tricky to find new themes each week without the content becoming irrelevant or unsuitable for our readership. You have some scope to repeat core themes each year, but I try to keep it fresh where I can. With 56 issues in the year it can be challenging if you’re not prepared.
How do you overcome these problems?
A knowledge of the fashion and beauty world is key, as well as what is available on the high street and online. I’ll visit major online fashion and beauty retailers daily and note down any sub-trends I can see emerging, and make note of what may work for our readers. I’ll also visit my local high street and see what’s new, and what products women are gravitating towards. Again, my PR contacts are key here as they’ll be able to suggest features and roundups, and provide product where needed.
What got you interested in fashion and beauty?
I’ve been passionate about fashion and beauty from a young age, and as a teen really enjoyed its transformative power both physically and mentally. I certainly experiment less now than I did then, but it’s still a hugely important part of my life and I adore trying out new things and finding something that works perfectly for me. One of my main passions is skincare, so testing product samples is a real perk!
What’s going to feature heavily over the next 12 months?
We’re fortunate in the UK to have one of the best high streets, if not the best, in the world when it comes to the sheer volume of ranges and price points. People are pulling away from the ‘throwaway fashion’ culture and I think this will be reflected in the quality and styles available in stores. Retailers are also coming to realise the buying power of woman aged over 35, and I feel the offering available will soon come to reflect this.
Best bit of journalistic advice you’ve ever received?
Well known and wise words that translate to all aspects of life – ‘treat others as you wish to be treated’. My background in PR has given me a unique insight into the PR/journalist relationship, and I treat each person I deal with the respect I often (but often not!) was afforded when I was working on the other side of the coin. It can be easy to become dismissive when you receive hundreds of emails each day, but a good PR can make my job as a journalist a whole lot easier, so I try to do the same for them wherever I can.
How did you get to where you are now?
I studied Fashion Journalism at London College of Fashion, before moving to Manchester where I gained my Fashion Buying and Business degree. After graduating I worked in PR, and did some freelance fashion writing on the side. When love it! were hiring, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.
Any projects you’d like to share with us?
Over the next year we’re looking to expand our online presence, which will mean more space for lifestyle features. It’ll be great to have the freedom there, as you can only fit so much in print!