Few years back on a night out I remember, I was having a one on one with Janine; asking her how she was doing, how life was treating her and if she was planning on staying at then, her current job for long. She mentioned she was honestly over Johannesburg and wanted to go back to Cape Town as there were a few career opportunities that interested her in CPT and gurl wanted to GO INNN! She mentioned there was something RED for her in CPT and of course I did try to get it out of her but Miss Thang was not dislodging any M.A.C gloss layered lip.
Why do I have a feeling that Janine was short listed for the editor role of Cosmopolitan South Africa? Anyways, that’s just my gut feeling at the present moment whilst thinking back.
If you have spent time (short or long period) with me you would know that I ask questions and ask a whole lot of questions and most of my questions can make one a bit uncomfortable if they are not comfortable with themselves. I am rapid fire when it comes to questioning. Inquisitive much; not moved by what you would like to term it, all I know is If I find you interesting I will engage you and I will honestly ask the things I would like to know about you right there and then. I hate weather talk; I prefer retiring one’s company with some food for thought. Call it tactless but I am subscriber to the school of thought that there is no better time than the present. I call it the human social conditioning; that instils an outlook on people to adhere to silly unwritten rules that don’t really make sense that is ‘the waiting periods’. ‘We don’t know each other to ask me those questions’ well hellooo how will I know you if I don’t pay interest to you and ask questions? See what I mean.
Having said that I listen and I listen tentatively but if I have no interest in what you have to say, you will be made aware of this pronto.
Anywhoo, getting carried away there…
I have to admit I was forced to do a heavy self-introspect when I went through Janine’s answers especially the part where she states; “It’s happened rather quickly for me (I’m still only 27), but it’s been a lifelong ambition.” Initially I was like; GO IN CHIRL, GO IN GURL! Then I was like, OK WAIT, STOP! I threw my eye balls up in the air and looked at myself from that view, I didn’t pity myself but it was that involuntary human instinct where by you ask yourself; where am I am at this stage of my life? and where am I heading? Think Rudolph Steiner’s seven-year human cycles. Do not twist it I am not on about comparing ones self’s worth or achievements with the other person's but a self-introspect session ignited by someone's story that reads like a fairy tale.
Reading stories like Janine’s can only inspire you to keep on keeping on harder than a damsel in New York juggling six jobs with an energy fuelled only by the dream to become a mega Broadway star!
They say tell Mama Nature your dreams and ambitions and she will whip it out and provide, but you don’t just drop it there for her to magically deliver you have to work at attaining them and most importantly they all must be realistic or else chirl you are delush!
I could go on but I will have to stop here, read Miss Thang’s words and I can only hope something gets flared up within you...
You are respectable lady who is brilliant at what she does and you always boh-ring-it chirl.
Thanks, Jerri. You know that saying that you shouldn’t dress for the job you have, but for the job you want? That’s what I was about as a journalist. People always wondered why I’d dress up for events and launches, but I always wanted to be an editor, so one way of getting there was about dressing the part. I’m also obsessed with dressing appropriately for an occasion and one can never go wrong with sky high stilettos.
What is it that you do and why?
I’m the editor-in-chief of the number one teen magazine in SA, Seventeen South Africa. I’ve always wanted to be a magazine editor, it’s basically a life-long ambition, but I also do it for the readers. It sounds corny, but I’m hugely privileged to get the opportunity to interact with and inspire young women.
Someone out there aspires to do what you do. What qualities, experiences, academic background are quintessential to be able to cut from the rest?
Traditionally, most magazine editors have a background in journalism or fashion. Experience in the industry is important. There are some things that can’t be taught at varsity. A magazine isn’t just about pretty things, it’s a business too, so having a head for business and marketing will stand you in good stead. You also have to have a keen interest in your readers; if you’re not interested in or servicing your reader; you’re not going to run a successful magazine.
Was your career choice a long time desired dream or it is something that just happened?
In ‘The Devil wears Prada’, the characters keep saying that a job in magazine publishing is something that a million other girls want. In order to get to be editor, it’s something you really want to do and work towards. It’s happened rather quickly for me (I’m still only 27), but it’s been a lifelong ambition.
Do you work more with heavy weight experienced contributors (stylists, writers, MUA e.t.c) or with young enthusiastic talent that needs a breakthrough? How can the system be even-handed?
Seventeen is all about empowering young women, so it’s no surprise that it’s staffed by young women. Young people are fearless and are quick to adapt to a changing environment, so I love working with them.
To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
There’s a famous quote that I believe in: ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’. You have to be prepared to put in the work. It might not always reap the benefits immediately, or in the ways you’d initially anticipated, but it’s essential to success. I’ve always been open about my ambitions and I’ve often been criticized for it, but if you’re not prepared to put your hand up and say ‘I want to do this’, how are the right people ever going to identify you? I’d always thought that I’d be in my 30s before I’d become an editor, but it happened three years early. And, even when I felt doubtful, I took the leap and went for it. It’s been one of the greatest adventures of my life.
If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Pressure – from society or from ourselves. We often benchmark ourselves based on our peers or what our family or friends expect and this can be so detrimental. It’s so important to stay focused on your own goals and ambitions and block out the unnecessary ‘voices’.
Please take us through a cover page decision process; I have always wanted to know what goes down in deciding on the cover page star.
Eek! There’s no science to putting together a cover… If there was, it’d take away all the excitement around putting a magazine on newsstand. It’s one of the biggest calls one has to make as an editor because a cover pic or cover line can make or break your sales figures for that month. Sally Laver (Art Director) and I collaborate on Seventeen’s covers.
For me, choosing the star is all about timing: are they doing anything exciting in that specific month, are they ‘hot’ right now? I’m a huge fan of the star facing the reader head on, smiley faces and luxurious-looking, shiny hair – the celeb has to look happy and inviting.
Colours can be influenced by the outfit or what’s happening in fashion at that moment (example: last summer we did brights in November in line with colour-blocking trend and coral and cobalt in December, which were important colours of the season)
I write the cover lines myself and Sally and I will often set aside a Friday afternoon to ‘workshop’ the cover together. It takes about a week of tweaking and playing around until we’re both perfectly happy.
Favoured manner of kitting your closet; quantity (Busting the at the hinges with disposable tricks and trinkets or quality (minimal filling with O-so-pricey)
I wish I was a minimalist who could afford Miu Miu and Prada and Celine, but unfortunately, I’m a sucker for fast fashion. I find myself having to clear out my closet every three months (but I always give to charity). I don’t think that cheap necessarily means tacky, and I believe in buying the best shoes you can afford – a killer heel can transform a jeans-and-t-shirt outfit instantly. Fabrication also makes the difference! You can get a silk dress at Country Road, for example, at around R800 and, if you take care of it correctly, you can wear it for a good few years.
SS 2012 is going to be a mess; people will be going wild with their looks. What you would like to see more and less of (trends)
I agree! The trends we’re about to see are definitely for the bold and brave and there’s going to be a lot of interpretations out there. Print-on-print, pastels, neons, neutrals and African print – we’re about to enter an ‘anything goes’ era. I’m bracing myself.
What I’d like to see more of:
Zebra print, snakeskin, quirky takes on traditional African prints, good quality accessories and good quality basics.
What I’d like to see less of:
Skin is in, but in a chic way, so I’d like to see less people squeezing themselves into too-tight clothes. There’s a sense of luxury to being able to breathe. I’d like to see less leopard (we can put it away for a few seasons) and colour blocking with solid brights (it’s all about pastels and neons). I’m a stalwart of the ‘leggings aren’t pants’ movement, but I’d really like to see women embrace that. Trousers are trousers. Leggings are leggings.