As a fashion lover, SHOWstudio’s live panels are an endless source of entertainment. At an hour long each, the panels enliven my fashion week. A regular fixture on SHOWstudio is Mimma Viglezio. The freelance consultant and editor-in-chief of Lula magazine is often featured on the live panels and hosts her own ‘Head to Head’ series on the site.
I finally met Mimma in February at London Fashion Week. I instantly recognised her from the videos she’d been in. I met her a few times over that weekend. On the way home from fashion week I picked up my first issue of Lula, which happened to be Mimma’s first issue as editor. I was more than impressed with the content. I’m a huge fan of the cover star Greta Gerwig, and Anna Foster’s editorial in Istanbul was sublime. Not only does the magazine contain beautiful imagery, but there are thoughtful written pieces interspersed throughout.
Mimma’s has led an incredible career in communications, marketing, consultancy and now she’s on the editorial side of things. I wanted to interview her for this series because of her wealth of experience, and hopefully these questions captured that.
I hope you enjoy 5 Questions with… Mimma Viglezio.
1: Who/what inspired you to pursue a career in the fashion industry? What did you study?
To be honest with you I never chose fashion, it rather chose me. I was the Executive Director of Global Communications for Bulgari in Rome and LVMH started hunting me. Eventually I accepted the job and my adventure in fashion began. I studied Italian and English literature and wanted to be an academic scholar. I started one year of PHD studies after my degree and felt I was slowly fading away sitting in libraries all day. So I went out in the world and started working in communications which seemed to me the closest to who I was. I was writing and talking and reading and creating, that is how it all started.
2: You were named editor-in-chief of Lula last year; what has been the most challenging aspect of editing a magazine?
I did not know, at 50, if I was able to be an editor, therefore the first meetings were terrifying. I accepted the challenge because I thought it was a way for me to have a voice and I am absolutely loving it.
Today, we manage to put together a magazine with a few staff and little means so we always have to find solutions and be creative, but it is a loved title, therefore we are encountering enthusiasm and willingness to participate within the industry, brands and creative talent alike.
3: The statement 'print is dead' is often used; why do you think print media is important in 2016?
It counter balances digital. Print is slow, digital is fast. People like a magazine as an object, they take more time to read or study it, they keep it. We love and need digital for the width of the possibilities it gives us, but print is not dead and never will be.
4: What advice do you have for those aspiring to pursue a career in communications and marketing in the fashion industry?
There are no secrets: work hard! Keep your eyes and ears always wide open, believe and never give up. Don't choose fashion because you think it's cool, choose a job because it is the only thing you want to do or you feel you are able to do. If this is the case, you will succeed.
5: Finally, what are your thoughts on the current state of the fashion industry?
It is an industry that is slowly realising it needs a total make over. The old power is confused by the new generation dictating new rules that are more relevant and in tune with young consumers and the today world. They try to adapt but they hold on to what they know and to their power that basically comes from access to unlimited funds.
But it is changing notwithstanding, and that is not a good thing, it is a marvellous one. People like Demna Gvasalia or Alessandro Michele are liberating fashion and giving us the right to be who we want and look how the hell we please to, that is enough for me to sing "hallelujah". In the process they create amazing fashion that will go down in history books, like Andy Warhol did when he first shocked the establishment by painting Campbell cans...
There has never been (in my time) a more exciting time for creativity.
All images are my own