In her role as Fashion Editor of Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE Australia, Caroline Tran has the curatorial eye and knack for selecting ‘it’ designers and pieces of a collection. A burgeoning image maker and social star, Caroline’s impeccable style is met with a vibrant and buoyant approach to her work, and life.
What is your formal background?
I have a Bachelor of Arts, where I majored in Art History and Anthropology.
What drew your initial interest to fashion?
My initial interest in fashion grew from a young age. My parents owned news agencies and I grew up reading fashion magazines. I was in complete awe of the images and shoots in those magazines and I wanted to be a part of creating them. I loved how everything was so curated and informative – I think that is where my obsession for shopping and styling grew.
What does it take to become an editor at one of the world’s leading fashion titles?
I interned a lot throughout university. Most components of my job are practical skills learned through experience. I interned at fast-fashion and luxury magazines (Shop til you Drop and Vogue), a PR agency and an Australian Designer. With those internships, I experienced a 360-degree view of the industry and gained skills from all of them that helped me in my career in magazines and as a stylist. I put a lot of hard work into those internships and my junior jobs. I strived to go over and above for the people I was working with but in return they taught me so much and helped me form my skill set.
Do you have a mentor?
I have had many mentors throughout my different stages of work. In the past I worked with Bec Caratti (Vogue Living) and Karla Clarke (formerly Harper’s BAZAAR, now Side Note) very closely and they both taught me a lot and I am so grateful for the experiences I had with them.
My constant life mentor would probably be my sister. We have quite a large age gap between us (7 years) and either subconsciously, and now very consciously I have always looked up to her. She has always worked so hard to get what she wants. She always pushes me further and is always there for logical advice. I don’t understand how she fits so much into one day but when I think about that, it motivates me to achieve that little bit extra with my day.
What the best part of your role?
I love meeting and working with so many different people in the industry – photographers, designers, hair and makeup artists, models, PRs, influencers, buyers. It diversifies my way of thinking about work and keeps me on my toes. It’s also a bonus that I have made some great friendships along the way.
I’m also fortunate that I get to travel with my job. I am taken places where I wouldn’t usually choose myself for holidays and get thrown into some very special and unique experiences.
What role do you play in collaborating with your sister Alyce Tran on The Daily Edited?
Alyce runs The Daily Edited a million miles a minute – it’s hard to keep up! I help with creative consulting where I can – mostly with product development, social media and campaign imagery. Sometimes we work on TDE intensely but most of the time it is usually discussions around the dinner table or texts and emails.
What is your benchmark in creating a beautiful image?
It is always such a challenge creating something that is fresh. My main aim for shooting for BAZAAR is creating an image that creates desire. Either something that makes you really want to buy it or the idea of a girl/woman that you want to be. Either in the way she looks, the way she is or what she is wearing.
As a foodie, what is your favourite dining experience in Sydney right now?
I love Bert’s! It is not a far drive – perhaps 45 mins from the city or it is nice to visit if you’re in the northern beaches. The interior is so pretty and the food is delicious. There is a relaxed quality to the restaurant, it feels like you’re eating at home with friends. The lobster pastas and desserts there are my favourite. It is beautiful during the day or night.
As a contributor behind the Bazaar Instagram as well as your own (which is energetic and fabulous), what are your top tips for a great Instagram image?
I think it’s about creating a moment or vibe that is fresh and hasn’t been seen a million times or being informative. I am drawn to colour so always love having a sense brightness to my instagrams. I use a few filtering apps – my current favourite is VSCO as you can achieve different tones and moods.
Who are you favourite designers and why.
I kind of have two different wardrobes – regular Caroline and holiday Caroline – therefore so many favourite designers.
Right now for my normal life – I am loving but also mourning (with the rest of the fashion industry), Celine by Phoebe Philo. She makes the best shoes and earrings. But I’m excited to see what is to come. I’m also loving what Jonathan Anderson is doing at Loewe. The bags are so strong. I’m currently loving my straw basket bag. And right now I am having a real Prada moment. I find the clothes are wearable, yet interesting and have a feminine twist to them. I also like The Row for bags and shoes – they just make the shoes you want to wear and are very wearable and also coveting a dress from Attico. They are sexy yet have a fashion edge. Oh and I am drawn to Calvin Klein 205W39NYC by Raf Simons more and more as each season passes.
I hope to keep building myself as a stylist. I feel like I am always growing and have more to practice and learn. In the near future I also hope to do something more entrepreneurial like my sister. It would be a dream creating product where I could still be creative and combining my love for fashion and shopping and commercialising my skills as a stylist.
You can keep up with Caroline on Instagram @carotran