Industry Interviews

Prue Lewington The Sunday Telegraph fashion editor

November 30, 2014

What is your title?

I am the Fashion editor at The Sunday Telegraph. 

Describe your role?

I cover breaking news and a two-page column every Sunday.

How long have you been in your current role?

Eight years.

What inspired you to work in this field?

I wanted to work in a creative industry. When I moved to New York in the nineties fashion seemed like the right fit. I guess I loved the fantasy of it all. I’m a Piscean and a bit of a dreamer which I think has helped. In this business the more you think outside the box, the better.

Was this your initial intended career path?

Yes.

How did you get started in the industry?

I started with an internship at US Harper’s Bazaar when I was 20-years-old. Editor, Liz Tilberis, was at the helm and she was the first of many inspiring women I have been lucky enough to work with. Karin Upton Baker, Jane Roarty, Patricia Field and Orla Healy were other big influences.

How has the industry changed since you first started?

The internet and social media has changed everything. It’s a leveller really because now everyone can get news through their phone. It means we have to be ready 24/7 to break a story or move it forward.

With previous roles at major titles including the New York Post and Harper’s Bazaar, what have been the most important things you have learnt? 

In the beginning my biggest learning curve was understanding industry protocol. In your twenties you have to earn your stripes and create a transferable skill set. There’s no doubt the training makes you a better editor down the track.

Prue Lewington Parlour X Industry Interview

As fashion editor of The Sunday Telegraph, what contribution do you feel you can make to the fashion community?

My goal is create engaging, high-impact pages that are buzzing with information and great buys. The Sunday Telegraph has 1 million readers so it’s a great place to get exposure.

What, in your opinion, is the future of Australian fashion?

Local designers have had to re-think their strategy since the international chains arrived. The old retail model does not work anymore. Things will improve as they adapt to the new landscape and the online Asian market will be a big opportunity for them. As long as they focus on their own, unique aesthetic, and not follow European trends, buyers will continue to buy with confidence.

What is your general view on the role of social media?

To sell product.

How has social media affected print media?

I think it’s great we can share opinions, images and experiences through social media. I guess the problem is that companies are using our data to construct personal profiles for marketing purposes.

Do you regularly read blogs?

I read a few blogs that capture the fashion zeitgeist, and the international street scene too.

Are you surprised by the influence of the blogger or Instagram-star?

Not at all. It has become another platform that is just as relevant as print and TV.

What does style mean to you?

I guess it’s about sticking to silhouettes and brands that look good on you. I like simplicity, so the most stylish women for me are women including Emmanuelle Alt and Caroline de Maigret who usually wear cool jeans and shirts. At the end of the day, I think style has a lot do to with swagger.

How would you describe your look?

It’s pretty simple really. I’m not trying to fit into a new trend every season or wear head-to-toe designer duds. I play it pretty safe at the office and on the weekend I gravitate towards long dresses and, this season, overalls. My wardrobe is changing a lot at the moment. After two babies I feel like I’m starting a new sartorial chapter that is more ‘me’ than ever.

If you could go back in time and change any aspect of your career path, what you do differently? 

Ask me in ten years.

Do you wrestle with the idea of being a working mum or are you in your element?

I had my boys within 15 months so it’s been a big lifestyle change. I  absolutely love being a mum to Oliver and Lucio and I also love my job so I guess I’m in my element. Having said that, of course there are plenty of ups and downs and some days it’s hard to handle two boisterous pre-schoolers and a career.  I’ve continued to break the industry’s biggest stories including Sydney designer Jayson Brunsdon’s Thai surrogacy and Johanna Johnson going into administration.

What is your next chapter? Where do you see yourself in 10 years and what will you be doing?

If I’m still working with driven, creative people I’ll be a happy woman.

You can find Prue on Instagram @pruelewington

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