This week we catch up with Alexandra Fullerton, freelance stylist and writer who has been Fashion Director a Large for Glamour Magazine for the past year. Having worked in fashion for 18 years, Fullerton has been Fashion Director at Stylist, as well as contributing to some of the biggest publications in the industry, including Grazia, Telegraph Magazine, Vogue Brazil, Harper's Bazaar Malaysia and Stella. Last year, Fullerton published her first book, How To Dress. We spoke with the accomplished fashion multi-hyphenate to get her advice on how to break into fashion and find your voice.
As a stylist and writer, your career has touched on many different sectors of the industry. Was this always your plan from the outset?
I would describe myself as stylist that can write, rather than a writer, as styling has always been the main thread of my career. It’s only since my book came out that I’ve been writing more. I never planned to do so many things but at this point in my career, I love being part of the many elements of the industry.
How did you develop your tone of voice and perspective on the industry? How would you advise aspiring creatives to develop their own tone of voice?
Tone of voice comes with experience and education. Don’t try to write in a pastiche of what you think fashion writing is. Educate yourself thoroughly so you know fashion history, designers' back catalogues and film, art and music references.
In my book, I aimed to write in a style that is warm and not overly dictatorial and you will naturally gravitate to parts of the industry that particularly inspire you — whether that’s sustainability, new designers or high street style.
The industry has seen exponential change in the last 5 years, like representation, awareness of sustainability and the digital revolution. What is the biggest change in your sector and how do you see it evolving in the next five years?
It’s a really exciting and inspirational time to be in the fashion industry. Personally, I would say that social media has been the area in which I have experienced the biggest change. I never realised I could earn money from taking pictures of my outfits — rather than styling a model — but now I am and that’s game-changing.
I am closely watching the future of traditional magazines and how they are evolving their brands into the new era. I feel that what GLAMOUR (where I am Fashion Director at Large) has done is at the vanguard.
“Educate yourself thoroughly so you know fashion history, designers' back catalogues and film, art and music references.”
What advice would you give a graduate trying to find their feet in the industry after leaving university?
Nothing beats spending time in the area you want to work in — so try to do as much work experience and as many internships as possible to give you lots of experience. If you don’t know what exactly what you’d like to specialise in (and that’s ok) it’s also really helpful for you try things out.