Harpers Bazaar’s executive editor Laura Brown has a personality so effusive that last year, the magazine’s publisher, Hearst publications, gave her an online video series called ‘The Look’ on their Hello Style YouTube channel. Every few weeks another video drops with Brown interviewing extraordinarily famous subjects about their personal style to bubbly effect. The series quickly became a runaway hit, and was even renewed for a second season. But we can’t blame them--every episode’s better than the last.
Since launching ‘The Look’, Brown famously sat down with Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper to some) at her LA house to chat about baby de la Renta clothes and backup go-go boots. In this week’s episode Brown met with Karl Lagerfeld, riling an incredibly off-kilter interview that showed off the Kaiser’s sarcastic side. At last night’s Harper’s Bazaar and WIE Cocktail Party, we chatted with Brown about the methodology behind her successful series, Shipka’s multiple closets, Karl Lagerfeld’s “chic” bathroom, and if a small screen series could be in her future.
Fashionista: How exactly do you get so much personality out of people in your interviews? They’re brilliant by the way. Laura Brown: I think I have this weird slogan in life, it’s called "underthink it." I really don’t have much of a plan, I maybe have around three questions in my head and maybe one thing that the person is known for that I can play off of. I know people can beat themselves to death doing capital ‘P’ preparation, but I think I can read people really well. I think I’m respectful of people but I’m not reverent.
Explain your interview with Karl Lagerfeld. It was one of the most animated discussions we’ve seen with him. Sometimes I tread softly at the beginning and then throw something in and that’s what happened with Karl. Karl Lagerfeld is a golden god, man. Ironically he works with us all the time at Bazaar but I had never met him before. It was a real privilege. I just turned up at Chanel like a bloody goose and he just went with me, showing me his bathroom and everything.
You went inside Karl Lagerfeld’s bathroom? What was it like? It was really chic. There was the dry shampoo that he puts in hair and everything, it was all marble. He said to me, "Ooh, my bathroom is really chic, no?” and I was like “Yes, Karl Lagerfeld, it is really chic."
Talk to us a little about Kiernan Shipka too, what is she like? She is my 13-year-old best friend. She has a summer closet and a fall closet. She is just so refined but so genuine and sweet too.
Do you think you’d ever want your own television show after all of this? If it was the right thing, yeah. What we are doing now is a really nice digestible format, it’s seven minutes and I can do a little narrative. But I could see what a show would be. Right now I have two jobs, I’ve got ‘The Look’ and I’ve got executive editor of Bazaar. The other day I shot two episodes of ‘The Look’ in four hours and got back to the office at 2 and did my job. But I’m very lucky!