It's been a lonely month here at Fashionista and we're so excited to have Abby Gardner on board! I might be shy, but she's a totally open book - so if you want to know where she's been and what she's done up until now, read on for a mini-Life With in which she answers questions I thought you might ask. Hello!! So I’m the new girl here at Fashionista and I couldn’t be more excited to be here. And to finally lend Britt a hand. She’s been doing an awesome job, basically solo for weeks now. So, we were trying to think of how best to introduce me to you and decided to go with a modified “Life With” column. It’s one of my favorite new things on the site. Feel free to leave questions in the comments section.
Where are you from? Originally I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana. I went to college at Duke in North Carolina and then moved to NYC after graduation. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I totally thought I wanted to be a sports medicine doctor/orthopedic surgeon. Note: along with magazines, fashion, and all things pop culture--I’m a totally obsessed with sports. But while signing up for my freshman year classes, I found it totally overwhelming to basically commit to a career path at eighteen, so I bailed on that plan. Luckily it all seems to have worked out just the way it should. How did you end up here? I have the lovely Bonnie Morrison to thank for recommending me for this job! I’ve been freelancing as of late but am so psyched to have landed here. I’ve always been a HUGE fan. What you did when you first got here? I’ve always been a magazine junkie, devouring anything I could get my hands on. In college, while many of my friends were going the investment banker route, I started searching for any internship that would get me to NYC for the summer before senior year. At the last minute, I ended up snagging a rather sweet gig working in PR/Promotions at Interview. After graduation I tried to find something in the mag world, but it’s sometimes a hard world to crack so in the meantime I found a job at this super duper tiny public relations firm in Soho (thanks NY Times Classifieds!) They just so happened to have a couple of random beauty companies as clients and that led to what I guess I would call my big break, a job as the beauty/photo assistant at Jane. Basically, this was my dream job as I had been the biggest Sassy fan I knew and I almost died when I went in for my interview with Jane Pratt. It was such an amazing work environment. Not only had the mag recently launched so the staff was small and incredibly close knit. But the general attitude there was that everyone’s ideas were valid and important--which isn’t always the case when you’re an assistant. I got to start writing and taking on different responsibilities way sooner than I would have at so many other places. I moved up to Associate Beauty Editor there and eventually moved on to a job as a writer at Allure. In the fall of 2001, my old deputy editor from Jane (and my favorite Sassy writer) Christina Kelly was named Editor-in-Chief of YM and she brought me on as her Beauty Director. Basically it was like putting the band back together again because at one point we had something like 8 or 9 old Jane people on staff. After the demise of YM (sadness!) I was feeling a little spontaneous so I decided to pick up and move to LA where I ended up doing fashion PR for lines like Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Wyeth, Velvet, and Trina Turk. Two years later, I was seriously missing New York and the publishing world so I moved back and started working at IMG’s The Daily, Fashion MINI, and FashionWeekDaily.com eventually becoming the Executive Editor. For the past six months, I’ve been living the freelance life while staying on as a Contributing Editor at The Daily. And now here I am at Fashionista! What’s the best part about working in fashion? I love all the crazy interesting people that make up our industry. The crazier the better I say! All the different kinds of creativity I’ve been exposed to over the years is pretty cool…and that most definitely would never have happened if I’d gone the med school or the i-banking routes. What’s the worst part about working in fashion? I love obsessing over all the amazing clothes but it does create a longing for certain things that I will likely never, ever be able to buy like, say, a Balmain jacket. That, and sometimes the crazy creative people are a bit of a handful. What is the highlight of your fashion career so far? That’s a tough one. But I have to say there’s not much that beats seeing your byline in a magazine for the very first time. Who are your top three models and your top three designers, not necessarily to wear…just to love? Okay, so this is tough. But I’d say my top three models are Kate (of course), Christy (I will never tire of her face) and in the ever-rotating third spot, Abbey Lee, and not just because we share a name. As for designers, Marc Jacobs is always my number one. I’m quite the Marc by Marc kind of girl. Alber Elbaz, for being a genius and basically the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And I will never, ever not be fascinated by Karl Lagerfeld. I’m dying to get my hands on his trunks of iPods. Why did you want to work at Fashionista? What I’ve always loved about Fashionista is the genuine passion and energy that you know goes into it and I hope I can bring my own spin on that to the site. I love the dialogue that goes on with and between the readers and can’t wait to start some (hopefully!) dynamic conversations. You’ll definitely start to see some new things over the next few weeks and months and I can’t wait to hear what you think.