Chantal Says Hasta La Vista, Baby

I'm not crying, I just have something in my contacts.
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I'm not crying, I just have something in my contacts.
This was funny, but maybe you had to be there. Photo: Eliza Brooke

This was funny, but maybe you had to be there. Photo: Eliza Brooke

After almost exactly two years at Fashionista, today marks my last day at this delightful boutique #content farm. It is a surreal feeling because I feel so at home here.

It is also bizarre to think about how much I have changed since arriving. As a former borderline-mediocre Condé Nast assistant, basically everything Lauren Indvik asked me to do after hiring me scared the crap out of me. But thanks to her unwavering faith in me — and my mama's navy blue power jumpsuit — I learned to trust myself. Of course, not without some crucial help along the way.

Lauren taught me how to report, while Dhani showed me how to review a runway show. Eliza taught me how to write up earnings reports and express my feelings through luxury fashion. Fawnia explained how to deal with the mania of red carpets, and how to snag elusive costume designer interviews. Alyssa showed me how to pounce on breaking news, fast, and how to write a headline. Tyler explained Twitter to me, and what makes a story right for Fashionista. Maura inspired me to work harder every time she turned in perfect copy. Maria proved that some people are just born cooler than everyone else. Our tiny but mighty staff (shout-out to Chloe, Stephanie, Liza and Karina) did all this and much more. 

I’m so grateful for the unbelievable experiences I’ve had, like covering the Met Gala red carpet; experiencing the Fashionista rite of passage, aka Moscow Fashion Week; talking to Anna Wintour, St. Vincent, Steven Kolb, Joseph Altuzarra, Carine Roitfeld and many more; seeing Bill Cunningham at work; pulling off a few scoops and features that seemed impossible at the time; listening to Michelle Obama speak and Kanye West rant; exploring Nashville and Savannah. There have been countless other times where I've found myself at dinner tables, front rows and insane apartments with my fashion heroes and wondered, "What the hell am I doing here?"

I was forbidden on several occasions from tweeting this from the Fashionista account. Photo: Giphy

I was forbidden on several occasions from tweeting this from the Fashionista account. Photo: Giphy

That's the special magic of Fashionista — another thing I didn't comprehend when I started here. There's no other place in this industry where you can write about fashion without pressure from traffic goals, advertisers or threatening publicists, and with the kind of joy and humor that truly got me out of bed every morning at 7:30 a.m. (or, really, 7:45 a.m.). This team is always volunteering for after-hours duties, picking up stories on the weekend or late nights, not because anyone asked, but because we all want this site to be the best that it can be. Fashionista is truly a family, as the many ex-editors sprinkled around the industry have always told me when I run into them at events. I never expected to find that here — or to value it so much.

So it's no surprise, then, that what I'll miss the most is not the work itself, but the people. And the way we crush out content on particularly crazy mornings. Or how jokes about Trump hats turned into actual Fashionista merch (shout-out to Nina and, of course, Jon Klein). And those slow news afternoons when Slack gets real weird and we turn to our all-time favorite gossip topics (sorry, it's probably best I don’t list those, to protect the innocent).

This place is full of bizarre, hilarious, witty, whip-smart women who always had my back. That's a damn good feeling.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I'm heading over to Business of Fashion, so you know where to find me. 

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