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EXCLUSIVE
STORY
BY ROCHELL "E"
ELLE INDIA
FASHION EDITOR
MALINI BANERJI



n my journey of pursuit of ELLE fashion editors, I found out that most of the time their love of fashion began as a child.  That was exactly what happened to Malini. “Growing up looking at my mother who loved clothes, shoes, offbeat jewelry was a huge inspiration.”  There is usually one way to become a fashion editor of a major magazine and that’s starting as a stylist.  Malini tells me that she “always wanted to work for a fashion magazine like ELLE.”   She also says that, “ELLE was among the first fashion magazines.  It always served as a bench mark in the industry.”  “I started out working as a junior stylist at Cosmopolitan India and moved on to senior stylist and then to Fashion Editor.  In the meanwhile ELLE was looking for a Fashion Editor.  I happened to be at the right place at the right time and never looked back since.”

Every ELLE run their magazine differently and their duties vary daily.  Malini states that it’s important to, “find understanding of the magazine, its style and content, try and push the envelope within these parameters.  Right from identifying trends to scouting new talents (fashion designers, accessory designers or prop designer anyone who does anything interesting), plan the covers, the lineup for the next couple of issues, the main features in the magazine, the trend pages and covering the fashion weeks in India.

Being the Fashion Editor of any top fashion magazine comes with an assist.  “We have a fashion team with two senior stylists, Deputy Fashion Editor and interns.”  Speaking of interns; what does ELLE India look for in an intern?  Malini responds.  “The general interest in the magazine, a keen eye for fashion, art, or anything that is creative.  Someone who is open to new ideas.   Basically, doesn’t mind slogging it out.  And of course, personal style does count.”

ELLE is in twenty-seven countries and in 1996 ELLE India launched and has had an impact in the fashion media.  “Since ELLE India is the oldest fashion magazine in India, for the last13 years, we have practically grown with the fashion industry. It has definitely served as a solid platform for various young and aspiring designers, photographers, makeup artists, top models.”

Malini tells me her daily task at ELLE India. Malini works out of Delhi so she is constantly in touch with the ELLE office located in Mumbai.  “Replying to zillions of emails” Malini says.  “Approve fashion pages, delegate shoots, coming up with fashion stories, scout new locations, and attend any new store or brand launch.

Every ELLE attends New York, London, Paris, and Milan fashion week.  “ELLE always attends the international fashion week, though this year due to the economy downturn we are slowing down a bit.”

Malini tells me that, “ELLE India and ELLE US operates on the same foundations as laid down by Hachette, our parent company in Paris. But, of course, the content differs greatly since ELLE India believes in focusing considerably on local content as well as keeping its readers informed about the international fashion industry.”

I recently interviewed Indian designers Hemant and Nandita.  I asked Malini if there are any great Indian designers to look out for.  Malini responds. “The new set of designers are definitely to look out for, in fact 2 of them are participating in the Milan Fashion Week this season, some in Atmosphere in Paris and the rest have agents abroad.  Atsu Sekhose and Azara will be showing at the Milan Fashion Week, Saviojon Fernades at Rendevous, Amit Aggarwal at Atmosphere Paris, Manish Arora and Shilpa Chavan(accessory designers) are handled by Blow PR, London. Varun Sardana is handled by MC2 Paris.

Malini shares with me the fashion trends that are going on in India.  “A lot is in sync with the international fashion trends, since most of India is warm throughout the year, barring the northern region; AW is not very severe as the West. The trends for the AW09 are Botanical, Quilting, 80's, and Goth.”  Malini cannot live without “a great pair of shoes!”  She says.

Malini gives her advice who wants to become a fashion editor of a top fashion magazine.  “You’ve got to be passionate about fashion for starters.  A Fashion Editor's job just doesn’t end with sitting on the front row and watching shows.  A Fashion Editor has to identify trends, incorporate them for their readers in the magazine and bridge the gap between the ramp and its readers.”

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