Petra Middelthon is the
Fashion Director of ELLE Norway. I met her
through a friend, fashion stylist, Jeanette Hoff
who is a stylist in Norway.
Petra Middelthon defines the meaning
of passion, hard work, and dedication.
She has a great personality and when it comes to
fashion we hit it right off!
Petra lives and breathes fashion and loved the
concept of what I was doing.
She was very much delighted to give me the
opportunity to give me a glimpse of what it is like
inside her world at ELLE Norway.
“I started in 1990 and when I was 18 years old I moved to Paris.
I didn’t know what a stylist was.
For five years I worked as an au pair for
photographer Max Vadukul and his wife fashion stylist
Nicoletta Santoro, and that’s how I came to be
introduced to the fashion world in Paris. After three
years in Paris, Max and Nicoletta took me to New York.
While there I attended school at the Fashion
Institute Technology (FIT).
After school I decided to go back to Paris.
I was assisting and working as a freelance, you
know just trying to struggle to get in.
It’s all about the people you meet along the way.
And yes, I started to work for the Norwegian
magazine based out of Paris.
It was called Tique. I then worked as a
freelance for the magazine from Paris.”
Petra shares with me how she
became ELLE’s Fashion Director. “I’ve only been in this
position for 3 years.
Petra goes into details.
“One day my boss called me up and asked me if I
wanted to come to Norway to be the fashion director of
Norwegian ELLE, we went through the process of the
I had already been working as a freelance for
Norwegian ELLE, Swedish ELLE, and French ELLE.
I knew very well the ELLE concept and I loved the
fact of being part of a great fashion magazine like
ELLE. It was
great opportunity, and the job itself is a wonderful job
so we as a family decide to go back to Norway. You dream
about this position and working for a good magazine that
me in details what her job title at ELLE Norway consist
of. “I am
the fashion director, so that means that I am
responsible for all the fashion and I decide the fashion
This is like team work, but in the end it’s my decision
to come up with the stories, the ideas to the fashion
stories, and the budget for the stories, the
trend reports, the shopping pages and the fashion
bible we have two times a year.
But then, of course, I’m working with stylists,
and I’m working with the girl in the office called Tonje
Norun, a young lady that helps.
Yes, that is my responsibility to have control
over all the fashion.”
Editor in Chief Signy Fardal,
Fashion Director Petra Middelthon, Super Model Vendela
Kirsebom, and Vibeke Ruud wrote the Fashion Bible, which
is only sold in Norway right now.
It is now broken into four mini books.
Petra gave me the “Tilbehorets Makt” translate
Fans of the Fashion Bible top designers Dominico
Dolce & Stefano Gabbana said:
“There are accessories that define the look”.
Donatella Versace said:
“With a quick change of handbag or a pair of
shoes can change the speed of expression and mood”. I must say that I love the book.
It, of course, was a great way for me to attempt
to learn Norwegian, anything that has to do with fashion
I am eager to read.
“There is another edition of it.
Now they’re doing it with a different cover.
The Fashion Bible is huge and thick.
So we are just going to minimize it. But what is
cute about the book is that it is actually done in four
There are four mini books; four chapters.
You can buy the whole book, which is heavy and
expensive or you can buy the four small books.
One is talking about fashion basics
second one; is about the parties
Holder”, third one; is about the accessories
and the last book is about fashion A-B-C’s
which is a little bit about everything in fashion.
It goes into every little detail.
About Coco Chanel and the fashion shows.
We do talk about what goes on in the 1920’s and
talk about the importance of the years, the designers
and the houses in Paris. In one book you can buy and get
to know a little bit about everything.
You will get a lot out of it!”
There are often misconceptions on
“Editor-in-Chief” hard to work with, hard to please or
even hard to understand.
Petra told me how her relationship is with Signy
Fardal. “Fantastic” she says.
“She is one who I can look up to.
Someone I am learning a lot from and someone who
is ah. (She burst out in laughter, Signy walks in,
Petra asks her, “how’s our relationship?”
Signy Fardal says, “very good.”
Being a fashion director comes with many
Everyday can be quite different.
There is always something new going on in Petra’s
daily task at ELLE Norway.
“The only thing we really do is that we have this
assignment that we do on Monday morning where we go
through the week.
It’s so different everyday because you have
appointments, you have shows, and you have
No daily routine, no weekly routine.
Every day is different.”
Interning for a known fashion
magazine is hard to come by.
ELLE Norway doesn’t hire interns.
But, they do take freelancers, stylists and
writers. “Absolutely right now it’s quite tough at the
do buy freelance stories, but we don’t take anyone here,
We do take students but, you can’t really take in
anyone and train them for a week because before they’re
in they are out, so we haven’t really taken in anyone as