Recently I had the privilege of attending PPA Live’s event, An Evening With Jo Elvin. For those of you who don’t know, Jo Elvin is the Editor-In-Chief of Britain’s favourite women’s monthly magazine, Glamour UK. Australian native Elvin, told us about her career, journey to success and her love and passion for writing and magazines.
Those of us who attended met at Old Street Records; a trendy East London bar full of bright lights, plush red velvet stools and of course fabulous cocktails. As I grabbed a Vodka & Soda from the bar, Elvin took her place centre stage alongside friend and old rival LOOK & Now magazine Editor-In-Chief, Mark Frith. Elvin zipped across the city from the Glamour Offices, and looking as fabulous as ever might I add. She wore a lovely navy choker neck, shift dress, paired with a flared cropped black trouser and some gorgeous gold Gucci loafers, Jo is every part the glamorous Editor-In-Chief.
Jo’s warm and charismatic personality shone through as she told us about her childhood. Growing up in a small suburb in Sydney, where the closest newsagents was a 40 minute walk away, Jo would happily dedicate her Saturday’s to taking the trek to fetch a 4 week old edition of UK’s Top of The Pops magazine. Jo described herself as an ‘uncool’ child and found that her love for magazines was that ‘sense of belonging’ that it provided. Each week she felt part of the magazine’s community, as if each and every article was talking to her directly, offering up that conversation and that intimacy that simply cannot be replaced online. Something that I felt as though I could relate to, getting lost for hours in a magazine is the same as having a good old catch up with friends.
As modest as ever, Jo credits her success to her naivety as a child. Swearing that she always knew she would become a writer and write for the magazines she loved. Jo began her career by persistently calling her favourite Australian magazine Dolly, and after months and months, she finally landed her dream role – unpaid work experience. Jo didn’t care though, Dolly was her bible, her one true love and she had made it!
“Glamour UK was the best launch issue he had ever seen!”
After moving to London, meeting her husband and successfully launching Sugar magazine, Jo wasn’t without her ups and downs, and even got fired from an Editor-In-Chief position. However the writing superstar didn’t let this keep her down, after being approached by Condé Nast’s, Managing Director, Nicholas Coleridge about launching Glamour UK, Jo put her creative mind to work and successfully launched Glamour. With the first issue selling around 600,000 copies and being sent for a reprint, as they say the rest was history… Jo claims the greatest moment of her career was when Coleridge said that “Glamour UK was the best launch issue he had ever seen!”. Praising herself for understanding each of her readers’ vulnerabilities, fears and what they need from their publications as the thing that helps her succeed.
The million dollar question of the night had to be whether or not Jo would consider taking the role of Editor-In-Chief at British Vogue, filling Alexandra Schulman’s hugely successful shoes (Jimmy Choo no doubt). Jo swiftly moved on from that question simply stating that in all of her 16 years at Glamour UK, nothing has come along that has been that exciting, to make her leave her greatest achievement. We now know Jo is firmly staying put as Edward Enninful has been announced as the new Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue.
As someone who loves all things writing, magazines and fashion, Jo Elvin is truly an inspiration, and shows that hard work, dedication and a love for what you do will definitely take you where you want to go!
Jo’s Icon – Madonna, she said she would, and she did!
Jo’s Proudest Moment – The Glamour Woman of the Year Awards, they’re now a staple in the events calendar.
Jo’s Tips For Budding Journos – Internships are the perfect way to get a foot in the door, but a genuine passion, enthusiasm and interest are the key! Someone who is excited to make the tea and open the post!
Don’t forget to grab May’s issue of Glamour UK, out now!