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Sunday, 17 August 2014

My Day With Aspasia Karras (Editor of Marie Claire)

A while ago I entered this competition on the Marie Claire website with a photo that I took in Victoria Falls and..... I WON!!!!!!!

The prize was a Nokia Lumia 1520 and a day with Aspasia Karras who is the editor of Marie Claire. By far the best competition I've won to date!! I will be recieving my Nokia Lumia in the next few days but in the meantime I thought I would share wih you all what I got up to with Aspasia.

First up on Aspasia's busy schedule was a shoot at the Gautrain Station for the Gauteng Tourism Department. Unfortunately this was a last minute addition to our schedule so I missed it and started my day with Aspasia at her next appointment of the day which was attending the Banana Republic Launch in Sandton City.

4 Elements Media organised the event and, as per usual it was such a well put together launch and the Banana Republic store was so lovely! 

Various local celebrities attended the event, looking absolutely gorgeous. There was a short introduction and a few Banana Republic ensembles were shown before we were left to explore the new store and listen to a fantastic local band. 

Bye Beneco
After the event we rushed off to Aspasia's next commitment of the day - her show with Mabale Moloi on CliffCentral called 'Between 2 Femmes' which airs every Thursday between 1 and 2pm.

Of course, when I got into my car to follow Aspasia from Sandton City to the Cliff Central studio in Rivonia I saw that my tyre was completely flat. I'm not the world's greatest driver and can only assume that I hit some sort of curb in the parking lot which punctured my tyre. So, off I crawled to the nearest tyre centre to have my tyre changed as quickly as possible. Luckily this only set me back about 10 minutes so I didn't miss out on anything at the show.

I arrived at Cliff Central where I met Gareth Cliff and some of the team. I loved the relaxed but fun environment the studio embodied. The office space was all open plan which created a very social working space and everyone seemed very at home.

The topics that were discussed on 'Between 2 Femmes' the day that I was there included a conversation about #BlackTwitter as well as a discussion on the Tim Noakes banting phenomenon. I had so much to say with regards to the Banting topic but sadly I didn't contribute, it's a little intimidating sitting with the likes of Aspasia and Mabale. As lovely and as nice as they are, they're so professional and so I let them just do their thing! You can listen to the podcast of the show, here - 7th August

After the show, Aspasia and Mabale had to record a little 'teaser' for a marketing campaign that Cliff Central were putting together to advertise their various shows.

I loved watching them work together, they genuinely get on so well with each other and together they are so funny.

After a few takes, and many laughs, they finally perfected their clip and I can't wait to see the final result when it airs on DSTV.

Once we were finished at Cliff Central we headed off to my final stop for the day - the Marie Claire head office in Sandton. I was excited to see what the offices looked like and had expectations of a 'The Devil Wears Prada' type environment. Huge modern offices on the 50th floor, with models running around and chaotic interns chasing after the various editors.

This was not quite what I found.

Me and Aspasia in her office
The entire Marie Claire head office consisted of a reception area, an open plan working space and then 3 tiny offices off of that. Aspasia had her own office which I'm pretty sure is half the size of her closet at home, the 2 interns shared an office and then there was a central small office which the beauty and fashion editors shared. It was a very creative space, magazine clippings everywhere, rails of clothes and hundreds of beauty samples scattered around. It was hard to believe that such a high class magazine was all conceptualized and put together in such a small environment. I think this reinforced the misconception that most of us have about how glamourous working in this indusrty is. Yes there are fancy events and loads of freebies that are great perks of the job but at the end of the day it's a tough job, done with a budget in an office no different to offices in any other industry.

Fashion clippings everywhere
Aspasia tending to some work whilst I chatted to the various editors, she then had to rush off to a meeting which ended our time together. With her hecticly busy schedule we didn't get any time to sit down and chat but I really did get a good glimpse into her work life and I was so grateful to have this 'behind the scenes' experience with her. I felt completely out of my comfort zone, and almost a little unworthy of such an amazing opportunity. Basically excatly the same situation as Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada movie.

Once Aspasia had left for her meeting, I spent a bit of time with the interns, helping them unpack clothes from a recent photo shoot that had taken place in Cape Town. They shared a few trade secrets, we chatted about what goes on in the Marie Claire offices and what it's like to intern there.

The interns - knox and Ashleigh
They were both lovely girls and I enjoyed my time with them. They love working at Marie Claire and I hope that their internship will lead to a permanent job there as they both seemed very efficient at the tasks they had been given and so passionate about Marie Claire and the fashion industry.

THE Black book
To sum up, Aspasia was nothing like Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada (although the black book is a real thing!!). She was nothing but lovely to me and I really appreciated her acomodating me into her busy schedule.

Whislt the fashion industry is very fun and exciting, my day following the life of a magazine editor reassured me that, it's definitely not a career that I would purse. However, I do enjoy being part of all the glamour and chaos but for now, the world of blogging has allowed me to partake in just the right amount of that.

Thank-you so much to Marie Claire and Nokia for allowing this special day to take place and of course to "my prize", Aspasia Karras for allowing me into her life for a day.

See Marie Claire's 10 most memorable Devil Wears Prada gifs.

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