EXCLUSIVE Interview with WGSN's, Lauretta Roberts!
I recently had the opportunity to interview one of Fashion’s top insiders and Fashion Retail’s Queen – Former Drapers Editor, current WGSN Digital Development Director and the creator of the WGSN Global Fashion Awards – LAURETTA ROBERTS! Check out the interview below to see what trends are here to stay, and what she thinks of Dubai & Fashion blogs…
For more on WGSN, click here.
-Hi Lauretta! You’re a former Drapers editor and currently the Digital Development Director of WGSN, as well as the creator of the WGSN Global Fashion Awards. How did your love for Fashion begin?
I think I was born with it; I remember being very particular about my clothes from a very young age and not just what they looked like but what they felt like. As a teenager I was obsessed with magazines and the idea of coming to London because that’s where all the shops were! Shopping and fashion was really my hobby – other people would go to the gym or the theatre or whatever and I would spend my time reading magazines, learning about great shops, and getting on the tube and visiting them. Eventually I got to make a career out of it but I’ve yet to find another hobby…
-How did the idea of the Global awards come about?
It was straightforward really. At the start of the year I’d travelled to our offices in New York and Hong Kong and I got to thinking about how there really was no other organisation in the world who had the reach we had in fashion, both from a geographic spread and a market spread. We cover everything from value retail to true luxury fashion from Sao Paolo to Sydney. I thought it would be nice to do an ultimate best of the best event that united all the geographies and disciplines. I mentioned it to our CEO and she pretty much said “go do it”.
-What does your day at WGSN consist of?
Kind of impossible to answer as it depends on what projects are taking precedence at any one time. At the moment it’s the GFAs and I’ve spent a lot of time liaising with our New York office and PR company finalising the details for 10 November, such as timings, event running order, VIPs etc. A couple of weeks ago I was more embroiled in the launch of our site and I was in meetings with our technology partners most of the time! It’s pretty varied.
-What would you say are the trends that are here to stay for next season?
In terms of outerwear, the minimalism we’ve seen for Autumn is carried through to Spring and the ubiquitous camel has mutated into a soft brown. And the biker jacket isn’t going away either. Burberry did amazing studded and snakeskin versions. But for dresses and trousers shapes I think the key decade to reference is the 70s; femininity is still key but it’s a bit less formal for Spring. We started to see a trend for kick flares coming through in Autumn and that’s big for spring, as are full 70s bellbottoms and a cropped wide-leg trouser (I’m going to have to be winched out of my skinnies though – they’re kind of my uniform). In terms of dresses lace lives on and I think has had an impact on the amount of crochet that we’re seeing for Spring, which I think is very pretty and am sure will be popular.
-Myfashdiary.com is based between London and Dubai. Have you ever been to Dubai – what are your views on the fashion industry there?
I’ve never been, I’m afraid to say. You’ve made me think I ought to. All I can think of are mega-malls when it comes to retail but I’m sure there’s much more to see than that; I’d really be interested to know more about the design scene there.
-What are your views on Fashion Blogs?
I’m a huge digital media advocate so I celebrate the fact that anyone can be a publisher. It’s nice for people who have a passion to have that outlet and lucky few get to make a great career from it. If I had more time, I would be doing it but I don’t right now. I can’t pretend I read too many blogs religiously because I sit in front of WGSN every day and I have a world of information and inspiration to browse through but I do delve into them every now and then and I tend to follow the bloggers I like on Twitter so I get their views in bite-size chunks. If that inspires me to read more, I’ll click through.
-Last words for Myfashdiary readers?
Invest in a good coat, watch, shoes and bag and do what you want with the rest!