Fashion Director of SELF Magazine Talks Time, Affordability, and Photography With Economy of Style

I recently had the opportunity to interview Evyan Metzner, SELF magazine’s Fashion Director.  She has had over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry.  I think you will find her responses regarding time, affordability, and photography especially interesting.

Evyan Metzner, SELF‘s Fashion Director

December 2011, SELF cover.

1. How do the overall philosophies of SELF magazine (including health, fitness, and happiness) influence your role as its Fashion Director? 

My philosophy has always been to help people embrace fashion from a place of confidence and have fun with it. It is a way to express what you like or how you are feeling. As a lifestyle magazine, we always shoot our stories for SELF on location, not on a white wall in a studio, because people live life in places—not on a white wall.

November 2011 issue of SELF

2. Functionality and affordability are more important now than ever to women, how does your work as the Fashion Director at SELF try to address these issues? 

I always felt that fashion has two parts: to have function and to be fun. You have to have both, really. I feel it is always good to have some essentials and add pieces to that collection to make your style more fun and unique. Spending the money on good building pieces is a great way to go. They will fit better and last longer, and they don’t have to be boring.

November 2011 issue of SELF

3. Who do you perceive as your main audience and why are you interested in talking to them? 

Our main audience’s main issue is time…and not having enough of it. They love fashion, but they don’t have the time to spend hours shopping around to pick the best boot out of 100 flat boots…So my advice is to follow your first reaction when you see something in our magazine. Mark it, rip it out to remember what you loved.  If it’s not in your price range, head to your computer and look for something similar.

December 2011 issue of SELF

4. Are there aspects of your background that are not typically thought of as fashion or journalism that have influenced you going into this career? 

Yes. When I was in college, I worked as a production assistant in NYC for different commercial production companies. I did everything from drive talent to and from location, organizing casting polaroids, buying props, putting together production booklets, and researching photographs. What I learned is that it’s a puzzle. Putting the pieces together. It isn’t about just the day you are shooting or looking at clothes. And I love that part of our job. What makes a good editor is learning how to choose the right puzzle pieces and putting them together.

5. You’ve been in fashion for over 20 years, how have your experiences influenced the work you are doing now with SELF, especially given all the changes associated with blogs and social media? 

So many things have changed—the largest is, again, time. And, money. We have less time to do more, and less money to do it with. When I started, we had many days for scouting locations and shooting. But, now we fly in, scout around for a day, shoot, shoot, and leave. We have to cover photographs for 3 different formats (print, ipad, kindle fire) and we do video. We blog. We tweet. So much more information is being shared. It’s incredibly exciting.

6. Over the years, what have become a few of your key interests in fashion and why? 

I love photography. I love telling a story through pictures. I love fashion and showing how someone can really enjoy clothing as a way to express themselves. I still swoon over a beautiful pair of shoes, or an amazing dress. I love the evolution of fashion and photography.

Twilight start Nikki Reed, Dec 2011 issue of SELF

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  1. December 14, 2011 / 3:03 am

    What a wonderful insightful interview! Thanks for sharing, very enlightening!

  2. December 20, 2011 / 6:26 pm

    @LocalCeleb: Thanks! It was such pleasure hearing from someone with her experience. She gave me so much valuable information that I plan to break it up into a few follow-up posts.