InStyle Editor Ariel Foxman on Creativity and Making a Living With Your Ideas
InStyle editor Ariel Foxman delivered a speech this morning at Parsons The New School for Design to give students an insight into the inner-workings of a fashion magazine, what it’s like to be in a creative business, and how his personal history led to his role at the helm of InStyle today.
Missed it? Here are five takeaways from his talk that you need to know:
1. You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do from the get-go.
While Foxman had an interest in fashion in that he liked the idea of self-presentation, fashion, and shopping, he actually explored other interests and studies during high school and college. He was the co-Editor-in-Chief of his high school newspaper (aptly titled “The Daily Struggle”) and studied both Comparative Religious Studies and English while at college. He then took at job at Random House before eventually finding his way to magazine publishing.
2. It’s important to explain to your parents and peers your personal definitions for success.
Growing up with conservative, education-minded parents, Foxman felt that he didn’t convey his personal milestones for success in the fashion industry to his parents as well as he could have. Being understood and supported by your parents means enlightening them by bringing them into your field and letting them share in your personal and career successes.
3. The allure to fashion (or at least for Foxman) is the challenge of debunking the stereotype: fashion is superficial.
Fashion is intimidating, so it often gets dismissed as “superficial.” But one of the best parts about working for InStyle is that he (and we!) get to demystify fashion for women all across the world. Foxman believes that fashion is “magical” in that sense.
4. Working in fashion isn’t as glamorous as you might think.
As Editor of InStyle, one of the top fashion magazines in the world, Foxman’s life may seem enviably glamorous, but he’s quick to point out that it’s not all parties and fashion shows. It’s a lot of work. A job in fashion, like any job, comes with its own set of pressures, goals, and competition.
5. InStyle starts and ends with its readers.
What sets InStyle apart is that Foxman makes sure the publication starts and ends with its readers. Every story, every idea, and every project begin with these questions: Have we done this before? How are we serving and respecting our reader? How are we going to relay this information to our reader in the most fresh, fun, and exciting way possible?
"Creativity is the impulse to show somebody else how you see what they also see in a different way." — Ariel Foxman, InStyle Editor