Jo Elvin is the Editor-in-Chief at Glamour and glamour.com. She launched the famously “handbag size” magazine in 2001 to immediate – and sustained – acclaim: it fast became the UK’s best-selling glossy.
Since then, Jo has interviewed A-listers and Prime Ministers, and founded the Glamour Woman of the Year event. She’s a front row regular during Fashion Week and fashion correspondent for This Morning.
She also shares our love of style: witness her Instagram (@joelvinglamour) documenting her life and outfits (notably #clothesmyhusband hates). And she was kind enough to give us a few minutes of her time...
What does it take to run the best magazine in the UK?
A brilliant team, endless curiosity and a thick skin.
What have been your career highlights so far?
Glamour is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, as it’s a constant source of ‘pinch me’ moments. Most recently being name-checked on stage by Jennifer Saunders at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. But just opening my emails to readers telling me how much a piece in Glamour affected/helped them is always a joy. I will never get tired of that!
What’s Glamour’s fashion vision?
Glamour readers want to know what’s going on on the catwalk but they want it with a dose of reality; they love to know how they can work it into everyday life, so they can look fashionable without looking like a fashion victim. Accessible glamour has always been our mantra.
You're a regular on the frow. Tell us what's it really like?
It’s actually great fun. I speak to people from other countries that I’d never get to meet in normal life. There are times, such as, at a Chanel show that’s a lavish set build – Karl Lagerfeld tends to do things like make the Grand Palais look like a polar tundra – when you just can’t believe that sitting there at that moment is your job.
Your best fashion week story ever?
I recently wrote about the time I nearly fell on Anna Wintour. In my defence, it was a dark night on cobblestones coated in black carpet. Missed her by such a tiny smidge that I’m convinced an angel nudged her out of the way at just the right moment.
Which style essentials couldn’t you live without?
Metallic flat shoes – that way you get to be comfortable as well as feel polished enough for an evening out. Cropped trousers are my daily go-to.
What makes a great capsule wardrobe?
Classic staples. A beautifully cut shirt, perfectly fitting trousers, a really flattering midi dress – in the best quality you can buy. I try to get the best shoes, bags and coats I can afford because they make even the cheapest, more time-sensitive clothes look great.
On that note your hashtag #clothesmyhusbandhates is gathering serious Instagram traction. What items in your style arsenal could your husband definitely live without?!
Ha ha! He could live without the jumpsuits, anything with a flared leg and garish colours – which covers about 98% of my wardrobe! But I don’t think he hates anything as much as he hates the hashtag!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
‘Someone, somewhere out there, right now, thinks you’re a s**t. And there’s nothing you can do about it.’ Blunt, yes, but also incredibly liberating. You can’t please everyone!
What would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Choose six women (living or dead) to spend the evening with. Who and why?
Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Claudia Winkleman, Michelle Obama and Kathy Lette. A mix of women I do and don’t know whose wit, humour and wisdom is endlessly inspiring.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Strapping on a backpack and having the arrogance to think that, with £400 in my pocket, I might be able to go and get a job of some description in magazines in Britain. (I’m from Australia). Thank God I was stupid enough to just jump on a plane and see what might happen. You lose that naivety as you get older, I think, and it can often be quite useful to not stop to consider what might go wrong!
Where are you happiest?
St Agnes, Cornwall. So quiet, pretty and dog-friendly.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Once I realized I probably would not be a cowgirl (as in Annie Oakley), I fixated on working in magazines.
How do you unwind?
Exercise, walking the dog, meeting friends, hanging with my husband and daughter.
What are you reading/listening to/watching at the moment?
Reading? You’ll Grow Out Of It – very funny biography by Jessi Klein, an American comedy writer.
Listening to? The Hamilton soundtrack – still. I can’t stop.
Watching? Don’t laugh, but I'm obsessed with Dance Moms, my guilty pleasure to watch with my daughter.
Over or under dressed?
Night in or night out?
Favourite fashion week city?
Over or under packer?
Total over packer. I need options.
Summer or Autumn?
Summer in England. Autumn in my home country, Australia. (Summers are way too hot there.)
Currently Dance Moms.