We recently sat down for a Q&A session with Kyle Anderson, ELLE magazine’s Senior Accessories Editor. Not only was Kyle lucky enough to have Marie Claire‘s Fashion Director, Project Runway judge and book author Nina Garcia as his mentor, he is also one of the most talented fashion accessories editors we’ve ever met! Read more about how Nina Garcia changed Kyle Anderson‘s life below!
Kyle, what inspired you to work in the fashion industry?
“Growing up even in a small town I found fashion, and especially magazines, a huge escape from my conservative surroundings. My best friend was also obsessed with fashion. We used to go to the public library starting in elementary school on our bikes and spent hours reading magazines like ELLE, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and W. I used to love W and their gigantic pages. I remember even ripping a huge Chanel ad out to take it back and put on my bulletin board when I was like 7 years old!
My next-door neighbor’s mom was really obsessed with shopping and always taught us how important clothes were. When most kids were asking for toys, I was asking my mom to drive to outlet malls and downtown Chicago to go shopping and buy clothes. Growing up, all of our vacations surrounded going to big malls. I remember begging to go to the Mall of America for a vacation.
I went to a boarding school in high school and was excited to find a huge group of girls and guys who were crazy about shopping, trends and fashion. For the first time I was in close quarters with kids my age from big cities like Paris, Tokyo and Seoul who loved designer clothes and accessories. Immediately after graduating from college I moved to NYC and started an internship at Esquire the day I arrived. I interned at Esquire, COSMOgirl, Marie Claire, Vogue and ELLE. I also did freelance assistant work for various stylists on photo shoots and then later free-lanced at COSMO and Vanity Fair and finally back at ELLE. I was supposed to freelance at ELLE for 90 days but after about a week Nina Garcia hired me and it was a day that changed my life. I owe everything and all of my last 6 years of experiences at ELLE to her for taking a chance on me – over 6 years ago – back when most magazines were still afraid to hire guys to work on women’s fashion. I think there was maybe one other male editor working at a women’s magazine and never before a male editor at ELLE. She was always my biggest supporter and the best mentor anyone could ever imagine.”
How does your average day look like?
“I live in Times Square and usually leave the house around 8:30/8:45am, grab a taxi and start heading out to go on appointments. I visit maybe around 4-5 designer showrooms in the mornings to preview their accessories collections. I take digital pics of everything I see and like and later use them to request the accessories for our stories in ELLE magazine. I go back to the office around 12-1 to grab lunch, download my pics and start working on all of our stories and shopping pages. I usually stay in the office until around 6 or 7 (unless we have a group appointment or a group private show to attend for some kind of designer preview) and then I usually meet with designers or the designers PR managers for drinks or dinners. After that, I usually meet my friends and go to clubs, bars or fashion parties. There are at least 3 different fashion events or parties every night for the launch of something. Most of my friends work in fashion as either models, editors, stylists or photographers, so its nice to be able to go together.”
How would you describe your personal style?
“I love rock ‘n’ roll and military. I’m very into Balmain and Givenchy. I like combat boots, camouflage, military stuff and black leather shirts, pants and vests.
I also like silver jewelry. I wear my silver Rolex everyday.”
What are your most favorite shops/boutiques/department stores?
“I go to Barneys twice a week to see if there is anything new. I love Barneys! I go every Saturday and then one night after work if I have time. I’m always looking for new Givenchy and Balmain ready-to-wear. Gay guys are usually thin! So it’s a competition to get the items before the smaller size is sold out! ”
What is the one thing in your closet you cannot live without?
If you won the lottery, which celebrity should join you for a shopping spree and where would you go?
“There isn’t really a celebrity who I would go with. I would go with either my boyfriend or my friend model Andrej Pejic who I like to go shopping with anyway and who has great taste and style and loves to go to Barneys.”
Any fashion secrets you want to share with our readers?
“One thing that Nina Garcia taught us always is to take fashion and make it your own. You don’t have to be head to toe punk, or head to toe military. Mix military with leather or punk with florals, you know? That’s what makes fashion interesting. Not just wearing a runway look. That’s easy – and boring. Wear something fancy like a Prada sweater with old ripped up jeans. Or sweat pants with a Balmain coat.”
Who is your favorite designer?
“My favorite brands are Balmain for their distressed casual military and realxed clothes and Givenchy for their tough black and leather. Alexander Wang is always cool. I’m waiting for the official big launch of his menswear collection next season.”
Besides ELLE, What’s your favorite magazine?
Can you share anything about your exciting upcoming projects?
“At ELLE we’re just wrapping up our women in Hollywood issue, which is going to be MAJOR! Huge!!!
Outside of ELLE, I’m launching my own website www.kyleeditor.com where I’ll have a blog about my life as an editor and my portfolio and tips on how to become an editor because I get emails every few hours either on Twitter or Facebook or at work from people who want to become editors. I just shot a cover story for Essential Homme and another story for SCHON magazine in London. And I just moved to Times Square and I love it! So I’ve been spending a lot of time decorating. I’m also working with Olivia Palermo on the launch of her own website and also a shoe collaboration. Am I forgetting anything? ”