Tempus 71: Celebrating sustainable style for the New Year
It's our last issue of Tempus for the year! It's been a challenging 12-months for all of us, but I'm so pleased that we were able to end the year with our exclusive sustainable menswear fashion shoot. The Covid-secure photoshoot, shot by Ian Gavan at Blakes Hotel, starred Oliver Cheshire wearing a selection of big name brands and Savile Row tailors who are all making steps to a more planet-friendly fashion industry. Read my final editor's letter of the year in full, below: "When the Oxford English Dictionary announced its 2020 Word of the Year, it came as no surprise that this unprecedented year had earned not just one word, but a whole list of new phrases and portmanteaus – from Blursday (a day of the week indistinguishable from any other) to Covidiot (a person who disobeys pandemic guidelines). But amid the list of Corona-related phrases there is some relief from all the doomscrolling (another OED winner, meaning compulsively scrolling through bad news on the web or social media). More positive phrases show the cultural strides taken towards social equality (Black Lives Matter) and sustainability (net zero), while a clutch of digitally inspired neologisms – like Zoombombing and unmute – reflect the rapid digitalisation of our work and social lives since March. Just as our language has evolved over the past 12 months, so too has our appetite for a more meaningful, post-opulent form of luxury. According to our canvassing of some of Britain’s biggest brands – in our first annual British Luxury Review – a year of uncertainty has accelerated our desire to seek out experiences and companies that make a positive impact on the world, improve the lives of their employees and customers, and create objects of true beauty that are designed to last (page 26). Their insights are confirmed by Helen Brocklebank, CEO of luxury trade organisation Walpole, who predicts we will not only recover from the year’s many trials but that the challenges of 2020 will be the catalyst for a creative renaissance – read Helen’s column on page 16. Another major trend predicted for 2021 is the continued growth in sustainable practices. It’s fair to say that combatting the climate crisis is no longer the remit of NGOs and social enterprises alone, as our cover story shows. Our exclusive menswear shoot, starring model and designer Oliver Cheshire, gathers some of the most exciting luxury labels to uplift any gentleman’s New Year wardrobe. Better still, each of the brands featured are moving away from fast fashion in favour of a new production model that celebrates traditional craftsmanship as it moves towards a zero-waste standard. Head to page 40 to see more. Elsewhere in the issue, we bring you a trio of architectural intrigue: rock legend Lenny Kravitz shares his design collaboration with Steinway & Sons (18), Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi tells us why community-led property developments are here to stay (84), and yachting designer Adriana Monk reveals her philosophy of design in motion (88). Tempus also looks forward to all-new travel trends on page 70 as well as the independent boutiques encouraging us to shop local (56). While our gaze may be fixed on the year ahead, we haven’t forgotten the joy and hope of the festive season to come. In a year where spending time with our loved ones is, more than ever, the greatest luxury of all, that doesn’t mean we can’t treat them (or ourselves) with a few stocking fillers! Don’t miss our special extended Luxe List (10) for a curation of gifts to help you round off the holidays in style. Before we collectively say goodbye to 2020 and settle in with our Christmas bubbles (another OED winner), all that’s left to do is wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year."
Why I wish 'Who Do You Think You Are' had done more to acknowledge David Walliams' Romany roots
The recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are starring Britain's Got Talent judge and children's author David Walliams. It was an incredibly moving episode, exploring one ancestors' experience of shell shock during the First World War, and another ancestor's Fairground roots. Now, let me just start by saying I love Who Do You Think You Are. As an adopted child, it inspired me to look into my own family trees – both my dad's, mum's and discover what I could of my biological side – and has made me feel closer than ever to my families. Watching David's episode, I was so excited to find out about his Fairground roots because I am the daughter of a Romany Traveller. Seeing the images of his ancestors outside their traditional vardo, I thought – finally! They would obviously mention Gypsy Romany Traveller (GRT) culture in the UK, accurately and without slurs or stereotypes, just as the show does with so many other cultures. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when this didn't occur. Although the show demonstrated the discrimination that David's family faced – including reading out an article brimming with deeply rooted antigypsyism – the show chose not to identify this as the very real ethnic prejudice still faced by GRT communities in the UK today. Instead, the show's expert described these as "negative comments". Was antigypsy prejudice implied? Sure. We all know what "people in caravans" means. But at a time when representation is so important, is it really enough to reference discrimination of a minority ethnic group and yet refuse to identify that abuse by name? Maybe the show had a reason for not highlighting the connection between ethnic Travellers and non-ethnic showmen. Perhaps they had proof that David's family were not Romany. Perhaps they wanted to respect his grandmother, who had evidently distanced herself from her family's roots. Perhaps they ran out of time, or simply were not made aware of the decades-old links between travelling showmen and British-Romanies. Whatever the reason, David's family were shown to live a Traveller lifestyle right down to the vardo, and explicitly experienced the same antigypsy persecution as their Romany peers. In 2020, when representation is more important than ever, this is such a wasted opportunity to highlight one of the reasons GRT communities are 'othered' to this day. Because, as we are seeing across the board, when our history erases the "good" minorities – those who achieve in their fields, inspire others or are respected – from their cultures and instead whitewashes their experience or rewrites them into a mainstream narrative, that perpetuates the racist myth that Minority = Bad. So, these entrepreneurial, hardworking, devoted showmen couldn't have been THAT kind of Traveller, because Gypsies = Bad. I am the daughter of a Romany Traveller. Our family tree is full of women who read the fortunes of kings. Who worked hard and honestly. Who led their families. I am also the daughter of gadjes – non-Romanies. As a child, particularly at school, my family taught me to hide our Traveller side, so that I wouldn't experience the same fear and discrimination that they had. I first wrote a version of this blog post on Instagram Stories and just typing it out triggered an old anxiety that I would be seen, known and put at risk. The fear that I would perhaps lose some of my friends, maybe even my job or home, because of the stereotypes about "Gypsies" that are so damaging. But the markers of my minority aren't visible. I have the option of just deleting those stories, and then becoming another white woman. It's a massive element of the privilege that I have, having been raised gadje. So I have to ask: if this acknowledge and representation would mean so much to me, imagine what it could mean to those who can't just 'delete' the things that they are regularly discriminated for? #OpreRoma
Tempus 70: the sudden change that led to a celebration of nature
Our latest issue of Tempus features the beauty of Trentino's dark skies on a very special 'back to nature' cover, but our original plans were somewhat different. Our November issue was in fact intended to be a celebration of Bond to coincide with the November release of No Time to Die, but when it was unexpectedly delayed until April 2021 just as we were preparing to go to press, we had to rethink our approach very quickly. With less than a week to replace or reimagine nearly a third of the magazine, this was probably my biggest trial as an editor so far. But by leaning into the celebration of nature-focused escapes, wellness-based travel and destinations that encourage us to reconnect with what we love after a long, gruelling six months of the Covid-19 pandemic, our brilliant team created an issue that I'm incredibly proud of. Read my full editor's letter here: "Autumn has traditionally been seen as a time of regeneration and rebirth, from the colours of the harvest to the swift move towards the party season as the weather cools. It is in this spirit of transformation that we are delighted to introduce this issue of Tempus. Although we continue to face challenging times – not just in the ongoing concerns of the Covid-19 pandemic but the period of recession we subsequently face – there is some light in the darkness. At least, according to disputes lawyer Darren Roiser who, in just 18 months, took his firm King & Wood Mallesons London from administration to the 11th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street. In our exclusive interview with Roiser on page 76, the firm’s managing partner says that, as long as we acknowledge the new reality of changing markets, there is opportunity to be found in crisis – and urges those in the luxury and financial sectors to tackle the deficit of social mobility. As we mark Black History Month 2020, his sentiment is more vital than ever, and echoed by Belu’s new CEO, Natalie Campbell. Speaking to our wealth editor, Campbell does not beat around the bush, highlighting the statistics that tell us how inclusive hiring can lead to business growth – and, ultimately, a healthier future for our economy as a whole (36). Elsewhere in this issue, we turn to the environment in an exploration of how country pursuits, such as game shooting, are working to dramatically increase biodiversity and wildlife conservation (50). We also speak to crack shot Rachel Carrie about her passion for field-to-fork advocacy (54), and head to Reims to find out why the world’s first champagne brand Ruinart has teamed up with British artist David Shrigley on a creative sustainability mission (56). On the subject of celebrating British diversity in all its forms, we explore the incredible English country escapes reminding us that the whole world is on our doorstep (40), as well as discover the rising trend of astrotourism (22) – and the remarkable images of the night sky that inspired our celestial cover – which is encouraging us all to switch off, get back to nature and, ultimately, reach for the stars."
Burlingtons Magazine issue 02: from country sports to celebrating the arts
This week, Vantage Media introduced Burlingtons Magazine's second edition – a celebration of autumn's country pursuits, luxury lifestyle and city investments. Editing this issue, which featured expert commentary from members of the Burlingtons Club, I was fascinated to learn about knew trends in international investment – from British investment into the Scandi cities to affluent Hong Kong-based buyers transforming Prime Central London's property market, and even how UK non-domiciled residents can make more of their money. I was also interested to learn how the traditional game shoot is transforming the countryside, and the lengths that the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has gone to support both wildlife conservation efforts (with its Green Shoots programme) and local economies surrounded popular shooting estates alike. “Wildlife, including red and amber-listed species, flourishes on land managed for shooting and we know that wading birds are up to five times more successful on moors managed by gamekeepers. In addition, birds and butterflies are more diverse and populated in woodlands managed for shooting,” says Steve Bloomfield, BASC's executive director of shooting and operations. Elsewhere in the magazine, I was delighted to chat to the founder of Kensington's NK Ballet School, Natalia Kremen, about the origins of her popular London academy and her career with the English National Ballet. From such career heights, Kremen now focuses her passion on ensuring talented and determined dancers from all walks of life can have the chance to forge a career in this challenging art form. Burlingtons Magazine is a quarterly, 80-page lifestyle magazine designed to inform its affluent readers about a range of topics covering legal, real estate and private office, as well as bringing the best of business and lifestyle products from Mayfair and beyond.
Presenting: how to create confidence by boosting your body language
This month, I gave my first ever presenting masterclass for the brilliant Peretti Communications team. Through my career, I've interviewed jetlagged celebs for online video and hosted live panels for 3,000-strong crowds of diehard fans, and the skills I've learnt over the years have been just as useful at a gala event as a boardroom meeting, and it was such an honour to share some of what I've discovered with this talented PR team. As ever, I thought I'd share some of the key messages in this blog. The science of communication I believe that any kind of presenting, at its core, is about finding your role as a facilitator. You're the bridge between a client, message or truth and communicating that effectively to its intended audience. So, it's important to understand how communication works. According to studies, Just 7% of communication is verbal – the words we use in the order that we use them. This means that we can script our presentation and memorise all the facts in the world, but we still might not get our message across if we don't understand how to put the rest of the message across as intended. Of the remaining 93%, our vocal presentation – how we speak in terms of pitch, speed, tone, intonation, inflection, mood – accounts for 33% of our communication. A whopping 55% is our body language. So here are a couple of ways I've found helps make sure our body language is doing the work for us. The four Cs When preparing for a presentation of any kind, I've developed a bit of a checklist to help me cover the fundamentals that I need to know. This means that if anything goes off-script, or surprises happen, I've got a clear base to build from. Conviction – For me, this is about finding the core message. The fundamental truth of what your presentation, panel, meeting or speech is about. In a PR or sales scenario, where you're repping someone else's product, this could be finding one thing that you actually believe or are passionate about within the product. Having this will ensure your tone and body exude honesty. Clarity – The facts and figures that make you an expert. Having a few good stats or facts that display your understand means you can be concise and calm. Having these to build can also help soothe the nerves and, again, ensure your tone stays 'low and slow' to give the sense of confidence. Connection – Communication is about connection, and it's so important to create a connection between what you're saying and your audience. This could be as simple as googling the meeting attendees or meeting them in advance to foster a rapport. Confidence – Confidence is king. Not just confidence in what you're saying, but in how you're saying. Confidence is about eye contact, strong stance, openness in your posture. It's also conveyed in your tone; smiles and laughter, slow and steady speaking, the willingness to listen attentively and answer directly. All of these can be researched in advanced, whether you have 10mins to spare or are working a month ahead. But how do you convey confidence if you are, in fact, bricking it? Creating confidence One of the biggest mistakes we make when thinking about public speaking is to believe that confidence is an innate trait. You either have it or don't. In fact, confidence is something that is built, structured, created. It's something that you have to fake or adapt at first, until your experience level gives you references to build on. There are many ways to fake it till you make it when it comes to building your confidence from the inside out. When you're feeling extremely nervous, the first thing is to learn to control the anxiety. These simple techniques can help soothe stage fright, nerves or anxiety in many situations so that you can concentrate on your presentation. Breathing in squares – a mindfulness technique that focuses on the breathing. All you need is a square shape within your eye-line. This could be a window, a floor tile, a tube poster, a laptop screen, your mobile phone. Breathe in for a count of four as you scan one side, hold for four across the next side, exhale for four across the next side, and hold for four across the final edge. Repeat until you feel a little calmer. Translate the emotion – The symptoms of nervousness are exactly the same as the symptoms for excitement – breathing, palpitations, shaking, wobbly knees, clammy palms – and there are a variety of great NLP techniques that allow us to translate one emotion into the other through visualisation and vocalisation. Instead of saying "I'm so nervous I'm shaking", try "I'm so excited, I'm shaking". The more you say this, the more you'll start to believe it. Smile like you mean it – Look up and smile. Hold the pose for as long as you can. The act of smiling actually encourages the brain to release dopamine and serotonin, causing a flood of relaxed, happy hormones into the body, while stretching also releases tension in your neck. Commanding your body language For the final part of the session, I wanted to focus on a few ways to create an open, confident body language with is, because I believe it's hugely important both for making an impression with others, and in controlling our own nerves. Our body language can impact our own mood and performance – for example, sports scientist Luke Worthington uses 'postural restoration' to heighten the performances of his Olympic athletes. Two simple ways to control our body language are through power posing before an event, and understanding how to transfer energy during. Studies by social psychologist Amy Cuddy suggest that power posing – adopting powerful, confident poses for periods of 2-10 minutes – can have a profound effect on our minds. There is ongoing controversy about whether this is a legitimate reaction in our body chemistry or a new age pseudoscience but, for me, power poses have an additional benefit in that they allow you to stretch and fix your body language ahead of a presentation. Adopting the star – or Mick Jagger – pose is supposed to help you visualise adulation and success, but it also helps you stretch your arms and legs, ensuring you are comfortable on stage. The famous Wonder Woman pose may not help you feel like a superhero, but it will push your shoulders back, straighten your posture and lift your chin so that you walk in open, confident and ready for anything. Finally, once you're on stage and your adrenaline is going, it's time to use that energy to your benefit, rather than let it make you worry. The key is to transfer energy upwards – rock up onto the balls of your feet, smile, brings your hands up to gesture – rather than letting yourself curl inwards. And remember, each nervous presentation that you complete is another step in your portfolio of experience. Confidence can be faked or constructed, but true confidence and faith in your abilities can only come from gaining experience, so keep putting yourself out there. The more you challenge yourself, and the more you rise to that challenge, the easier it will become.
Tempus 69: How London is #buildingbackbetter as lockdown eases
The latest issue of Tempus is out now! We're so pleased to say that, after four months of lockdown, Tempus has finally been able to return to many of its London distributors where she belongs. I'm beyond thrilled to introduce this issue, which not only celebrates some fantastic women in the fields of cinema, engineering, philanthropy and business coaching, but also celebrates London's reopening, with a decadent dining special feature and exploration of the b-corp phenomenon that is giving us hope for the future of industry. You can read my full editor's letter here: "Welcome back! This is the message we’re hearing loud and clear – and with increasing frequency – from so many of our favourite restaurants, hotels, members’ clubs and boutiques as they begin to reopen their doors to indulgence-starved patrons. It’s a move that denizens of good taste have embraced wholeheartedly since lockdown began to ease, despite the many changes and safeguards we must now become familiar with. For many, these are a small price to pay to reconnect with one another after what seems like so long apart. This has been the feeling at Tempus HQ over the last few weeks, as business began to resume for our distinguished distribution partners across the capital, and we’re excited to introduce our latest issue knowing it will again be enjoyed in a familiar fashion. To celebrate being back out about town, in this issue we gather some of London’s best restaurants serving up diverse fine dining, discover why a country pile escape is so perfect right now and preview September’s London Craft Week. As the world begins to turn again, we’ve also seen some great movements gain momentum. From the renewed urgency in tackling the climate crisis and the historic Black Lives Matter protests, to the impact of Covid-19 upon our collective mental health, there is a common assertion from our expert contributors across a diverse range of industries that now is the time look towards rebuilding our economy – and our society – with compassion. This is nowhere more perfectly exemplified than by the sudden rise in B-Corps and the #BuildBackBetter movement, as our wealth editor explores on page, while even property market trends have turned to the creation of sustainable boutique ecosystems to attract socially conscious young buyers. Entertainment Mindframe founder Adaire Byerly delves into the psychology of these trends, and reveals how creative minds might be the key to pushing through troubled times. This positive outlook continues in our star interviews, led by Wonder Woman 1984 powerhouse Gal Gadot. In our cover feature, we chat with the in-demand Israeli actress about what it takes to be an action hero and working with women who excel. Elsewhere, the world’s most influential tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou tells us how he’s revolutionising the game beyond his exceptional work with Serena Williams; Maddox Gallery’s Jay Rutland shares his love for contemporary art and reveals some exciting news about the brand’s next venture; and Bremont co-founder Giles English tells us why he’s passionate about bringing haute horology back home."
Five tips for young journalists: Zoom mentoring with #PressPad
I recently had the chance to join PressPad for a remote 'speed mentoring' evening hosted via Zoom. PressPad is an award-winning resource for aspiring and trainee journalists founded by the BBC's Olivia Crellin and multimedia journalist Laura Garcia. It aims to lower the financial barrier of entry into journalism by connecting young people with work experience placements to experienced journalists who can offer a spare room. They also create intern networks and host a variety of events. In short, they're brilliant. So I was delighted for the opportunity to get involved in a small way, by joining a group of experienced journos who could offer some advice to the next group of rising stars. The diversity of the attendees – in terms of background, life experience and areas of interest in mentee and mentor alike – was really interesting, and it was a lot of fun to speak to people about their various long-terms goals and short-term questions. Although I was, naturally, mainly paired with those interested in magazine or lifestyle journalism, there were a few questions that came up repeatedly, and that I have since received varieties of in my DMs, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Do you agree? I'm applying for jobs but getting nowhere. How do I get that first role? The million dollar question. The media industry has been hit hard by various economic dips – including Covid-19 – and yet, being such a popular creative industry, every job vacancy attracts a high level of applicants. Young journalists can sometimes expect to intern for 12-18 months before landing that first full-time role, and so you must develop resilience and determination early on. Make your portfolio, cover letters and CVs stand out by tailoring them closely for each application. Another thing to consider is the type of roles you're going for. Many young journalists immediately apply for features writer roles but, particularly in national titles, there are entry levels roles that are often more suitable – and more available – to journalists getting that first foot in the door. In addition to internships and fixed-term placements, I'd suggest going for editorial/features assistant roles; social media or online junior jobs; positions in local publications and even roles in sister-industries such as PR, where you might gain copywriting experience. Once you're in the industry, you can make sideways moves to get to where you want to be. For example, I was interim editor of local title West Essex Life before moving to international title magazine HELLO!, as assistant to the international managing editor. This might have looked like a step down on paper, but it was a huge step for me in terms of the scale of experience and training that I would go on to receive. Once I've got the entry-level role, internship or work placement, how do I make sure I stand out? Say yes. Once you're in your placement, your editors will be looking for how well you work within the team as well as how to build on your potential but, more importantly, it's your opportunity to experience as wide a variety of editorial duties, sections and style as possible to further your career. Approach your work with enthusiasm, whether you're taking notes in a meeting or putting together forward planning lists, transcribing an interview or conducting one yourself. Welcome constructive criticism/feedback and always ask questions! Better to get a thorough explanation of a task and get it right the first time than miss out on deadline or opportunity for feedback because you weren't sure of how to begin. Accuracy, resilience and enthusiasm are the three things that leap out to me when we have interns or work experiencers in-house. I want to freelance within my specialism/interests, but how do I find stories that will sell? This is a tough one, as it varies so much between sectors. The best advice I can give is to consume as much news as possible. Know your target publications: understand both what kinds of stories and subjects they are writing about, and know their style before pitching. It's important to understand how you (as the writer/subject) relate to various trends. I'd also recommend keeping a blog of some kind, as your social media acts as a business card but also gives you an excuse to engage with interesting people in your areas of specialism. Finally, think local. Perhaps there's a national story that you can offer local insight about for your regional newspaper, as one of our brilliant mentees did. This is an excellent way to begin building a specialist portfolio. What makes a freelance pitch good enough for an editor to take notice? Pitching often relies on building a quick rapport and trust between yourself and the commissioning editor. They need to trust that you can deliver what you promise – on time, well written and to the brief. I would always recommend phoning the publication's switchboard and finding out the email and name of the best person to get in touch with. Then you can find out whether they're accepting pitches and when the best time to pitch is. Your pitch itself should ideally answer three questions: What is your story about? Why is it perfect for this audience/publication? Why should you be the one to write it? I'd suggest building your list of target publications and working your way down them, tailoring your pitch each time. Remember, rejection is part of freelancing. Don't let it get you down and, if you get feedback from the commissioning editor, use that as an opportunity to refine your next pitch and build your network! Should I ever work for free? I would love to say 'no!'. Generally, I would advise that young journalists never work for free. Try to be up front about fees and ensure that your work is remunerated. However, I remember starting out and some publications telling me that payment just wasn't available – particularly in local newspapers. I can remember the dilemma: should I take the work in order to build my portfolio, or say no but then have no portfolio to share? My personal rule was to never do more than one or two pieces for free for any publication, and to only submit work for free publication if I got something out of it – i.e. it was a subject that could assist my next sold pitch, or a publication that I knew would boost my exposure. If you can work without working for free, that would be the ideal. Every journalist I know agrees that the quicker our industry gets back to something near a standardised rate, the better we know it will be. However, the simple truth is, you have to do what's right for you. So, if you feel that publishing a piece in a specific publication is more valuable to your career than the monetary fee, that's absolutely cool – just know that your work has value, and you should always aim to get something of equal value in return.
Burlingtons Magazine: how 'luxury minimalism' became the heart of our new contract publishing launch
We're so delighted to introduce Vantage Media's newest contract publishing project, a luxury lifestyle magazine designed for the clients of Burlingtons Group. We've been working closely with Burlingtons' expert team for several months, designing the look, feel and content of the magazine, understanding the brand's aim for the product and who their readers will be. It was fantastic to see the magazine launch on 1 July 2020 despite London still being in lockdown. Burlingtons Magazine is a quarterly, 80-page lifestyle magazine designed to inform its affluent readers about a range of topics covering legal, real estate and private office, as well as bringing the best of business and lifestyle products from Mayfair and beyond. The first issue includes a tribute to Formula 1 legend Sir Stirling Moss, as well as my interview with Bremont co-founder Giles English. In terms of design, we knew the magazine needed to ooze luxury. In collaboration with our printing partners, we chose sustainably sourced matte paper and vegetable ink for a rich look and feel while still capturing our own corporate ethos of creating products that are as offset and eco-friendly as possible. The design itself is clean and minimalist, making use of white space and simple core colour schemes – based on Burlingtons Group's branding of black and gold – to let the articles and imagery leap off the page. Contemporary serif font Garamond completes the style of contemporary elegance. Vantage Media was also able to advise and arrange with the title's distribution across London's W1 through our partners. The first issue of Burlingtons is available to read online now.
Writing robots: why this feature about AI-created art is one of my career highlights
Today marks a year since I first interviewed AiDa and her creator Aidan Meller at Oxford University for the launch of the robot's debut art exhibition. I've been very lucky to interview a wide variety of people during my career so far, but I can honestly say that meeting AiDa is one of my biggest highlights. As you know, I'm a huge fan of sci-fi, and it had been one of my dreams to meet a robot or AI in real life. Meeting AiDa, who at the time was deemed the most advanced AI in Europe and compared to Sophia, was like seeing my favourite books and films come to life. Professionally, it was wild to be able to learn about AI on a practical level and to discuss things like the rise of machine learning and what that means for jobs, whether advanced programming can by its nature truly produce 'creative' art, and what robotics and AI meant for discussions of identity – something that was a clear point of interest for Aidan, given the press AiDa was receiving. Amazingly, AiDa became Tempus' cover star for 2019's August-September issue, and proved to be one of our most daring and popular covers to date. I often talk to trainee journalists through my work with the NCTJ, and find that one question that comes up regularly is about career progression. Many aspiring journalists often have a very clear idea of what area of the industry they'd like to go into, or what type of journalist they want to be. I would never want to discourage that, but I do think it's important for young journalists to keep an open mind. I believe it's important not to limit ourselves, and make the most of any opportunities that come our way. While I can give examples from my career path itself, I think AiDa might actually be my favourite example of how this can work in terms of an individual feature. The idea to 'interview' an AI actually started off as a slightly ridiculous new year's resolution: I wanted 2019 to be the year I met a robot irl. I didn't really think it was going to happen but I also knew that machine learning was having a moment in tech fields and the UK's collective interest. I'd read some amazing features in Wired and Elle about Sophia – the Hanson Robotics flagship AI and first robot given human citizenship – and knew there was an audience that mirrored my own fascination with the subject. I started regularly pitching the idea to my editor and putting feelers out to robotics companies, feeling that the readership of Tempus – which often speaks to industry leaders about innovations in various fields – would enjoy a feature about new technology. Our only concerns were that artificially intelligence had an element of fear attached to it (Tesla founder Elon Musk described AI as humanity’s "biggest existential threat") and so might be a little 'out there' or controversial. In my view, this made it all the more interesting as a feature. I continued to put feelers out in the UK and US for any new releases or opportunities that would allow me to get up close and personal with artificial intelligence in a way that suited our readership. It took nearly six months to discover AiDa, who was not only an AI available for face-to-face interview but was embarking on a project in the art sector that had already exceeded predicted sales – beyond perfect for a luxury lifestyle publication to find an angle. A year later, I'm still very proud of the resulting cover feature: Art ex Machina. I'd say I've mainly been an entertainment and lifestyle writer through my career, so robotics is by no means within my sphere of expertise. But looking back at the piece, I'm still genuinely pleased with it and feel like I managed to strike the balance between my layman's fascination and Aidan's expertise as I hoped to. What I discovered from writing this, is just how quickly it opened up many more avenues for us to explore. Now, as an editor, I wouldn't say I go out of my way to find controversial or wild subjects, but I'm certainly less fearful of commissioning something that might have an unexpected impact on our readers. There's something to be said for following a passion or stranger idea down the rabbit hole, and seeing what you can find. Personally though, I still remember just how much fun this feature was to write – and being able to justify the phrase ‘Skynet-style robopocalypse’ in an actual publication still makes me grin.
That's it. That's the post. A fantastic list of resources for those of us in the UK, which includes protest dates, how to contribute to organisations, and a brilliant reading list to explore, can be found here:
Tempus 68: brands that flourish during economic recovery will be those that provide a human touch
The latest issue of Tempus was published online on Monday 1 June, packed with a range of feel good luxury content – including an interview with actor/producer Brad Pitt and a celebration of the British brands helping our frontline medical professionals during the Covid-19 lockdown. While our usual distribution points are still mostly closed, we're once again making the issue available to download for free from Tempus Online, here. In putting this issue together, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the world's financial experts and global CEOs, and the message I heard from them was cautiously optimistic and, hopefully, a sign of better things to come after the trials of the last few months. You can read my welcome letter in full, here: "In the two short months since we published our last issue, the world has changed in ways that were unimaginable before the Covid-19 pandemic reached its peak. Now, finally, we are starting to look more practically towards life after lockdown and find room for positive change, celebration and, most importantly of all, reconnection. These are feelings shared by leaders across a variety of industries, who are inspiring us with their pragmatic but reassuringly optimistic predictions for the UK’s recovery. Oliver Gregson, head of the UK and Ireland markets for J.P. Morgan Private Bank, says one only needs to look to the UK tech boom that came out of the 2008 financial crisis to see just how powerful our entrepreneurial spirit can be – with more than 72 ‘unicorn’ firms (valued at over $1bn) Britain’s tech SMEs are truly formidable. Gregson also notes the changing ways his UHNW clients are engaging with their wealth. From ESG investments to sustainable spending, the concept of ‘responsible’ luxury has only become more important. This fits well with Breitling CEO Georges Kern’s assertion that the very definition of luxury itself has changed, and brands must respond. When we spoke during a recent London-Geneva Zoom interview, he painted a picture of the new luxury as authentic, discreet, informal, ethical, engaged with the world and still retaining a sense of je ne sais quoi. If there’s one man who embodies this sense of cool, it’s Breitling’s Cinema Squad member – and our cover star – Brad Pitt. The Oscar-winning actor and producer looks back on his remarkable career, where he recalls the directors who have shaped his stratospheric rise to stardom. Elsewhere in the issue, we step back in time to find out why the 1976 Lotus Esprit is still a James Bond favourite and invite Formula E founder Alejandro Agag to share his plans for climate action. Ferretti Yachts reveals a new era of interior style, designer Daisy Knatchbull redefines women’s tailoring and jewellery maverick Theo Fennell invites us into his Fulham Road atelier. Finally, we present a special feature examining the importance of art in times of crisis and a celebration of the companies that have been changing the game to support keyworkers. The Tempus team joins these companies and, indeed, all our featured stars, in sending a shared message to those frontline medical professionals: thank you. The luxury sector will no doubt have a great role to play in shaping consumer behaviour in the coming months, as we look to reconnect with the passions and people we value most. Those brands that flourish will, as our experts suggest, be those that can offer that extra, human touch."
Strong female lead feature: sharing my experiences in journalism
I'm beyond honoured to have been recently featured at part of Claire Vanner's Strong Female Lead blog. In her new blog, which features "stories from inspiring women, shaking up their industries", Claire is interviewing women from all backgrounds and sectors about their careers, creating a pool of resources for women interested in pursuing a career in a diverse variety of industries. I first met Claire in 2013, when I was on the international desk at HELLO! and she was a very talented intern working with the online team. It was lovely to reconnect, and not at all surprising that Claire – who is brilliantly creative and driven – would use her time in lockdown to create such an interesting passion project. On the Strong Female Lead blog, you can read Claire's posts on how to grow a marketing agency with Digital Radish founder Renaye Edward; being a woman in STEM with Durham University's Dr Sue Black OBE; finding your voice in radio with Radio One's Grace Hopper and much more. I have to admit, it felt very strange to be on the other side of the interview, but it was fun to take a trip down memory lane. Claire asked about my day to day role, but also about how I first got into journalism, what my goals had been, and what I'd learnt along the way. I'm very grateful for the chance to reflect on the experiences I've had over the last 10+ years, and to do so in lockdown, when (like many of us) I've been struggling with anxiety, control, focus and other elements of pandemic-related mental health (pandemental health?). Fighting the instinctual inner fear at reading my own words back, I was touched to read Claire's take on my career, as well as highlight the importance of resilience and collaboration – two elements I think are vital to journalists. All too often, it's easy to get caught up in the every day or focused on the next goal, and forget all the small achievements and wonderful people that it took to get us to where we are right now. It was a privilege to reflect upon the many firsts – the successes, the risks, the attempts that didn't pan out, the lessons, the amazing people – that have shaped my career so far, and take a moment to be extremely grateful and, well, kind of proud. Thank you, Claire! You can read more from The Strong Female Lead here