Hannah Almassi is most definitely a twenty-first century woman. Having worked as a journalist for a decade, she moved from print to digital 18 months ago on becoming the Editorial Director for WhoWhatWear.co.uk. We went over to Hannah’s place in east London to chat about her love of instant fashion gratification over a cuppa… and to pet her beautiful British Shorthair, Folly.
You studied Fashion Design before setting your sights on Journalism. Why did you choose this path?
I’d always been really keen to study fashion
design - so much so that I skipped the
foundation course to get cracking with the
BA. I loved everything about the course apart
from having to manufacture my designs; I
didn’t enjoy how time consuming it was, or
the meticulousness required, despite really
loving the creative process. I’ve since
realised that this is because I’m a very
“instant” person who likes things to be done
and dusted. It must be why I like the pace of
digital and fashion news - I find the instant
gratification of it satisfying, especially with all
the analytical tools we have at our disposal
Over the course of my degree, I focused my efforts towards journalism and styling. I’d always loved talking about fashion and devouring magazines or fashion documentaries, but I had never thought of fashion journalism as a career option at that time. Honestly, I was quite surprised that I had these writing skills, as I’d always been told I wasn’t good at English at school. I don’t regret studying design as having the knowledge and appreciation of how clothing is constructed does feed the process of building an article.
Our three brand pillars are fun, fashion and function. Which is the clincher for you when something catches your eye?
It’s got to be fun. My wardrobe is full of print, colour and lots of vintage. As I’m getting older, I’m trying to invest in more versatile pieces because so much of my wardrobe doesn't go together, making it difficult to get dressed in the morning. Saying that, the clothes I fall in love with (which tend to be more eccentric), I keep for a long time. I really look after my clothing which is where the function comes in. I’m always careful to repair things, take up trailing hems and get my shoes resoled when necessary. I have this great local cobbler who insists that I take him my expensive shoes for resoling before even wearing them to ensure they last a long time. What was the third pillar again? Fashion? I hope I’ve got that one covered!
You were tasked with launching Who What Wear in the UK when you undertook your role as Editorial Director. What do you think are the British consumer’s main idiosyncrasies?
The fact that we’re idiosyncratic in the first place. The British girl doesn’t like to feel that she’s adhering to rules or subscribing to a look. She embraces individuality and her style is unique, whether she realises she is or not. The British girl can also be sarcastic and cynical alongside enthusiastic because she understands that fashion is just a bit of fun - a pair of shoes can change your day but not your life! This feeds into the way that we deliver our content at Who What Wear: with a side serving of humour and realism.
What’s been your favourite fashion fairytale moment so far?
I think it’s got to be going to Seoul for Chanel’s Resort 2016 show. Not only was their coordination impressive—flying everyone in from around the world to showcase a K-Pop themed show, followed by an after party—but seeing Chanel clothes up close in a completely unknown environment was a real moment. When I was a student, I went to Paris Fashion Week to blag my way into the shows. I’d spend the week grafting, chatting to the bouncers so that by the end, they’d let me in. I managed to “sneak” into Jean-Paul Gaultier’s anniversary show, which included a retrospective of his most celebrated looks. It was so inspiring, especially at that age.
I love that they’re unlike any glasses I’ve ever seen. I feel like I’m wearing something that’s making the statement for me and they’re such a great starting point for conversation. I was so excited when Caren announced she was doing this, although when I saw her wearing her Catseyes, I was doubtful that I’d be able to pull them off. I was pleasantly surprised: they are so flattering while remaining unusual and the colourway I’ve chosen (White Choc Chip Tort) goes with everything.
For any enquiries please contact:
Caren, Shaun or Nigel
For PR enquiries please contact:
Todd Watkins. Preditor PR