Say the words ‘fashion journalist’ and most people will instantly start envisaging days spent at fashion shows and mountains of free clothes. But what is the reality really like? We caught up with Who What Wear's Editorial Director for the UK Hannah Almassi to talk being a tech nerd, giving into temptation and what makes a good investment piece.
If you’ve ever logged on to celebrity style and fashion site Who What Wear (UK) to quickly check a story only to find 30 minutes have gone, you’ll have Hannah Almassi to blame. As the Editorial Director, Hannah oversees all content that goes live as well as writing articles, planning future stories and decoding stats and figures. ‘I’ve always thought of myself as owning a split working personality: half creative and half logical. So being able to join both strands of my nature into one job is a real pleasure.’
Formerly the Fashion Features Editor at Grazia, Hannah left the world of print behind when she moved to Who What Wear (UK). ‘You can become quite a tech nerd once you move into online,’ she muses. The change hasn’t been as dramatic as it could have been though, mainly thanks to the publication’s pace and the fact that Grazia has an online presence. The switch has, says Hannah, allowed her to be much more analytical in her approach to work. ‘The major difference between print and online is that so much of what we can produce editorially at Who What Wear (UK) can be tracked and analysed. We combine intelligent interpretations of data and study actual concrete trends with our natural editorial nous to generate excellent fashion features. It’s a very modern approach and one that I really have embraced.’
Considering the nature of Who What Wear (UK), it comes as no surprise that clothes play an important part of Hannah’s role, but how does she resist constantly giving in to temptation? ‘I think because of the sheer volume of incredible pieces you see, you become increasingly fussy.’ Instead of adopting a smash and grab-like approach to replenishing her wardrobe, Hannah claims that this overexposure has made her ‘a more sensible, measured shopper. I try to buy the pieces that really call out to me—the ones I know I’d be upset if they sold out. But the rest of the time I just purchase wise pieces on repeat. For example, I’m always in navy trousers, so I don’t mind buying those in a hundred iterations because I know I’ll get endless wear out of them.’
Hannah also has sound advice when it comes to investment pieces. The key, she says, is knowing what you’re investing in them for. ‘Is it something you want to wear every day? Or is it something that just makes your heart sing and your eyes light up every time you try it on? I have investment pieces that could tick either box, and sometimes both boxes at once: Some leopard Prada boots that I barely wear but make me so happy to own, but also a Céline bag for lugging around my laptop everyday because it makes me feel like I’m not compromising on a practical piece.’
There are times though when only a treat will do, as Hannah is definitely aware of. So what will she be treating herself to this spring? ‘Dresses!’ she exclaims. ‘All of mine feel old or worn-out and it’s a particularly strong time for standout dresses.’