Something strange happened in Sydney last night. Did you see it? The buy-curious masses inspired by a fear of missing out and the promise of free champagne and heavily discounted Swedish knitwear took to the streets to flood the city’s typically sleepy CBD retail precinct with enough vibe, vigour and foot traffic to one day hoist it above Adelaide in the EIU’s Global Liveability Index. One day. Thank Australian Vogue for that. The magazine’s third annual Fashion’s Night Out offered Sydneysiders the chance to shop til they dropped – their life savings – sculpted shoulder to sculpted shoulder with the likes of Miranda Kerr, Nicole Trunfio, Jessica Mauboy and Megan Washington. We were there too and snatched five quick minutes with Australian Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann to discuss gifts, GIFs and the future of all things Vogue Australia.
What are your essentials for tonight? Enthusiasm and a sturdy pair of feet are the most essential things tonight because you’ve got a lot of stores to get to and a lot of real estate to cover. The retailers have gone all out from the amazing balloon exhibit at Mulberry and popcorn stands and fairy lights outside Canturi to down in Martin Place where we’ve set up the Vogue precinct which is just extraordinary. It has interesting setups and food vans which we’ve never had before. Obviously the Burberry after party is the big after hours destination. But if I had to pick one thing I’m really looking forward to the in-store performances. David Jones have Emma Louise performing later which I’d love to see.
This is your inaugural year involved with the event in this capacity, what has surprised you the most? The enthusiasm for it has really surprised me. What people will do for Vogue, the support of the Modular Records guys and Daimon Downey and Meagan Washington and Sarah De Bono, we asked and they came. They did it for Vogue. You would expect that the designers and models would support us but for the music industry to support us so wholeheartedly has been a really pleasant surprise.
What’s been your favourite retail experience this year? I’ve actually been quite fascinated with the whole digital world. I hosted an event for Burberry which was all about their customers pre-ordering from the runway. It was so interactive and so different and so immediate. That was quite exciting. In terms of installations, I went to an amazing Louis Vuitton exhibition in Milan that Katie Grand curated. That really stood out. In terms of tonight, Hermès always go all out and I’m really looking forward to seeing that. They always incorporate some kind of art element and I really like that.
What’s been the most exciting thing for Vogue the media brand since you joined? Just being able to drive this incredible brand on a variety of different platforms. Talking to sometimes the same audience, sometimes a different audience and understanding the tone and what those different audiences are interested in. The feedback you get is the most exciting thing. Even when it’s negative it’s still really useful. That’s probably been the best thing. It’s a unique time in media history.
What have you learned about existing in the digital sphere? So much. I’ve learned about GIFs from you guys (laughs) so thank you. I’m obsessed with GIFs now. I’ve learned a lot about the digital news cycle and how to motivate a print magazine team who are maybe used to doing seven pages a month to do seven news stories a day. The main thing though, is learning that we can have a slightly sassier tone online and that it will in no way diminish what we do in print. That we can have a Vogue voice online that deviates from our print tone and we that shouldn’t be afraid of it. We can have a sense of humour and be playful with things! That’s been great. We have some writers in-house who are naturally inclined to that way of writing anyway and I’ll point to Cleo Glyde in particular (Acting Beauty Editor), she’s so entertaining and I feel like in print we’ve almost hampered her voice or gagged it a bit.
Thanks for your time Edwina. Thanks, have a great night.
Check out our first interview with Edwina below…
Photo by Mark Metcalfe for Getty Images Entertainment