Fashion stylist and journalist, Alison Jan Reid has lived an extraordinary life as a journalist, with a front row seat on culture and society. During her successesful career she has contributed to The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Mail On Sunday, You Magazine, The Sunday Express, Newsweek, Tatler, Marie Claire, Russian Vogue, Red, Orient Express Magazine, Organic Life, Healthy & Organic Living, Spirit & Destiny, Taste, and Good Housekeeping.
She has interviewed, styled and art directed some of the most exciting people on the planet, including Naomi Campbell, Kim Cattrall, Helena Christiansen, Glenn Close, Kristin Davies, Anna Friel, Daryl Hannah, Iman, Kiera Knightley, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Clive Owen, Vanessa Redgrave, Joley Richardson, and Naomi Watts.
Alison Jane was one of the first journalists to champion ethical fashion, beauty and style in her features. She styled Sienna Miller, then on the cusp of stardom, in the little-known fair-trade label PeopleTree, which created huge interest and led to TopShop stocking the brand.
Alison Jane’s current projects are almost exclusively ethical in tone, inspired by her own longstanding green lifestyle, and include ethical muses, fashion, beauty, homeopathy, organic food and farming she has recently launched Ethical Hedonism a luxury magazine with a sustainable heart.
When we got the call to say Alison wanted to sell her wardrobe through BuyMyWardrobe we were thrilled and took the opportunity to tie her down for an exclusive interview.
Q. How would you describe your fashion style?
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s meets sixties kook, circa 1966 – the year Bob Dylan launched Blonde on Blonde. I don’t do casual. I only ever dress up, not down. It is so life enhancing.
Q. You were one of the first journalists to champion ethical fashion back some ten years ago- what inspired you back then?
I have a passion for organic food and farming stretching back to my university days, and incorporating these beliefs into my work as a fashion journalist was just the most natural thing. Most importantly, I wanted to show how glamorous and alluring fashion with ethics could be by interviewing and directing the daughter’s of British rock stars in whimsical, recycled couture. I found the most colourful, waste-recycling centre in East London, and we used it as the location – it made the perfect fashion backdrop.
Q. In the past you have interviewed and styled some pretty big names in fashion and film. What is your first love writing or fashion?
I can’t choose! The two are inseparable parts of me. I knew by the time I was seven that I wanted to write; but I also had this love and appreciation of beauty. I like to write about talent in any shape or form from fashion to national treasures, such as Sir David Attenborough. So, I am very happy doing both. It keeps life interesting.
Q. You have worked for many big publications how have you found the transition to working for yourself?
I love it! But it is tough, scary and involves a steep learning curve. The magazine is tiny at the moment, and I do eat, sleep and think Ethical Hedonist. I have to meditate and do Bikram yoga to switch my brain off. I miss the buzz of being on a large national newspaper, and having a really good editor, as a mentor. On the plus side, I am mentoring the journalists of tomorrow, which is brilliant and rewarding. I also have new friends who are fellow, female entrepreneurs.
Q. What do you think the future holds for the publishing industry?
The move form print to digital publishing has been bloody and painful. Many journalists around the world have lost their jobs on magazines and newspapers, because circulations have plummeted. But I see a renaissance online, these are very exciting times. I want to be at the forefront of a new, more ethical media.
Q. What do you want to achieve with Ethical-Hedonist?
After years of working for media tycoons, the Internet makes it possible for leading journalists to become their own publishers. I want to speak directly to my audience and take them along for the ride, whilst gently inspiring them to become greener, support British brands and artisans around the world, and have a lovely time doing it. I’m on a mission to share my own life and make going local, green and organic very sexy indeed.
Alison Jane Reid
Feature Writer and Founder of Ethical Hedonist
A Luxury Magazine with a Sustainable Heart.