Lorraine Candy was appointed the newly created position of Luxury Content Director of the Sunday Times and editor-in-chief of Style in 2016. Prior to this, Candy spent 12 years with Elle UK where she was awarded BSME women’s monthly Editor of the Year award, in 2009 and 2010. Before working in luxury publishing, Candy spent her earlier career in Newspapers, taking her first job at 16 for her local newspaper, The Cornish Times. She would go on to be a features writer at the Daily Mirror, columnist for the Daily Mail, The Sun’s women’s editor and features editor at The Times, where she was also appointed deputy editor of the paper’s Saturday Magazine, and oversaw the supplement’s re launch. As this month’s Women of Influence, Candy will be taking part in a panel discussion at Chiltern Fire House on ‘The Future of Fashion Editorial’ with Fashion Director-at-large of Glamour, Alexandra Fullerton; Content Director of Refinery29, Gillian Orr and Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Justine Picardie. Keep reading to learn more about Candy’s advice on starting out in your career as a young female, how she keeps fit (open water swimming is involved!) and what she does to switch off from work.
You have spent most of your career working in the publishing industry, both for Newspapers and magazines. What would you say is the biggest change for the industry since the increase in online content?
I love change and the possibilities new mediums present. I have worked in the very visual part of the publishing industry, telling stories with the world's biggest and best photographers, working with artists and designers to define their visual voice in print and now online. I love the video or moving story element of online content, the way you can tell a story with a small, short powerful film. I love the way we can reach people in an instant, have features read within minutes of them being written, harness social media to make a beautiful image reach so many people. I enjoy being able to enable the discovery of artists, poets, writers via social media and online content. It is an inspiring world to curate and edit. At the end of the day we are still just telling and indeed selling stories to the curious be they visual or written.
What are the biggest differences between working with Newspapers and Luxury publications?
Running a glossy monthly is big business - you edit and apply your creative vision but you also have a spreadsheet of numbers to deliver especially in the luxury sector and you work as creatively across the commercial side of your magazine as you do the print side of it but in a newspaper news trumps everything, what is happening here and now is of vital importance for the reader. The speed of that is exhilarating. We spend hours on a picture in luxury magazines but often with a newspaper we have to work faster. The Sunday Times Style weekly reaches almost 2 million people every week, we have the wealthiest audience I have ever worked with so we need to be mindful of their needs. I spend a lot of time allowing people to find joy in fashion and beauty, or supporting their love of clothes and the image of themselves they want to present. I think for me the best bit about The Sunday Times is everyone reads it, literally everyone you know. That cannot be said of monthly magazines who have a very small, niche audience today.
Can you tell me more about your role as Luxury Content Director at The Sunday Times style and what it consists of on a day to day basis?
I am editor-in-chief of Style as well as Luxury Content Director, so I edit the magazine each week and decide what goes in and what doesn't, which contributors we work with in photography, art, literature etc. I also manage a sizeable budget and sit in news conference twice a week to contribute ideas across the paper. And obviously I attend the bi-annual fashion shows on behalf of Style and The Sunday Times. I also look after all our online content both editorial and commercial. Since I joined I have launched a new channel Style Play which hosts luxury video and also implemented a new 7-days of Style digital strategy to deliver content during the week and not just Sundays. My role is both print and digital, I also contribute to the team that looks at what we do as a paper with lifestyle content much of which is produced on a Sunday. It's a wide ranging role and doesn't really exist anywhere else in publishing. I host events too like the launch of our annual Women in Art issue last year and I write a family column in The Sunday Times colour magazine. I am also the face of Style so I do all the TV and radio interviews.
What is the most important piece of advice you have received with regards to your career?
Just do it. Think big or stay at home is my motto. Aim high and ask the most interesting questions. People often say yes to big ideas. I have learnt as much from the younger members of my teams as I have from the more seasoned and experienced members. I make each day count (otherwise I would be at home with my amazing children) and I try not to sweat the small stuff. Also I am well aware not everyone will like me and I am comfortable with that, I have seen so many women fret about being liked all the time it stops them thriving. It's statistically impossible so just be kind and get on with your job. And I believe I have created teams both in magazines (as editor at ELLE and Cosmopolitan) and newspapers (The Times and Sunday Times) who support each other - I try to make sure there is no status orientated activity, so I don't have an office, I have always sat with my team, everyone's voice is heard but be prepared for honest feedback. I encourage young women to find mentors and cheerleaders in the workplace and to remember the best way to be a success is to have the facts to hand and evidence of what you are trying to prove or have proved. Know your stuff and remain curious. I was once told the best question to ask is “could it be done a different way?” That always sparks a creative thinking.
What would be your word of advice to a young female starting out in their career?
Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and just do your best, work hard, be polite and efficient and make yourself known. Define why you are the best person for a role and never say ‘it would mean so much to me’, it is meaningless!
You have a strong online presence – how do you switch off?
I do switch off because it is healthy to not always be on. We have phones down time at home as a family around 9pm most evenings and eat together as often as we can. I also keep really fit so that I can sleep properly. I am an open water swimmer because I love the people of this sport, they are so accepting and never worry about times and speed! I swim in a lido until it drops to 4 degrees and I swim a lot in the sea in Cornwall where I am from. I have just taken up yoga and I see a personal trainer. I am a fit 50 year old! I have breaks from my phone every few weeks too but I work on a newspaper so it is in the job to be connected to what is happening in the news - everything is news!
If you could invite 4 artists to dinner (dead or alive), who would they be?
I recently discovered the 45 year old artist Monster Chetwynd and find her work absolutely fascinating, I think she would be fun to have to dinner, I have a giant girl crush on Patti Smith and would include her because her work spans so many mediums not just music. She really saved my bacon as a moody teen, her story is so inspiring and I learnt a lot about poetry from her. But if Patti came we'd have to have Robert Mapplethorpe too. And because my heart belongs to Cornwall I would need Patrick Heron in the room.
I was reading your article on helping teenagers through divorce and the interview with family lawyer Emma Hatley – can you talk me through your process for the articles you produce?
I write a weekly parenting and family column and simply tackle issues common to our readers worries. Sunday is a family day so I talk to an audience of both teenagers and parents.
How do you balance your career and being a mother of 4?
My children, three girls and a boy are aged seven, 12, 15, 16. Really this question should stop being asked, a man never gets asked this. I have a husband who works who does the equal share of parenting and also good paid for childcare.
Why would you recommend Marguerite to women working in the Arts?
I think any network that promotes women is useful and a good step towards equality in the arts as in any world. While I am not generally a fan of women only spaces the world needs to change and any step in the right direction is to be welcomed. I think women pushing women forward and often giving them the skills to ask for what they want is to be admired and encouraged. Many women don't talk about their achievements enough and the culture of our society doesn't encourage this so we should practise this among ourselves and then take it into the wider world.
Do you have a favourite art gallery/institution/organisation in London?
I am on the membership council at the Tate so I have the great joy of making it into one of the Tate’s at least once a month which fills me with happiness. I am not an expert on art by any means but I love being able to take my children and to talk about how women of the art world have created some of the biggest and best pieces of art in the world. Seeing two women right at the top of Tate has been such an inspiring moment for me, both of whom are ever mindful of the gaze through which art is presented. Times are changing.
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