If you don’t already suffer a chronic girl crush, style crush and crippling Instagram addiction to Pandora Sykes, you will do after reading this interview.
Before her role as Fashion and Features Editor and Wardrobe Mistress at The Sunday Times Style, Sykes was previously Fashion Editor at The Debrief and still continues her Jekyll and Hyde gig as a blogger/writer/stylist…by night.
The 28-year-old darling of Instagram is as sharp as her eclectic dress sense, expressing an intolerance for those who fail to keep their fingers on that relentless media pulse… ‘you should always know what is going on, whether it’s in print or digital media’. And yet, her writing and captions are laced with wit and a self-deprecation often lost on the fashion industry. Meet Pandora… then add her on Instagram, marvel at her frocks and generally look on her works, ye Mighty, and despair…
1) Briefly summarise your role at Style
I am the Fashion Features Editor and Wardrobe Mistress, so I have a two page weekly column answering questions, helping readers understand trends and contemporary fashion with my looks and then writing features – fashion, lifestyle, social media, commentary… We are a small team, so it’s flexible.
2) What made your realise you wanted to work in fashion?
I never had a ‘moment’ where I realised, I just loved journalism and the roles that were offered to me gradually became more and more fashion focused. I loved fashion, so it just clicked at some point.
3) Describe the moment you decided to start your own website, what inspired it and what were your objectives with the site?
I genuinely just started it as an online portfolio for people hiring me for work experience so they could see my writing. I’m not sure anyone ever looked at it! It was very basic, with no fashion. I re-launched it 3 years ago and now alternate social commentary with outfit posts. The objectives have obviously changed, now; I run it as an arm to my business.
4) What is your morning routine for news/fashion updates?
Rapid-fire reading blogs, websites, Twitter and newspapers.
5) How would you describe your style?
Eclectic but specific (to me).
6) Three favourite pieces in your wardrobe
Ancient Topshop ripped jeans, a Gucci LBD and a vintage suede coat.
7) Favourite designers
Currently: Alessandro Michele, Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier, Phoebe Philo.
8) What are your usual working hours and how do you manage to find the time for writing for your website?
Roughly 9-7pm and I often write my website on weekends and in evenings.
9) What do you do for downtime?
Very basic bitch stuff. Watch Netflix, go to the pub with friends, drink lavender lattes in Farm Girl café, shop online, have a bath…
10) Favourite pubs/restaurant/bars in London?
Eight Over Eight, The Shed, Maggie Jones, Ffionas, Gymkhana, any Soho House because it’s my safe place, Golbourne Deli, Farm Girl Café, Granger & Co, The Windsor Castle — these are basically all around where I live, because I am lazy.
11) Describe one or two pinching moments during your career? ‘How did I get here …’
I actually haven’t had that yet. Everything sort of re-adjusts when you reach a certain goal post and you unfurl new ambitions. That said, getting my job at Style was a high point.
12) What advice would you give to those looking to climb the greasy pole of journalism in this era? Especially for magazines?
God, I am so not the expert – I think a lot of it is right time, right place. It’s very hit or miss and I basically interned for 2 years so it’s a slog, a serious slog. I think, write write write. Wherever I was interning or working, I was always freelancing too — always pitching, always blogging, always reading every single paper and magazine. I have short shrift with journalists who don’t read a lot; you should always know what is going on, whether it’s in print or digital media.
13) Style icons?
Leandra Medine, Jeanne Damas, Pernille Tesibaek, Alexa Chung and Bella Hadid looks banging right now.
14) Any secret shopping tips you can share?
Always head to the vintage section.
15) Best online hunting ground?
16) What are you reading at the moment? Why?
Kids, by Patti Smith. Because I never read it.
17) How long does it take you to get dressed and ready in the morning? Do you chose your outfit the night before?
Half an hour if I am not washing my hair, an hour if I am. Sometimes I choose what I am wearing the night before, but not as much as I used to. I did it every night when I was little. I think I got it from my mum!
18) Next buy/what are you currently drooling over?
A blazer by new blazer brand Blaze, a gold ring by Magdalena Frackowiak and a black lace Alexis Mark blouse.
19) Favourite people to follow on Instagram?
20) A new brand that has caught your attention?
New brands I currently love are Macgraw, Saks Potts, Racil
21) Who for US President? And why?
Anyone but Trump.