Changing the status-quo of an industry whose foundations are laid upon superficiality is a daunting task. It wasn’t that long ago when fashion celebrated a very narrow view of beauty where women with plump lips, doe eyes, 5'11" tall, slim, preferably hourglass figure and almost always white were the golden standard. But this golden standard has began to slowly lose its luster in recent years, thanks to those rare individuals who simply cannot ignore the fact that there’s a deeply flawed system in place that needs a desperate change. As more and more fashion editors started to promote acceptance, diversity and inclusivity weaving them in a story that was once filled with so much prejudice, the industry has slowly but surely started to reshape. One of those editors spearheading the winds of change is Kerry Pieri,the digital fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, former Editorial Director of StyleCaster.com and a producer at Full Frontal Fashion. Her ability to create appealing content around sensitive topics most of editors either tiptoe around or avoid altogether is unparalleled. By constantly introducing new sustainable labels to the platform and campaigning for diversity and inclusivity, Kerry represents the new wave of fashion editors who one day, hopefully not so far away from now, will become the norm. She sat down with our team, for the latest edition of Cool Faces of Bastet Noir, to talk more about what the fashion industry is lacking, what she’s doing at Harper’s Bazaar to change the fashion landscape to be more acceptable of diversityand tips and tricks on achieving that work-life balance as a wife and a mother of a two year old.
Who is Kerry Pieri?
Kerry Pieri, digital fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar wearing the Ali Dress by Bastet Noir
I have a lot of terms that can describe my identity: wife, mom, fashion editor, artist, writer, daughter, sister — but I think to actually try to say who you are at your core has nothing to do with those things. It’s indescribable in a beautiful way, for all of us.
Every morning, at our office we drool over your Instagram account. To be honest, it’s become like our daily morning routine for our small team. Every outfit you post is so minimal, but so powerful. This little ritual has kind of become our little morning routine. What’s your morning routine like?
That’s so sweet, thank you! I’m not going to lie my morning routine is really cute. I wake up when my daughter Lila wakes up around 07:30, my husband makes me a cappuccino, Lila and I do some yoga stretches together, she hangs out with me while I get ready, we all sit and have a quick breakfast and then I head out to the office or appointments.
Best and worst part about your job.
Best part is melding creativity with science — I love the data that digital provides, but being able to take that and make something beautiful, cool and engaging is so interesting to me. The worst part as a working mom is finding that balance between being with my baby and being at work.
Talking about your impressive career, curious to know what was your first job ever and how did you end up in Harper’s Bazaar? Are there any milestones you’d say you’re most proud of?
My very first job in New York was as an assistant at Chopard jewelry. I came to BAZAAR through a very winding path, including working in broadcast and then PR, freelance writing and a fashion website start-up. I think the most exciting things have been watching BAZAAR.com grow so much in terms of traffic and the extraordinary team we’ve built. I am so inspired by this team every day.
What would you say are the three things you wish you knew before starting out?
It’s so hard, but just not to worry, it’s such a waste of energy. To follow my instincts, and to leave when I know something isn’t serving me anymore.
Biggest failure in life and what you’ve learnt from it?
I had a position in a company that didn’t align with worldview so it was very difficult to be there every day. I finally just left and it wasn’t easy, but I should have done it sooner!
As a super busy working mom, how hard is it to achieve that work-life balance? Do you have some self-care practices that help you with that or are you still figuring out?
I’m still figuring this out. I really love Pilates, and I almost never go anymore. I read that Michelle Obama woke up at 4 to work out when her daughters were young, and I’m just not made like that, unfortunately. I do still make sure I read before I go to bed, and we take a lot of family walks, so my self care might not be what I thought it would look like, but I’m finding it.
Favorite female empowerment speech or favorite podcast you can’t live without?
Brené Brown really nails it in her Ted Talk. I love her.
Are there any social causes you support and believe are important for the future of the fashion industry?
Diversity in fashion is severely lacking. We need women of color and their voices represented in every facet of the industry, on our pages, on the runway, and on our site. I don’t want my daughter to look at a magazine and see a narrow view of beauty.
As a digital fashion director, what are you doing at Harper’s Bazaar to change the fashion landscape to be more acceptable of women of color?
These are systemic issues. As a team we aim to be inclusive in all of our stories, to represent all different women. We want women who read our site to see themselves. We also provide a platform for women to share different perspectives. We aim to champion brands with responsible practices and not feature those who do not. Hopefully, these things will add up to change.
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