It was not that long ago when fashion magazines were dazzled by fast fashion’s allure. It was affordable, it was convenient and it offered something that we weren’t used to before, almost instant availability to whatever your heart desired. And that right there developed into a very dangerous love affair, where we as human beings took much more than we gave back. The very idea of excitement blinded us to see the real consequences of this kind of consumption. Millions of tons of waste, countless of polluted rivers and excessive human exploiting later, the environmental damage and the human sacrifice are no longer issues we can ignore. On the contrary, the problem only deepens, as it becomes more and more palpable. But in the chaos of it all stands a new breed of fashion editors who is slowly but surely driving the change for a better tomorrow and one of them is Yin Fung, the 34 year old editorial assistant, working at Elle in the Netherlands and this month’s cool face of Bastet Noir. So we sat down with her to talk more in depth about why as an editorial assistant she feels a great deal of responsibility to support young and emerging sustainable brands and what she wish, she knew when starting her career.
Who is Yin Fung?
In general a happy and positive person! I am not too complicated and I’m very easy going. Love yoga, fashion, design, nature and hanging out with friends and family. Born in the Netherlands with Chinese roots. Oh, I am still very in love with Chris. The kindest and most handsome guy in the world!
What does a morning look like for a busy fashion editorial assistant such as yourself?
From the moment my alarm is ringing I get out of bed (I am not a snoozer at all). Usually I already know what I will wear that day. In my head I can imagine how it looks like. Saves a lot of time. It takes 30 min to brush my teeth, changing clothing and putting a bit of make-up. Meanwhile I listen to the morning news, eating a banana. Then I need to bike to the office which is 35 minutes. Quite far away, but I am used to it. Would love to have an e-bike though.
Tell us a bit more about how your career developed. Where did you start and how did you end up working in Elle, one of the most inclusive and progresive fashion magazines? Are there any milestones you’d say you’re most proud of?
Many years ago I had a fashion internship at Cosmopolitan magazine just for the summer, assisting one of the kindest and talented fashion director in the Netherlands, Astrid Schilders. I worked hard and I really liked it, but I knew that styling wasn’t the thing that I wanted to do. After graduation it was hard to get a job because there was a recession going on. I had to take all the super random jobs that came across like being an administrative worker at the tuberculosis department of the city hall. Not the most fun job, but because of it I am grateful for my current job. During that time I kept in contact with Astrid. It was her who told me about Red Magazine looking for an Editorial Assistant. I applied for it and got the job. After a year and a half, the publisher decided to stop publishing the magazine and moved me to ELLE magazine. The rest is history!
I am very proud to work with talented, smart, strong, unique and bad ass women. Each colleague inspires me and shows there is not one way to do something. To me ELLE — The Netherlands was one of the first magazines that casted cool beautiful models for their personality instead of classic good looking models. I am very proud of this!
Which pain points do you think the fashion industry needs to address so it can evolve and progress with these ever changing times? If given the chance, what would you change in the fashion industry?
There are a lot of things that the fashion industry should change. Among other things: fair paid labour and sustainable solutions. I think nowadays every brand needs to be transparent in how and what they produce. I love to support small and sustainable brands. There is a shift going on, consumers are more aware than 10 years ago and are willing to invest in items that you can pass on to the next generation. If I could change the fashion industry, I would stop producing or produce less clothing. The amount of clothing in the world is insane. Buy more vintage or pre-owned items of items that are truly made with care and love.
Three things you wish you knew before starting your career…
1. It takes time to discover your strengths
2. You don’t have to be friends with everyone in the office
3. Everyone is replaceable (hard lesson, but unfortunately it is true)
Biggest failure in life and what you’ve learnt from it?
Failure is a big word, but my first relationship ended after 9 years. It took some time to discover who I was without him. I came out stronger and wiser, therefore I am grateful for this lesson. By the way, me and my ex are still very close friends, luckily.
Favorite female empowerment speech
What’s in your Bastet Noir cart?
The Maira Dress and The Bareback Velvet Dress. These items are sexy, sophisticated and timeless. The fact that it is made by single women parents and women micro entrepreneurs makes it even more powerful ❤.
Yin Fung, the editorial assistant at Elle in the Netherlands wearing The Maiara Dress
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