Jo Glynn-Smith is capable of answering all of our prayers with her knowledge of fashion, access to luxury brands and understanding that how we dress can impact how we feel. As the Commercial Director of Harper’s Bazaar, she is one heeled step ahead of the trends, so it is not surprising she is often found inspiring and educating women on how to edit their wardrobe to achieve a modern look. Whether she is presenting style videos for Harper’s Bazaar or talking to a group of business women about style, Jo is always chic, polished and exuding confidence. Here we get the inside scoop from Jo on the importance jeans in your armoury and why magazines are a must-buy each month.
DONNA IDA: Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I am British, but I grew up all over the place as my father was in the military.
DONNA IDA: How did you get started in the fashion world?
My grandmother was a designer and had one of the very first boutiques on South Molton Street selling evening dresses and leather accessories. I always wanted to follow in her footsteps and did a fashion design degree at Westminster University, Christopher Bailey was in the year above me (didn’t he do well!) By the time I left I knew I didn’t want to be a designer but I did want to be in the industry, so I started working in a shop and worked my way up.
DONNA IDA: You are Commercial Director at Harper’s Bazaar, one of the UKs leading magazines, how important do you think magazines are in helping women translate fashion pieces into their wardrobe?
Magazines are experts at editing the trends and showcasing wearable, desirable looks suitable to their particular consumers. A magazine should be like a personal stylist, cutting through the noise and delivering the best advice from beauty to fashion and accessories.
DONNA IDA: What are the wardrobe essentials every woman should own?
I don’t feel that comfortable in dresses, so I would say a blazer, a great coat, a tux, a range of shirts from silk to crisp cotton and trousers in many styles. I am currently into cropped, wide legged trousers.
DONNA IDA: What are your tips for dressing to impress?
Confidence is key, so focus on grooming (hair, nails, eyebrows) and then try to find clothing that not only makes you feel good, but that allows you to move easily and be yourself.
DONNA IDA: Do you prefer to constantly edit your wardrobe or are you a fan of storing vintage pieces?
I am always editing as I don’t like to be overwhelmed when I open my wardrobe in the morning! I don’t believe in keeping things if I haven’t worn them for ages.
DONNA IDA: Why do you think jeans are such an iconic item?
Jeans are versatile, hard-wearing and comfortable, I couldn’t live without them.
DONNA IDA: Which are your favourite jeans from our shoot and how do you wear your jeans?
The wide leg jean has always been my favourite; wear as long as possible, with a heel and a cropped jacket for a long leg line.
DONNA IDA: Who is your denim icon?
Katherine Hepburn’s style has always inspired me (I’m a trouser girl); she was one of the first women to adopt a masculine style of dressing, but still managed to make it look feminine and sexy. She was wearing wide legged denim jeans in the 30’s, apparently she had to have them specially made for her.
DONNA IDA: Where in the world are girls best dressed? What kind of style do you admire?
London, obvs. London is made up of lots of villages and the styles vary as you move from one to another – an east end girl dresses very differently to a west end girl and I love that. I admire any look that allows a woman to be herself, clothes should give you confidence.
DONNA IDA: Describe your style highs and lows?
Not sure about the highs, although I am far more comfortable with my sense of dress now that I am a little older than I was in my twenties when everything seemed like an experiment!
Lows – there are many, but most notably my art college grunge look in the 90’s…Kurt Cobain had a lot to answer for!
DONNA IDA: What’s your favourite restaurant?
La Colombe d’Or, Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
DONNA IDA: Where’s your ultimate holiday destination?
Cornwall with my children
DONNA IDA: What advice would you give to a younger you?
Belly button piercing is a bad idea!
DONNA IDA: What’s next?
Life, love and more laughter.
Photography: Jonathan Glynn-Smith