Exclusive: Inside Vogue India with Priyanka Khanna

Oct 12, 2011






This month, I had the greatest honor to interview Priyanka Khanna, Fashion Features Editor at Vogue India. The Editor gives Moments with Meera readers a peek into the fashion world-her role at a leading publication, fashion week, playing with trends, and fashion's affect on life. 

1. As Fashion Features Editor at Vogue, what part do you play in the magazine? What are your roles at Vogue?

Along with our fashion features director, I handle all the fashion writing in the magazine. This includes the how to wear tips on the shops pages, interviews with designers, profiles of fashionable women and trend stories. The entire fashion department brainstorms after attending the fashion weeks in India and internationally, to come up with the stories and trends that we feel are the most important for the season. My job includes everything from researching, writing and fact-checking the story, envisioning the layout, and finding the most appropriate image references. I blog for the magazine, work on the trend reports and new supplements, and help in organizing Fashion’s Night Out. My favourite part of the job is that every day brings something new and that keeps it exciting.

2. How did you break into the fashion and publishing industry?

I always knew I wanted to be in the media industry but I just wasn’t sure which aspect I was most interested in. I started freelance writing while I was still in high school and then did several internships— at a lifestyle website, at public relations agencies and at a newspaper. Post graduation, my first job was in New York, at Hearst Magazines, and I worked in the Public Relations department, which handled the publicity for all the magazines. I moved back home to India, a few years later, and it was at the same time that Conde Nast was launching in India. I guess, you could say, my timing was perfect because a few months later, I was part of the Vogue launch team!

3. In the March 2011 issue of Vogue, you described the Spring/Summer 2011 trends of bright colors, vs. neutral shades. How do you believe we can wear both trends this season?

I think the greatest thing about contemporary fashion is the lack of rules. While, its important, for everyone to have a defined look, now you can play with so many different trends and make it work for you. At the shows last season, we saw, such a strong dichotomy—on one hand you had these dazzling acid tones and on the other  soft, pretty colours. While, you could definitely pick sides, this was one time when it was ok to sit on the fence. You could have your cake and eat it too, in a way! In a/w as well, you will see such contradictory trends, the key is to make them work for you and your look.

4. In the May 2011 issue, you interviewed Bollywood star, Katrina Kaif. In your opinion, how is interviewing celebrities different than writing fashion journalism pieces? What type of writing do you prefer?

With our celebrity profiles, we try to cover a broader range of topics—from their lifestyle to their beauty regime, and not necessarily focus just on fashion. Its always interesting to interview a celebrity because every writer has a different perspective. These are public figures and so much has been written about them, so the challenge is to make the story new and interesting for our readers. I am hard pressed to choose, I love working on stories in different sections of the magazine, but I will say at heart that I am a true fashion girl!

5. You have interviewed many key players in the fashion industry, from Renzo Rosso to Massimiliano Giornetti. Out of all these talks, which one has had a long lasting impression on you? 

I’ve been really lucky to meet some of fashion’s biggest names. I was in Florence, and had a great coffee interview with Massimiliano Giornetti (its actually been the only interview he has done with an Indian publication so far) and it was fascinating to see how he was bringing such a contemporary sensibility to the legacy and traditions of Salvatore Ferragamo. In the last few months actually, I’ve done some of my most exciting pieces, in the September issue (which will be out soon), with a new designer who was the toast of Paris Fashion Week. He was so down-to-earth and I loved his perspective on fashion. In the October issue, is another favourite, with a designer whose focus is the multi-tasking woman. Let’s see if you can guess who they are!
6. This year, you attended your first Paris Fashion Week. What was the experience like? 

You know that scene in The Devil Wears Prada, where Anne Hathaway is driving through Paris, wide-eyed at everything she sees? I have to admit I kind of felt that way. For someone who loves fashion to see these amazing clothes and meet designers you’ve read about for years, is just an exhilarating experience. In this industry, its easy to get jaded, but I don’t think the experience of going to Paris Fashion Week will ever get old for me.

7. In the November 2010 issue, your own wedding was featured. Was it a different experience to write about a personal part of your life? How has your job affected your personal life in this way?

I think as writers we all need to bring your voice and your personal experiences to your work. But yes, it was interesting to write about my wedding for the magazine. I don’t think I would have done it if it wasn’t for Vogue. It is such a personal experience, and I wanted to make sure it was presented in a way that was true to my memories and also that of my husband and my family. The biggest challenge was condensing a year into one page! But, I am glad I did it, it was a great story, and now I have something to show my kids!
In regards to my life and my job, I’m very lucky, in that I love what I do. I’ve always been obsessed with magazines and now I get to live and breathe them, so its pretty cool!

8. Lastly, what is your advice for aspiring fashion journalists?

I think what you are doing is great! When I was younger, we had only the traditional options of being published, but with the proliferation of blogs, there are so many opportunities for writers to really put themselves out there and show their strengths. My suggestion is to just write as much as you can, but to also remember, that you are just a click away for prospective employers so ensure that you really show the best you can do. And that means something as simple, as checking your grammar and spellings! Internships are a another great way to gain experience. I always say that its also way to know what you don’t want to do. So try, and spend your summers trying out different internships.
And lastly, read. I try to keep some time in my day to read everything from books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and even twitter. This is a really fast-paced industry and you should always know what’s going on. Its also a great way for you to improve your writing. 


Thank you so much, Ms. Khanna, for giving readers a peek into the glamourous world of Vogue! 


-M

33 comments

  1. Such a great read! I love finding out different people's insights about the fashion industry and fashion journalism. You were so lucky to get to interview someone from Vogue!
    Thanks for the birthday wishes!! :)

    xx
    Sam
    fashionthroughtravel.blogspot.com

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  2. Beautiful covers so full of vibrant colors xx
    www.rawfashionmagazine.com

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  3. you look so stunning..!
    have a nice day <3

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  4. OOhhh what a great interview, she had great advice as well :)
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

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  5. What an amazing interview and opportunity for you - well done:)
    Have a lovely friday,
    Ax

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  6. what a great interview! you are so lucky to have been able to interview her!

    thanks so much for sharing!

    xoxo
    http://thegreenraybans.blogspot.com

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  7. Wow, I can't believe you scored this amazing interview! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Great job! Thanks for sharing! xoxo, Veena <3

    http://seven-inch-stilettos.blogspot.com

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  8. What a fascinating interview!! Sounds like a dream job!

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  9. Wow, what an amazing interview, and what a fantastic opportunity to interview the fashion features editor at Vogue India!

    Sarah
    xo

    www.almostdelightful.com

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  10. This is such a good interview! Congratulations with scoring it, sweetie. I would love to have her job - it sounds fantastic xoxo

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  11. What a great opportunity Meera! Enjoyed reading the interview.

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

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  12. such an inspiring interview, you're super lucky you got the oppurtunity! loved reading the whole thing

    xx

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  13. what an amazing opportunity and the interview was great to read! thank you for this. love it! x

    - The Gypsy & The Fox

    Win a Dress by JOVEEBA RRP$285: Enter Here

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  14. What a lovely interview! :) I liked her advice for aspiring fashion journalists, definetly agree with writing as much as we can! =) You have a great blog Meera! <3

    xooxo
    http://runawayinla.blogspot.com

    ps. I'm a teenage fashion blogger too! =D

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  15. Congratulations!!!

    I really enjoyed reading this interview! :D


    Wida
    Missing Amsie Blog

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  16. Great interview! How beautiful is she?! I love her genuine answers! BRAVO!

    xx

    Erin @ http://www.trufflesnruffles.com/

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  17. Congratulations on this interview!! Amazing job!!! Ms Khanna is absolutely amazing and so gorgeous. Love this!

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  18. Wow! Congrats on getting an interview with such an amazing, high-profile subject! Great job!

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  19. Thanks for your comments!

    Such a great interview - well done!

    The doll on fashion

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  20. Wow, great interview, you're so lucky to have this chance!
    Take a look at my blog, and if you like it follow me, I’ll be waiting for you!

    Cosa mi metto???

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  21. Hey, I just found your blog! :)
    Great interview!!
    Maybe you'll have time to visit my blog and follow if you like :)
    Kisses,
    Chiara

    Books in my bags

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  22. Hi just stumbled on your blog by chance...I love it!!! You look stunning....def following you!! I love Indian bloggers!!! :)

    www.dashysassy.com

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  23. Wow ...interesting interview, you have a great blog! please check out my blog and follow if you like, I promise to do the same for you! xx
www.lovejoice.blogspot.com

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  24. Following you back, dear! thank you xx Joice

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  25. Awesome interview! Great job girl! :)

    x Justine
    www.thegirlinthecheckscarf.com

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  26. your blog is amazing! visit my blog http://pleasestrikeapose.blogspot.com/, and if you like it follow me, I'll be so grateful!

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  27. meera! congratulations! what a huge honor! I am so excited for you. awesome interview, loved learning about her :)

    xoxo

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  28. holy cow i'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog. totally following. If you get second, I'd love if you'd check out mine. It's all about the adventures of a east coast girl turned LA stylist. thanks, love. xo

    www.fashboulevard.blogspot.com

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  29. Meera, that was an awsome interview. I read it from beginning to end. She gave some really good advice. Great job!

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  30. OMG you had the chance to interview Ms. Khanna? Very impressive and I see Aishwarya Rai on the cover..my all time favorite bollywood star, followed by Priyanka Chopra!

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  31. HEY MEERAAAA.. its taylor:P
    WOAH bro your blog is soo cool, and i dont even know that much about fashion... just wait till next wenesday where we can free dress, ima be alllllll fashioned up ;)
    - love you meera.
    your blog is awesome

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