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Kitri Spotlight: Hannah Almassi

#KITRIspotlight
Meet our creative, intelligent and simply brilliant friends who inspire KITRI in every single way.

 

This month's #KITRIspotlight is Hannah Almassi, #KITRIgirl and Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK, the leading online platform for all things style, fashion and beauty. An incredibly talented journalist, Hannah started her career at Grazia, before joining Who What Wear to launch it in the UK. We sat down with her to talk about the importance of being patient in your career, getting ahead in the fashion industry, and about her number one inspiration: her cat, Folly!

We'd love to know more about your career path so far…
Just over three years ago I was hired to launch Who What Wear in the UK. It was a huge project for me to jump into this alone as the first team member, and an entirely different prospect from working on a print magazine. I had been at Grazia on fashion news and features for a good seven or so years (and loved it), but I was starting to develop a real urge to go fully digital and move forward with where the industry was headed. This role gave me a fantastic opportunity to not only have the chance to establish one of the most exciting fashion and beauty publishers in the digital realm on my home turf, but I was able to do this alongside, and with the support of, a gigantic and phenomenally successful American mothership. What has been achieved by our co-founders, Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr, never ceases to astound me. In addition, what I have learnt in such a short space of time feels completely invaluable. The team is so talented and a joy to work with, and I think our enthusiasm for what we’re doing really shines through.

How did you get 'in' to the fashion industry?
Before I was officially 'in' the industry I studied fashion design at Nottingham Trent University, discovering halfway through my course that I couldn’t think of anything worse than pattern-cutting another garment and sewing through yet another finger at 3 am… so I shaped my degree to be angled towards writing and styling, and threw myself into the world of magazines. After a few internships at wildly different publications (some successful experiences, some terrible) I was called back to Grazia to take up a six-month assistant role, and the rest is history.

 
 Have you always wanted to work in fashion?
Aside from a teeny tiny blip around the era when Time Team was super-popular on TV and I fancied being an archaeologist, it’s always been fashion for me. My first word was “shoes” and I spent a great deal of my youth cutting out fashion imagery to create my own shopping catalogues, pretending to own a shop and dressing up in my mum’s best 1980s cast-offs.

You’ve had an impressive career so far! What are your top tips for women looking to progress in their careers in journalism or the creative industries?
Thank you. It’s very hard to look at one’s path objectively and appreciate where you started and what you’ve achieved—as a classic Sagittarius there’s always SO much more to do, and so little time! I would say my tips would likely apply to any industry.

1) Work really hard and go above and beyond to be helpful, gracious, friendly and useful—to the point where you make yourself entirely indispensable. It’s important to walk the line between being alert and putting yourself forward for opportunities and not coming across as pushy or overly confident, so always approach these moments from a place of genuinely wanting to assist rather than wanting to make yourself the top dog within a fortnight!
2) Be patient. I can remember wanting to run before I could walk in my first journalistic role. There’s a reason why women decades older than you are the directors at magazines—it takes a long, long time to hone your craft, make industry connections and be respected for what you do.
3) Build genuine relationships with people you like. In all businesses there are the good eggs and the bad ones. I’d encourage you to meet people as often as you can, and for anyone you feel an affinity for, keep the friendship and support up. Your peers will grow with you, and it’s a good feeling to have industry contacts you can rely on and collaborate with.
4) Be yourself. Fashion can be fickle and today’s hot thing is tomorrow’s old news, so the best thing you can always do is stay true to who you are. Don’t worry about wearing the latest brands or looking like the coolest new influencer… just be great at your job, tap into your talents and be kind to others. Fashion is supposed to make people feel excited and good about themselves, and it’s my primary objective at Who What Wear UK to ensure we foster that kind of positive messaging with our content, our community and within our office.



What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
That it will take 15 years to really carve out your career, and to not worry about rushing it—you’ll be far better at your job after this stretch of time. I’m now 11 years in, so looking forward to seeing what’s next…

Who inspires you? 
My cat, Folly! She’s living her best life every damn day. I often think I was born to be one of two things: a total workaholic or a completely pampered, lazy diva, like a cat. I don’t really know how to find a middle ground.

What does your typical day look like? 
The role here at Who What Wear UK is so faceted, it can be anything from being on a shoot in the home of a British style star through to a day packed full with strategy meetings. In every instance, I have to combine both the creative parts of my mind with the analytical, and switch between entirely different skillsets depending on the demands of my day.




How would you describe your style?
Deep down I’m a lover of anything ‘70s—I just hate it when that decade becomes popular, as it turns my favourite items into pieces that feel like costume or they can edge over the tipping point into being totally naff. In addition, I like to be relatively covered up, I oscillate between being quite out-there and then quite minimal, and I don’t really “do” casual.

We love to see you wear KITRI! Why did you choose these pieces?
I always appreciate clothes that make an impact without you having to try too hard with complex styling. Kitri’s dresses always do the trick by being flattering and easy to throw on, but always rendered in a mad colour or distinctive print. And when I’m not in a midi dress I’ll be found in one of many trouser suits—they’re my favourite thing to wear to work—so this pink style was a no brainer.
What’s your party trick?
Less of a trick, more of a total annoyance—I LOVE karaoke.

Finally, what’s next!
A holiday! I’ll be revisiting where I got married in Spain. It’s a magical place in the Costa De La Luz, and I can’t wait to have a digital detox alongside a jamòn and cava retox…

 


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