Interview with Cynthia Lawrence-John, Editor-in-Chief & Fashion Director - Volt Publishing
Cynthia Lawrence-John, Editor-in-Chief & Fashion Director - Volt Magazine
Cynthia Lawrence-John began her styling career as a stylist assistant at Dazed and Confused. She then went on to be Fashion Director at Sleazenation Magazine. Cynthia is currently the co-owner and Fashion Director of the well respected fashion bi-annual Volt Magazine.
Besides styling fashion editorials, Cynthia has worked as a costume designer and stylist with recording artists and bands such as the Ting Tings, Hot Chip, Pink, Brandon Flowers, Kanye West, VV Brown, Lady Gaga, Ladyhawke and Rihanna, to name but a handful.
As well as working for many years in the field of music, Cynthia’s distinctive and assured style has also seen her working with a diversity of clients in both the world of film and sport, ranging from Johnny Depp, Daniel Craig and Ewan McGregor through to David Beckham, Ronaldo and Wesley Sneijder. Advertising clients include Nike, Lee Jeans, Mini Cooper, Adidas, Levi’s, Diesel, Honda, BMW and Tommy Hilfiger.
Cynthia’s trademark is very much about an effortless cool. As she puts it: “I like people to wear the clothes, not the clothes to wear the people”. Cynthia has had her work exhibited as part of a group exhibition on Black British style at the V&A in the UK; as well as having her work exhibited as part of the renowned Beyond Desire exhibition at the Museum of Fashion in Antwerp, Belgium.
What are the main duties of your role?
I commission fashion editorials for both VOLT MAGAZINE and online VOLT café. I also discuss fashion features with the features editor.
What are the best aspects about your current role?
I love the creativity – developing ideas and concepts. I also enjoy discovering and nurturing new talent.
Are there any areas that are particularly challenging?
A certain amount of challenge is a good thing – as It can heighten creativity (just not too many challenges!!)
When employing a graduate what are the attributes you look for?
Somebody who uses their initiative, who is keen to take on any task…no matter how big or small. Most importantly…we are ALL always learning, no matter how old one is or how long one has been in the industry…One can always evolve, that is very important to remember!
Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on?
Know your stuff! Research is not just the internet and tumblr. Read books and visit galleries for inspiration, not just Google!
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Research, research, RESEARCH!!
When were you happiest?
Creating images and scuba diving in the Indian ocean
What is your highest qualification?
What you learn at University and in life is important, not the letters after your name…
What is your most treasured procession?
My creativity and brain
Last exhibition / event that you went to see?
Frieze Art in London
3 words that describe yourself?
Hardworking ,loyal, bossy!
Who would you most like to meet?
How would you save the planet?
I would save the planet by firstly ditching the coalition and labour party ..and handing power over to people who really do care about the planet and the welfare of the common person not just about making money. I would vote for Russell Brand to lead the country!
What inspires you the most?
Passion! Passion! Passion!
Who do you consider to be a real pioneer?
What is your must-have item for next season?
I do not look at or have fashion-must-haves…
What are you wearing today?
Depends on the weather, but will probably be something super practical yet fabulous!!
Person you most admire?
Your favourite book
Precious, by Sapphire
Your favourite film
Your favourite music
Ska and 60’s RNB
Your favourite location
Your favourite label
Your favourite style icon
Grace Coddington, Catherine Baba, Grace Jones
Your favourite artist