9 questions to Lauren Caruso
I might say black is my favourite colour, but my closet would strongly disagree. From the mustard to the pale pink to the red to the peach to the blue, I seem to wear colourful pieces almost every day. When it comes to wearing anything else, it almost feels like I'm out of practice and need some guidance now, which is why whenever I feel like wearing neutral colours / designing pieces in neutral colours / want some inspiration and can't find enough on Pinterest on neutral colours, I end up on Lauren Caruso's instagram. She is the queen of wearing black and white and still making the outfit look more exciting than the most maximalist colour / pattern / anklet that's actually your grandmother's scarf combo. She has a way of making minimalism the opposite of boring, and stays away from simple while not making her style complicated. She also has an amazing job at the Zoe Report (which relaunches today!) so I thought she would definitely have some advice we could all learn from.
1. Can you describe your job to us? What exactly does a managing editor do?
Hi! Sure, I'm the Managing Editor at The Zoe Report, which was recently acquired by Bustle Digital Media. I've spent the last four months restaffing the team here in NYC and working on the rebrand/relaunch — which is happening on 9/4! — at which point I'll step back to oversee the day-to-day content needs. That can mean everything from working with our editors on ideating for major tentpoles and initiatives, as well as digging into a reported feature to be sure it's optimized and angled in the TZR voice. I also spent quite a bit of time going to market appointments across the fashion and beauty space.
2. What did you study? What were the different steps that led you to your current job?
I studied journalism after dropping my pre-med major, and interned at Good Housekeeping magazine, a now-defunct newspaper, and StyleCaster, a fashion site for women that's now owned by SheKnows.
3. What are the pros and cons of your job?
My job is incredibly rewarding in that I get to work with some of the smartest and most talented people in the industry, but it's often very stressful because my days are jam-packed. My job entails everything from emailing my editors, approving stories, grabbing dinner with PR friends, finding new brands, and consulting on the side, so it starts when I wake up in the morning and ends when I close my eyes — but I wouldn't have it any other way.
4. What advice would you give you someone who wants to have a similar career to yours?
Work hard and be nice to people. Laziness and an ego will get you nowhere. Lift up those around you and do your damndest to find a seat at the table for those who weren't handed it, especially women of color and LGBTQ+ folk.
5. How do you think living in New York influences your style?
My style is both minimalist and monochromatic, and I don't necessarily know if that would be true if I grew up in a place like, say, Los Angeles or Chicago.
6. Do you consider your Instagram to be another full time job?
Yes and no — I definitely spent at least a couple hours a day on it, and I truly love that I can partner with other amazing brands to help tell their story, but it never, ever feels like work. It's more so a creative outlet that happens to help pay my bills, and I like to keep it that way.
7. How important is sustainability in fashion to you? Does it influence the way you shop?
Definitely! I used to be less picky about the places that I shopped, or about the people that have made my clothes, but now that we know better, it's so important to do better. Though I still succumb to a fast-fashion purchase every now and again, I try to make 80% of my new purchases vintage, and the other 20% something I know I can wear for a long time. I also host closet sales with my best friend in which all proceeds go to charity. That way, we get rid of things we're not wearing anymore, give it an entirely new life to people who want it, all while helping out a charity that's near and dear.
8. Name your favourite place, favourite style icon and favourite wardrobe staple.
My favorite place is my neighborhood, the Lower East Side. My go-to style icon changes all the time, but for the past few months, any time I'm feeling creatively stale, I look to my friend Anaa Saber of @oursecondskin. Her style is so personal and I love the way she can make any trend look timeless. My favorite wardrobe staple right now is a vintage blazer with shoulder pads from Shop The Break. I think I've worn it at least twice a week for an entire year.
9. And finally what is your favourite piece from the Gold summer collection?
I'd wear that white St. Tropez suit all day every day!