#WhatDrivesYou: FASHION Magazine's Executive Editor Jacquelyn Francis
August 2, 2015
The Faulhaber Communications team spent a little time in Paris this summer with the fabulous Jacquelyn Francis, Executive Editor at FASHION Magazine. In between our Chablis and gruyère we got the scoop on JF's impressive career, travel musts and passions in life.
What is the most challenging element about your role? What’s most rewarding?
I started out as a writer but I'm more long-term and issue driven now. It’s a behind-the-scenes spot that can be stressful because I’m juggling people, personalities, priorities. I wish I could devote time to one thing but it’s hard when there are two dozen other elements in the mix. The upside to this stress is the adrenaline rush when the magazine comes together, especially one as beautiful as FASHION is.
Can you share your most memorable career moments?
Always such a hard question.
- my very first day as a copy girl in the Ottawa Sun newsroom was when the Ottawa Senators hockey club returned to the NHL after a 50+ year absence The newsroom was so busy—I didn't even have a desk to sit at. It blew my mind. When I went back the next week, the place was completely dead. Crickets! Event journalism is not the norm but what a way to start out.
- the dot-com crash of 2000...shudder.
- attending the AMFAR Gala outside Cannes, France in 2013 for FASHION.
- I wrote for a foreigner magazine when I lived in Japan in my 20s and would be at parties (it was a small community) where people quoted articles I'd written as if it were dogma. It was funny to see how powerful words could be.
Where do you look for inspiration? At work and in life?
Everywhere, naturally, but I think inspiration flows from restoration. So use art, music and the outdoors to recharge. The McMichael Art Gallery in Kleinberg has an incredible collection, not least of which is its surrounding grounds. We’re really into vinyl so the turntable at my house is constantly spinning, though I hate that you have to flip newer records so often? I grew up, and still live, near Toronto’s Humber River—Etienne Brule Park is where I touch the ground. I don't travel like I used to because my kids are bananas, so road trips and decadent overnighters in town are more our jam. At work? My colleagues inspire me with their smarts, hearts, work ethic, and great taste. They teach me so much.
What is your definition of success?
Success changes with each life stage. These days, I feel it around 10 p.m. My boys are asleep and I can hear my husband noodling on one of his guitars from the basement. I'm usually in my room on Pinterest or Netflix. Success.
Dream dinner date with anyone, from past or present and why?
Truth? My father. He passed away in 2013. He was a huge part of my life and there was so much more to say.
What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you first started your career in journalism?
I would not have listened to anyone. I was young! Perhaps it would have been nice to have another reporter/editor of color around to reduce the ‘otherness’ I felt at that time but couldn’t articulate.
What are you passionate about?
Toronto, diversity of all kinds, my family
What is your staple fashion item right now?
Black diamond earrings that my husband gave me for my birthday. I also broke a toe in May, so I’m thankful I can wear Nike, Stan Smith or Brooks runners and still look half decent.
Motto to live by:
Live and let live.
When traveling what are the essentials in your suitcase? (Feel free to include not so obvious packing essentials).
Eyeglasses, contacts+solution, all my unmentionables and a swimsuit (I like to swim) in a mesh laundry bag for easy access, Nike runners/dress flats, a jumpsuit and sleepshirt. I bring a small jewellery case for one pair of studs, hoops and a bracelet. I love makeup but I’m not the best at applying so I prefer dual-purpose products for lips and cheeks. If with kids: markers and blank notebooks are a lifesaver. I always forget my hairbrush so elastics stashed in secret compartments are essential.
Jacquelyn Francis and FAULHABER's Lindsay Singer in Paris.