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Grace Cook shares the FT’s focus on Fashion with PR’s

Home PR Insights Grace Cook shares the FT’s focus on Fashion with PR’s

In the hot seat:

Grace Cook: Acting Fashion Editor at the Financial Times

Grace’s Focus:

  • Interim Fashion Editor at the FT and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are at the FT.
  • Freelancer for the following titles: Monocle, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and T Magazine. Works 3-4 weeks in advance.
  • Tuesday is her regular day to deliver her Stylist column
  • Covers arts and interiors as well as fashion but does not like trends pieces or shopping pieces
  • Main focus is the angle of which industries are influencing fashion. Think about your brand in a wider context / has to be part of something bigger. Multi brand stories
  • A quick coffee (30 mins) near the office is the preferred meeting method. But limited time
  • Times online: refreshes with new stories at 9am; 12pm and 5pm

The FT:

  • Grace works alongside Carola Long – Deputy Fashion and Beauty Editor and Flora MacDonald – Johnston – Junior Fashion Editor
  • Embargoes and exclusives are very important for the FT
  • Minimum of 4 stories per week and 2 pages in the weekend paper
  • Contributes to Arts of Fashion supplements: 4 per year. 40-page supplement
  • Feature stories should be pinned down and pitched a couple of months in advance
  • For the FT Weekend pages Grace works a week in advance. Deadline is Wednesday
  • Print regarded as more refined, selective and valuable
  • Sustainable element helps but not everything can be sustainable so have other focuses
  • The FT rarely promotes products made in China due to the perception of it being cheap and accessible. Focuses more on UK, Europe and Japan due to renowned quality

Top Tips:

    • Pitch: Ask the question: “Why?” “Why now?”. come straight to the point. Make Grace care so she can make her Editor care.
    • Email not phone. Phone will not be picked up and Grace likes to conduct interview pieces over email or in person. Interviews over email should be answered as they would be in speech
    • Subject line of email should be a headline. Blanket email should be personalised
      •  Doesn’t mind following up
    • Send everything in one go and anticipate what she needs. Photos should be Dropbox or Google Drive as can be viewed on the go
    • A brand should think about brand alignment and positioning
    • Exclusivity on interviews and images very important
    • Likes statistics, percentages and revenue analysis as these help measure growth, performance
    • Not a fan of the Influencer community – will it implode?

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