Christopher Turner is a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. His writing has appeared everywhere from Fashion Television to Disney, but he’s best known for covering the red carpet and staying on top of style for Canada’s most read fashion and beauty website, Fashionism.ca. Christopher covers fashion headlines, trends, shopping, maintains the daily Fashionist blog and shares celeb-watching duties at the popular column Style Winners and Losers.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Not really. I actually started out with ambitions of becoming the next Atom Egoyan. As a university student I majored in Film Studies and English Literature. My entry into fashion was when I was scouted by a model agent and soon found myself bouncing around working in NYC, Milan and Athens. When I finally made my way back to Canada, I had no idea what I wanted to do next. One thing led to another and I ended up as an intern on the then-brand new websites for Toronto Life and Fashion Magazine. Half way through my internship I was hired on, and the rest is history.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’ve made a lot of changes in the last couple of years to get to where I am now and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with how things are going. Five years from now? All I can say is that I believe in challenging yourself.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Be nice. Seriously. Once you’ve got that down, ask questions, listen to the answers and write everyday.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I check in daily with New York magazine, Gawker and Styleite.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Jann Arden. She was gracious, funny and oh so sweet. You always worry when you meet someone you admire, but she truly exceeded any expectations. Adrianna Lima might be a close second… because apparently flattery will get you everywhere with me. I still have that interview on tape and give it a listen when I need a quick smirk.
Perez Hilton. No further comment.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Take care of yourself and the person sitting next to you.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
I’m a big believer in email etiquette, even on those days when things are rushed. You can say hello. I can’t stand greeting-less emails and I’ve deleted my fair share. I’ve also gone way out of my way to help PR pros that put that simple effort in. Most importantly? Figure out who I am and what type of content I write. It’s amazing the number of pitches I receive in a day that have absolutely nothing to do with anything that I would ever write about.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
The little things mean so much to me. Nothing beats a handwritten thank you note.
Mean people, drivers who don’t signal when changing lanes, potatoes and when TV shows run late and my PVR cuts that last minute off.
Shoes, spaghetti and meatballs, gingham, bad television, music that makes me sing, movies that make me cry, poetry that makes me think. And my niece and nephew, of course.
Always. I’m currently on a biography kick.
Best place on earth?
The Duomo in Milan. It’s the most impressive building I’ve ever seen. When I lived there I made a point of stopping by the cathedral square every single day just to look and daydream. No excuses… every single day. I remember times when it would be close to midnight and I was just finishing work and desperate to go home. Still, I always ended up taking the long way home just to stand there for a few seconds. It was grounding and inspiring all at once. I need to go back.
How about an insane dinner party that includes: Karl Lagerfeld (Baptiste Giabiconi would be with him of course), Madonna, Shakespeare, Oprah, Baz Luhrmann, Isabella Blow, and Karen Carpenter.
The news is filled with heroes. Anyone standing up for what they believe in despite the obstacles.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Truthfully, BBM is probably the only thing that keeps me from ditching my Blackberry these days.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean. Nothing beats the sand and the sound of the ocean.
Voicemail or email?