Her Instagram bio (@marissaexplains) says…‘coca-cola in my veins. Disney in my heart’. We were lucky enough to spend some time with NYLON’s Fashion Market Editor, Marissa Smith on a recent press trip to New York. We headed to the Lower East Side’s Café Henrie for breakfast, before getting a tour of NYLON HQ and seeing that iconic pink neon sign in person.
Marissa gives us the lowdown on the life of a NYLON Fashion Editor, some expert advice for those wanting to break into the industry…and we discuss our next collaboration collection…
What are your favourite NYC spots and why?
Ruby's (in SoHo), because it has this amazing Shrimp Pasta, I could literally eat there every day. Kith Women - a sneaker store just for women? Yes please. Washington Square Park, because it’s the best place to people watch, and then The Meatball Shop for comfort food at it's finest.
What do you love most about New York?
I love that NYC is so diverse; you can literally go two blocks and feel like you're in a different state. There's always something changing, or happening that keeps you excited here.
What’s a typical day like at NYLON?
Well, there isn't really a typical day…everyday is completely different depending on what we’re working on. Normally, if we are working on an issue I'll start my day off at appointments from between 9-12PM, seeing new collections and taking photos of the pieces to file onto my computer. When I get in, I'm usually requesting samples for upcoming shoots and making sure everything is going smoothly with the fashion closet. I also work on the digital team so I'll also be working on small market stories for later that week. I’ll usually end the day on more appointments before I head home.
How is NYLON different to other magazines you’ve worked at?
NYLON is it's own brand. We work hard to make sure that our print, digital and events all run smoothly and stay true to our NYLON girl. We have more creative freedom since our team is so small, and we all get to work on more than one part of the company at once. I have gotten opportunities at NYLON that I don't think I'd get anywhere else. Like this interview!!
What would you say is the best part of your job, as Fashion Market Editor?
Seeing the clothing for the upcoming seasons before anyone else. It's really amazing to be able to walk through collections that aren't out for months and see what the customers and our readers are going to freak out over. I also get to pre-shop basically so…like, who doesn't love that!
What was your journey like to becoming an editor?
Of course I can say it's been long, but it actually hasn't. I've been really lucky to grow at NYLON. I started out freelancing at GQ and Glamour once I graduated college and after about 8 months I landed my Fashion Assistant position at NYLON. Then after working in our fashion closet for all our fashion editors I was promoted to Men's Market Editor for NYLON Guys when it was still around. I did that until we closed it and then slowly moved to Associate Market Editor for NYLON. And now I'm the Fashion Market Editor for print and digital!
What moment do you think has been a career highlight so far, if you had to pin point one?
Getting shot by Bill Cunningham and it going in the New York Times. I honestly don't remember him pointing his camera at me, but months later there I am in the style section in a Moschino soda sweater living my life, and it's all because of Bill Cunningham. A genius and visionary.
What advice would you give to young people trying to break into the fashion industry?
Intern, intern, intern, in all different parts of the industry. Get a feel for what you want to do by interning in PR, Editorial, Design, Events. The more you see as an intern, the more you'll understand where you fit. And always be friendly, hardworking and nice. It will get you far.
Who inspires you?
Miroslava Duma, any and all Disney characters, Twiggy, and Rachael Wang.
It’s no secret that you’re a huge Disney fan and *drumroll please* our next collaboration collection is with Disney! (launching in October) What piece are you most excited about?
Ugh! Can I only pick one?? I definitely need the pink and blue hoodie with Cinderella's castle on it (to match my Disney castle tattoo of course)!!!
Why do you think the fashion world has an ongoing love affair with Disney, and what is it about Disney that you think personally appeals to you?
Fashion and Disney have been collaborating for so long now - I think there's a sense of nostalgia for most people, when they see characters they grew up with, on clothing that they would wear now, you think - well obviously I want that! It's all about making the characters appealing to this generation. Personally, it honestly just makes me happy. If I'm wearing a shirt with Marie (from The Aristocats) on it - or Mickey - or the castle, I'm just going to have a smile on my face and who doesn't what to feel happy because of what they’re wearing?
Quick fire round…describe your style in 3 words?
Comfortable, unique, tomboy
What’s your guilty pleasure?
What couldn’t you live without?
Lastly - where would we find you when you’re feeling lazy, and finally have some time to chill out post NYFW?
Laying on my couch with my dog Molly and my husband watching The West Wing.