When Eva Hughes, a longtime Vogue editor, became the CEO of Condé Nast Mexico and Latin America in 2011 and needed somebody to fill her shoes in at the magazine, she proposed Miami-born and raised Kelly Talamas, who has joined the magazine as editorial coordinator four years before. “It happened very quickly,” remembers Ms. Talamas, 31, the magazine’s fashion editor at the time. “Of course when the job was offered to me, it was exciting and obviously scary, but it is also an opportunity I couldn’t refuse”. After a few rounds of interview, everything was set in stone: Ms. Talamas, still in her 20s, was to head a magazine read by 3.5 million people. Indeed, she proves to be the injection of young fresh energy needed at the style magazine, which has been printing for more than 15 years now. In addition to featuring significant local figures, such as dedicating an issue to Frida Kahlo and featuring the First Lady of Columbia on its cover, she has launched the Talent Corner and the ‘Who’s on Next?’ initiative to showcase and support young talents from the region.
Here, Ms. Talamas tells Playing Fashion about the responsibilities, challenges and constant changes involved with the job as well as shares her ambitious vision.
is to maintain the high quality and the standard Condé Nast is known for. I think the previous editor did a great job establishing the magazine in our market, growing the magazine and taking it to a point where our magazine is known not only locally but also internationally as well. To present the best quality news and include the top talents in our market. It is a complicated market, because fashion is something new here. It is not like in the established markets, like New York and Europe. For me, it is more exploring the local designs, and really put them on the map and help them grow not only in Latin America, but also make them recognizable all around the world.
needs to be organized, ethical and value the quality of the content. Never be swayed. You have to always keep in mind the advertisers, but you dedicate everything always to your readers. Someone who is innovative and has original ideas and push the envelope and not get stuck in a certain style or way. Know your mind. Know what it is you are looking for in the magazine. Also, somebody who has a talented eye to really spot trends, interesting people, and interesting topics for the magazine.
It is not only focused on the print media, you have to think about the website (writer’s note: a new re-designed website and an iPad version were launched last October), and how it compliments each other. Be active on social media. Know your reader, know how to speak to your reader. With the technology changing so quickly, the readers get bored so quickly. It is all about keeping up and finding new ways to present things, such as creating the spirit of the magazine in real life through events.
is: you have to make it personal to a certain extent to express your personal point of view, but I have to keep it very professional. It’s not about exposing my family and close friends. You have to know how to keep certain things private. The thing you don’t want others to know, you don’t need to share it. It is more about my day to day and the things I see, the things I like, which I think if you manage it well, you could keep the two (personal life and public) separate.
because I knew what I wanted to do. I love writing and I love fashion, so I went down this path. Looking back, I’d definitely tell my 18 year old self to keep going, follow your heart and to always push the envelope. You know those things that worry you when you were young, they aren’t that important. Follow your gut and be very persistent in following your dreams.
Illustrations by Karolina Kierat for Playing Fashion, 2014.
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