Interview • Rajni Jacques editor at Glamour

INTERVIEW • Rajni Jacques

Iris interviews Rajni Jacques

This summer I had the opportunity to go up to Condénast 4th Times Square and interview lovely Rajni Lucienne Jacques, Fashion Features Editor at Glamour.

It really was an amazing experience to step foot in the magazine industry for a short while. I really enjoyed talking with Rajni. Here’s what she had to say.

Rajni L. Jacques editor – Glamour Magazine US

Iris: How long have you been working at Glamour?
Rajni: It’s been a year and four months now that I’ve been working at Glamour.

Iris: How long have you been working in fashion?
Rajni: I’ve been working in fashion for about 7 to 8 years at a lot of different magazine, when I first started, I started working at Honey magazine. It’s doesn’t exist anymore. But um, it was a magazine that catered to women of color because growing up I never saw a magazine teared towards younger women. Then I started working at the Fader, its a culture, music and fashion magazine. From there I started freelancing at InStyle magazine, I would go on and off. I did the same thing that I’m doing at Glamour. Then I wanted to do something different so I went into Public Relations and worked for Christian Louboutin.

Iris: Aahh!

Rajni: I worked for Christian  and went back and forth to Paris.

Iris: Yes I see the shoes!

Rajni: (laughs) I realized I liked it but didn’t love it and loved magazines.
I left Louboutin and started working at Vibe magazine and then to Nylon and now Glamour.

Iris: Do you think it is easier when you have already done several magazine to get into the bigger ones?

Rajni: Umm its like a 50/50, there is no a set path, like becoming a doctor when you have to take these certain classes. Same thing if you want to be an  « avocat », « avocat »?

Iris: Ah um lawyer!

Rajni: In a magazine and working in fashion you don’t have all those restrictions. And I think I could have interviewed and gotten a job as an assistant and worked my way up but this wasn’t my path. I wanted to work at magazines that were more about a niche like The Fader. Glamour and InStyle are really big magazines but I think you can go any path. It’s a hodge podge where anything goes, I don’t know how to say it in French.

Iris: What kind of studies did you do?
Rajni: I never thought I would work in fashion.  It wasnt something that i thought you could work in. I think it’s because I come from a family.. they are from Haiti. There was no fashion magazine there. They are both doctors, I always thought I would be a doctor. I knew that I loved magazines. When I got to college I realized « Oh I can work at magazines, it’s exactly what I want to do ».
But even back then my major in college was political science, journalism and communication. I wanted to go to law school but I’m greatful how my path turned out.

Iris: What does your job consist in?

Rajni at her desk

Rajni: My job in a  nutshell is two different things, there is the editorial side where I edit, write and interview designers, celebrities and I write it up and all this I do within the fashion department. The other side of my job is pretty much finding the trends, coming up with ideas for new pages, for pages that are existing like the GlamGirl page I told you about.

Iris: So Can you tell me what a day in your life looks like?

Rajni: (giggles) I don’t have a day that’s the same. But on a given day I wake up, I get dressed, I need to be at work around 9 am. What usually happens is I go to appointment in the morning and at the end of the day. So maybe I have a breakfast with a designer, a label, maybe I see someone’s new collection and do all that in the morning and then I come in to work. And then when I come in to work I have to look at the pages, make sure the pages are good and you know we have these things called passes, before the page becomes a page, and I have to sign off on it, make sure it’s all OK.
We also have lots of meetings, brainstorming meetings for the following issue..Even for that WOTY thing (Women of The Year) you asked me about. And then I’ll do emails, write some stuff that I need to write, and then I’ll leave and usually have drinks with other PR people and go home.. But not everyday is like that.

Iris: Is it hard to get into the fashion industry?

Rajni: Is it hard? Yes and no. The fashion industry is really small, there is so many avenues you can work in fashion by working in a magazine, you can work in fashion by working at a PR agency, by blogging. And we all know a lot of bloggers are getting fame by having their own magazine per se. So there are I think now more fashion jobs that are not just magazines that are incredible.

Iris: What do you think there should be more ethnic models like Asians, Blacks, Hispanics..?  What do you think of the situation here in the USA?

Rajni: I think American magazines have improved a lot– again from when I started working in fashion to now. I think Glamour has always been one of those magazines that wants every girl to be represented, they always had that thing of ‘everyone is included’. As a whole in the industry? I mean, would I love to see more ethnic girls, women of color? Of course, cause I just feel like the world as a whole is changing and not everyone is going to be and look the same and maybe fashion needs to kind of get up with the times of what the population is actually looking like. I definitely can get better. And the great thing with working at Glamour is that there are so many girls of color, not just on the pages but also who work behind the scenes and that’s a nice mix. I want that. I want to know that I work in a magazine that is pro-diversity and wants to see a girl that looks like me on the page.

Iris: I think we need to work on that in France, you should look for the Elle debacle. But we also had something very great with the magazine Femme Actuelle which is not even a fashion or youth magazine. It’s really one of my favorite issues, it had a section on natural hair, relaxed hair, how to care for your weave etc. There were real tips like wearing a bonnet at night.

Rajni: Yes I wear a bonnet or a scarf at night too!

Iris: Do you have a Black fashion icon?

Rajni:
They are just my top fashion icons, and they happen to be Black. Just because any young girl you want to see someone who looks like you. For me I just remember when I was young I was obsessed, obsessed with Lisa Bonnet from the Cosby Show. She’s the mother of Zoe Kravitz.
She’s my icon. There are other girls where you think « She’s amazing », like Kate Moss, just because of the way she dresses, I like jeans and casual wear. She just looks so urban. There is also Diana Ross. I loved how she was able to embrace her flamboyantcy.

Iris: What products do you use on your skin and your hair?

Rajni: For my face, I just buy something from a Duane Reade. For makeup, I don’t wear foundation a lot, but I do wear blush, I love Bobby Brown blush- a lot of pinks.
For lips, I usually wear red lipsticks, I like everything from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Nars, and even M.A.C. but It all has to be like a form of red.
Mascara, I just stick to CoverGirl. And if I want to line my eyes I use L’Oréal– L’Oréal Lash something.
For my hair, because my hair is natural I have to blow it out for it to look like this. I used to have a relaxer maybe 6 or 7 years ago and I purposely blew it out. I use to wear long braids to grow out the perm from my hair.
I use a  sulfate free shampoo and conditioner from Carol’s Daughter. Sometimes I also deep condition during the night with an oil. Then I use the Carol’s Daughter detangling spray. Then I use Mizani just to coat my hair because I’m going to put heat on it.

Check out Rajni in April 2012 Glamour’s « Month in Outfits »
Rajni in the Month in Outfits
Check out one of Rajni’s Fashion pages: GlamGirl
My sneak peek video  – un petit extrait de l’interview de Rajni

This was really a great experience and thank you very much Rajni for having me, I had a blast!
I learnt a lot about the magazine and fashion industry by interviewing Rajni, she walked me around the office and I even got the opportunity to bring back some Glamour US issues! They are just great, tons of content and the layout is really different from what we usually have in France.

Rajni on the Internet:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rajni_jacques

Read it in French very soon..A lire en français très bientôt

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