Jenna Igneri, Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor at NYLON
Jenna Igneri came highly recommended to us by a mutual friend of ours. After we made the digital cnnektion, Jenna graciously invited us to the NYLON offices, where she is the fashion & beauty editor, and the night turned into hours of chatting about work and play. The conversation was very organic and fluid and ended with Jenna agreeing to be on our Spotlight. FANGIRLING! We are so thrilled to share her badass story of with you all:
Jenna, what were your dreams and aspirations as a little girl? You’ve grown up to be a big fashion editor at a publication. Did you ever even imagine?
I definitely never thought I would end up here! Growing up, I wanted to be a meteorologist/storm chaser. (Seriously, I saw Twister when I was like, five or six, and that was it for me.)
But by sometime in middle school/early high school, my interest in fashion really grew. It was my way of expressing myself, and I loved everything about it. By the time I was getting to ready to figure out where I was applying to college, I knew two things: I had to go to fashion school and it had to be in NYC. It wasn’t until I interned at NYLON as a college sophomore back in 2009 that I realized this was the specific path that I wanted to work towards.
Many girls dream of “making it”, but it can be difficult, especially in a competitive place like NYC. Did you find yourself in a struggle to get where you are at?
Absolutely. It took a lot of work, a lot of paying dues, and a lot of getting turned away. I definitely hit a point a few years ago where I was questioning whether I still wanted pursue a career in publishing/media, but I was persistent and kept working harder.
What is your best advice for those who find themselves in a similar struggle especially in publishing / media?
First, you need to make yourself stand out, especially with how competitive the industry is. What can you bring to the table that makes you different? These are super weird times for anyone in publishing/media, as it’s all changing so rapidly, but it’s also a perfect opportunity to get your foot in the door by being innovative.
And second, to always keep pushing for what you want—be persistent!
Sure, it can get you down when you don’t land the job or internship “of your dreams,” but there are plenty of other opportunities out there that will get you to where you want to be. Sometimes, you just have to be open to taking slightly different paths than what you’ve dreamed up in your head.
To piggy-back off that - your style is so cool, and unique. Can you share a little bit about being completely oneself in such a tough industry?
Thank you :) And yes! Just do you, unapologetically. That’s one way to make yourself stand out, and build your personal “brand.” Fashion is the biggest form of self expression, so why would anyone want to dress like or look like everyone else?
I’ve worked other places before NYLON where everyone was a lot more old school prim and proper, and they definitely labeled me as the weirdo with tattoos and blue or pink hair. But I wasn’t going to mold my personal style and identity just to fit in. Thankfully, I now work at NYLON, where I’m free to be my weird self, and it feels great.
On a bit of a different note, we’ve noticed many fashion magazines are taking a political stance. Can you describe the importance of this? Do you feel brands, large companies and magazines should represent and stand behind their political views? Do you feel it has been effective?
Absolutely, especially when you have a younger audience or market.
Personally, when I was in my teens, I didn’t know anything about politics because the magazines I was reading didn’t cover it. I didn’t read the newspaper or watch the news back then. With everything going on in the world today, it’s so important that we stay informed. With that being said, these publications that are covering it should definitely be taking a stand.
When we see them standing up to the administration or going against what’s happening, it reassures us that we have a right to be angry right now. It makes us feel much more empowered, and let’s us know that we don’t have do, and we shouldn’t, be quiet.
What is next for you, Jenna?
Who knows! My dream is to one day have my own jewelry line, so I’m trying to figure out how I can learn on the on the side.
Intro by Chary + Emily, Interview by Emily