The most fantastic, crazy, unbelievable, shocking, scary and exciting thing has just happened.
I’ve been asked to go to India for eight weeks to be the fashion director of a well-known magazine launching over there. This is the kind of thing that usually happens to other people. I have spent fifteen years working my way up the rather crowded fashion ladder and have had a couple of pretty good career breaks but none as mind blowing as this one. I can’t say too much or I’ll blow my cover but equally, I had to share my news as it means I will spend most of January and February blogging from Bombay rather than Blighty.
Last year I had a similar experience when I was headhunted to consider the editorship of an iconic monthly glossy that was also launching in India (yes, they’re all after the tan pound). Although I had no ambitions (let alone experience) to be an editor, it was an opportunity that I’d have been foolish not to address, even though it would have meant moving to India for six months. In the event, I didn’t pass muster as I was considered ‘too British’ and not traditionally Indian enough for the role. Not very PC but at the same time I was secretly relieved.
And now this chance has fallen into my lap and it’s all too good to be true. I will spend eight weeks in Bombay although they are hoping I will want to stay longer. It will be an almighty challenge as I don’t speak Hindi, but thankfully my mother lives out there so she can help me master the lingo and of course, it means I get to spend some quality time with her. I’m not concerned about the hard work. I love thinking up ideas, putting teams together, sourcing new designers and reporting on all the goings-on in international fashion and retail. It will mean researching a whole new culture – so much has changed even in the four or five years since I last visited. Do they have Starbucks? Internet dating? Wi-fi (eek I hope so)? I don’t even know what sort of model agencies they have in India but I’m looking forward to finding all this out as I’m a research and information junkie anyway. Bring it on I say, I can handle it!
Frankly, I’m still in shock as everything has happened so quickly and almost too easily. I’m due to get my contract on Monday, along with a letter for my visa application and my flight will be booked next week. And on January 5th I’ll say goodbye to the flat I’ve literally only just moved into and my lovely D who will be coming out to visit me, and flying into the most thrilling adventure one could hope for for the new year. Will you come on my incredible journey with me?
8 December, 2007 @ 8:37 pm
oh my! so much congratulations to you! i suppose that deep inside almost everyone who’s related to fashion dreams of such a dreams-come-true moment. you are very lucky and i hope you’ll cherish the moment. thinking of new opportunities and chances you’re given, the challenges you’re forced into. this must feel like starting a new life.
i really hope you’ll enjoy that.
congrats once more!
8 December, 2007 @ 11:53 pm
Oh, congrats!!! I’m so happy for you…I definitely want to follow along for the entire trip!
Blue Floppy Hat
9 December, 2007 @ 12:10 am
I’m really thrilled for you- Jan and Feb are good times to be here since you won’t get the worst of the Indian summer.
Oh, and to answer the questions you posed.
1. No, we don’t have Starbucks. The government wouldn’t let it in, some jazz about foreign direct investment got in the way. But we do have a local variant of sorts- the Barista chain.
2. Internet dating…is around. Though I wouldn’t advise it- some terribly shady characters turn up online. And I mightn’t mind shady, but I do (and I think you will, too) mind them being uncouth, stupid and obvious from a mile off.
3. As for wi-fi, some pubs and a few places I know of have them. I think more or less any store/restaurant/whatever that has any pretensions at all to upscaleness, will probably be Wi-fi enabled.
Oh, and good luck with the job!
9 December, 2007 @ 12:25 am
Thanks you guys, I knew I could count on your support :)
By the way, the questions about things like internet dating are just me getting my head around a foreign culture. (I have no wish to try internet dating in any country, I have a lovely date already at home!) I just read an article about ‘coffee shop culture’ moving into India slowly, and wi-fi, that’s good to know too. Any other tips on Indian middle class culture generally? My folks are from there but I’ve never lived there.
I am permanently glued to the computer Googling anything and everything!
9 December, 2007 @ 11:40 am
That is truly awesome. LIke really. Great for you!!!
9 December, 2007 @ 12:24 pm
congrats!! I wish you all the best there ;)
9 December, 2007 @ 2:28 pm
Congratuations!! What a wonderful opportunity, you must be soo excited. Keep us posted.
9 December, 2007 @ 4:07 pm
wowwwww!!! good luck! i can’t wait to read about it
9 December, 2007 @ 6:25 pm
Wow, what exciting news, congrats to you!
You must be so made up, and hopw fantastic to have an adventure planned out for the New Year, you’ll be somewhere lovely and colourful and able to leave behind the shoddy Blighty weather whilst it is at it’s worse.
Do keep up updated and be sure to chanel all things Darjeeling Limited with battered LV luggage.
Hmm, now for the guessing game of which magazine you’re talking about..
9 December, 2007 @ 8:18 pm
Whatever it is CONGRATULATIONS!! :)
10 December, 2007 @ 12:58 am
Congratulations! Don’t forget to demand that Wendy Brandes jewelry be featured prominently in this magazine!
10 December, 2007 @ 1:03 am
Of course I am all smug because it’s easy (for me) to work out exactly what you are up to! But I also wanted to leave a message here wishing you bonne chance et bon voyage. (The traditional bloggers MO!) xxx ps Before I forget, I do know some Indian based snappers, also BFF is Pic Dir on UK mag & has v gd India contacts. Wld it be helpful to have a few top notch snapper names out there?
la Belle et la Bête
10 December, 2007 @ 2:01 am
Wow, thats amazing!
Congratulations. That is seriuosly the oppertunity of a life time.
10 December, 2007 @ 10:10 am
I already knew about this but CONGRATS anyways! You will be fantastic… I knows it…
10 December, 2007 @ 4:58 pm
What incredible news! I wish you all the best and know you will be a smashing success.
Blue Floppy Hat
10 December, 2007 @ 9:05 pm
Don’t worry about it, Bombay is a fantastic city and you should do just fine there- and since you’ll have family with you, I don’t think there’s anything they can’t help you figure out.
Try taking a stroll up Fashion Street some day if you have the time- it’s chaotic and maddening but fun- lots of pretty things on the cheap.
11 December, 2007 @ 9:39 pm
Congratulations. You truly deserve it.
*Just don’t neglect your blog, I’d miss it too much.
12 December, 2007 @ 9:57 am
Wow, well done! But you MUST keep blogging! Fear not, I’m sure we can make sure you get your weekly Grazia fix ;)
Diana @ So Fash'on
21 December, 2007 @ 1:46 am