A New York Minute with Chrissy Rutherford
A fashion editor by trade, Chrissy Rutherford is one of those cherished voices in fashion whose finger is – undeniably – fixed on the pulse of the industry, and of culture at large. In her insightful writings, as in her work crafting Harpers Bazaar’s influential Instagram account – Chrissy articulates an incisive and candid perspective that is forever informing the way that we see the fashion world of today. In person, her passion for all things culture is infectious – a passion that keeps her perpetually busy, running around the city for meetings, interviews, and the like. We were lucky enough to catch her, if only for a New York minute, on a recent winter afternoon for a walk though the East Village. See below for some snippets of our conversation about her love of fashion, and the future the industry as she sees it, and for some moments from our chilly January stroll!
How did your career in fashion begin?
"I got my first taste of a career in fashion by interning in the fashion closet at Harper’s BAZAAR. It was such an invaluable experience that really taught me the ins and outs, and solidified for me that that’s where I wanted to be. While I spent most of my time checking in/out samples, and keeping the closet organized, I was fortunate enough to get a few opportunities to assist on photo shoots. I will never forget that feeling of being on set, and the amazing energy that was present while creating a fashion editorial for the magazine. Eventually, my first real editorial gig came from a former Bazaar editor that I had kept in touch with. Originally my desire was to work in print, and I fell into digital by luck. I always thought that maybe I would transition back to print, but there were way more opportunities to create and to have freedom to create in the digital space."
What are your hopes & dreams are for the world of fashion? What changes do you hope to see in the next few years, as the fashion industry continues to grow and expand in the direction of inclusivity, sustainability, social consciousness?
"I think the fashion industry has made major strides over the last decade, but there’s still such a long way to go—and I don’t know if we’ll ever really be “there,” but I really admire the brands that don’t have to preach about inclusivity or sustainability because that’s just how their business innately operates, you can see it in every facet. I would love to see less reliance on fast fashion. We live in a capitalist society that is constantly hammering into our brains that we need more stuff, or we won’t be happy unless we have this dress or that bag. As someone who has worked in the industry for almost a decade now, and gets gifted a lot of clothes from brands, I truly always come back to a handful of pieces that I just love and always feel good in. I want to enjoy the pieces that I really love—not just wear them once and discard them."
What do you see at the next steps for achieving this type of change?
"I think it’s amazing to see famous faces like Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Tiffany Haddish who repeat their red carpet looks. They all get to wear such amazing gowns, why should they only get to enjoy them once? Personally, I always try to highlight on social media when I re-wear outfits, because I do it a lot. I don’t have an unlimited budget or wardrobe and I want people to know its ok to wear things over and over. In terms of inclusivity, I think people tend to just focus on projecting a certain look in front of camera for look books and ad campaigns, but what’s going on behind the scenes? It’s much easier to have an inclusive business if your teams, and your companies are diverse— it’s just good for business, end of story."