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Lisa Smosarski: Stylist Editor


Lisa Smosarski is Stylist’s editor. She lives in north London with her husband, Richard, an entrepreneur and co-owner of Energeno, and their son Dylan, 10 months

I get up at 6am and make a large mug of decaf Earl Grey tea before Dylan wakes up. I choose my outfit depending on my mood. I love Reiss, Whistles and Mulberry, and my staples are a By Malene Birger blazer and Kurt Geiger heels. They hide my biggest secret: I’m smaller than most people realise.

I only spend five minutes applying my make-up. I use Crème de la Mer, my one indulgence, as well as Bobbi Brown concealer and Mac blusher, eyeliner and mascara. I’m more obsessed with my hair, which I usually straighten as it’s rather high-maintenance, and I feel unnerved if I’m without a spritz of Estée Lauder Tuberose Gardenia.

I leave the house at around 7.30am and start my day’s work on the bus I like to check my emails so I know what I’m walking into! At Stylist, no two days are the same. My morning will often start with a breakfast meeting over smoked salmon and scrambled eggs at The Wolseley or a bagel at my desk. The day’s activities then vary between discussing each department’s new ideas, visiting photo-shoots, meeting advertisers, previewing fashion collections, attending or presenting award shows or brainstorming features with the team over lunch.

The day we launched Stylist was the most exciting of my career. A team of just 10 of us had worked through the night for weeks to create the first issue and we really had no idea what the reaction would be. Finding hundreds of congratulatory emails, flowers and cupcakes land in the office hours after we hit the street was a real pinch-yourself moment.

I think one of the keys to Stylist’s success is that it’s a really collaborative effort. In our weekly cover meeting I like to let the conversation flow – the best ideas are always buried at the end of a discussion. Take our cover on why successful women are ending up alone. We brainstormed how to picture it and after playing around we finally struck gold with a slightly sinisterlooking cat, one of my all-time favourite covers. Every team member has a steer on the direction which the cover takes which I really encourage.

Another privilege of the job is the opportunity to meet interesting people and see the world, whether that’s lunching at Claridge’s with Victoria Beckham, reviewing an incredible hotel suite for our travel page or feeling humbled in a room of inspiring women at the Women Of The Year awards.

But life at Stylist is not all glamour. Much of my time is spent trying to stretch our budget, dealing with the 300 emails I receive each day or going over an article with a fine-tooth comb. As a team we strive for perfection and put ourselves through the paces to make every issue the best it can be, but we support one another too. Stylist’s philosophy is about liking women, and we practise what we preach.

Work extends into my evenings, too. I regularly get together with other editors in my role as this year’s chair of the British Society of Magazine Editors. Contrary to popular belief, we enjoy spending time together – and we’re not like The Devil Wears Prada stereotype in the slightest.

If I’m spending the evening at home, I’m out of the door as close to 5pm as possible to put Dylan to bed, before cooking a meal for me and Rich – during the week it’s got to be quick especially as I usually have to finish off my day’s work after dinner.

The last two years have been a whirlwind of getting married, moving house, launching Stylist and having a baby. I never imagined the scale and speed at which Stylist would grow – it certainly keeps my hands full, but that’s the dream for every editor!

Work/life is by Helen Cole, a management consultant, who interviewed Lisa in the Stylist office.

Lisa was shot for Work/life by electrical and electronic engineering student, Callum MacBeth-Seath



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