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24-hour Stylist: the masterplan

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Here’s how we prepared ourselves for the challenge of a lifetime…

Once upon a time, there was a magazine team who decided to embark on a crazy adventure. They set themselves the task of creating an entire magazine from scratch in just 24 hours, in a pop-up office with no electricity, no furniture and no heating – in November. Of course, that magazine was none other than Stylist and this issue is the result.

As with all of our challenges, there were a few ground rules put in place:

  • All staff are required to work the full 24 hours, from start to finish.
  • Nothing can be prepared in advance – any work on the issue is not allowed to start until 10am on Friday 8 November.
  • Once ideas are pitched and approved, all copy should be written, edited and subbed on the day.
  • All images commissioned exclusively for the magazine must be photographed or sourced between 10am on Friday and 10am on Saturday.
  • The subject for the Work/Life page should be found via a Twitter call-out with a Stylist journalist dispatched in a Stylist new Ford Fiesta accompanied by a photographer to interview and shoot her on the day.
  • The Elsewhere page should be compiled via news stories sourced from all over the globe within the 24 hours.
  • The celebrity interview has to happen in situ, transcribed and crafted into a feature straightaway.
  • The beauty shoot has to be produced in our makeshift studio in the office with all products called in on the day.
  • Columnist Lucy Mangan must write her column live in the pop-up office with a time limit of two hours.
  • Writer in residence, best-selling author Sophie Kinsella, should write an exclusive short story for Stylist in two hours.
  • Cover concept and coverlines must be brainstormed, confirmed and photographed while in the pop-up office.
  • The team must wear Equipment shirts, Asos jeans, Me+Em jumpers and Jimmy Choo shoes throughout.
  • No swearing, no whining, no pleading exhaustion. And under absolutely no circumstances should the caffeine supply run out to avoid a possible mutiny.

And of course we needed to build our office. Thanks to our sponsor Ford Fiesta, we found a location that suited our needs in Regent’s Place, a swish office development also home to Twitter and Debenhams (and most importantly a central location for the optimum amount of visitors, with glass walls so they could see what we were up to). Unfortunately however, our office was just a shell. We rolled out electricity generators to power all our computers (which subsequently failed five times), installed a giant neon pink Stylist sign, Wi-Fi and laid carpet. Then it was time to decorate. Enter stage right, Asha from the Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will interior design team who, thanks to an unlimited supply from Boss Design (the true God’s of office furniture), created a space full of brightly coloured futuristic working spaces and meeting areas that could transform into work stations as needed, plus a photographic studio.

The results of our endeavour are played out on the following pages and read our full diary of how we coped on page 66. Enjoy.

Our Stomachs Couldn't Have Done It Without...

With more than 20 staff toiling away for 24 hours, there were a lot of hungry mouths to feed. Thanks to the generosity of the following restaurants and cafes everything from coffee, pastries and energy-boosting juices to sushi, duck confit and pizza kept our stomachs (and minds) happy throughout the mammouth challenge.

Balthazar (balthazarlondon.com)

Benugo (benugo.com)

Ceviche (cevicheuk.com)

Crussh (crussh.com)

Honey & Co (honeyandco.co.uk)

Pizza East (pizzaeast.com)

The Riding House Café (housecafe.co.uk riding housecafe.co.uk)

Sushisamba (sushisamba.com)

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