A day in the life of Stylist’s editor-at-large

Posted by for Life

Work/Life is Stylist’s regular column about the professional routines of successful women. Here, Stylist’s editor-at-large Alix Walker takes us through her one-day diary, from morning latte to lights out.

Alix Walker is editor-at-large of Stylist. She lives in north London with her husband, Matt, and children Miller, five, Lilac, three, and Misty, two.

MY ALARM GOES OFF…

I’m woken by a donkey-kick to the head courtesy of my middle child (she “likes attention”) at 5.30am. From then it’s organised chaos involving 17 different breakfast requests, full recitals of Annie and negotiations about shoes/teeth brushing/how many ice lollies are acceptable before 7am. I’ll get dressed – floaty dress and trainers if I’m office-bound; closest I can get to PJs if I’m working from home. By the time I’ve dropped child number three at school I can be heard singing Freedom down the road. 

I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR…

Writing cover features and working on new business development – such as Stylist Strong, our new fitness brand – mainly from home, then coming into the office for a week every month to edit. I was part of the skeleton team that launched Stylist from a tiny airless room 10 years ago, working insane hours as executive editor but absolutely high from the buzz of creating a brand people loved. As my home life changed, I needed to work differently, so two years ago I nervously asked for a more flexible role. I’m so grateful to be able to work in a way that honours the pro-women message we championed from our first issue.

Alix (far right) with some of the Stylist team in 2009.

I GOT MY JOB…

After a degree in broadcast journalism. I did a year of work experience at various magazines and said yes to everything – from transporting a colleague’s false tooth across London to asking Jimmy Carr how he preferred women’s pubic hair (pre-feminism, apparently). I got my first job on the features desk at Eve and three years later got the call from Stylist

MY TYPICAL DAY…

Starts at 9.05am at my desk in my garden office. Meal times are less structured, more a constant stream of carb-based snacks. My day depends on deadlines but typically I’ll be brainstorming new concept covers, researching stories about the rise of cleaning influencers or our relationship with food, and interviewing experts all over the world about female behaviour and trends. From 3pm to 7pm I’m ‘mum’ again, a role I’m just as proud of. For too long we’ve been encouraged to hide that part of ourselves at work – as though having a family labelled you less competent – and though that attitude still lingers, it’s shifting.

She pitches and writes cover features, as well as working on new launches.

MY MOST MEMORABLE WORK MOMENT…

Was the week we launched Stylist – seeing rows of women on the Tube reading something we’d poured everything into is a forever memory. As is organising pop-up offices in Paris, Sweden and on a farm: no idea is ever too ambitious. 

THE WORST PART OF MY JOB…

Is the compromise. Brainstorming with your bathroom mirror isn’t quite as productive and my ego has suffered from being on the periphery when you’re used to being in the middle of the action. There’s an assumption by society that if you work part-time, you’re less ambitious: completely untrue.

THE BEST PART OF MY JOB…

Is writing features that make a tiny difference to how women feel about themselves – whether that’s more understood, more empowered or like they’re not the only one. 

AFTER WORK…

Is a riot of film premieres, panel talks, writing my screenplay… Ha! It’s watching a boxset while scrolling Instagram instead of talking to my husband. Like everyone, right?

My Plan B: Surgeon

On maternity leave I started watching Grey’s Anatomy and decided that I should retrain as a neurosurgeon. It’s high-stress, high-drama, a work ethic bordering on obsessive and obviously saving lives. If it weren’t for the medical school/human flesh, I’d be excellent at it…

Photography: Gemma Day

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Alix Walker

Alix Walker is editor-at-large at Stylist magazine. She works across print, digital and video and could give Mary Berry a run for her money with her baking skills.

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