Why Gemma Cairney is taking over the Stylist website for one whole day

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Megan Murray
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The presenter, DJ and author will be transforming into a hub of self expression on Thursday 20 September.

Although January is technically the start of a new year, many of us still hold onto the feeling that September brings with it a fresh start. These days, though, we’ve progressed from getting a new pencil case and school bag to thinking about a new job, a new hobby and whether we’re living our lives the way we want. 

In the spirit of shaking up our routine and trying something new to encourage personal growth, we’ve teamed up with the talented Gemma Cairney for a day to bring you content that will inspire you to do just that. 

While we’re already writing a whole host of articles and features to do with venturing into the unknown throughout this month in our Shake-Up September theme, Cairney will be pushing us to explore our creative side with ways to express ourselves. 

From alternative art courses that will not only teach you a new skill but give you a creative outlet, to the UK’s best nudist beaches where you can step outside your comfort zone, Cairney is exactly the bolt of electricity you need to set your September on fire. 

“WOW! It’s September, the summer was so blazing, it felt like a dizzy dream. Here we are, opening our arms out to a new season, autumn looming. A time for reflection and inevitable change, I thought it no better time, to embrace the best things about being alive,” says Cairney, and we couldn’t agree more.

Speaking about her exciting upcoming projects she continues: “I’m collaborating with fashion designer - Mary Benson - to design a range of ‘statement berets’, not only because I love a beret, but to add a positive statement across them, can warm hearts and add smiles for all, whoever wears them come across. Exploring what it means to ‘express yourself’ with felt like no better way to celebrate the launch the berets. Plus I wanted a joyful excuse to get the best people I know to write some brilliant things for us all to enjoy.”

“We know we aren’t alone in saying that September still gives us that back-to-school feeling. Indeed, it is so ingrained in our seasonal bodyclocks that we begin craving freshly-sharpened pencils, virgin notebooks and shiny new pencil cases whenever autumn rolls around,” says’s editor Kayleigh Dray.

“Above all else, though, we crave that fresh start which comes with a new school year. We want to be better, learn something different, and express ourselves in innovative and exciting new ways. Who better to help us achieve this in our adult lives than Gemma Cairney?

“An award-wining broadcaster, author, founder of a production company (Boom Shakalaka Ltd) and activist, Gemma is a trailblazing innovator and one of our favourite Stylist Women. Since cutting her teeth at BBC Radio 1 Gemma has moved on to host on 6 Music and has this year published two more books in her ‘Open’ series on opening your heart and opening your mind. And, as part of Stylist’s September Shake-Up campaign, she has teamed up with us for the Express Yourself initiative, which will encourage readers to think outside the box, embrace their creativity and open themselves up for something new and exciting.

“In short, she’s here to help us buck our ideas up, get our metaphorical uniforms ready and transform our outlook ahead of the new school year. We can’t wait.”

Watch this space for ideas on how to be more creative and kick-start the next year, you can follow Cairney’s content specifically by looking at the Express Yourself section here

Images: Gemma Cairney / Getty