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Friday, April 19th 2013

She’s the Bop: Leah Chernikoff of Fashionista.com

"The job a million girls would kill to have" may be in The Devil Wears Prada, but the one a million (or more) read about every day is Leah Chernikoff's. As the current editor-in-chief of Fashionista.com, the former newspaper journalist covers the style world's biggest influencers, interviewing everyone from Zac Posen to Donna Karan and traveling around the world in search of scoops and trends.  

As the founding editor of Fashionista, I may be (very) biased, but I think it's pretty fascinating to report on the industry's latest developments in real time. (Also, I'm jealous she gets to party with major fashion celebs like Nicole Kidman, and super curious about it.)  So I asked her about the satin-and-tulle whirlwind that's currently her life.

FARAN KRENTCIL: Hey Leah, what's your number one fashion rule?
LEAH CHERNIKOFF: I'm pretty risk averse, so my rule is that if I see something I like, I don't buy it at first. If I'm still thinking about it a few weeks later, then I buy it. No impulse buys.

FK: Fashionista is constantly updating its site and tweeting. When do you have time to unplug?
LC: When I don't have access to the internet. Sad but true. I went to Nicaragua on vacation last year and was totally cut off. It was awesome. 

FK: What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen at a fashion show? Before or after the show counts, too.
LC: Hmm...this is tough. I've seen a lot of weird stuff at fashion shows. I think the one that stands out the most is Carven's show at Pitti Uomo last summer: it was in the middle of a soccer field in Florence. While guests ate a five-course meal, there was a waiter race (an old French tradition), the Bersaglieri came out (the part of the Italian Royal Army that plays instruments as they run), and then male models rode bikes around the field.

FK: Name an underrated aspect of the fashion industry. (Racing waiters, alas, do not count.)
LC: This is going to sound cheesy, but for me it's the just-out-of-college hustlers who will do ANYTHING to be in fashion. They put their heads down and work—they're not taking photos of themselves. I love meeting them and being reminded that this is an industry full of passionate, hard-working people, as well as glamour.

FK: Sienna, MK + A, Victoria Beckham... Which celeb who doesn't have their own clothing line yet could follow in their tracks?
LC: Charlotte Gainsbourg? Julianne Moore? Clemence Poesy? I'd be curious to see lines from any of them.

FK: Please describe your personal style in one sentence. This sentence must include the word "frosting." (Mostly because I'm hungry...) 
LC: 
I'm more of a dark chocolate person (preferably with sea salt), but ok. I'd say my style is pretty simple with aspirations of French undone-ness, a few delicate accessories for frosting.

--Faran

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