Liz Cabral blogs about her job

Photo by Norman Wong

People are generally amused, intrigued, even excited when I tell them what I do for a living. But they usually follow it up with “So what exactly does a Fashion Director do?” Here’s the lowdown on how I spend my time at work:

1. Creative strategizing: The fun begins by plotting out the season’s trends and stories that Flare will cover. This starts by attending the seasonal shows in New York, Milan, Paris and Toronto and reviewing more than four hundred designer shows and lines. From there we plan out the trend stories we’ll cover in each issue and discuss feature ideas with our Editor-in-Chief and the senior team.

2. Shoot Production: First, I decide which one of our brilliant photographers would be best suited to the story idea. Then I collaborate with them on how and where we are going to shoot; studio versus location, high energy or portrait style, elaborate props or simple set. Taking budgets and logistics in to consideration makes this a careful balancing act.

3. Model casting: I have a love / hate relationship with this part of my job. I adore finding and shooting new superstars but Canada has a small talent pool. Once they hit the big-time in Canada, they leave for Europe. I work with the top model agencies in the city and sometimes New York to see who is available. I’ll often look at thirty books to find the right model.

4. Styling: The best part of my job – styling all of the clothes! For every shoot, with the help of my team, I review the local market and then three hundred plus collections on and make my outfit requests. Once everything is in the merchandise room – it can be up to six rolling racks and shelves of accessories – I spend a few hours pairing, layering and accessorizing. Finally, I preview everything with our Editor-in-Chief.

5. Being On-Set: A third of my time is actually spent out of the office shooting. Whether it’s a local studio or an exotic location, there’s lots of schlepping involved. We often shoot eight to ten shots per day. I’m discussing lighting and sets with the photographer, directing the model on her poses, styling the clothes – and making sure we come back with a great story that suits FLARE.

6. Events and TV interviews: I am a FLARE Ambassador, representing the magazine at a variety of events for designers, retailers, etc. This is  key to building and maintaining relationships with fashion’s top players. I’m also interviewed frequently for various television shows as a fashion expert.

7. Being a manager: The most corporate part of my job is managing my team of four – making sure we’re meeting deadlines, that stories are on track, essentially making sure everyone is doing their job. But they’re all superstars, so they make it easy and fun.

Lisa will be back next week. In the meantime follow the fashion team on Twitter, or follow Lisa’s feed.

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