With London Fashion Week officially kicking off on saturday, we thought it only fitting to interview the founder of its official sponsor OSOYOU.com. Now if you love Grazia magazine (as I do) then it’s likely you’ve already heard of Dawn Bebe. If not here are some interesting facts. She’s worked in women’s media for over 18 years. She’s responsible for bringing Italian magazine Grazia over to the UK and is subsequently worshipped by many. She left a job as Managing Director of Emap Elan to manage new fashion and shopping social networking site OSOYOU….think Facebook for shopping addicts. We caught up with Dawn to talk work, play and most importantly fashion!
How did you get started in the media industry?
I did a post grad journalism diploma at Cardiff, with a definite preference for magazines. I moved from local papers to the heady heights of Just Seventeen (at the time, extremely cool) and then moved onto women’s magazines.
What significant changes have you seen in women’s media over the years?
They have changed more in the last three years than at any other time. It’s all about speed of information and value for time. Women are too busy to spend eons reading huge wordy tomes. They want fast hits of glamour and red hot info. It’s got to be instant , which is why the web really works for them.
Teenagers are rapidly turning away from fashion magazines in favour of fashion blogs. Do you think there will still be a market for fashion mags like Grazia, Elle and Vogue in 10 years time?
There will always be a place for fashion magazines , they are the ultimate luxury and a showcase for fashion and advertising. However if you are serious about knowing what’s going on, and inside info, blogs win slam dunk!
What’s been the most demanding aspect of setting up OSOYOU.com?
The internet is now evolving in an incredibly interesting way for retailers and media, and we found ourselves partly explaining the idea of OSOYOU.com but partly educating and bringing organisations up to speed with how e-commerce and web media has evolved for women. The industry’s response was really excited once they understood.
You’ve said that you recognised early on that there was a gap in the market for a social networking site like OSOYOU.com and that you have complete belief in the concept. Are there ever times when you panic and feel under a lot of pressure to ensure the site is a success? If so how do you deal with it?
Er, go out and buy a Chloe Bay Bag? Am not joking! No, seriously , I have an amazing team , people like Sarah Woodhead (Creative Director), Mandy Key (Commercial Director) and Ruth Barry (Retail). They are hugely talented women in their respective fields , and I just have that utter confidence that if anyone can pull this off, we can.
As OSOYOU.com is the official sponsor of London Fashion Week, will you be attending some of the catwalk shows? Any shows in particular that you’re looking forward to?
As you can tell, I always like a bit of Chloe , but Henry Holland used to work on Bliss when I published it. In fact I think he did some part time web editing. So I will be cheering the uber hip t-shirt maestro on from the sidelines.
What â€œmust have item has made your shopping list for this season?
Am thinking maxi skirt and maybe purple wedges. However at 5’3” am concerned the combo might make me look faintly ridiculous.
Favourite holiday destination?
Cornwall. No question. It’s the new Hamptons.
Currently listening to?
Just got into Rhianna , Shut Up and Drive – am sure it will make the catwalk this week.
Can’t live without?
My morning skinny cappuccino
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Come and do OSOYOU.COM!