You’d be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining raconteur than Marie Claire editor Nicky Briger, a style maven with a sparkling wit and a keen eye for the Next Big Thing, be it an upcoming celeb or a fringed hemline. Yep, Nicky knows her Louboutin heels from her Blahniks from across a crowded room, and is always keen to share her observations with her readers.
We first met Nicky when she was a vibrant young journo in the early 90s. She swiftly won us over with her hearty cackle, appreciation of the absurd – a must at the Sydney magazine where we were working – and tremendous parties!
Fast forward a few years, and Nicky is at the helm of Australia’s most successful fashion magazine (with a somewhat refined sartorial sense). It’s a demanding, exciting job, but one she handles with aplomb despite the constant challenges of the contemporary media world, and the demands of being a wife and mum, too.
Happily, Nicky will be in Perth next month, to preside at a glamour event at Crown Perth’s Grand Ballroom, the inaugural Styled by STM Lunch.
Here Nicky will be talking spring fashions and trends, and magazines, along with Wardrobe crisis author Clare Press and Paris-based stylist/designer Catherine Baba. The lunch, on Wednesday, 13 September, will be hosted by The Morning Show’s Kylie Gillies and TV identity Tom Williams will be strutting his stuff on the catwalk. An event not to be missed!
The Starfish asked Nicky what she’ll bring to the table.
What will you be talking about at the Style Event?
I’m chatting about my career, the state of media today and, of course, the future of fashion. Clare Press, Marie Claire’s fashion editor-at-large, will also be at the event and she’s an expert in ethical fashion, so we’ll definitely touch on this critical issue.
What’s the best thing about being editor of Marie Claire?
The freebies! OK, seriously though, it’s being able to edit a magazine that has such a broad spectrum of content, from fashion and beauty to women’s issues, crime and politics. There’s never a dull day.
You’re clearly up with all the fashion trends – what’s hot this summer?
This summer is all about white cotton shirts and shirt dresses, pretty sheer fabrics and polka dots. Just don’t wear all at once!
What are some of your favourite Australian brands?
Ellery, Toni Maticevski, Zimmermann, Romance Was Born, Aje, Camilla and Marc, Bianca Spender, Kit X and Dinosaur Designs, just to name a few.
Who’s a fashion name to watch?
In Australia, Anna Quan just won our Prix de Marie Claire Lexus “Next Gen” award, and her shirting designs are fabulous. I’m also in love with Matteau swimwear and McGraw dresses.
Having said that, isn’t this the era of individuality? After a certain age, can we ignore trends altogether?
It’s always interesting to know the trends and see where fashion’s going, whether you’re thinking of adding to your wardrobe or purely admiring fashion from an artistic viewpoint. But you’re right – you definitely don’t need to be slave to trends. Enjoy it! These days, thanks to online shopping, the world of fashion is at your feet – or on them!
You had the word Vagina on the cover of your September issue; a bit risky or no big deal these days? Was that a first for Australian marie claire?
Not at all – the V-word has appeared many times. Marie Claire has always pushed boundaries, but I honestly think it’s no big deal these days. The popularity of the Vagina Monologues took care of that.
Are Australian readers less shockable than Marie Claire readers in other countries?
Australian women are definitely more relaxed and less shockable than some MC readers around the globe. That said, French Marie Claire has produced some pretty risqué sex stories in its day. There was one story we did back in the 90s called “Can you pick your partner’s penis?” Honestly, after that, no topic was off limits!
Who would you kill to have on your next cover with a hot exclusive?
That’s easy: Meghan Markle. She’s a celebrity, a soon-to-be royal and a dedicated humanitarian rolled into one beautiful package. And I’m a huge Suits fan. Perfect combo!
Thanks to the internet, it’s tough times for magazines. But you still have healthy sales figures; how do you manage to stay relevant for your readers?
Marie Claire seems to enjoy longevity because of its unique features mix of style and substance. There’s something for everyone whether you’re interested in world issues, pop culture or Gucci’s latest collection. But we’re also incredibly active online, producing 20 to 40 pieces of content every day for marie.claire.com and our social properties. We’re everywhere, every day, every hour, and on whatever platform you choose to use – that’s how we stay relevant.
Tickets to the Styled By STM lunch, on Wednesday, 13 September are available at events.thesundaytimes.com.au