FLORA MACDONALD JOHNSTON
We are pleased to spotlight our latest Marfa Muse, Flora Macdonald Johnston.
Previously part of the fashion and luxury team at the Financial Times and FT Weekend, Flora founded the FT Next Gen, bringing together and into the spotlight, the brightest and best minds of the next generation. Flora is now Fashion Director at retail destination Koibird.
Flora is 5ft 8 and wears size S in the Colourblock Quilt in Stone, White, Pale Sage.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND
I spent my toddler years in Hong Kong before moving to the UK. My family home is now in Aberdeenshire in the ass-end of nowhere - but we love it! It feels like you have the world to yourself. My childhood was always filled with fabulous dinner parties, gatherings, and events (my parents really love a party), and I think this is where my fascination with dress came from. It became clear to me that fashion was a form of self-expression.
WHAT LED YOU TO WORKING IN FASHION?
I knew from a young age that is where I wanted to be, it's always where I have found the most joy and inspiration. I'm not sure there ever was another path for me.
TALK US THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR
Where to start. At university I spent my summers interning at fashion houses like Amanda Wakely, or at magazines such as Monocle while everyone else was living it large at festivals in Croatia (wow - am I super boring?!).
When University was over, I started interning wherever I could, Grazia, Elle you name it, before landing my first job at British Vogue. While at Vogue I'm pretty sure I was the most intrusive employee, constantly bouncing between desks trying to offer ideas and write for everyone. I was then told that Jo Ellison was looking for a fashion assistant at The Financial Times, I leapt at the opportunity. Over time I gained more responsibility, eventually launching and overseeing a new branch of the newspaper, FT Next Gen. A new arm focused on Gen Z content.
And now, here I am!
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
That's tough! Most likely FT Next Gen. What started as an idea and a conversation eventually grew to a globally attended event, YouTube series, a take-over of the FT Weekend newspaper and creative ad intellectual community.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT GETTING INTO SIMILAR ROLES?
Never get phased. Fashion throws a lot of situations your way, and it's all about dealing with problems, last minute hiccups etc. Be proactive and stay positive. If you want to style and creatively direct, do it. Start with your own shoots, for friends, anything. And if you want to write, read all you can, follow editors you like, discover your own tone of voice, and work out your angle, what makes your perspective unique.
HOW DO YOU STYLE YOUR MARFA STANCE PIECE?
In all honesty every time I wear my Marfa I like to switch it up, my crystal knee-high boots and tweed skirt one day, tracksuits and trainers the next. But I felt like committing to a head-to-toe for the shoot, complimentary colours and tones. It’s both maximalist and minimalist in equal measure.
Photographer: Zac Frackelton