We are pleased to introduce our latest Marfa Muse, Journalist Kate Finnigan.
With an impressive career as Senior Writer at ELLE and Fashion Features Director at the Telegraph, Kate now enjoys being her own boss and is Contributing Editor to the FT How to Spend it, British Vogue, The Gentlewoman and Observer Magazine. We are lucky that Kate has been a Marfa Stance champion from very early on in the brand journey, writing about us for the Financial Times nearly two years ago!
Kate is 5 ft 8 and wears size S in the Reversible Shearling Combo Quilt, personalising her style stance with the Reversible Quilted Collar and Hood.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND YOUR CAREER AS A FASHION WRITER
I was born and grew up in Manchester and when I was a teenager, I decided to be a journalist and move to London. I threw myself at the student newspaper when I was at university and wrote everything I could about films and TV, which were the areas I was interested in. After that, I came to London to study journalism and knew from day one that I’d found my people and my career.
WHAT LED YOU TO WORKING IN FASHION?
I didn’t dream of being a fashion writer. I started writing about film and TV, but one evening at a screening a female critic took me aside and said, You’ll just end up sitting in the dark with a load of middle aged men, like I do,and that was a terrifying thought. So I worked on teen magazines, including my beloved J-17, which was way more fun. Then became Senior Writer at ELLE, also MASSIVE FUN, where I was mostly interviewing celebrities – Britney Spears, Debbie Harry, Pharrel Williams, Kate Winslet…. At ELLE, I went to my first fashion show – Preen! – and found heaven. I realized writing about fashion was a way of also incorporating my love of music, art and photography, even theatre.
TALK US THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR AS A FASHION WRITER?
You want more? I went freelance and started writing more about fashion for The Independent and The Guardian. I became Style Editor at Stella on The Sunday Telegraph and stayed at The Telegraph for 10 years, which was wonderful, working with excellent writers and editors, interviewing designers, going to the shows. Three and a half years ago, I left to be freelance again. I’m better suited to being my own boss and feel lucky to write for brilliant titles - the Financial Times and How To Spend It, where I’m a Contributing Editor; Vogue; The Observer Magazine and The Gentlewoman.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
That I’m paid to write, which is pretty much my all-time favourite thing to do. And I guess that I set out to do something and I achieved it, not because I knew anyone, but because I worked hard, honed my craft and forced myself to be brave, even though I was very shy. (I'm not now.)
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT GETTING INTO SIMILAR ROLES AND GOING IT ALONE/FREELANCE?
Oh, lordy. Fashion is a competitive business, journalism is a competitive business and now we’re no longer in the glory days of print. But if you still want to be a journalist, in any area, then do the work. Demonstrate your talent and your work ethic by utilising all the digital platforms, find the things that you’re passionate about and have an opinion on and write about them. And read, read, read. If you want your writing to stand out, you have to read the best – not only journalists, but novelists and non-fiction authors. Study their words, absorb their sentences, then write your own.
HOW DO YOU STYLE YOUR MARFA STANCE PIECE?
I’ve had my delicious Marfa Stance Reversible Shearling Combo Quilt for over a year and it is my constant companion. I’m so glad I had it through lockdown. I love changing the collar and the hood is a new delight, which really transforms the coat into more of a parka. I wear it mostly with jeans, as I wear jeans all the time, and I particularly like it with white denim, or with khaki cargo pants. People always compliment it and then stroke the shearling.
Photographer Credit: Zac Frackelton