by Lou Stoppard .

Lou Stoppard's farewell

Today is my last day at SHOWstudio. It’s impossible to know what to write. In part, this post must be a thanks, to the many, many people who’ve helped me over my time here. In part, it’s also a reflection on 6 wonderful years, filled with challenges and highs.

I joined SHOWstudio as Associate Editor aged 21. I was one term into an MA at Central Saint Martins and I spent the next year juggling a full time job alongside my studies. I’d spent about 6 months as an intern under the site’s then Fashion Director Alex Fury. Alex decided to leave to edit LOVE, and for a reason I will never quite understand, Nick offered me a job. I think the intention was to hire someone more senior to work alongside me - I was simply there to keep the site ticking along - but week by week, interview by interview, panel by panel, it became clear that that person was never coming and that Nick, in his signature fashion for being trusting and empowering, was going to give me a shot to prove myself. I went on to become Fashion Editor, Editor and later Editor-at-large. There are many people who owe their career in fashion to Nick - he’s kickstarted things for Penny Martin, Craig McDean, Ruth Hogben, Solve Sundsbo, Alex, and many more. I owe mine to him. 

It was Nick who helped me find what I’m good at. There’s a line in a recent interview I did with Ellen Von Unwerth for SHOWstudio’s In Fashion series - 'really lots of people have talent but they never find it, ever. But the luck was that I found it.' I owe my current path to the opportunities I was given at SHOWstudio - the faith that was put in me to learn on the job, and to maybe fail but learn from my mistakes. It was here that I learned how much I love to interview people, and that I loved to curate, a job I didn’t even really understand before working here. It’s led to books, exhibitions and all manner of exciting things that I could never have done without the experienced gained at SHOWstudio. SHOWstudio has been like family and like education - I have learned all my most important lessons here. Thank you to Alex Fury and Amy Ireland for first hiring me. Amy - you taught me so much and I’m so glad to call you a dear friend. Thanks to all the originals, Paul Herron, Sally Northmore, Carrie Scott, Niamh White and the rest of the early crew - thanks for putting up with an inexperienced nightmare of a colleague. You all taught me so much. Special thanks to Jon Emmony - my partner in crime for all those years. You are so talented and will go so far. Thanks to all the current team for their energy and enthusiasm - it’s been exciting to watch you all grow. And thank you of course to Charlotte Knight, who has been so much more than a boss. Thank you for helping me through so many twists and turns - I often joke that I’ve given my best years to SHOWstudio, but I’m certainly the woman I am today because of you. Thanks also to the many brilliant interns who have worked with me at SHOWstudio - I have done my best to champion and support talented young women (and men) and I look forward to watching you all triumph across the industry. And of course thanks to all our amazing contributors, whose hard work and amazing talent has made the site the hub of energy it is today.

It’s hard to write a post like this without becoming very gushy and worthy and sounding a bit like I’m giving a bad Oscars speech. So I’ll wrap up now. We have a tradition when someone leaves SHOWstudio to ask for their best and worst moments. It’s impossible to pick a highlight - perhaps my best moment was interviewing Kanye, for 2 hours, aged 25, and being faced with a glut of press after. Perhaps it was interviewing personal icons, like Wolfgang Tillmans or Glen Luchford. Perhaps it was the many kind notes I received from interviewees after, praising the team and their experience at SHOWstudio. Perhaps it was attending fashion week and being overcome by the talent of designers like Craig Green or Raf Simons. Perhaps it was sharing a cake with Nick everyday for about 3 years (I still hate your new health kick). Perhaps it was watching Nick shoot. Perhaps it was dreaming up series like Ugly, Girly, Unseen McQueen, Sportswear, Print or Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore and watching the team work together to pull them off. Perhaps it was so many other days where nothing much happened apart from the amazingness that was working at SHOWstudio each day, in this strange and beautiful studio.

My worst moment is leaving. 

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