Meet the Team: Jessica Beresford, Digital Producer

Meet Jessica Beresford, who will be on the ground at New Zealand Fashion Week 2016

Jessica Beresford in the Grand Canyon. Picture / @jessberes.

What do you do at Viva?
I have the delightful duty of running viva.co.nz, which means writing, editing and publishing stories, working with Zoe to come up with ideas, making sure there’s fresh and interesting content each morning and monitoring traffic to make sure our articles, galleries and videos are performing as well as they can. As with any website, it’s like a demanding child that needs constant attention. An important part of the job is making sure people are seeing and reading our amazing content, so as well as overseeing social media, I get to constantly pester the team about SEO (which I know they love me for). I also look after The Dish and write profiles and features for the weekly print edition, which is equally as needy.

Where were you before Viva?
I’ve worked at Viva for a year and a half. Before that I worked at Bauer Media running the website for Fashion Quarterly, Simply You and Next, and prior to that I was at TVNZ, where I wrote news stories for the website as well as a weekly entertainment column, which I’m sure will come back to haunt me one of these days.

What will you be doing at Fashion Week 2016?
I’ll be writing stories and looking after the website to make sure everything runs smoothly and that our key content is published as soon as possible. I’ll also be contributing to the Viva Daily and deciding which of that content would work well online, as well as attending the shows and trying to make the most of a week away from the office.

What’s the best part about Fashion Week?
I think the best aspect is that sense of community you get, which is something that’s hard to come by in the modern world; a group of people — designers, stylists, artists, photographers and journalists — coming together for a common, all-encompassing interest.

And the worst?
Hearing people moan about how lame Fashion Week is, while sipping free champagne and wearing gifted clothes.

What’s your favourite fashion week collection to date?
Salasai’s haunting runway at the Hilton in 2010 was my first NZFW show and still stands as the most memorable. The collection, titled Sacrificial Grace, was one of the brand’s best collections, with kilts, two-tone jackets and knits with faux bodices on the front, expertly styled by our very own Dan Ahwa. The models wore brothel creepers and wire-framed spectacles and had gold foil splattered in their hair. I can still remember how in awe I was, and whenever I get jaded now I think back to how that very first show made me feel, to put things in perspective.

Jessica Beresford's Shopping Picks:

How did you get your start in the industry?
In my final year studying journalism at AUT, I interned at Remix Magazine, where I got to attend Fashion Week, write for the magazine and assist the fashion editor on shoots. Although I knew I wanted to be a fashion journalist, one of the most important foundations to my career was taking a step sideways and writing news for two years, which was crucial for helping me understand what makes a good story, which angle to take and how to turn around a piece that was due five minutes ago.

Favourite part of your job?
Writing about cool people doing cool things is always a pleasure, however the best part of the job would have to be travelling — anywhere from Melbourne to Las Vegas.

Least favourite?
Admin, although it’s necessary all the same.

What’s your second career option?
If journalism fails me, I think I’d reskill and work for a tech company like Facebook or Google, or even a start-up. But there’d have to be some kind of news element involved...

What are you favourite websites/magazines/news sources outside of Viva?
My everyday website catch up usually consists of: Business of Fashion, British and US Vogue, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The New York Times and Man Repeller, the fashion blog to end all fashion blogs. I also tune in to podcasts to and from work, including Call Your Girlfriend, which is great for social commentary, RNZ’s Mediawatch, The BBC's Desert Island Discs and Longform, which is essential listening for any writer. My favourite physical magazine is The Gentlewoman, which I devour from cover to cover.

What’s your weirdest party trick?
I can stick my shoulder blades out like wings... so I doubt the talent agents will be knocking any time soon.

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