Barefoot and draped in a minimalist maxi, Chrissy Rutherford greets us with a warm smile, one beaming of a gal on her work-from-home day, preparing for the hours of shooting, writing and editing that lay ahead by rummaging through her unusually-large-by-NYC-standards closet, yet somehow stereotypically expected for the Harper’s Bazaar senior editor.
“It’s still never big enough,” she laughs as she pulls out a pair of lace-up kitten heels and briefly organizes a stack of handbags. She continues to explain a regimen of cleaning out her closet regularly, donating and selling outfits to maintain the rows of seasonal favorites, though, always sure to include an item of leopard print.
While Rutherford’s career in fashion began with an internship at Harper’s Bazaar eight years ago, she remembers falling in love with the publication long before that, when her dad would bring home various fashion magazines. “I would read them cover to cover,” she shares. “I was obsessed with models, and then I began to fall for the clothes. I studied every issue of Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Vogue like they were textbooks.”
All of this studying became useful when Rutherford went from reading magazines in her upstate-New York childhood home, to immersing in the city’s editorial scene at Hearst Tower. From Harper’s Bazaar to Cosmo, Instyle.com and landing back at Harper’s, Rutherford currently acts as the Senior Digital Fashion Editor, putting years of research to good work. We caught her in between two stories and editing with her videographer, for a stroll around Tompkin’s Square and a berry tea (no coffee here!) to learn more about a day in the life of this à la mode leading lady.
Prior to your current position as Senior Editor at Harper’s Bazaar you’ve edited at various fashion publications, including Instyle.com. What are some of the lessons you were able to bring with you to your current role?
Instyle.com was my first digital job, so it taught me a lot! It really helped me hone my photo research skills—I get a real thrill from knowing I picked the absolute best photograph to accompany a story. Also, it was my first experience really doing fashion market work and putting together shopping stories.
What is a typical weekday like for you? And tell me about your work from home days too!
I wake up and I get on Instagram—sounds terrible but one of my responsibilities is running our Instagram account. So I spend some time scrolling around, looking for inspiration for the day—for both the account and myself! I like to start the day off with a great celebrity style photo or street style, something that people might look at and help them decide what they want to wear that day. Then I usually have showroom appointments or a breakfast. I get to the office and I go through my emails, I’ll work on whatever has the most pressing deadlines. I help cast talent for videos, so that’s a constant thing I’m working on. Occasionally I might be styling a portrait session with a celebrity, or I’m just spending time creating, planning, analyzing content for Instagram.
How do you prepare for a busy day or busy week?
Sundays are so sacred to me! It’s my day to go grocery shopping, clean my apartment, and set myself up to have a productive week. If my space is a mess, it doesn’t feel like I can really relax when I come home after work.
What is something you do to disconnect, or to ground yourself?
I meditate, I read a book, listen to music and I try to journal at least once a week.
Who do you consider a role model, or inspiration to your work?
Definitely my boss, Joyann King. We’ve worked together for about 8 years now. We met at InStyle.com, and she’s taught me everything about how to be a good editor.
Do you have an article or story you’ve worked on that you still reminisce on?
Yes, I’m so proud of the feature we did with Gabrielle Union in 2015. It was so exciting to feature an actress I’ve always looked up to, and I got to style it, so being able to actually work with her was a dream come true.
We got to see some of your favorite travel products, but how do you go about packing outfits for a trip?
I’m an editor through and through, so I keep it to the essentials. I absolutely hate checking luggage when I travel, so I always try to pack with just a carry-on suitcase and duffle bag for any overflow. Planning out my actual outfits for each day of my trip really helps.
What is an item of clothing or accessory that you consider timeless?
Leopard! I’m obsessed with anything leopard print and it always looks good.
If you could only dress for one season for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Fall, of course! While I love me some summer dresses, my absolutely favorite outfit is a black turtleneck, high-waisted jeans, a great jacket and boots. It’s a uniform I repeat much throughout the colder months.
Photos by Didem Civginoglu