Interview: Christiane Arp
Christiane Arp, Chefredakteurin der VOGUE Germany (c) Peter Rigaud

Christiane Arp, Chefredakteurin der VOGUE Germany (c) Peter Rigaud

Interview: Christiane Arp


Vogue’s Éminence Blonde

Last year Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Christiane Arp was asked by two Viennese women whether she would like to put on the VOGUE Fashion’s Night Out in Vienna, too. Now the time has come: VFNO is premiering in Vienna. And, of course, the entire VOGUE team has come along to join in. Because that’s what Arp expects: “We always want to be there ourselves.” She accepts the logistical marathon that that entails as par for the course. Arp sees her Vienna trip as a journey of discovery. And travelling as inherently inspirational. Where you can find her in Vienna: “Definitely in the Goldenes Quartier.” Other than that, she says she is lucky enough to be able to simply wander around the city.

Editor-in-Chief since: March 2003
Number of colleagues: 50
Favourite travel destination: her house in the countryside of Northern Germany
Reading material on her bedside table: Theodor Storm, Ingeborg Bachmann and Rainer Maria Rilke

What do you like about the VFNO?
What’s great is the incredibly positive atmosphere in the cities. We German women sometimes find it a bit difficult to celebrate and simply enjoy what’s beautiful. But the VFNO always makes me feel like we can and are allowed to do so! It’s all about the shared experience and having fun shopping.

Do Viennese women also find it hard to enjoy themselves?
All I can say is that the Austrian woman I work with a lot is a fundamentally positive person. I’m talking about Martina Hoermanseder. A tremendously talented person. My view of Austrian women is currently informed by her.

Marina lives in Berlin most of the time. Yes, and my opinion is completely subjective. But I find Austrian women a bit more easy-going.

But Vienna and melancholy go together like a hand in a glove. When the sun’s shining, Vienna is fantastic. When it’s raining, it’s depressing. I was once there on just such a weekend and I found it much more melancholic than North Germany, where I’m from, and it’s often grey and wet there.

What does VOGUE want to achieve with the VFNO?
Well, Vogue’s already the éminence – I’ll say blonde rather than grise – in terms of women’s magazines. Especially fashion magazines. Other magazines don’t even get close to some of the things we do. We don’t want to be everybody’s darling. On the other hand, our relationship with our readers and fans is getting closer because of all the pictures on social media and there’s much more interaction. Vogue wants to become something people can experience at the VFNO. If they want us to, we’ll even give people style tips.

What impression do you get abroad of Vienna as a fashion city?
At the moment, Marina Hoermanseder is the most positive example there could be. She’s a combination of everything I want. She has vast knowledge about the business, but she’s also true to her own heart and her own vision. With every new collection you can see her continuing to evolve.

You are now President of the Fashion Councils Germany, too. What’s your aim?
It’s lobbying for the next generation. And when it comes to that, Vogue definitely has the loudest voice. What we want to achieve is for fashion to be perceived as a cultural and economic asset in Germany.

What inspires you?
This might sound a bit random, but everything. I’ve always wanted to keep a 360° perspective. Look everywhere.

Can you give us an example?
I’m inspired by architecture, but I’m inspired just as much by the colour of a door or the combination of several colours or shapes. Impressions that I take away with me from my travels. I couldn’t do this job if I was only ever sitting here in my office. I need to look outside. That’s where I fill my imaginary travel bag that I slowly unpack here at my desk.

Tell us about your office!
A light room with a wall of windows. Full. Lots of pictures. In front of me there’s a wall where the current magazine is emerging so that I can see bit by bit what I like or whether I still need to change anything. Against one wall there’s my international magazine kiosk with all the magazines that interest me – including all the editions of Vogue from last year, of course. Then there are a couple of personal photos that mean something to me – and my overflowing desk.

So the “clear desk policy” doesn’t apply to journalists?
My desk has never been empty.

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