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The ZigZag Questionnaire: Azza Yousif

A chat with Vogue Hommes International's fashion editor about street style, diversity and the evolution of male fashion

Fashion blogs, street style photography, diversity: there is so much one can discuss with Azza Yousif, fashion editor at Vogue Hommes International and innately stylish person. Here’s what she told us about these subjects and more.

What is it like to be a fashion editor in the age of fashion bloggers? What happens to your profession when everyone’s their own stylist?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion on fashion, always; however, whether you’re a fashion editor or a blogger, giving your opinion is not enough to make you a professional. A professional combines their taste with years of observation of the industry, fashion history, and culture. It’s wonderful that the younger generations have found a way of existing in this closed club (who knows, had I been younger, I probably would have done the same). Overall, I think there is room for anyone who loves fashion, and truly desires to help it move forward.

Has the growth of street style photography influenced your work in any way?

Street style has always been a source of inspiration of mine: Helen Levitt, Gary Winogrand or Amy Arbus, to name a few, have all influenced my work. Sadly, most street style photographers nowadays are solely fashion crowd-focused. I miss the reportage aspect of it, the acknowledgement that someone can look amazing even if they are not wearing labels from head to toe. I love Bill Cunningham’s photography, which is more focused on the silhouette rather than the labels or the people wearing them. I also love Tommy Ton, he is a true talent with a great eye for detail.

What is the first colour you remember being attracted to?

I was obsessed with a hot pink crochet sweater my father bought me, I remember wanting to wear it every day to school. It didn’t really go with anything, but I didn’t care, I thought I looked fabulous when I had it on.

Diversity in fashion has been a hot topic for quite some time now. What is your take on it?

It’s a fact that there is little ethnic diversity in fashion. I am grateful to those who have come before me and who have helped open minds. I hope to pursue that path, and hopefully make things easier for the next generation.

You are currently fashion editor for Vogue Hommes International. What kind of changes have you observed in male fashion, and are there any trends that you abhor?

Men are increasingly learning to embrace fashion. I’m happy that more and more of them realize it doesn’t make them seem ‘precious’ to pay attention to the way they dress. I don’t believe in trends, I believe in style. Finding your true style is a difficult task but the most gratifying one, in the long term.

What is it that you like most about Missoni?

The family love thats almost feels woven in the garments, and the joie de vivre transmitted through their patterns and color palette.

What is your ultimate professional goal?

Editor in Chief of a magazine that will mark its times.

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