Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Penny Martin, Editor-in-Chief of The Gentlewoman:
Women talk to each other very differently when men aren't in the room

Mira Duma and Vika Gazinskaia

The Telegraph has done a little piece on Penny Martin, the much revered editor-in-chief of The Gentlewoman. She comes across as very charming and down-to-earth but also, incredibly erudite. Apparently, she was on track to receive her PhD and was working on a thesis about women’s magazines – "about Vogue, Thatcherism and the representation of the working woman." Amazing, no? I was particularly tickled by this little note on why it was important to her to chose a markedly conversational style for the magazine:
'I think it is very important that you can hear the way women sound. I think women talk to each other very differently when men aren't in the room and I wanted that sound of their voices,' she says. 'What I wanted to reproduce was that thing when women sit down and say, "God, I love that."' She mimes pulling at a jacket. 'You know, they touch each other.'
Read the whole interview. You will feel she knows you.

via The Luxe Chronicles


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed that interview as well, loved finding out a little more about her background. I really like how the magazine has evolved - to be honest initially I found it a little self-serious but I think over a few issues they've found a tone that's just right. I love what Penny Martin said about how bad most magazines make women feel - I remember picking up Allure at my hairdresser for the first time and feeling shocked by the end of it: so many things I'm meant to be better at I didn't know about - being a better friend, better in bed, balancing my finances, grooming my brows etc etc. Not mention all the "must haves" of the season missing from my wardrobe.

  2. OMG, yes! Absolutely! As a feminist AND a lover of fashion, I often feel so guilt-stricken after having read a traditional fashion mag. Not only do I feel bad about myself, but I also feel like I am betraying smart women everywhere.

    What I appreciate about The Gentlewoman the most is that they have been able to accomplish a balance of substance and aesthetic pleasure that is almost unparalleled.

    What other magazines do you read and recommend?

  3. Actually I read a lot of men's magazines because they also often have good interviews and features - I like Esquire and recently they had that great interview with the shooter who killed Osama (which you can actually read for free online). It helps that I find men's fashion inspiring since there's lots of emphasis on tailoring, shirting, fine leather goods - and the imagery associated with that appeals to me. And I remember GQ the year before had a great feature on Parisian restaurants and I tried 3 of the recommended places and they were all great. Fantastic Man is lovely to look at, but I only buy if I find the featured personalities interesting. There's something more relevant about men's magazines compared to women's mags, and they also seem more in tune with pop culture.

    I don't read women's mags as avidly as I used to - I still buy American Vogue out of habit because I've been reading them since I was a teen. Vogue UK sometimes has beautiful editorials but it's not consistently great so I only buy a couple times a year. I like the photography in Self Service but I think pretty pictures aside, the magazine lacks depth. Kinfolk is beautiful but after about two issues I thought it was monotonous and one dimensional.

    I also buy Monocle from time to time even though three in four issues are annoying, haha (elitist economics!). But I like the aesthetics and occasionally their features are worth reading. I like their fashion editorials as well because it's a classic, unfashion-y look.

    I know, I'm so negative! What magazines do you recommend?