For Brides of Color and All Who Love Magazines
posted by LIM College
More than 600,000 brides of color are married each year. Mocha Bride Magazine and its sister publication Bride Nine were created to serve that market. The publications, out of San Francisco, reach far beyond the Bay Area. As a bridal-enthusiast myself, I was thrilled to discover that Shaunte MaBon, Fashion Director for the parent company, was an LIM College student, and happy to talk about what it takes to make it in the publishing world.
Quin Acciani: As fashion director, what trends have you noticed in the bridal industry?
The traditional “something borrowed and something blue" bride is changing. Brides are free to express themselves on their special day, whether they desire an eco-chic gown, bargain dress, or blow the budget on a designer creation dazzling in crystals and pearls. Brides can wear red-bottomed soles or Payless strappy sandals down the aisle to meet their groom. It’s considered chic to not spend one’s nest egg on a platinum wedding and serve cupcakes at a backyard ceremony instead.
QA: Looking at white dress after white dress every day, does any one particular designer stand out to you?
I am so in love with Jenny Packham. Her gowns are unforgettable, neo-classic, edgy, elegant, fearless and raw—all in one collection. Packham is my go-to for glitzy and glam styles. Her gowns set the tone for non-traditional brides who desire anything from Grecian-inspired dresses to sophisticated styles with brilliantly embellished necklines.
QA: What do your responsibilities include working at a small publication?
From the start, I've been responsible for locating every bridal gown and accessory designer for each and every shoot. I also direct and style each shoot and make sure that our desired look is achieved in every issue. I work hard to make sure that questions real brides have are answered in my spreads—from inquiries about age-appropriateness to shape, size, and cut. I even conduct interviews with bridal boutique owners and other members of the local bridal industry. In addition to my fashion-related duties, I hire interns, sell ad pages, scout models, and even work to position the magazine in stores. Being based in New York, I skype with my editor-in-chief, and travel far and wide to style and produce our editorial shoots.
QA: What classes and internships have prepared you for your position at Bay Bella Publishing?
After graduating with an associate’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, my time at LIM has enhanced my awareness of how important it is to compliment coursework with hands-on experience. I've taken courses in Fashion Magazines, Human Resources, Sales Management, computer classes—they all have been vital to my current job. Previously, I interned at Celine, Betsey Johnson, MTV 3, but my internship with Kristie Kelly for Disney Weddings really opened my eyes to the bridal industry. I was never afraid to speak up and ask questions—even the “dumb” ones—and this has definitely helped keep me fearless in each and every endeavor.
QA:What advice do you have for aspiring glossy-page magazine editors?
My advice is to first and foremost believe in yourself. Show your employer that you deserve the position and that they need you as much as you need them. Never walk into a business looking for favors, or assuming that this business’s culture is the same as it was at a previous employer. Even if you don’t think your past experiences relate to your current position, be sure to practice the skills you've picked up along the way!
-- Quin Acciani
Check out Mocha Bride and Bride Nine