Listen up 2021! This month Lucy Yeomans, Creator, Founder and CEO of DREST, tells us about her choice of listening.
This is our third year of asking colleagues in the creative industries to tell us about the podcasts that populate those occasions when they have time to listen. And it’s not difficult to argue that the ability to take our mind to other places has never been as important as it has been over the last year.
DREST is a luxury styling game – the first of its kind. It allows you to explore real-life fashion collections and hone your style virtually as you work your way up to becoming a top fashion stylist by engaging in real-time challenges working with model avatars, bespoke make-up and glamorous locations. You can also buy the real-life versions of your choices directly from Farfetch. Lucy rooted DREST in over 20 years of experience working at the top level of the fashion industry.
Highlights of her career include being Deputy Editor of Tatler and spending one morning as Deputy Editor of Vogue in 2000 before being offered and accepting the role of Editor-in-Chief of Harpers & Queen that lunchtime. She oversaw the transition of that magazine to Harper’s Bazaar in 2007, before moving on in 2012 to become Global Content Director of NET-A-PORTER. There she launched the print magazine PORTER, becoming its Editor-in-Chief until leaving in 2019 to focus on DREST.
Here, Lucy shares some of her favourite listening with us:
The Gurls Talk Podcast
When I heard that the British model and activist Adwoa Aboah had created a podcast series as part of Gurls Talk, her initiative dedicated to promoting the mental health and wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women, I signed up immediately. I have long admired Adwoa for using the airspace she gained via her fashion career, also channelling her own challenging experience of depression, to create a safe space where young women can navigate and understand the many complex issues they face today.
Adwoa approaches each one of her interviewees and topics with real honesty, informed curiosity and an easy warmth and I often feel like I’m eavesdropping on a personal conversation between friends. Indeed, her guests are mostly people she has met in her own life and career – either well-known figures from fashion, sports and music sharing their personal stories, or experts on the issues being discussed. Adwoa is not afraid to tackle any subject however challenging, from drug misuse to representation, social media to body image – and the personal stories that each of her guests share with her are both moving and inspiring. As the mother of a young daughter about to discover and/or face some of the issues addressed, I find the space she has created to have conversations around these often difficult or little-discussed topics so important. Empowerment is an overused word, but The Gurls Talk Podcasts fully own it – giving young women the hope and belief that by sharing, listening and learning, they can ultimately take control of their own destiny.
How I Built This with Guy Raz
As the founder of a startup, How I Built This is my go-to when I need either an injection of energy, some tried-and-tested wisdom or simply a moment to listen to the roller coaster journeys of other entrepreneurs. Described by Raz, a lively and engaging US journalist, who himself is an exceptional storyteller, the podcast celebrates and features ‘innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built’. I recently listened to the episode featuring Spanx founder, and America’s youngest billionaire, Sarah Blakely, who was as witty, engaging and inspiring as she is successful. My favourite quote: “In the middle of my meeting with her, I could tell I was losing her… so I said, ‘You know what, will you come with me to the bathroom?’”
How to Fail with Elizabeth Day
I have always enjoyed Elizabeth Day’s journalism in the Observer and stumbled upon her ‘How to Fail’ podcasts when searching – in vain – for another podcast with Gloria Steinem. I found Day’s interview with Steinem – a must listen! – instead and was captivated from the outset. Day opens each podcast with the message that “learning how to fail actually means learning to succeed better” and asks her guests before the broadcast to send her a list of their most significant failures. It’s an angle that ensures every interview cuts straight to the chase. Day has a high calibre roster of interviewees from all disciplines and walks of life and to hear the outwardly successful both admit to their fears and failings and discuss openly what those moments taught them and indeed how they often actually contributed to their success is fascinating. ‘How to Fail’ reframes vulnerability and your positive reaction to it as something of a personal superpower.