Interview with Ann Shoket, Editor-in-Chief, Seventeen

Seventeen magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Ann Shoket, will be doing a book signing in our Times Square store on Tuesday, August 9th from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Ann’s book, Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style: How to Find YourPerfect Look, offers style advice from every girl’s favorite magazine. The book features contributions from editors, Hollywood stylists, celebrity fashion icons, and real-world girls. The book is indispensable for young fashionistas everywhere, and if you’re in New York City, you can get it signed! You’ll also get the opportunity to meet special guest Ashley Benson, star of Pretty Little Liars and Seventeen’s September cover star. Get the book; get some hot fashion tips from Seventeen editors, and have a great time! To kick off the event, we asked Ann some of our burning questions.

AE: If you weren’t an editor, what would job would you be doing?
I love magazines and the media business so much that if I couldn’t be an editor (my DREAM JOB!) I’d be a reporter about the media business. I actually started my career as a business reporter—I love having permission to ask nosy questions! There are such fascinating people in our industry and there’s always something new happening in our world—that’s what turns me on! I love smart, engaged, forward-thinking, curious people!

AE: We’ve seen you a lot on America’s Next Top Model. What has been your favorite experience on the show?
The people who work on Top Model are so much fun! Nigel Barker jokes around between takes on the judging panel; Miss Jay is full of amazing stories; Jay Manuel is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met; and Tyra is a powerhouse (and one of the few other women I’ve met who is taller than me!)

AE: How would you describe your personal style?
Classic with an edge. Personally I don’t do girly or boho. I love clean silhouettes little (something body-con doesn’t hurt!). And I’ve never met anything studded that I didn’t immediately fall in love with!

AE: Who has been the greatest inspiration in your life?
There are so many women who have inspired me. I try to borrow the best habits and follow the best advice of all the amazing women I’ve met. My mom taught me how to listen to my own intuition; My first boss showed me how to command respect; Another mentor taught me about the importance of being nice (even in a cutthroat business); And the readers of Seventeen have shown me that being honest and authentic is so much better than being “fake fabulous” (my biggest pet peeve in the world!)

AE: What advice do you have for young girls trying to find their own style?
You have to try EVERYTHING to know what works for your body, for your vibe. I had an 80s New Wave moment (in the 80s!), then a preppy collar-popped experiment, there was grunge, and every once in a while I’d slip into a skinny mini and sky high heels! I loved every single one of those looks! And it all helped me figure out what worked, and what didn’t.

AE: What is your favorite Fall 2011 trend?
I love the cozy Adirondack look! Layers of flannel, plaid, denim, shearling and tons of knit with rugged boots—so fun and so cuddly!

AE: How did you work your way to your position at Seventeen?
After my first job as a business reporter, I started writing about big issues for teens at a teen news magazine called, React. I had no idea how much I would love writing for and about teenagers! To me being a teen is such an amazing time: Anything is possible in your life! The world is yours! And everything is FUN!

After a few years, I got a tip that Hearst was launching a new teen magazine—and I joined the launch team of CosmoGIRL! In the 8 years I was there, I had the chance to dive into everything from Health to Fashion to Guys to the confidence-building stories (my faves!).

But being at Seventeen has been the most amazing experience! I get to work with the smartest people in the business, we are tackling important issues, and our work is crazy-delicious-insane FUN!

AE: Tell us! What is the secret to battling writer’s block?
I can be a terrible procrastinator (don’t tell anyone at Seventeen—they seem to think I’m good at hitting deadlines!) But at some point you just have to put your butt in the chair and write something. It doesn’t have to be great, but just typing gets your brain going and after a few drafts your thoughts get clearer and your writing gets stronger. I try to imagine that I’m writing to my best friend. If I write something fancy or formal that I wouldn’t actually say to her, then it doesn’t get printed!

AE: What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Letters from our readers saying that a story we printed had an impact on their life. That’s the whole reason I get up in the morning—to make girls lives as awesome as they can be!

Remember, if you’re in the New York City area, RSVP to Ann’s book signing on August 9th at 12:30pm in our Times Square store.

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