Spotted - Christina Rutherford

Lifestyle

Spotted - Christina Rutherford

Sunday, May 17, 2020

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WHO: Christina 'Chrissy' Rutherford

Formerly the special projects director of HarpersBazaar.com

Now digital creator, brand consultant and contributor to Harper's Bazaar digital.

 

I have so many memories from Jamaica... everytime I go there I feel like I'm reclaiming a major part of my heritage and learning more about my family history. I'd say my favourite memory is when my dad took me back to see where he grew up in St Mary, a few years ago. The first time I went I was five years old, so naturally I did not remember much. One of his sisters still lives in the house they grew up in (although it's been remodelled in recent years so it's not the same exact house), and it just feels really special to be able to see where my dad spent his earliest years.

 

As the saying goes: out of many, one people... I think my Jamaican heritage is so cool because it can be such a mix of different cultures that actually forms Jamaican culture. As I've got older I've become much more fascinated by really understanding the origins of each side of my family—and it's interesting how both of my parents are Jamaican but have quite different ethnic backgrounds.

 

My foray into fashion commenced when... I was just 20 years old. I got an internship at Harper's Bazaar magazine in the fashion closet. I knew I wanted to work in fashion since I was a teenager. I was always obsessed with clothes, and reading fashion magazines, learning about designers, models, and just every aspect of the industry.

 

The beginning was rough... it was harder than I had probably imagined... but at the same time I loved it so much that I went back for a another summer internship there — I was so passionate about what I was doing that it was always fun to me. When I graduated from college in 2008, I thought I was going to have such an easy time getting a job because I had a great internship experience, and kept in touch with my editors at Harper's Bazaar. However, the rececssion hit in the fall of 2008 right when I was looking for a job. Suddenly a lot of people were losing their jobs. So I took whatever freelance gigs I could find that were somewhat aligned with what my ultimate goal was. I freelanced at a multi-label showroom, worked for stylists until I eventually landed my first full-time gig at InStyle.com; an editor who was formerly at Harper's Bazaar, during my internship, hired me.

I worked at Harper's Bazaar for eight-and-a-half years as a digital editor. I primarily worked on fashion content but towards the end of my time there I was running our Instagram account as well as helping book talent for video projects and finding contributors for the site to write for us or to collaborate with. I made the decision to leave my full-time position in February because I wanted to pursue other opportunities and continue to build my personal brand.

 

Of her 80K followers... I think most people come for the fashion — but stay and engage with me because I share much of my life beyond the pretty clothes. I love music and share songs and playlists, books that inspire awareness and self transformation, I've shared my natural hair journey, and I love talking about astrology. Most importantly, I also talk about my mental health, my history with anxiety and my ongoing experience with therapy. I think it's important to show that even though I've had a cool and successful career, I still have struggles.

 

On being a mental health advocate… I had my first panic attack at 13, back then I didn't know anyone that spoke about anxiety, I didn't know anyone else who had it, so it can really make you feel alone or like something is wrong with you. I'm very outspoken about how I take care of my mental health, which includes weekly visits to my therapist because it's important that people know it's okay to talk about it. So much emphasis is put on taking care of our bodies that's viewed as being totally normal — but taking care of your mental health is still taboo for many.

Chrissy's followers include Gabrielle Union and Aurora James, amongst others...

Gabrielle is someone who really supports the younger generation of black women who are making strides in their careers. I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to meet her, style her for a Harper's Bazaar profile, and feel supported by her. Aurora is a designer I've known for a few years now, obviously since I was an editor we connected, but she's also become a friend to me as well.

 

Her preferred designers are…

I love supporting budding and/or independent brands these days like… Mara Hoffman, Brother Vellies, Arje, Tibi, Cushnie, Victor Glemaud, Cult Gaia, Nanushka, Miista, Hayward, Wandler, Rixo, The Frankie Shop.

 

The best advice received was… from my parents: “This too shall pass,” whenever I was going through a hard time, and I think it's especially poignant for what we're going through right now.

 


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


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