It’s almost impossible that you haven’t been on a shopping spree thanks to Serena Hood. After a career as one of Vogue’s well known Fashion Editors, she started Collagerie with former colleague Lucinda Chambers. On a mission to change the way we shop, Collagerie’s perfectly curated edit, appeals to all price points and sensibilities ranging from fashion to interiors and art. We grabbed a coffee with Serena and discussed what she considers to be her power outfit, how her vision of the fashion industry has changed and whether it is really possible to relax.
Please introduce yourself. Your name, where you live and what you do?
Hello Borgo de Nor! My name is Serena Hood, originally a New Yorker, but now I call London my home. I am the co-founder and CEO of Collagerie.
How did you find the transition from fashion editor to entrepreneur? Has your perspective of fashion changed now you sit on the other side of the industry?
Firstly I think it’s important to mention that I loved my job as a fashion editor, and the world of magazines was still very much my passion when Lucinda and I had the idea for Collagerie. We were having coffee catching up after leaving Vogue, chatting about how we dress and shop. We left having ultimately agreed that there wasn’t one website that reflected our love of brands across all price points, and that spanned fashion, beauty and lifestyle. It left us no choice but to start it ourselves…
The nature of what Collagerie does still means I get to do what I have done all my working life which is the curation of product and editing, but now we have just added on the huge learning curve that comes with starting a business. I think what continues to motivate me is a perspective that is bigger than my own taste and thinking about the desires of a wider group of people.
Has print always been a part of your wardrobe’s identity?
I have never seen getting dressed as a functional experience, I see it purely as something to be enjoyed. Although comfort is very much a part of this, I buy when I fall in love and what I know will make me feel like my best self. I think print naturally becomes a part of this because it is something you have a reaction towards, it acts as an expression of your mood, or an energy you want to convey and I think I have used it as a tool to do exactly this throughout the many phases of my life.
Both Collagerie and Borgo de Nor share a passion for creating stories. How do you find the inspiration to build the edits Collagerie has become so loved for?
Probably similarly to the way you design prints, a large part of how we build our edits on Collagerie is based on our intuition. It can really be anything, from a colour to a print to a feather. What is really fun is how digital media has allowed us to be so reactive which means if we have an idea it can become live in a matter of hours.
What would be your power outfit?
It would probably have to be a dress. I love the idea of putting one thing on and that it allows me to be both fashionable and comfortable. Sitting, standing, tube, school run, brand meeting, investor catchup; I think a good dress lets you do it all.
Where do you find down time/how do you escape in a busy life?
The reality is that you have to book it in. Whether it’s 20 minutes for a walk or a coffee, schedule that time and respect it.
As summer approaches, where is your next adventure taking you?
We are heading to Mallorca, it is somewhere so beautiful where you can really unwind, feel inspired by the landscape, eat incredible food and really disconnect. You will find me there this summer wearing lots of print and lots of Borgo de Nor.
What are you reading, listening and watching at the moment?
Collagerie Reads always has the best recommendations and so I am currently reading Once Upon A Time World by Jonathan Miles. Podcasts are a big go to for me and nothing will beat a good episode of How I Built This.
Watching…Not enough at the moment so if anyone has good recommendations please feel free to shout!
How does Borgo de Nor make you feel?
It brings me complete joy. I think of my Borgo de Nor pieces as clothes that I can really live in, from dancing to dining, working and relaxing.
A message that motivates you?
Be kind and work hard.