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Five Minutes With... Leonie Barlow, founder and editor of The Style Insider

By Beth Carter in Media News on

Influencing spends five minutes getting to know Leonie Barlow, founder and editor of style and beauty blog, The Style Insider.




Where do you work and what do you do?


I'm a journalist and I edit - a New Zealand based fashion, beauty blog I launched in August 2012.


How has your career evolved, and how did you get to where you are today?


I started as a reporter on a local newspaper about 20 years ago before moving into magazines as a staff writer on the New Zealand edition of Woman's Day magazine.


From there I moved back to Sydney (my hometown) where I worked on Woman's Day and New Idea before returning to New Zealand to edit the NZ edition of New Idea.


My next move was back to ACP where I edited CLEO, SHE and Fashion Quarterly magazines. I spent seven years editing Fashion Quarterly before being offered the role of editor of the NZ edition of The Australian Women's Weekly magazine. I edited AWW for four years before leaving to launch the Style Insider.


What have been your career highlights?


My career highlights would have to be editing New Zealand's leading fashion magazines, FQ, for seven fabulous years and also editing The Weekly - a magazine I grew up with and it was a real honour to steer the course of that title for four fab years.


What big trends do you predict will rise in the media industry in the future?


The biggest shift has been the rise of online publishing. I predict this to continue to grow and I'm sure it will continue to change the entire media landscape - as it has already.


Why the change from journalism to blogging and do you think there is still a big difference between the two?


I'd worked in magazines for almost 20 years and had enjoyed some of the best jobs in the industry and felt it was time to try something new. I'd always been a big fan of social media and I had a few favourite blogs that I always followed and so at 45 I felt it was time to take a leap of faith and jump straight in.


The jobs I'd had in print were going to be pretty hard to top so online seemed to me like my next logical career move. I love publishing and really wanted to learn more about the exciting "new" world of online.


What are the most important lessons you've learned about media / journalism?


Good contacts are everything in journalism. Always remember to be nice to people (you reap what you sow) and never ever get too big for your boots.  


What's your personal mantra?


What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!


What drink do you order most often in a restaurant, pub or bar?


A good New Zealand Savignon blanc

Your favourite place in the world?


Sydney - because it's my hometown and I always love coming home




Find out more on Leonie Barlow, follow her on Twitter, and like The Style Insider on Facebook.


Contact the author of this article by email (, phone (+61 2 9894 6277) or on Twitter.


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