Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, tells SEEN what it’s like working for Oprah and why he designed a collection with Talbots that empowers women and supports the nonprofit Dress for Success.
By Alexa Caccamo
1. Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and bred in New York City and have been a magazine junkie since high school.
2. How did you get into fashion? My first internship was at Donna Karan when she had just launched her own collection. That experience really gave me the fashion bug, and after college I decided to pursue fashion as a career.
3. How did you get into O magazine and the publishing industry? I worked as a freelance stylist and art director, and I had done some work in publishing prior to joining O — as a contributing editor to House and Garden and then as style director at SELF magazine. Oprah called me for an interview, and she hired me on the spot.
4. What do you love most about your job and O? The readers. They are receptive and vocal, and we truly believe in putting out a magazine that caters to them.
5. What does a typical day look like for you? There is no typical day, and that’s another thing I love about my job. We work on a three- to four-month lead time, meaning we are conceptualizing, producing and closing different issues all at the same time. So one day I might be working on pulling looks for a cover shoot or filming a TV segment in the fashion closet and the next I’m selecting items for my “Love That!” column that runs in every issue.
6. What is it like to be the creative director of a magazine run by the one and only, Oprah Winfrey? It’s O-mazing! It’s been an incredible opportunity to not only work closely with Oprah, but to work alongside such talented colleagues to bring our readers everything they need to live their best lives.
7. Are there any challenges that come with being the creative director of O? Finding the time to get everything done in a day. I wish there were 30 hours in my day.
8. Can you tell us about the O and Talbots capsule collaboration that supports the nonprofit Dress for Success? What do you hope to achieve? It’s been a wonderful partnership, with three like-minded organizations coming together to help more women thrive in work and in life. We’ve raised over $4 million and collected over 15,000 boxes of donated business attire, benefiting over 100,000 women. We want women to feel empowered in the workplace and so many of the women from Dress for Success have told us firsthand that the right clothing is like a suit of armor for their confidence. We love hearing that!
9. What was it like co-designing the Talbots collection? Talbots knows their business like nobody else, and I know our readers and the Oprah sensibility, so it’s been a true collaboration. We learned from past years that our ladies wanted casual clothes that they can still feel good in and that look polished — so that helped guide us in designing this year’s collection.
10. What was the inspiration behind the collection? I am a firm believer that clothing must have an emotional connection with the buyer, and this line was designed to encourage self-care and make active women feel beautiful on the go. The clothes are easy to layer, mix and match, and add a pop of color to the mix. I’m so proud of this collection, because it can easily go from work to play.
11. Who inspires you in the fashion industry? I love what Brandon Maxwell is designing and the fact that he went from Lady Gaga’s stylist to full-blown designer. And Christian Siriano, who turned his “Project Runway” win into a big time career, and since day one, has believed in body inclusivity on his runway, which no other designer would do.
Now on to style…
12. Three words to describe your personal style: Classic, tailored and casual.
13. You’re never full dressed without? A good haircut, a watch and shoes.
14. You can never leave home without? Your cellphone and a pleasing personality.
15. Favorite places to shop? mrporter.com for clothing. Target for cleaning supplies and Ikea for home accessories.
16. What do you hope to accomplish with your fashion and creative directing career at O? I believe that every woman and every BODY, deserves to feel alive and beautiful in their clothes.
17. What is the most rewarding part of your job? How our editorial resonates with three generations of women. There is no other lifestyle magazine that can own that, like us.
18. What piece of advice would you give to someone who dreams of working in the fashion industry? Every cell and bone in your body must crave being in this business. It is important to understand historical reference of past designers, artists and generations to be modern and present in the industry.
19. What have you learned from working at O? To quote Oprah who quotes Dr. Maya Angelou, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”
20. What is your philosophy to achieve success? HARD WORK PAYS OFF. Nothing, and I mean nothing, comes easy without a price.
The five-piece collection designed by Adam Glassman is available at Talbots at the Somerset Collection in Troy. Dress for Success will receive 30 percent of collection proceeds. Monetary donations are accepted in store until March 31.