24 hours with Kellie Hush, editor-in-chief, Harper’s BAZAAR Australia

In this 24 hours with, Harper’s BAZAAR Australia editor-in-chief Kellie Hush talks repetitive lunches, overfiling and getting those all-important clicks.


Most mornings I’m woken up by our cat Jasper who loves to sit on my head in a passive aggressive way to get me up to feed him, but Mondays I go to yoga so my alarm beats the fur ball.

I live in Randwick and nearby at The Spot is this great new yoga studio This Is Yoga. My husband David says I’ve become addicted, which is true, and why I have no problem getting up on a Monday morning for a 6am class.


I always bring two coffees home so Dave and I can get through rush hour – school lunches packed, two kids wrangled, fed and dressed for school. Today is my eldest daughter Amelia’s 12th birthday so we also have present unwrapping and calls from grandparents to do in between everything else.

I always quickly scan my emails on my iPhone while I have a bowl of cereal to see if there’s anything I need to respond to urgently. My youngest daughter Lola, who is eight, told me recently I spend too much time on my phone so I’m conscious of this now. I see it all can wait until I’m in the office, then put my phone away.


I have to confess I’m not great at getting out of the house quickly if there’s no time pressure and today my first meeting is at 10am. If I have a plane to catch or an early meeting I’m super quick but if there’s no pressure I go slow, fiddle around (i.e. unpack the dishwasher) and usually arrive at the office by 9.30am.

I always drive into the city and I love the 30 minutes in the car where I can listen to Fran Kelly on Radio National. This morning she is interviewing Boy George about his next concert tour of Australia and he hangs up on her! Kelly asked him about his flamboyant gender-bending style in the 1980s. Not happy Fran. On arrival at 54 Park Street I have my second coffee for the day.


Last week I was in Melbourne for a few days at the Spring Racing Carnival so I have a heap of emails to reply to. It’s the first day our December issue’s on sale and I’m also chasing my team to get our digital assets up on social media as they should have gone up on Sunday night.

The digital team were flat chat filing racing galleries and stories last week, so I can understand why it slipped their mind, but I’m hot on the email chasing. At the moment I’m also trying to get British fashion designer Erdem to appear at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival in March.

I’m a huge fan of his, and when we caught up in Paris in October he was dead keen on coming to Australia, so I thought this would be a great opportunity. Fingers crossed the email I just sent will get him down here.


There’s no down time in publishing, so as soon as we send one issue to the printer we are working on the next. We have just shot our January cover in New York and my creative director Huw Reynolds and I have to go through the images sent by LA-based photographer Nino Munoz to choose the images we want to print, including the cover shot.

There can sometimes be hundreds of low-res images to go through, which makes selecting a specific cover incredibly tough, but Munoz has done a tight edit so Huw and I can quickly pick two cover options which Huw will mock up for me. I like to look at covers for a few days, play with masthead colours and take a poll in the office before I decide.  


I have a quick meeting with Gucci, which has its HQ just across the road from BAZAAR’s office. We are planning our 20th anniversary issue and I want to see the new collection that was presented in Milan in September as we are shooting the anniversary cover next month. I was at the show but I always want to see the clothes again up close.


I have called a meeting to go through our anniversary issue strategy. I want an update from advertising, digital, marketing and events to see where we are at. BAZAAR’s anniversary issue will be our March 2018 cover, on sale in February, but with Christmas in between we have to be well organised before everyone heads off on holidays. I want to have a big party to celebrate the issue so it’s my first topic of conversation. The fun first, then into how advertising sales are coming along…


Lunch is a salad wrap at my desk, which unfortunately happens every day unless I have a work lunch. My team thinks it’s hilarious but I pretty much eat the same thing every day and have done so for five years. I read that Barack Obama wore the same coloured suit every day so he could take that decision out of his day. My salad wrap is the same thing.

I eat and respond to emails at the same time – a bad habit. We have a lot of interest in our December issue from the digital press, so we are working out who we will give images to. Photographer Steven Chee took these incredible shots of Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances, who is now a fitness model, and her body is insanely fit, so there’s a lot of requests for those shots. It’s all about clicks!


I have an hour before my next meeting so do a first read and edit of two stories which have been filed by freelancers over the weekend. One story is from my Europe editor Jamie Huckbody who always overfiles. He’s given me 1350 words when I asked for 1000 so I have to cut, cut, cut before I send the story back to him for final fixes. I’ve actually started commissioning him to write 800 in the hope I’ll get 1000, but I think he’s on to me.


There’s a few people out of the office today but we still get together for a January issue production meeting. We run through the story list and chat about each story in detail to see where it’s at production wise – words, images, layout, subbing etc. It can be a name and shame session too! It’s usually me dragging the chain if I’m writing a story for an upcoming issue. Unfortunately for the art team I’ve become very good at writing my editor’s letter pretty much as the issue is going to press. I’m convinced Huw has started giving me fake deadlines.


Tomorrow we are hosting a brunch for 65 at District Brasserie to celebrate the December issue so we have to do the seating plan. It’s never easy trying to sort out the perfect seating plan! Eliza O’Hare, BAZAAR’s travel and culture editor is an events guru so I don’t have to be across the menu and flowers, but who sits where is something I have to be highly involved in as we’ve had events where people have been really unhappy about their spot. We decide that one table is too far away from the main table so call the restaurant and ask if we can have a new configuration… the new configuration means we have to start the seating plan over.


I’ve been asked by Hearst International – which launched Harper’s BAZAAR 150 years ago in the US – to film a short video for a commercial project they are working on, so I head down to the studio we have on site at Park Street.

We were given 12 hours’ notice, so have to film it on an iPhone as we didn’t have time to book a camera crew. The studio team have built us a makeshift “selfie stick” with a tripod plus a few clamps. It works perfectly and we get what we need in one take.


I’m trying hard to get out of the office by 5pm so I can spend the afternoon with the birthday girl. I still have to sign off on a few advertising props for our March issue and try on a Bianca Spender dress to wear to BAZAAR’s brunch tomorrow. Most nights I have a client event to attend, but tonight I will head straight home as Amelia wants to go to her favourite Thai restaurant for dinner.


Finally home. The kids have decided they now want takeaway as they are still in the pool swimming, so I’m straight back out the door and down the road to collect takeaway Thai.


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