Rubbing Shoulders

Some people admire sporting heroes, others obsess over reality television stars or inspirational and political leaders. It’s a very personal choice and I don’t believe we have the right to say that one is better than the other.

Through ‘Minnie Mélange‘, I have had wonderful opportunities to meet and speak with some individuals whom inspire me most. However, during my recent time at London Fashion Week, I had the fortune and somewhat luck to meet and briefly speak with someone whom I’m a huge fan of; Hamish Bowles.

Hamish Bowles & Sinéad Burke

Perhaps that name means nothing or very little to you, but I was in awe. Hamish studied in Central Saint Martin’s College and previously worked as both fashion editor and fashion director at Harper’s Bazaar before taking up a post at American Vogue in 1992. 22 years later, he is International Editor at Large at American Vogue.

In sync with his journalistic prowess, Hamish Bowles also owns one of the world’s largest collections of vintage clothes and has previously curated exhibitions for both the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and Oscar de la Renta’s ‘Balenciaga in Spain’ which toured both New York and San Francisco.

With Bowles’ consistent exhibition of grandeur in the pages of Vogue and in his manner of dress, one could easily assume that he is both unapproachable and unrelatable. In the New York Times, Vogue’s Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour commented on Bowles that “We have this vision of Hamish being this special person who lives in a special world, and he is not that at all. He can be at home anywhere”. Having met Hamish in London’s Somerset House, I cannot agree more with Anna. He politely stopped and we chatted briefly about his highlights from New York Fashion Week. He was generous with his time and words, and even bent down to literally ‘rub shoulders’ with me for a photo or two – all while he needed to be punctual for Sibling’s Autumn Winter presentation.

Hamish: 'Sinéad, would you like to be on the cover of US Vogue?' Sinéad: 'Let me check my diary!'

Hamish: ‘Would you like to be on the cover of US Vogue?’ Sinéad: ‘Let me check my diary!’

It was one of those moments that I will never forget and afterwards, felt completely surreal and left me a little shook. This ‘ode to Hamish’ may verge on fan-girling but to be honest, I’m quite alright with that.

You can find Hamish Bowles on Instagram here; an account that offers insights and witticisms you won’t find anywhere else.

Written by

Sinéad Burke is an academic and a writer with an obsessive interest in fashion, education and 'Extraordinary Women'. She is an ambassador for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the National Women's Council of Ireland.