Q&A with Sally-Ann Mullin
Project Runway New Zealand
Sally-Ann’s career wasn’t always in fashion. Whilst training to be a doctor in Dunedin, she had an epiphany realising it wasn’t for her and headed for Auckland to fulfil her dream of working in fashion.
Currently the Editor of Fashion Quarterly magazine, Sally-Ann’s day job varies in tasks. From scouring through 1000s of images to find the perfect one, to selecting what trends they are covering next season, her role translates perfectly as a judge for Project Runway. Having an eye for what will and won’t work in the current world of fashion means Sally-Ann can offer invaluable feedback to the contestants.
What will you bring to the judging panel?
I’m hoping to bring supportive and constructive feedback that will help the designers refine their skills and get one step closer to realising their dream.
How do you think you and the other judges complement each other?
Georgia, Benny and I come from three different areas of the fashion industry, so we bring three unique perspectives. Georgia knows the female form, how to wear and style a look and what’s being coveted around the world at the chicest of events. Benny knows all about the anatomy of construction, design and forming a collection; and I know what looks great in a fashion image, what directional looks will get you press and what women want to buy.
What would you say was your breakthrough moment in the fashion industry?
In a chance encounter, I met my predecessor, Fiona Hawtin, in line at a beauty event. There was a power outage and we had to leave the building, and she kindly invited me to dinner with her and a few other fashion-media doyens. It was through that connection that I was offered my first opportunity to contribute to Fashion Quarterly. Three years later, I became Editor.
What does fashion mean to you personally?
The excitement of what I’m going to wear each day and what I’ll dress my five-year-old son in gets me out of bed each morning. My mother taught me that a woman can never be too overdressed or well-presented, and that’s something that has stuck with me for life. Dress for the life you want. Fashion is fun, it’s frivolous, and with so much to worry about in this insane world, it always makes me smile. It’s the way we express ourselves and says so much without us even opening our mouths.