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Style, The Brand

IN CONVERSATION WITH… ALICE FARMILOE

Our spring summer campaign is fronted by a group of diverse individuals who all stand for something, because at Dr. Martens we don’t just make shoes, we’re born out of innovation, creativity and a sprinkling of punk attitude. Whether in their career, a unique viewpoint or the art they create we want to showcase the authentic, everyday lives of the fascinating folk who wear Dr. Martens. Throughout the season we’ll be catching up with these individuals and finding out what makes them tick. First up is Alice Farmiloe, a digital editor with a penchant for Scandinavian design, who rose to the top of the career ladder at a prodigal age.

Alice wears the San Diego Persephone boot.
Alice wears the San Diego Persephone boot.

Hailing from the Yorkshire town of Huddersfield originally, Alice grew up the eldest of five children “I’m from a really big family, and I think being the eldest child makes you quite independent, most of my friends are oldest children too actually”. Inspired by her family’s business, a love of entrepreneurship was instilled in her from a young age. Alice’s passion for all things Scandinavian also started early (before the Scandi-mania that has taken hold of the UK in the past few years) “my grandparents had a house in Copenhagen and my Dad grew up there, so I’ve always had a great love for Danish fashion and design.”

Alice studied International Business with Spanish at Edinburgh University “I’ve always had a strong interest in business and I love the Spanish language, so it was the perfect course. I lived in Barcelona for a year as part of my course which was amazing”. Always ambitious, after completing her degree, Alice made “the inevitable move” to London where she started working for a social media agency “it was my first big job in the city and I was keen to work and learn and progress”, after this role Alice moved to the Leo Burnett, where she rose through the ranks at a breakneck speed to become their editorial director.

Alice wears the shoe.
Alice wears the Aliza Arcadia shoe with the Kiev backpack.

Her much-lauded move to women’s title Grazia was born from a well-mapped out career plan on Alice’s part, “I was really interested in content, and I thought that to truly become an expert in that field, I needed magazine experience.”. The move was a perfect fit “fashion has always been a huge passion of mine” and Alice was quickly promoted to Digital Editor-at-Large across several titles after just three months.

“Don’t follow the system just because it’s there. Think creatively, you might just come up with a new, better way of doing things.”

“While at Grazia, we came up with the idea to launch a live issue of the magazine in association with Facebook, which was the perfect fusion of digital and offline media.” It’s this innovative thinking that got Alice noticed by industry professionals, she was named one of Campaign’s 30 under 30, young rising stars to watch in the media.

If you need inspiration, Alice is your girl, speaking with her on our shoot in her beautiful, Scandi-inspired house in London’s trendy Stoke Newington, she was quick to offer career advice in true renegade Dr. Martens style. “Don’t be held back by your age. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re any less qualified to do a role. Don’t let hierarchy intimidate you, if you have a great idea then share it with your boss, or their boss. And you should always set goals and share them with someone – they might be able to help you.” “On that point, it’s important to have mentors, not just in your career, but people who you admire and trust who are willing to pass on their knowledge”.

After Grazia, Alice went solo and now consults big brands and start-ups on digital “I’ve always wanted to run my own business and be able to work with lots of clients. My ultimate aim is to build a team, but for now I’m super busy and no day is ever the same. Like working with Dr. Martens – that was totally unexpected – but the perfect fit.”

Alice wears the shoe.
Alice wears the Annah Soft Buck shoe.

Outside of work, Alice loves to roam the city listening to Podcasts on her journeys “I’m a Podcast obsessive, I have literally so many on my phone. My Big Idea from NPR has interesting interviews with people like the CEO of Uber or the founder of Airbnb. Just really inspiring stuff. Of course, I loved Serial, and I’m just waiting until the next season to binge listen to.”

Looking around Alice’s flat, it’s clear she’s got green fingers and is no stranger to a pot plant “my sister sent me a meme recently that said ‘plant ladies are the new cat ladies’ and I’m definitely that lady. It’s a hobby, picking up new ones around Stoke Newington. My local area is full of great boutiques, Church Street especially, and there’s Clissold Park which is beautiful. I do Pilates at least twice a week as well, it’s just a bit of time out, to be mindful”.

Art galleries are always high on Alice’s list of things to do in her spare time “London has loads, so I try and take advantage as much as I can. There’s a Hockney exhibition at the Tate I’m planning to go to, he’s a fellow Yorkshireman” Apart from London, travel to different European cities is a passion of Alice’s “I find it really inspiring to go on short city breaks, mostly to Scandinavian cities” and she has a trip planned to visit Colombia where her brother has just moved, where she’ll be rationing her time on social media “I’m online all the time for work, so in my personal time I like to step back”.

For her shoot with Dr. Martens, Alice styled some pairs of more refined DM’s styles “I was so impressed with the diversity of the range. We [my siblings and I] all grew up wearing Docs so they’ve been a part of my life since I was very young. My first pair were the flowery boots. I think this campaign is all about celebrating individuality and it’s great when fashion can allow you to do that. My style has gone from quite maximalist in my teens to a more minimal look now but I can continue to wear DM’s as my style evolves – I especially love the new loafers, they’re really cool”.

Something we ask everyone who works with us at Dr. Martens, whether they’re musicians, artists, store staff or collaborators is ‘what do you stand for?’ and Alice’s life motto is elegant and straight to the point “always being true to yourself. That’s what I stand for. In any situation, it’s a good thing to check in with yourself and what you actually want and need”.

You can find Alice on her Instagram.