Marion Hume

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Marion Hume
Born England
Occupation fashion journalist, ethical fashion consultant, editor, lecturer
Known for journalism, activism, BBC series The Look (1992)
Notable work Vogue USA, Time Magazine, The Financial Times, The Australian Financial Review

Marion Hume (born 3 July 1962) is a British fashion journalist based in London. Her career spans the UK, the US and Australia. She has interviewed Yves Saint Laurent, Diana Vreeland, Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Giorgio Armani as well as chief executives of global fashion businesses including LVMH, Richemont, Kering (formerly PPR), Chanel and Max Mara Group. She is also the senior consultant for The Ethical Fashion Initiative of the United Nations’ agency, ITC (International Trade Centre), which works with designers including Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney to harness the power of fashion as a vehicle out of poverty for some of the world’s most marginalized artisans. She is the International Fashion Editor of The Australian Financial Review (AFR) and the curator of the AFR's Bespoke, a celebration of creative collaboration at The Sydney Opera House. She writes for The Financial Times and The Saturday Telegraph Magazine.

Life and career[edit]


Hume was born in England of Scottish parents and raised in Chalfont St Giles, a pretty village known for its associations with the 17th century poet, John Milton. Her father, Kenneth Hume, was a designer; her mother Rena, an art teacher. She attended Exeter University, where she majored in English literature and was awarded the Dean’s Commendation and where she began reporting for the campus newspaper, Signature and broadcasting on the campus radio station. She began her career when she won Honey Magazine's 'Young Journalist Award' in 1985. During the 1980s she worked at the trade titles, Men’s Wear and Fashion Weekly and then at the UK office of Fairchild Publications' W magazine for which she interviewed Sir Douglas Fairbanks. She joined The Sunday Times in 1988, reporting from Paris, Milan and New York. She also covered the beginnings of Spanish fashion weeks in Madrid and Barcelona and was probably the first international journalist to visit a then-fledgling company in La Coruna called Inditex (Zara). Profiles included Calvin Klein, Hermes and Romeo Gigli.

The Look[edit]

In 1989 Hume was tagged by independent film makers, Freelance Film Partners as the insider they needed for a BBC six-part series called The Look. For the next two years, she worked on the series and also appears in 5 of the 6 episodes. Interview subjects included Gianni Versace, Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Christian Lacroix. The episode entitled Runway was the first to chart the evolution of the Supermodel. Yves Saint Laurent refused to be interviewed for the hour-long documentary about him, although close associates including Pierre Berge, Catherine Deneuve, Paloma Picasso and Betty Catroux did speak on his behalf and Saint Laurent himself was filmed backstage at his haute couture shows and at his 30th Fashion Birthday at the Opera Bastille, Paris. The Look has been broadcast all over the world and was most recently repeated on BBC4.[1]



Concurrently, Hume was the launch fashion editor of the UK edition of Esquire (1990). From 1993-1996, Hume was Fashion Editor of The Independent during which time the fashion coverage expanded in both the daily and the Independent on Sunday. Her profiles included Patsy from Ab Fab, aka Joanna Lumley,[2] Lauren Hutton, Verushka, Fabien Baron and the photographers Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh. She reviewed Alexander McQueen’s first show.[3] A review of a Chanel show entitled "No Way to treat a Lady" started a feud with Karl Lagerfeld, with Hume praised for "not being part of the 'conspiracy of silence'; for her professionalism, her integrity and her independence."[4] In 1996 Hume joined The Financial Times, filing weekly fashion updates. The same year, she was the writer and associate producer of The South Bank Show special on John Galliano (season 20, episode 12, 1997)[5] directed by Nigel Wattis, hosted by Melvyn Bragg.[6]

Vogue Australia[edit]

Back in 1994, Hume had started writing for US Vogue. She was made contributing editor in 1996. That year, Anna Wintour and Kate Betts (the latter then at Vogue) were asked who should be the editor of Vogue in Australia. In February 1997, Hume and her husband, photographer Peter Hunt left for Sydney. In 1998, Hume was fired from Vogue Australia in a hail of publicity although she said nothing. Significantly, her strong association with US Vogue continued.


Hume became a contributing editor to US Harper's Bazaar. Editor-in-chief, Kate Betts sent her all over the world on assignments, praising her in her editor's letter as ‘steadfast and unafraid.’ Hume left Bazaar following Bett's departure in 2001. Commuting between New York and Sydney, she also took on the post as fashion editor of The Australian. Leading advertising agency, M&C Saatchi were hired by News Ltd to capitalize on the notoriety of their latest hire with billboard advertisements reading, ‘Marion Hume gets under the skin of the Fashion Industry’ and ‘The world's most vicious fashion journalist now writes for us. Be warned, if there is any nonsense on or off the catwalk, she just won’t wear it.’ [7] In 2002, she joined the competing Australian media giant, Fairfax Media. Determined now to quit round-the-world travelling for a while and see as much of Australia and New Zealand as possible, Hume, who had already written about the South Sea Pearl industry for US Vogue, headed back to Broome Far North Western Australia to pen a cover story for Sunday Life magazine called Prince of Pearls. This was subsequently optioned by Mushroom Pictures and went into development as Saltwater Heart but has not been made. Her on-set film reporting included The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001), Rabbit Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002) and Ned Kelly (Gregor Jordan, 2003) the latter with Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom. In 2002 Hume became an Australian citizen.

She has interviewed stars of sports, music and movies including David Beckham, Ian Thorpe, Mark Webber, Pharrell Williams, Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Gillian Anderson, Greta Scacchi, Kate Winslet and in a brief interview for US Vogue, the legendary Katharine Hepburn.

The Fashion Pack[edit]

2005 saw the publication of Hume's novel The Fashion Pack, published by Penguin, initially to rave reviews.[8] Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said of it "We thought we knew everything about fashion...until The Fashion Pack came out!" However publication served as an opportunity for her firing from Vogue Australia to be re-aired.[9] Hume and her husband Peter Hunt relocated back to London permanently in 2005 when work on Time magazine's Style & Design special supplements, published six times a year with the U.S., Europe and Asian editions of the magazine, became too challenging from a Sydney base. Hume reported from all corners of the globe for the magazine until it was shuttered in September 2009.

The Australian Financial Review[edit]

Being based closer to the global centres of fashion proved an advantage when Hume was named International Fashion Editor of The Australian Financial Review (2006) for which she writes a monthly column and helms two fashion specials per year. Interview subjects have included Natalie Massenet, Sir Paul Smith, Sir Philip Green, Dries van Noten, Burberry's Christopher Bailey, Louis Vuitton's Kim Jones and Hussein Chalayan. In August 2010, Hume returned to Australia’s Far North West, this time to write about Tiffany and Co’s ethical partnership with the Ellendale mine, the source of the world's most lustrous yellow diamonds. She has also written about Australia’s peerless pink diamonds.

The Ethical Fashion Initiative[edit]

In 2009, Hume was appointed an International Consultant to the United Nations’ agency, ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative. In 2011 she became senior consultant. Hume works with the designer partners of The Ethical Fashion Initiative, and closely with Simone Cipriani, who helms this vast initiative which has more than 5,000 people in long term work in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and in Haiti.[10] High points for the initiative have included Suzy Menkes’ 2011 trip to Kenya[11] and trips with Vivienne Westwood[12] and Sass & Bide.[13]

2012 onwards[edit]

Concurrent with the AFR, Hume authored Letter From London for Forbes[14] and contributed to the website[15] One of the few on-set reporters for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (2013), she was granted rare access to Carey Mulligan. Her interview with double Academy Award winner, Costumier, Catherine Martin appeared in The Saturday Telegraph Magazine.

Bespoke, The Sydney Opera House[edit]

Fashion summit, Bespoke, was staged at World Heritage Listed icon, The Sydney Opera House on 16 May 2013.[16] Speakers included billionaire businessman, James Packer; Jeremy Langmead, Mr Porter; Saturdays Surf NYC; Ramdane Touhami; Imran Amed, The Business of Fashion; Eugene Tan, Aquabumps; and Karen Walker. A fashion shoot was created live as the summit progressed. Starring Coco Rocha and in collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar, it generated global social media engagement.[17] Aboriginal model, Samantha Harris launched Australian Indigenous Fashion Week (AIFW, to take place April 2014) from the Opera House stage at Bennelong Point. Hume curated Bespoke and co-hosted with Australian actor, Simon Burke. Over 1,100 people were in attendance.


Black on White: opinions and reflections about design (contributor, edited by Jose Antonia Gimenez), Hiatus, 2013 (ISBN 978-84-615-2477-8).

The Fashion Pack, Penguin, 2005 (ISBN 9780670041640).

The Cutting Edge: 50 years of British Fashion (contributor, edited by Amy de La Haye), The Victoria & Albert Museum, 1998 (ISBN 1851771999).

Television documentaries[edit]

The South Bank Show special: John Galliano, season 20, episode 12, 1997.

The Look, BBC, 1992.


External links[edit]