Media Interview with Emily London, editor of Refinery29 London

Emily London got her start in fashion and beauty in the dressing up box at school, eventually working her way up from this auspicious beginning to the beauty teams at Tatler, Vogue and Good Housekeeping, the fashion frontlines at Glamour Russia, and THEOUTNET.COM, eventually taking on the editorship at the London faction of popular US website Refinery29 earlier this month.

"Looking for that new unexpected angle" is what Refinery29 is about, having launched its UK channel back in December. Following on from its successful older 'sister' back in the US, London's version takes some essential staple elements from its sibling's 'wardrobe', while showcasing its own unique approach to style. Today Emily fills us in on what's coming up for the website, and gives us some fashion tips (we could sure use them)…

About Refinery29 London

Refinery29 finally made its way to the UK in December – what can London's followers of fashion find on the website?

Every day, Londoners can look forward to receiving the latest news on what is happening in their city. They can expect exclusive interviews with the stylish men and women that matter, reviews of up-and-coming designers, and guides on where to go out. It’s going to be the most stylish resource to all the exciting things that are taking place right here, right now.

What initially inspired the name?

Refinery29 distills all of the information that is out there in the marketplace and showcases only the best and most newsworthy for its readers. It’s all about quality. That’s reflected in the name.

Is the UK version taking a different approach to the US original in any way?

Apart from certain spellings, we will stick to the same approach to stories that have made the U.S. version the hit that it is today!

How do you think fashion and style differs between the two countries?

I would say that Londoners take a very experimental approach to fashion. There is an edge to their look. In the States, NYC has real polish, and over on the West Coast, L.A. lives and breathes laid-back elegance.

The website will feature editorials from ‘Brit It Girls’ – for us unfashionables out here, who are they?!

I have a long list of fabulously stylish women that I would love to do editorials with. Aluna Francis, Florrie Arnold, Lianne la Havas, and Laura Mvula are just some of the people on that list. 

Which websites/magazines/papers available in the UK media market are Refinery29 London competing with? What makes Refinery29’s London version different (and, perhaps, better) than them?

In terms of competition, sites like Londonist, Emerald Street, and Timeout are on our radar, but what sets Refinery29 London apart is our unique tone of voice and original photography.

About Refinery29 and freelance journalists

Will London’s branch of Refinery29 be paying for contributions from freelance journalists?

Absolutely. We pay for contributions from freelance journalists.

How should freelance journalists get in touch to pitch ideas? 

Yes! They should pitch ideas directly to me or the wider Refinery29 team. The ideas should be tailored towards celebrating personal style, fashion, and the London community (food, nightlife, beauty, design).

About PRs

What information/input from PRs will be most useful to you?

It would be great to receive information that helps us build stories that we know will appeal to our readers. It can be anything from a new store opening to an interview opportunity or statistics on shopping habits in the capital. When it comes to editorials, we are always looking for that new, unexpected angle.

Are PRs generally a stylish bunch, in your opinion?

Of course! Some of the most stylish people I know work in PR.

About you

You’ve previously worked at Happy, Good Housekeeping and THEOUTNET.COM – how did you originally get into journalism?

I secured placements at magazines straight out of university and worked my way up!

Have you always been interested in the fashion/style arena? Who are your personal fashion icons?

Ever since I was a child, fashion has always been important to me. One of my first report cards in kindergarten mentioned the inordinate amount of time I spent in the dressing-up box!

I am a big fan of tailoring and structured silhouettes, so my style icons are Tilda Swinton and Joan Crawford. Tilda looks incredible in anything that Haider Ackermann designs, and 'Mildred Pierce' is a movie I watch again and again for the costumes alone.

Looking back, what is the worst outfit/piece of clothing/accessory you’ve ever worn?

I don’t believe in worst outfits. I grew up in the '90s when plaid shirts, dyed Levi's and Dr. Martens were the only things to be seen in. I wore all of those things, and looking back on it makes me cringe but I would do it all over again. I believe you’ve got to experiment with different looks and styles before you can truly understand what works for you.

What are your favourite places to shop?

There are so many places I love to shop in London. I’m a vintage addict so I always enjoy going to the Frock Me sale at Chelsea Town Hall. When I’m in town, I love popping into Liberty. I could spend hours in the beauty hall. Deptford Market on a Saturday is always great for a rummage. I’m also a big online shopper, with a soft spot for designer bargains. THEOUTNET.COM and have incredible selections of amazing brands, like Marni and Alexander Wang.

Working in and writing about the more luxurious, classic, and beautiful parts of life, do you have any rather more lowbrow guilty pleasures that you enjoy? That you feel comfortable sharing with us, anyway…

I don’t really consider this lowbrow but I am a box-set fiend. I devoured all four series of 'Breaking Bad' in about two weeks! Also, I have a weakness for bad horror movies. There is no better stress reliever than going to an afternoon showing of 'Paranormal Activity 2'. Trust me on this one…


Catch up with the latest fashion finds at and @refinery29.

Related news

Alice Casely-Hayford promoted at Refinery29 (UK)

HELLO! Fashion Monthly’s Delphine Chui says “HELLO!” to freelancing

Appointment at Refinery29 UK

Editorial appointment at

Media Database
subscriber content

  • Refinery29 (UK)
    11 contacts
Login to view content
Not subscribed?
Contact us for a demo
New! Check out our Media Jobs board for PR and Journalism vacancies Learn more