Caryn Franklin, 61, is a brilliant woman. One of fashion’s tribal elders, the visiting professor, journalist, stylist, producer, author, campaigner and activist has worked in the industry for nearly 35 years. Starting her career as fashion editor on i-D magazine in the 1980s, Franklin went on to spend 15 years presenting and directing The Clothes Show for the BBC, working in education and as a business ambassador before co-founding All Walks Beyond the Catwalk with Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor. She has travelled all over the world, from war zones to workshops, and remains a pioneering voice for diversity, equality, inclusion and sustainable practices.
We met briefly when I was a fashion editor and then got to know each other properly when collaborating on a number of research projects through the Diversity Network (this was when I was lecturing in journalism part-time). In midlife, with numerous responsibilities and work commitments, Caryn admits to having experienced a ‘Breakdown Breakthrough.’ Overworking, not sleeping and not listening to her body had a serious impact, ‘When I stopped I was really ill,’ she says, ‘and since I’ve recognised my limitations I have become much more humble.’
Returning to study for an MSC in Applied Psychology, in her 50s, she now adds visiting professor at Kingston School of Art to a long list of achievements. Describing herself as a ‘disruptive fashion lover’, Caryn Franklin continues to work in the fashion industry and to use her position as a force for good. As far as Caryn is concerned, it’s the people that count, ‘I am hugely privileged to have met wonderful people from all over the world….individuals that have aroused in me the most respect and excitement. That for me is where I feel my heart connected.’
This is a Podcast on the blog That’ not my Age ….
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