Carolina O'Neill

Editorial Director,

Michael Kors 

Callie O'Neill - Frances Hart Dress 02

You have had such an impressive career in the Fashion world, starting at Net-A-Porter, then at Marie Claire and now as the Editorial Director at Michael Kors. Have you always had an interest in fashion from a young age? Tell us a bit about how you got started in your career?

I have always wanted to pursue a career in fashion, specifically in fashion editorial. I started a fashion magazine in college, and then, instead of studying abroad like many of my friends, I stayed back to take an internship in New York. I organized my classes to be two days a week, and on the other three days I took the bus from Philadelphia to Manhattan to intern at Vogue (I’d take the 6:30am bus to get to the office by 8:30am…crazy, right?). It was the best decision I ever made, because every opportunity I got after that I can trace back to that job. Some of my best friends to this day are people that I interned with at Vogue. Everyone just filtered into the industry after that. It’s this huge network of people, and we all started as interns.

 

Now that you have experienced pregnancy, we are sure you have learned so many things. What is one thing you would tell your former self or someone else who is pregnant for the first time?

That no matter how unprepared you feel, or how many questions you still feel like you don’t have the answers to, everything will fall into place and you’ll know how to do everything when the time comes. It’s instinct. Also, don’t stress about everything being perfectly set up before the baby’s arrival. Axel came a week early and I still had a lot to finish in his nursery—which I was so stressed about!—but it all got done eventually. It was actually nice to put the finishing touches on it after he’d arrived, as opposed to before.

 

Callie O'Neill - Frances Hart Dress 03

SHOP CALLIE'S LOOK:  Strappy Tiered Dress 

 

What has most shocked you about motherhood? What has most delighted you? 

What has most shocked me is how quickly the time goes. Everyone always says it, but seriously—they grow SO fast in the first few months. I just want time to stop! Also, knowing how much infants sleep during the day, I mistakenly thought that I’d have a lot of “me” time. Since their sleep is periodic, that’s just not the case—the “eat, sleep, poop” cycle starts back up again before you know it! 

What has most delighted me is how relatively easy my recovery was, and how mentally I’m in a great place. I know post-partum can be a really difficult period for so many mothers, and I was fully prepared to go through a hard time. Luckily, I’ve been in great spirits and feel very much myself.



What are you finding that you’re good at that you didn’t expect to be? 

I’ve been surprised at how calm I am in the occasional situations where he’s screaming at the top of his lungs. I thought I would panic in those moments, but I find myself just looking him in the eye and asking slowly, “What is it, honey? What’s wrong?” We always get to a resolution!

 

Callie O'Neill - Frances Hart 02
SHOP CALLIE'S LOOK:  Poplin Tie Neck Top 

 

What does it mean to be an Editorial Director in these times? How has that role evolved over time? 

I would say it means—and has always meant—thinking about how to shape, elevate and propagate a brand’s image. Now, that job has to be done across so many varying platforms, from TikTok and Instagram to the emails we send, our ecommerce site, and even content surrounding live events.



What does it mean to work for a global brand these days? How are tastes converging or diverging in different parts of the world? 

It means that you’re speaking to customers everywhere, so you need to have broad appeal. You have to find a balance between being clever and current, but also classic.


Callie O'Neill in Frances Hart

 

What are three of the things in your closet you’ve had the longest? What are they and why? 

This is hard! If I’m answering honestly, it would be a quilted nylon and leather Marni coat that was probably the first designer thing I ever purchased. It’s still insanely chic today. I also have a Bottega Veneta woven leather satchel that’s never gone out of style (it’s arguably even cooler today, since the brand has had a resurgence). I also have a black nylon Prada makeup bag that I bought in high school, and man, has that thing aged well. It even doubles as a clutch!



Where does a ‘fashion insider’ shop? How have your shopping habits changed in the last three years? 

Everywhere. Fashion insiders are experts at combining high and low. We’ll mix a designer bag with a Hanes t-shirt and vintage jeans. We generally know what pieces to spend our money on, and what pieces to save on (i.e. get from Zara). In terms of my shopping habits, in the last few years I’ve started shopping less and instead spending my money on items I know I’ll have forever, even if they’re more expensive. And I’ll always get a few new items if I’m going somewhere on vacation. It gets me excited!



Where do you look for style inspiration? 

The streets of New York! There is no better inspiration than taking a stroll through the city and seeing what people are wearing.

 

Callie O'Neill - Frances Hart 03 

SHOP CALLIE'S LOOK:

 Strappy Tiered Dress  AND  Poplin Tie Neck Top 

 

FOLLOW CALLIE @CAROLINAXONEILL