Interview: Jackie Frank Takes Us Under The Cover of Marie Claire

| 10 June , 2011 | 7 Replies

The treadmill in her office helps keep her nerves calm, but when you look at Jackie Frank, you would think that ‘stress’ is an alien word to her. She is the publisher and editor of Australia’s top fashion magazine and starting Sunday (June 12th), she’s inviting the entire nation into her second home - marie claire’s editorial office via new reality show marie claire: Under the Cover.

Getting an insight into the world of glossy magazines is not a new concept anymore. It started with The Devil Wears Prada obsession, not long after The September Issue upped the ante (thank you Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington), the onshore production of ACP giant Park Street was a disappointment and then Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo made everyone fall in love with Asher Keddie.

But Frank says marie claire: Under the Cover has its own niche. Its own class.

“Paper Giants was a drama – it was a scripted drama with incredible acting. But yes, it was wonderful and engaging… The grounding might be the same, but the show isn’t. Marie Claire is a magazine of style and substance and you\’ll see that through the series,” she says.

The show will give an insight into what it’s like to produce a magazine that sits pretty on your coffee table every month. Although, we all have probably come to a mutual agreement that the magazine and publishing industry isn’t (just) about designer shoes, free lipsticks and chauffeur driven cars. Having camera crew in and around the mc office for over six months, Frank hopes the show reaches out out to her readers.

We saw the promo trailer last week, but to get a deeper insight into what we can expect from the show, I had a chat with the lady in-charge herself. Jackie tells us how she feels about her world-renowned voice, why reality shows are important and why she’s not like American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour.

Shitika: What was the motivation to showcase the world of marie claire?
Jackie: In this time and age, anything that reaches out to extend the brand message is enticing and important. The opportunity to be able to get the brand across another medium apart from the brand itself. It is documentary style so it captures the normal work environment as part of producing a magazine.

Shitika: How did everyone in the office prepare themselves for the show?
Jackie: It was awkward, at first. Obviously, some people are born performers and others aren\’t so much. They are here because they\’re producing a magazine and not to showcase their ability to appear on camera. So some were nervous, some didn\’t want be a part of it and some embraced it.

Shitika: How important, do you think, are these media-driven reality shows and what’s their purpose?
Jackie: They’re all an added bonus to the brand and publication. The main game is to sell the magazine, so anything that gets the profile of the magazine out there is great. But the magazine always speaks for itself, not the television show.

Shitika: Is marie claire: Under the cover answer to the Hollywood blockbuster The September Issue?
Jackie: No way! American Vogue is unique. The September Issue was filmed differently. Here, we had one camera and it wasn’t 24/7. It\’s also done by the factual department of Channel Seven, so it\’s a different vision. This is not a movie.

Shitika: How do you feel about being called “the intercom” around the office, like the promo suggests?
Jackie: (Laughs) At first, I got a fright because I just do it, I just scream out. I\’ve been doing this for 16 years now. Seeing myself on camera doing (screaming out) that made it seem quite bizarre. I never knew how it appeared to others. I never stop and reflect on what I look like to others. But it\’s true, when I use the phone they don\’t answer me but when I scream out, I get their attention instantly. It works, that’s all I’m saying!

Shitika: How has the magazine changed since the first issue came out in August 1995?
Jackie: The whole world has changed in 16 years. Social, political issues have changed and what people want is totally different. People want to be connected differently. The size (of the magazine) and the content has changed drastically. Marie Claire is the vehicle to the voice of Australian women. One thing that hasn’t changed is that we bring up the issues and are not afraid to tackle them. The fact that it\’s a combination of substance and style – that hasn\’t changed. As an editor, I’m still challenged to bind together a unique issue every month.

Shitika: Tell me in four words – who is Jackie Frank?
Jackie: Mother, wife, daughter and editor.

marie claire: Under the Cover will premiere nationally on 7TWO this Sunday, June 12th at 6.30pm and if you missed it, you can check out the trailer here.

Joshua Morris for Marie Claire


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Comments (7)

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  1. Sassi Sam says:

    To be honest I can’t remember details sorry. 🙁

  2. Michelle_Williams_76 says:

    Well many people experience that level of “normal” – that’s industry for you, but most people still treat others with respect – something Ms Frank simply does not do. And the mouth on her! It’s disgusting to hear a ‘lady’ speak like a sailor. So many ‘f’ words!

  3. Sassi Sam says:

    For Jackie, this is her ‘normal’ world … it’s fast, furious and crazy all at the same time and it has to be juggled the best way it can.

  4. Michelle_williams_76 says:

    “Normal work environment”?? If Frank believes a ‘normal’ work environment is a constitution of screaming at staff, abusing your position as a manager by forcing staff do to things a ethical manager would not, swearing like a sailor, leaving the office for personal appointments minutes before clients are arriving for meetings, and generally just acting like nothing or no-one else matters then “normal” has become quiet the opposite of how the rest of the world view ‘normal’.

  5. peter w says:

    Does anyone really care?

    Or are these shows just a tribute to the dying world of magazines?

    The money is moving to the internet. Follow it don’t fight it jackie

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