MECCA MUSE

REY-HANNA VAKILI:
DIGITAL STRATEGIST

REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST
REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST

1 FORMIDABLE FORMER BOSS. 4 CITIES (AND COUNTING). 6 PAIRS OF DOLCE & GABBANA STATEMENT EARRINGS. A PREDILECTION FOR ALL THINGS LA MER.

Sydney-born Rey-Hanna Vakili is a true globetrotter. Having left home at 18 to study Political Science and Global Affairs at Yale University, she has spent the last eight years studying and working in the US and the UK. Currently based in London as a strategy consultant at rewardStyle (an affiliate marketing network for digital publishers), her first job fresh out of university was at American Vogue as Assistant to the Editor-In-Chief, Anna Wintour. [A fashion fairytale if ever there was.] As Rey gets ready to make the next move to her fifth city, she met up with The MECCA Memo to share her tried-and-trusted tips for career success, the mascara she won’t trade for anything, and the work ethic she gleaned from the most famous woman in fashion.

REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST
REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST

ON WHAT IT WAS REALLY LIKE WORKING FOR ANNA WINTOUR:

"My time at Vogue working for Anna was remarkable, both for the lessons I learnt and the incredible people I met along the way (President Obama being one of them). I got to shadow an industry leader day in and day out and take part in power politics of the highest form. I took notice of how Anna surrounded herself with the best and brightest minds in fashion, culture and politics. I also realised that there’s not a person in the industry who isn’t indebted to her and that’s because she’s always willing to give her time to those she believes have potential. It was a round-the-clock job and I really think it was the best training in work ethic and discipline. I also became a walking guide for the best that NYC has to offer (best florist, restaurants, stationery, coffee, dry cleaner…). No one knows that city as well as the Vogue girls do!"

" Making the decision to leave Vogue was definitely one of the most challenging moments in my life. "

…AND WHY SHE LEFT IT ALL (AND NEW YORK) BEHIND:

"Making the decision to leave Vogue was definitely one of the most challenging moments in my life. Going from a very traditional, well-established industry like publishing to moving to London to work at a digital start-up was a big risk for me to take but I’m so glad I did it. My time at Vogue cemented my love for the fashion industry and offered me a priceless network of contacts. My experience at rewardStyle has helped me understand the operations of a rapidly growing digital start-up and shown me how businesses expand into emerging markets. I’ve really had the opportunity to push myself in new and exciting ways working here on the Influencer Development team."

ON HER PERSONAL STYLE SIGNATURE ON HER PERSONAL STYLE SIGNATURE
ON HER PERSONAL STYLE SIGNATURE ON HER PERSONAL STYLE SIGNATURE

ON THE ONE DESIGNER SHE’D HAPPILY WEAR FOREVER:

"It would have to be Dolce & Gabbana. When you see their collections you immediately feel like you’re in Capri or Sicily. I also love up-and-coming designer Johanna Ortiz—all those ruffles! I guess my fashion sense is a little bit over the top. I think everyone should own a piece of costume jewellery too, either to wear casually or to really dress something up."

ON BEING A LIPSTICK FIEND:

"I’m pretty minimalist and like looking clean, put together, and fresh-faced. I never wear foundation but I do love a good mascara—Lancôme Grandiose is insanely effective and people will always ask me about my lashes when I’m wearing it. I’m also a lipstick fiend; I never leave the house without a lipstick or gloss. It’s the easiest way to make yourself look fresh and awake and I tend to like pinky/purples, almost like your natural lip colour but slightly darker. I also love YSL’s Touche Éclat highlighter—it’s a must-have for your handbag."

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ON HER SKIN SAVIOURS:

"I know there are people who come home after a late night, then crash and go straight to bed in their makeup but no matter how exhausted I am or lazy I’m feeling, removing my makeup is an absolute necessity. Living in these crazy, fast-paced cities like New York and London where you feel stressed and you can literally feel the pollution, maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with cleansing.

I love La Mer everything—their cleanser, toner, eye serum and the moisturising cream. Growing up my mum was such a big beauty influence and she has the most flawless skin. She’s also a huge advocate of skin care and has been using La Mer for years."

REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST
REY VAKILI: DIGITAL STRATEGIST

HER 5 CAREER HACKS:

"1. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If you never ask, the answer is always no. 2. Setting goals provides direction. I set myself clear benchmarks I want to achieve and then review them frequently to make sure I’m on track. 3. Be decisive; make a decision and stick to it. 4. I think that persistence is the key to success. Things have never come naturally to me and I believe in the value of hard work and persistence. 5. Be nice to everyone. You never know when someone might be able to help you."

ON HER NEXT MOVE:

"In September I’m moving to California to study full time for my MBA at Stanford University. I can’t wait to be surrounded by brilliant minds in the beating heart of the tech/start-up capital. I am a huge geek, always have been. The thought of going back to school and sitting in a lecture hall is thrilling to me."


Madeleine Boyd
Jake Terrey
Jen Horsley for MECCA
Lucy O’Donnell

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