The Queen of fashion magazines. Revamping photoshoots and addressing hot topics at magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar.
A true pioneer in the fashion editorial space, Kira Alvarez is a creative force to be reckoned with. Alvarez studied graphic design in Mexico City, which landed her a job at a local magazine where she fell in love with the editorial world. Since her time with this local magazine, her career has only grown in size.
Soon after, Alvarez found herself in New York working for Trace Magazine. For 10 years, this edgy, underground magazine laid the foundation of Alvarez’s editorial career. Since Trace was a smaller magazine, Alvarez was truly involved in each step of production. In NYC, she “learned to stay hungry but never act thirsty,” which explains her driven work ethic and go-getter mindset. Then, one opportunity a skip and a hop away in Amsterdam evolved into a much bigger adventure- Alvarez’s entire international editorial career. Shortly after arriving in Amsterdam, an opportunity of a lifetime landed in her lap named Vogue Spain. At Vogue Spain, Alvarez learned the intricacies of planning photoshoots, which would prove beneficial during her time as Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire Mexico. Alvarez’s timeline between Vogue Spain and Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire Mexico includes working in the fashion department for Vogue Mexico, filling the Fashion Director position at Harper’s Bazaar Mexico, and having her first child. A very busy timeline, indeed.
As Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire Mexico, Alvarez was given the chance “to bring the magazine back to its core: journalism for women.” The publication featured covers addressing the normalization & importance of breastfeeding, legalization of cannabis and abortion in Mexico, the female faces of the pandemic, self-love, and body-positive. The tough topics? She doesn’t shy away.
From her position at the local Mexico City magazine to Editor-in-Chief at Marie Claire Mexico, Alvarez has paved her path through the editorial world and relit a fire underneath journalism for women. After knowing Alvarez for many years, Édité jumped at the chance to include her in our series in hopes our platform will shed light on her mission and inspire women around the world.
Kira Alvarez Bueno
Tell us about your amazing career in fashion magazines and styling. Your past shoots have always turned out so glamorous, what was the process behind it all? Where did you gather inspiration?
I have a HUGE magazine collection that I constantly check on for inspiration, it goes from commercial titles like Vogue Paris to other more independent like Visionaire, Industrie, Self Service, Gentlewoman… Also, internet is a good source to review what others are doing and get inspired with their talent and imaginary. And of course, the usual suspects: the books I read, the exhibitions I go to, the movies I get to watch… recently I don’t have enough time with my toddler, but I try to always enrich my vision in any possible way.
How did your first experiences in the fashion industry inform your career? What lessons did you learn early on in your career?
I guess, the most important lesson I learned is to always stay humble. When I first moved to NYC it really hit me, I realized how much more was left to be done. NYC helped me to stay hungry but never act thirsty. I also learned to remembered who have been there since the beginning and to lend a hand to others the way I was aided. You must to give back the love you were given!
What qualities do you believe are essential to being successful in the fashion industry?
I believe you have to be really, really hard-working, doing it for the passion and not the money, and being extremely disciplined. Talent without consistency is nothing. You have to achieve greatness every single time, in every single project. That will create you the reputation needed to be successful in the industry.
What is the “Kira” mantra?
Always stay true. To yourself, your mission, your beliefs, your people.
How do you balance being a mom and a busy working woman?
I don’t think I am successful at that! . I try to do both roles but you always feel like you are missing something or not giving your best. Recently I read that the mom guilt is gendered, we should ask ourselves if we were men would we feel like this? Before Covid-19 it was easier with daycare and we had the help of a nanny. Now, even with dad present 24/7, is extremely hard to juggle everything. Covid-19 has exposed the gender gap and how much unpaid housework is done by women.
Do you think the fashion industry is changing in regard to inclusivity? Where can we continue to do better?
I consider we are very far to have an inclusive industry. In every aspect we are lacking inclusion. We don’t have many women leading companies, disable people don’t feel represented in any media or campaign, we don’t have enough racial diversity in editorials, runways or advertorials, even the clothing remains separated in just two genders: menswear and womenswear. We are not even including Mother Earth in our production processes, in our accelerated change of seasons, in the way we consume… A good start is to get informed on what you are consuming, from content to brands and everything in between. There is A LOT left to be done, we can start by changing the idea that we are doing enough, because we can always do better in terms of inclusion.
During your time at Marie Claire, you took the opportunity to highlight important topics in multiple magazine covers-such as the normalization of breast feeding and motherhood. What prompted you to take such a stand? What is the story?
When I became EIC at Marie Claire Mexico I had it really clear, I wanted to bring the magazine back to its core: journalism for women. For me, it was imperative to talk about issues that portrayed the current times. My first cover was about breastfeeding because it was launched during October, the month of breast cancer, few people know that breastfeeding significantly reduces the percentage of this disease that affects so many women. Breastfeeding not just boosts babies immunologic system, but it also prevents infant obesity and childhood diabetes, besides being an improvement on the mother’s health. Other issues that I talked about trough my covers and editions were the legalization of cannabis and abortion in Mexico, the female faces of the pandemic, self-love, body-positive, the normalization of periods, women empowerment, feminist protests around the world, among others.
What woman inspires you?
My mom. Always and forever.
What advice quote would you offer to women that want to be successful in the fashion industry?
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, that means you are making decisions towards the vision of success that you have for yourself. Not every success story is the same, nor every success has to be the same for everybody. Write your own story, and search inside yourself what means success for you.