Because the best Instagram handles feature a healthy mix of style, seascapes and shirtless men, I fell in love with Alex Badia well before this interview. The WWD Men’s Fashion Editor and M Fashion Director keeps the gratuitous topless shots flowing…all in the name of fashion, of course. Ironically, Badia says he’s actually obsessed with finding the perfect men’s T-shirt (“and sneakers are a total addiction,” he laughs) and that obsession/OCD-esque dedication is precisely what makes him so amazing at his job.
“I’m always in search of that perfect collection, the latest trend or just pure inspiration,” he explains. Amid that constant search (and in between chronicling his style adventures), I managed to catch up with Badia to learn more about his penchant for Hedi Slimane and pure hatred for snakes.
Julie Bensman: Did you always want to work at a fashion magazine?
Alex Badia: I grew up in Europe and was lucky enough to live and study all over. I was totally obsessed with fashion from day one, but I studied business first and then came to NYC to attend FIT and never looked back. I started my career at DNR and then went to O, The Oprah Magazine in 2001, but went back to DNR two years later. In 2008, I joined WWD as the Men's Fashion Director.
JB: What is a typical day in the life of Alex Badia?
AB: I never have a typical day here — in fact, that’s what I love most about my job. My days can range from a showroom appointment to a store run-through, a model casting to a photoshoot or scouting an unknown designer's studio and so on.
JB: What is the biggest misconception about being a magazine editor?
AB: I think some people see an editor’s job as all glamour and a fabulous lifestyle. And yes, there is an element of glamour, but of course the epicenter of the job is all about hard work. It's an endless effort that involves (in my case, at least) constant and extensive research, very long days and many working weekends, pushing clothes around and an incredible ability to multitask. A hint of OCD always helps, as "no" can't be the answer for anything.
JB: Describe a moment in your career when you thought, "THIS is why I love my job.”
AB: I remember when I saw my first Hedi Slimane show for Dior Homme (I think it was 2002). It was a total out-of-body experience. But as high as that moment was, I have "I love my job" moments all the time…like at a shoot or just speaking to a hair stylist or photographer. I love talent in any shape.
JB: How important is social media in your job?
AB: Social media has been a total game-changer. It really allows me to express myself in another way and is a great research tool. It also allows for an inside look at our lives and jobs — I love seeing what my friends and colleagues are up to. So yes, please follow me!
JB: Describe your personal sense of style.
AB: I have no real loyalty when it comes to brands. I am totally fashion unfaithful. I grew up in a very traditional environment with my father always dressed in a very elegant, old-world manner (suit and tie for lunch everyday), but I always wanted to rebel against that. So, I think I’ve always had both sides reflected in my personal style. I am very much into softly tailored, belted coats worn with chic sweatpants and an elongated streetwear-inspired shirt. However, this is today; tomorrow, it will probably be something else, but an elegant sensibility always perseveres.
JB: Last thing you googled?
AB: “The Everglades.” I’m doing a shoot there at the end of the month and someone said there are major pythons all over. And the one thing I don’t like is snakes (not even a snake print!), so let's see…