SBJ/April 11-17, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Rubin brings her style sense to ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine has hired Samantha Rubin as the magazine’s first fashion editor. Previously the associate fashion editor for Men’s Health, Rubin will be put in charge of carrying out the traditional ESPN The Magazine sports journalism with an increased style and fashion sense. She spoke with staff writer Brandon McClung.

Age: 31

New title: Fashion editor, ESPN The Magazine

Previous job: Associate fashion editor, Men’s Health

First job: Worked for my father’s laundry and dry cleaning store

Education: Bachelor of arts, art history, University of Colorado (2002)

Resides: Manhattan

Grew up: Short Hills, N.J.

Executives most admired: David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief, and Brian Boye, fashion editor, Men’s Health

Brand most admired: Apple

Favorite vacation spot: Florence, Italy

Last book read: “Outliers: The Story of Success,” by Malcolm Gladwell

Last movie seen: “The Adjustment Bureau”

Favorite movie: I really like John Hughes movies …“The Breakfast Club”

Favorite musician/band: The Beatles


How does working with athletes compare with working with models and actors?

They are pretty easy to work with. The biggest challenge is always time. Not that they aren’t willing but sometimes they don’t have a lot of time on their hands and since they don’t have the normal body type as a model, sometimes you need that time with them. I have always enjoyed working with athletes because I have always looked up to them in a way. Some athletes are more into fashion than actors are, so it’s a good mix. They aren’t afraid to push it a little more than an actor may be.

What is the biggest challenge in your new position?

Finding the right fit and the right story for every issue that is coming up, so it’s really me thinking about the right angles to bring fashion into a story. Also bringing in a style element relevant to the fashion world.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?

Jumping into journalism without having a journalism background. I was working in PR and knew I wanted to do editorial. I think jumping in and starting down that road was the biggest risk I have taken and it worked out.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment in your career?

Coming here. This has been a really big jump for me. I’m really excited to be doing this. This might be my big steppingstone and is something I am really proud of and really excited about.

What is your biggest professional disappointment in your career?

I feel like I have been pretty lucky not to have too many. There were times that I didn’t get a job but it actually turned out in my favor.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?

Try to start as early as possible as an intern and be really eager to do anything and ask a lot of questions. I really think interning is the best way to get started. Don’t say no to anything. It might be a lot of closet work and grunt work, but it’s something you can learn from and can really help you get a job.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?

The NFL labor story — even in talking about our NFL preview issue and thinking about how to approach this issue if the season doesn’t happen.

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