Caroline Issa is the Chief Executive & Fashion Director of independent fashion bi-annual Tank Magazine, Editor of the online magazine Because, CEO of Tank’s creative agency Tank Form, and a creative consultant for luxury fashion brands. The Montreal-born London-based street style icon with a business degree left a stable management consulting job when Masoud Golsorkhi, founder of Tank, offered her a partnership in the company after a chance encounter. In addition to her comprehensive work with Tank, Caroline launched a capsule collection of shoes for British high street brand LK Bennett, modeled for American multi-brand retailer J.Crew, and, most recently, developed a ready-to-wear line with American retailer Nordstrom. In the past years, Caroline has gained huge visibility through her appearance on fashion websites and street style blogs where she fascinates the readers with her effortlessly elegant style and her natural beauty.
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DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION.
I am the Fashion Director of Tank Magazine and CEO of our creative agency Tank Form.
HOW DID YOU GET THERE?
I studied business at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and when I graduated I became a management consultant – a great way to learn about business, management strategy and navigating corporate structures at a young stage in my professional career. After three years, I was moved to London to work on a retail client, but I met the Tank team and was inspired enough to leave my management consulting job to become Tank’s publisher and business development director of the creative agency. Almost 13 years later and I still love what I do and the people I work with!
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL STOP ON YOUR CAREER PATH?
Having the courage to leave a stable, well paying job with a corporate ladder and clear career path to join the unknown waters of fashion publications and creative consulting.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love the creative people I work with on a daily basis and getting to work on the most wonderful projects.
WHAT’S THE DARK SIDE?
I tend to live on a plane – not necessarily dark but certainly a bit tiring.
WHERE DID YOU SEE YOURSELF, LET’S SAY, TEN YEARS AGO?
I could never have predicted ten years ago that I would have also designed a best-selling shoe, for LK Bennett, or have my name in a clothing tag, for my current collaboration with Nordstrom on our Nordstrom Signature and Caroline Issa clothing range.
IF YOU COULD SWAP JOBS FOR A MONTH, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I’d love to understand what Angela Ahrendts problem solves and develops for the future of Apple’s retail network.
DESCRIBE YOUR WORKING SITUATION – ARE YOU A TEAM PLAYER?
I definitely think I am a team player – I depend on a team to do what I do, I couldn’t be anything other than that. I only try to work with people I really like spending a lot of time with.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ABILITY TO BALANCE WORK AND LIFE?
Balancing work and life is always tricky. I always try to be in the moment, without a phone, with my loved ones and to really be present with them. I also make sure to do things that feed me, inspire me – visit galleries, read books and watch films and television shows. I’ve also recently gotten addicted to committing to exercise classes – it makes me feel great. You just have to make time.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LONDON AND HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
I love London’s energy. Its grey rainy days. Its hustle and bustle. The shops. The museums. But most of all its people. London draws an amazing array of creatives who always inspire me.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2016? WHICH FUTURE PROJECT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO REALIZING?
I can’t predict what will happen in 2016 but I know it will involve a lot of travel to new, faraway places and new projects – plus I’m planning on learning how to cook. I have already done so many projects I thought I could only dream about, so I really don’t know what more that could surprise me – but I’m sure it will happen. Watch this space…
Instagram Impressions @caroissa
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