Marion Hume (born 3 July 1962) is a British fashion journalist based in London. Her career has spanned the UK, The US and Australia. She is also an international consultant to the International Trade Centre, which works in partnership with the UNCTAD and the WTO to enable small business export success in developing countries. She is a consultant to The Ethical Fashion Initiative, based in Geneva and Nairobi, which harnesses the power of fashion as a vehicle out of poverty for some of the world’s poorest people. Currently she is The International Fashion Editor of The Australian Financial Review (AFR). She writes for c The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Saturday Telegraph Magazine in the UK and Harper's Bazaar Australia.
Life and career
Hume was born in England of Scottish parents and raised in Chalfont St Giles, a pretty village known for its associations with the 17th century poet, John Milton. Her father, Kenneth Hume, was a designer; her mother Rena, an art teacher. She attended Exeter University, where she majored in English literature and was awarded the Dean’s Commendation and where she began reporting for the campus newspaper, Signature and broadcasting on the campus radio station. She began her career when she won Honey Magazine's 'Young Journalist Award' in 1985. Early profiles included Diana Vreeland and Calvin Klein. During the 1980s she worked at the trade titles, Men’s Wear and Fashion Weekly and then at the UK office of Fairchild Publications' W magazine for which she interviewed Sir Douglas Fairbanks. She joined The Sunday Times in 1988 working with fashion legend, Caroline Baker and reporting from Paris, Milan and New York. She also covered the beginnings of Spanish fashion weeks in Madrid and Barcelona and was probably the first international journalist to visit a then-fledgling company in La Coruna called Inditex (Zara). Profiles included Hermes and Romeo Gigli.
In 1989 Hume was tagged by independent film makers, Freelance Film Partners as the insider they needed for a BBC six-part series called The Look. For the next two years, she worked on the series and also appears in 5 of the 6 episodes. Interview subjects included Gianni Versace, Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Christian Lacroix along with industry stalwarts including Suzy Menkes, Anna Wintour and Liz Tilberis. The episode entitled Runway was the first to chart the evolution of the Supermodel. Yves Saint Laurent refused to be interviewed for the hour-long documentary about him, although close associates including Pierre Berge, Catherine Deneuve, Paloma Picasso and Betty Catroux did speak on his behalf and Saint Laurent himself was filmed backstage at his haute couture shows and at his 30th Fashion Birthday at the Opera Bastille, Paris. The Look has been broadcast all over the world and was most recently repeated on the BBC in 2009.
The LOOK: RUNWAY (1992) The LOOK: POWER OF THE PRESS (1992) The LOOK: UNIFORM AND FUNCTION (1992) The LOOK: THE MATERIAL WORLD (1992) The LOOK: SCENTING MONEY (1992) The LOOK: YVES SAINT LAURENT (1992)
Concurrently, Hume was the launch fashion editor of the UK edition of Esquire (1990). From 1993 - 1996, Hume was Fashion Editor of The Independent during which time the fashion coverage expanded in both the daily and the Independent on Sunday. Her profiles included Patsy from Ab Fab, aka Joanna Lumley,Lauren Hutton, Verushka, Fabien Baron and the photographers Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh. She reviewed Alexander McQueen’s first show. A review of a Chanel show entitled “No Way to treat a Lady” started a feud with Karl Lagerfeld, with Hume praised for “not being part of the 'conspiracy of silence'; for her professionalism, her integrity and her independence.” In 1996 Hume joined ‘National Treasure’ Lucia Van der Post at the Financial Times, filing weekly fashion updates. The same year, she was the writer and associate producer of The South Bank Show special on John Galliano (season 20, episode 12, 1997) directed by Nigel Wattis, hosted by Melvyn Bragg.
Back in 1994, Hume had started writing for US Vogue. She was made contributing editor in 1996. That year, Anna Wintour and Kate Betts (the latter then at Vogue) were asked who should be the editor of Vogue inAustralia. In February 1997, Hume and her husband, photographer Peter Hunt left for Sydney. In 1998, Hume was fired from Vogue Australia in a hail of publicity although she said nothing. Significantly, her strong association with US Vogue continued.
Hume became a contributing editor to US Harper's Bazaar. Editor-in-chief, Kate Betts who sent her all over the world on assignments, praising her in her editor's letter as ‘steadfast and unafraid.’ Hume left Bazaar following Bett's departure in 2001. Commuting between New York and Sydney, she also took on the post as fashion editor of The Australian. Leading advertising agency, M&C Saatchi were hired by News Ltd to capitalize on the notoriety of their latest hire with billboard advertisements reading, ‘Marion Hume gets under the skin of the Fashion Industry’ and ‘The world's most vicious fashion journalist now writes for us. Be warned, if there is any nonsense on or off the catwalk, she just won’t wear it.’  In 2002, she joined the competing Australian media giant, Fairfax Media. Determined now to quit round-the-world travelling for a while and see as much of Australia and New Zealand as possible, Hume, who had already written about the South Sea Pearl industry for US Vogue, headed back to Broome Far North Western Australia to pen a cover story for Sunday Life magazine called Prince of Pearls. This was subsequently optioned by Mushroom Pictures and went into development as Saltwater Heart but has not been made. Her on-set film reporting included The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001), Rabbit Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002) and Ned Kelly (Gregor Jordan, 2003) the latter with Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom. In 2002 Hume became an Australian citizen.
The Fashion Pack
2005 saw the publication of Hume's novel The Fashion Pack, published by Penguin, initially to rave reviews. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said of it "We thought we knew everything about fashion...until The Fashion Pack came out!" However publication served as an opportunity for her firing from Vogue Australia to be re-aired. Hume and her husband Peter Hunt relocated back to London permanently in 2005 when work on Time magazine's Style & Design special supplements, published six times a year with the U.S., Europe and Asian editions of the magazine, became too challenging from a Sydney base. Hume reported from all corners of the globe for the magazine until it was shuttered in September 2009.
The Australian Financial Review
Being based closer to the global centres of fashion proved an advantage when Hume was named International Fashion Editor of The Australian Financial Review (2006) for which she writes a monthly column and helms two fashion specials per year. Interview subjects have included Sir Philip Green, Tom Ford and Stella McCartney. She now contributes to magazines in the US and the UK and in Australia as well as to the website runawaynow.com. In August 2010, Hume returned to Australia’s Far North West, this time to write about Tiffany and Co’s ethical partnerhsip with the Ellendale mine, the source of the world's most lustrous yellow diamonds.
Consultancy for the ITC
In 2009, Hume was appointed an International Consultant to the ITC. The ITC works in partnership with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), supporting their regulatory, research and policy strategies and helping to turn them into practical projects. The ITC’s overarching goal is to help developing countries to achieve sustainable development through exports. Hume is a consultant to The Ethical Fashion Initiative, based in Geneva and Nairobi, which harnesses the power of fashion as a vehicle out of poverty for some of the world’s poorest people.
Official website http://www.marionhume.com/