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PARIS, France — French born Valeria Bessolo LLopiz, the international director of Elle, oversees the brand management for 45 regional editions of the magazine. After studying at business school in Lyon, Bessolo LLopiz put her long held dream to work in fashion into action and spent eight months working for a company in Singapore to create a menswear brand from scratch. Then, back in Europe, she completed a traineeship in the finance department of Emanuel Ungaro, and trained in Chloé's ready-to-wear department, where she was hired as product manager for Asia and the US. In 2001, Bessolo LLopiz joined French media company Lagardère Active, where she worked for the Elle brand and was subsequently appointed head of design and vice president of licensing in Europe, Middle East and Africa. In April 2008, she joined the Elle magazine network as international editorial director and in June 2011 was appointed international director of Elle.
BoF: Please describe your current role
I am in charge of the brand management for the 45 editions of Elle magazine worldwide at Lagardère Active. I ensure the development and coherence of the brand at an editorial level, the sharing and coordination of publishing projects as well as the creation and organisation of strategic print and digital initiatives for the Elle network. In addition, I manage the centralised international editorial productions for Elle editions worldwide, covering primarily fashion, celebrity and beauty themes.
BoF: What attracted you to the role?
Diversity, definitely! The diversity of cultures: to be able to work with people from five continents, in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Africa through our 45 editions is an exceptional experience. The diversity of profiles — from editorial to publishing teams as well as as advertisers — is about working with talented and passionate journalists, photographers, creative, marketing and business minds. The diversity of topics and projects based on the five pillars of Elle: fashion, beauty, culture, society and lifestyle.
BoF: What is the most exciting project or initiative you have worked on?
The Elle International Beauty Awards, a global initiative that brings together the 45 editions of Elle, with each edition participating every year. It is composed of an editorial project, a worldwide survey and developments that enable marketing and advertising opportunities. In 2015, we will further develop the Women in Society project, launched in 2014 with the Happiness Index (a worldwide survey on women's happiness), as well as initiating a global project on fashion.
BoF: How is your role changing? What are the forces driving this change?
Working in the media, digital is increasingly important. It is crucial to evolve with technology around the various digital platforms and to consider how they can be exploited, all while integrating these new developments across all aspects of the brand management and our initiatives.
BoF: Tell us about a time you failed and how you learned from it.
Many years ago I quit a job I loved because of a sudden organisational change and in the end, I regretted that decision. Since then, I've learned not to make important decisions on impulse.
BoF: What advice do you have for people who are interested in doing what you do?
Building a career is a day-to-day and long term work in progress: define your goal, always keep it in mind and never vary from this direction. I believe that, at the end, it always pays, somehow!
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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