On Writing: Andrea Kiliany Thatcher

9780764349102Andrea Kiliany Thatcher has written The SFP LookBook – New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 Collections for Schiffer Books. Morgan Beye was the photographer for the project. I first met Andrea through Twitter, check her out at @shinyandrea, and then through Chester County Book Company where she works part-time managing social media. Andrea works full-time at Schiffer Books, bringing her experience in fashion, beauty and social media to their team. The book launches on Saturday, May 16th with a party at Nich, a specialty boutique in West Chester, PA. I wanted to learn about this book and Andrea’s experience in pulling this project together.

Jim: Can you tell me a little bit about the process of creating The SFP LookBook

Andrea: The process for The SFP LookBook was really a process I like to think I’ve perfected over the years as a blogger, except this time I was able to create a more lasting product. It began a few weeks before fashion week as I and my photographer went to the design studios of a few designers to ask about and photograph their creative process, model castings, run of show decisions, etc. Then during New York Fashion Week we really documented every part of the process from the hair and makeup, details shots of the clothes and accessories from backstage, and of course the runway and street style. We really talked to everyone along the way – the designers, their PR teams, makeup artists, nail artists, hair stylists, clothing stylists, accessories designers, show producers, journalists and fans. Typically I wrote all this up daily for online outlets like TheFashionSpot.com and Papierdoll.net but this time I brought all that research back after fashion week and began the rigorous process of putting it all into a book. Our director of photography Morgan Beye edited and pre-selected photos for me to choose from to represent each show and look and backstage moment. I transcribed all my interviews so as I got to each designer’s section I’d have everything I needed to pull from available. I’d say the book came together in about three weeks of constant writing and photo editing on my and Morgan’s part. Then it went to our talented designer Danielle Farmer, and went through the copy editing process and all that. Then finally off to the printer!

Jim: What was your favorite moment from covering the fashion show? 

Andrea: I think my favorite part for this book was visiting the designers studios in the weeks before the collections showed. That’s something I never got to do before and visiting their personal creative spaces was really inspiring.

Jim: Who are some of the designers you focus on in the book? 

andrea-thatcherAndrea: The designers that we went to the atelier with were Bibhu Mohapatra, Angel Sanchez, Carmen Marc Valvo, K Nicole – a local Philly design duo – and Novis. Carmen Marc Valvo was the first designer to grant me a backstage interview my first time covering fashion week so it was exciting to call on him again for featuring in this project and a more extended interview.

Jim: Can you tell us something that happens behind the scenes that people might not know?

Andrea: I think people would be surprised by the amount of down time, with models just scrolling through their phones or reading real books – I see it a lot – or a hurry up and wait kind of situation. I also think people would be surprised how down to the wire it gets. Bibhu was telling me about putting different panels of a dress together the morning of the show, after having sent them overseas for delicate detail work. There’s adjustments and fittings going on right up until the girls walk out.

Jim: Would you tell us a little bit about Shiffer Publishing? What types of books do they focus on and what is it like to work there? 

Andrea: Schiffer is a niche publisher out of Lancaster, PA. It’s mostly non-fiction and Schiffer Fashion Press is an imprint of the company that publishes this book series as well as other fashion and accessories titles. The company started out doing a lot of antiques and art books, and now we’re branching out into more pop culture and contemporary design books. It’s neat to work at a company where I get to go to New York often and cover fashion week, but at the same time most days I’m driving out to “the book farm” in Lancaster to work.

Jim: For those of us in the area, can you tell us about your book launch? 

Andrea: The book launch is going to be really fun! I’ve worked at Chester County Book Company in one role or another almost since I’ve lived in West Chester, and they’ll be doing the book sales at the event. It is being held at Nich Boutique in West Chester, I know the owner Kristy – who has another location in Collegeville as well, through some fabulous fashionable friends. You can get an outfit styled from their affordable, trendy selection, and you can get a flash tat to wear out that night! Another Schiffer author Ady Abreu, who wrote Dare to Bake which will also be available at the event, is making cupcakes. And we’ll have some light fair and Doc Magrogan’s signature sangria. And a Phoenixville salon who works with all the fabulous ladies I know in the P-Ville area will be doing a braid bar. It’s from 1 to 4 p.m. so you’ll be all ready to go out to dinner after!

Meet Andrea on Saturday, May 16th at the launch party at Nich Boutique, which is located at 29 S. High St., West Chester, PA. If you can’t attend the party, you can stop into Chester County Book Company and pick up your copy or order it online by clicking here.

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