ELISE BY OLSEN – first figure in our Inspiring Figures series, born in 1999 in Norway Elise at the age of 8 started writing her very first blog which lead her to realise that writing is something that she wants to do in the future. At the age of 13, she was recognised in the international press as the world’s youngest editor in chief. Her first paper publication Recens was a celebration of youth culture by the youth culture. When Olsen turned 18 she decided that it was time for her to pass the title of the editor in chief to someone younger so that the magazine stays true to its message. “Now, at 18, I’m no longer a minor. Running a youth magazine as an adult would be like running a student magazine as a teacher” says Olsen in one of the interviews. Today Elise is a publisher, editor and a curator. Her new publication is called Wallet which is, as she describes it, ‘a small start to a larger conversation on the fashion industry and how it operates and capitalises on us.’. She wanted to create something that asks questions to the industry and redeems fashion journalism. Every single issue has its main theme – the first issue titled Admins of Authority was a conversation on power in fashion, second one Pioneers of Publishing talked about the evolution of fashion press and the third upcoming one is going to be about fashion education (as Elise also works as a university lecturer I think that it may be by far one of the most interesting ones, to see what a person at such a young age with career developed by her 18th birthday has to say about the education system in fashion considering the fact that as a self-taught person she does have quite a knowledge and can easily pinpoint advantages and disadvantages of the fashion education).
Her digital journey is a key factor in her success – ‘I met a lot of like-minded people on Instagram, there we started talking about the importance of having a place where people can share their blogs, we started this blog network for young Scandinavian bloggers. It was very DIY. At that, it was unheard of that young people take part in any kind of cultural conversation at all so that was something we wanted to change.’ says Olsen.
‘From the network, I wanted to move to print’ continues Elise ‘that’s why I started Recens which I consider a development of the core idea into a different format. We did seven issues. It’s been really nice to be able to work with this young, emerging talents from around the globe, being a bridge between them and the established brands and companies. I think it was a big responsibility too.’ says Elise reminiscing about her time at her very first and very own print publication.
Elise By Olsen is such a vibrant, talented, inspiring young adult and most importantly she is so nice and easy to talk to! Meeting her at the London Fashion Week Festival was one of the biggest highlights of my day and going to the Talk Call with her featured as the main guest was a very inspiring experience. Elise is a walking and breathing example that our generation can do great things before even becoming an adult. And to finish off this short note (first of the series!) a little advice from Elise – ‘just ask new questions to get new conversations going’.