A Feel For Fashion: Nikki Ogunnaike

Interviews, Inspirations

Named editor-in-chief of Marie Claire (US) in June last year, Nikki Ogunnaike is among a new wave of women driving fresh relevance across fashion titles (The Washington Post saluted her and her peers in a recent collective profile). Previously at Harper’s Bazaar in the role of senior digital director, she has a strong following through social channels and an all-around style that resonates with younger readers. In this new chapter for the reliable women’s magazine, Ogunnaike’s direction signals broader representation of faces and voices through fashion, beauty and news coverage, while appearing sharper and more accessible than ever.

What excites you in fashion right now?

There seems to be a new guard of fashion designers, editors, and stylists entering positions of influence and power in this industry. As someone who is a part of that change, this obviously excites me. But generally speaking, I also just love seeing new perspectives. 

What is one reason to be optimistic about the state of fashion going forward?

Change is hard, but change can be exciting and good! Seeing creative directors at storied Houses like Alaïa, Ferragamo, Bally, and Gucci continue to play with new ideas and codes of the House makes fashion fun. 

In what ways do you think AI might benefit fashion?

AI is only as good as the people who create it. I hope when inherent biases come to light, the industry will work to remedy them by diversifying who they hire and the kind of content that is made and in turn scraped for AI’s benefit. One thing I hope does not continue is using AI to replace key collaborators like models of colour or plus size. 

Who or what will drive the greatest change in fashion this year?

Changes in AI and social media platforms will drive the greatest change in fashion. In America, we’re entering into an election year. That will certainly affect the fashion industry in one way or another—there’s no way around that. 

Can you suggest a fashion mantra for ’24?

Slow down, think critically. 

What impact might you hope to have on fashion this year?

Anytime you interact with Marie Claire, it should feel like you’re in a group chat of your most ambitious friends. I hope to widen the scope of who is a part of that group chat—from the people who are represented on our site and in the pages of our magazine to the kinds of stories we tell.

This interview has been lightly edited.