Winner of the British Vogue Talent Competition 2017

Olivia Pometsey

Olivia Pometsey is an English Student at The University of Hull, currently working part-time at Divine Clark PR. Here is a rather modest post about her rather marvellous news!

My Day at Vogue House
When I was thirteen, on a family trip to London, I dragged my begrudging family to Hanover Square, simply to stand outside Vogue House and gaze upon the building where the torn out magazine pages that adorned my bedroom wall were created. My teenage self stood in awe of the Condé Nast offices, little did I know that nine years later I would be having lunch in there followed by a tour!

Having been an avid reader of Vogue for years, I’d always considered entering their annual talent contest but never had the confidence; “other people will be so much better at writing than me,” I’d always told myself. However, this year I decided to take the plunge and was ecstatic to receive an email from the magazine’s editor, Alexandra Shulman, informing me that I had been shortlisted and was invited to the finalists’ lunch.

From then on I had four weeks to finish my final University deadlines and decide what to wear, the latter perhaps proving to be more difficult than some of my essays. When the day of the lunch finally came I hopped on Hull Trains to London, arrived two hours early and waited patiently in a nearby Pret-A-Manger, where the nerves began to really build up. Eventually, the time passed and from the moment I walked through the doors of Vogue House, everything felt like a surreal dream.

The lunch had three courses and after each course the judges rotated seats so that each entrant got a chance to speak to the majority of the judges. Consisting of Vogue editors, and bestselling author who was also a previous talent contest winner, Sarah Perry, all of the judges were wonderful and welcoming, and though at first it felt intimidating, I was soon put at ease, as they all seemed like they really wanted to get to know us.

After a delicious meal and champagne, we were offered a tour around the office. We were taken around all of the different desks, chatted to some of the staff and, of course, got to see the wardrobe where I spotted several pairs of sparkly Manolo Blahniks.

When the tour finished we all said our goodbyes, headed back home and I tried to come to terms with the fact that I had actually just spent an afternoon at Vogue House.

It wasn’t until the next day that I found out that I had won. Obviously I am over the moon and probably still in a state of shock – I think the news will probably take a while to sink in! For the competition, I had to submit two articles, an interview and a social observation piece, as well as three feature pitches, but I think it was my social observation piece that I wrote on my visit to Ghana for my grandma’s funeral that won the judges over. The piece will be printed in the October issue of Vogue, and I’m sure that it will end up framed and adorning my bedroom wall – it’s what thirteen-year-old me would have wanted!