Elio Iannacci is an award-winning journalist and FASHION magazine’s Features Editor. He is also a regular contributor to Maclean’s magazine and has had work published in The Globe and Mail, National Post and The Toronto Star. As one of Canada’s most qualified and experienced fashion and pop culture experts, he has had the opportunity to speak to some of the world’s most fascinating people. 

Included in his list of interviews are iconic names that range from Karl Lagerfeld to Lady Gaga, Beyoncé Knowles to Madonna and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, alongside acclaimed food author Nigella Lawson. Elio has also been featured on a number of television shows, including CNN Showbiz Tonight, MTV Canada, Much Music, ETalk and Entertainment Tonight.

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Magazines, chap books, comic books and zines were my lifelines when I was growing up. I was always fascinated by who put them together, who was covered in them and how they were produced. I would have been a DJ, a librarian or a costume archivist if I didn’t get into the writing/editing game.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Act like a brand and people will treat you like a product. Spend more time reading than tweeting.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
I read about three to five magazines a day (I have subscriptions to Vogue, Out, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, The Economist, The Advocate, Broken Pencil and Interview) and I typically keep a pound or two of poetry books, chap books, short story collections and lit anthologies around me at all times. Online, I visit the dailies and too many blogs to mention.

Best interviews you’ve ever had?
Sophia Loren, Karl Lagerfeld, David Sedaris, Lady Gaga, Annie Lennox, Eartha Kitt, Patti Smith and Wayne Koestenbaum.

Sean Combs. He answered his mobile during the whole interview and was too distracted to answer any questions properly.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“You should always know when you’re shifting gears in life. You should leave your era; it should never leave you.” c/o Leontyne Price.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Take vacations. Workaholics make the absolute worst writers and editors. The best ideas are the ones you find while you are taking a couple days off and living life outside of the office.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Read the magazine, website or newspaper you are trying to work with before you send any emails or make any calls.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
TIFF seems to bring out the extra-crazy in everyone—especially during the end of it. I will never forget how Debra Goldblatt was able to gracefully keep it together, while juggling four films on the last day of the fest in 2009, and manage to squeeze in two last-minute interviews for me without complaining.

I hate?                        
All fifty shades of grey.

I love?
Fact checkers, librarians, artists, poets and anyone who is an advocate for the arts.

Personals, a book of poetry by Ian Williams. Lynn Crosbie’s gripping Life is about losing everything. An anthology of short stories called New Stories From The South (edited by Amy Hempel).

Best place on earth?

Dinner guests?
Maria Callas, Jackie Onassis, Roisin Murphy, Gareth Pugh, Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, John Parot, Alfred Corn, Truman Capote and Hedi Slimane.

Langston Hughes, Frank O’Hara and Lou Grant.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
QuickVoice — an app that records interviews and changed my life.

Pool or ocean?
Both. I swim a mean breast stroke.

Voicemail or email?