Rising Stars: MSW’s Colleen Banks On the Jump From Events to Editorial
Colleen Banks, associate style editor at Martha Stewart Weddings, didn’t necessarily choose the magazine media industry. If anything, she chose Martha Stewart. But her path changed course after assisting on events with Darcy Miller, MSW’s editor-at-large.
Banks, 28, had recently graduated from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT with a degree in political science and was on her way to law school. “I threw that idea out the window and hopped on board [with Miller]. Wedding parties seemed much more exciting than divorce law—but the irony of that always cracks me up!” she says.
Although she started as an assistant to Miller, MSW’s style team always needed extra hands on shoots and, as a result, Banks slowly started assisting on those as well. Shortly thereafter, her time was split evenly between events and style, and eventually just style.
“After assisting for a year and half, I learned so much about styling, crafting and each market that I started to get assigned my own stories. I started covering the fine jewelry market; styling still life jewelry and watch shoots, as well as all the jewelry on fashion shoots,” she says.
It was also during this time that Banks started styling MSW’s core stories, such as Good Things, In Love With and Style Pages. Fast-forward five years and her title has been elevated from editorial assistant to associate style editor at the brand.
One of the highlights in those five years has been getting to know so many jewelers, as well as the jewelry industry as a whole. “It has given me such a new appreciation for jewelry and the art and craftsmanship that goes into it,” she says. “I always joke about my love for diamonds, but I really love learning about the process.”
Banks believes now is an exciting time to be working at a brand like MSW because “we are of a new era where everyone is in love with love.” It doesn’t matter, she says, who you are or who you are marrying—it’s all about throwing an awesome party.
“From engagement parties, bachelorette parties, bridal showers all the way to the wedding and beyond people are looking to us for inspiration and ideas. It feels like everyone is craving more and more unique ideas, and everyone wants their wedding to feel different,” she says.
Currently, Banks is working on the MSW Summer 2017 issue. She’s heading to a tropical destination for a fashion shoot for the issue. “I’m not complaining about that at all—I’m always down for 80 degree weather over 20!”
Additionally, she’ll be shooting a men’s watch story in a few weeks because MSW only shoots those kinds of stories once a year. And her brother just got engaged, so that’s another large project added to her year.