gerri gallagher and tullah the welsh terrier
Meet the Associate Editor of Tatler magazine and her faithful best friend
Words: Simon Glazin Pictures: Rikki Percival
When an editor of one of the most high-profile monthly magazines agrees to be photographed, with her dog, for a relatively new site, you jump at the chance. No dilly-dallying. You book it in ASAP. You turn up on time. You behave. You try and make her laugh. You take the pictures. And you go.
And while the preconception of all editors is scary - thanks to Meryl Streep's genius portrayal of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada - Gerri Gallagher, Tatler's Associate Editor, is completely the opposite. Having worked in the fashion and magazine industry for nearly 10 years myself, I've met a lot of magazine editors. Some you don't want to look in the eyes in case you turn to stone, others who are just like 'normal' people. Gerri is warm, kind and is happy to discuss anything (I didn't mention the tragic death of Alan, the Tatler Dachshund though). Her soft American accent draws you in.
Gerri greeted us as the lift doors opened on the third floor of Vogue House, wearing a chic navy dress and cropped jacket combo. I couldn't help but notice her amazing snake-effect heels, statement tortoiseshell oversize glasses and classically coiffed 'do'. She showed us into the open-plan office - quiet, stark white with lots of busy people tapping away on their macs - and pointed at the window. And there was Tullah, in her bed, fast asleep, on the windowsill. She only woke up when Gerri picked her up, out of her bed. She's 12-years-old after all.
We had limited time with Gerri and Tullah, but made the most of it. We were allowed to shoot in the publisher's office, the 'fashion cupboard', full of amazing gowns and heels, and the art department, where the next issue of the magazine was mocked up and displayed on the wall, ready for critiques and amends. Scroll down to see more, and to hear Gerri's advice on how to break into the industry...
On life with Tullah: She is my sunshine and my shadow (but only when it suits her). In 2005 I found myself single after many years and Tullah filled my ex’s shoes and became my best friend but without conflict or heartbreak.
On work: I have the best job ever. I oversee all the editorial supplements for Tatler: everything from Travel, Spas, Cosmetic Surgery to Schools. One of the perks of my job is I get to do a fair bit of travelling, usually very 5-starry.
On style: I think if you are lucky you are born with it but that said, I also think style can be cultivated.
On career plan B: After university I started my career at Town & Country in NY. Four years later I switched to the City for the wrong reason, MONEY. Seven years later, I bailed out and returned to magazines, my true love. Will there be career C? Who knows.
On her daily routine: I get up between 5 and 7 am except on Mondays when we get up at 4am to drive back from my cottage in the country. The first thing I do is take Madame T out - we see lots of cats and foxes which drive her mad! The office is in Hanover Square in central London. Some days Tullah and I travel in on the bus together and she goes home before lunch with Maté (thedogservice.co.uk), who has been her dog walker for 10 years. Or other days he picks her up in the morning and walks her to the office. When she is in the office she bases herself in her basket on my window ledge or wanders the office being ‘bin dog’.
On career advice: Magazine publishing is in a state of flux and is, despite what any of us want to believe, shrinking. My career advice would be to swot up on all things digital, maybe learn coding, definitely acquire a skill that will be valued in the future. If you are passionate about writing, do it in your own time.
On her favourite Tullah tale: I adore her personality, she’s clever, stubborn, affectionate (but only when she wants) and though she rarely barks, she communicates with me by yawning (loud, deliberate yawns) especially when she wants to go out or is displeased with what I am asking her to do.
On the breed of dog she'd be: A Welsh terrier. I am a human terrier and having had a Lakeland, a wire hair fox terrier and now a Welshie, Welsh terriers are my breed.
One thing people should know about Gerri: I do love a helicopter, but not more than my Tullah.