Jeremy Langmead knows a good story when he sees one—his many years at the helm of heavyweight titles such as Wallpaper, Esquire, and Mr Porter are a testament to that. With the added advantage of a keen eye for fashion, Langmead was definitely a perfect candidate for homegrown brand Harlan+Holden’s Camino challenge. Langmead joined other style savants and storytellers such as Caroline Issa and Mark Nicdao on a short trip to Bhutan to put the brand’s lightweight slip-ons to the test—the test being a few days of trekking, that is. Fresh from the Bhutan challenge and a quick stopover in the Philippines, the Brand and Content Director of Mr Porter shares some of his latest trip’s best anecdotes and insights.
What’s it like working as one of the heads of an international publication and e-commerce platform?
It’s exhilarating and demanding. We always have a lot of projects happening in tandem across all our platforms. Whether it’s a new holiday marketing campaign, launching daily as well as weekly content, new brands and categories to launch, our print newspaper that comes out six times a year . . . it keeps you on your toes. You are either travelling a lot—especially the buying teams—or you spend your days in meetings. There are a lot of meetings here as I work across so many departments and you need to make sure everything joins up. Our offices, which are enormous, are in west London. It takes 8 minutes to walk quickly from one end to the other and we are already having to expand further. We have nice teams, and a nice company ethos, and that makes each day fun as well as challenging.
How often do you go on vacation?
Not often enough. I live between our apartment in London and a house in the countryside and so try to spend the summer vacation in the country as I don’t spend enough time there. And since I travel a lot for work it’s always a treat not to sit on a plane. However, I tend to vacation in the south of France or the Amalfi coast. They are easy to reach, very beautiful and I speak the languages. Once a year I go skiing in Switzerland, too.
As fashion and travel go hand in hand, what are some essentials for staying in style while on the go?
Depends on the location, but I always travel in dark colors as you never know what may spill on you on an aeroplane or boat. Jeans and a sweatshirt with a pair of runners for planes, and I always pack a navy blazer (they go with everything, and you can dress them up or down) as well as a pale blue shirt; a crisp blue shirt always adds colour in your face, disguises jetlag or a hangover, and makes you feel fresh and ready to go.
What was your initial reaction when you learned about the #CaminoChallenge?
I was very excited. I love a challenge, love trekking, and had always wanted to visit Bhutan.
How did the Caminos actually fare on the two hikes you went on?
They were incredibly comfortable, versatile, and hardy. We had no blisters despite walking up and down rocky terrain for hours and hours. What was clever was how they actually got more comfortable the longer you wore them for. The memory foam molded itself to the shape and movement of your feet. We didn’t want to swap them for new ones as they felt so good after each day’s hike.
As an internationally renowned editor and content creator, what makes a good story?
One that reflects the lives, or captures the dreams, of its readers. We always try to make sure each story inspires, informs and entertains.
In line with that, what’s your best story from Bhutan?
I think my favorite part was watching the girls, who were all so beautifully dressed—often head-to-toe in white—navigate the mud and slopes and random cows meandering along the mountainsides whilst trying to remain photo-perfect. I have to say most of them still looked pristine at the end of the day. And those that didn’t managed to laugh a lot at their misfortune—a smile on your face is always the most stylish thing you can wear.
What other trips and adventures have you gone through with your Caminos since coming back from Bhutan?
Well, we had an epic journey back to the UK in our caminos and as soon as I landed I walked our dogs, stabled the horses and fed the chickens still in my caminos. Whether high in the clouds in Bhutan, or pottering about at home doing domestic chores, the camino makes the perfect attire.
For the full interview, check out Rogue September 2016.