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IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

Mark Her Words!

Mark Her Words!
Read Time: 2 min

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Interview by Elisabeth Gruender

 

 

MEET MALAIKA CRAWFORD, STYLE EDITOR AT HODINKEE, ADMIRER OF REGALIA AND IMAGE REFERENCER-PAR-EXCELLENCE

Before Malaika Crawford swooped in with her two cents on all things watches, she was busy glamming up A-listers for red carpets and styling photoshoots for fashion magazines. At that time, HODINKEE was craving some fresh perspectives. And boy, did she deliver! As Style Editor, Malaika became a true disruptor in the industry, skillfully bridging the gap between fashion and watches, and finally giving a sassy female spin to the still oh-so-male-dominated world of high-end mechanical timepieces.

 

The JOURNAL got cozy with this bubbly and undeniably likable writer, who often catches herself asking, “Am I really the only female journalist on this press trip?” 

Malaika Crawford wearing the IWC Portofino Complete Calendar Ref. IW359001
Close

Portofino Complete Calendar

IW359001

Portofino Complete Calendar

11.200 €

Stainless steel case, Automatic winding. Blue calfskin strap, Strap width 20.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

 — Malaika Crawford wearing the IWC Portofino Complete Calendar Ref. IW359001

 

 

MEMORY BANK

What does a style editor do?

I guess my career has evolved slightly. Working in fashion couldn't be more different from working with watches in every single sense. Style editor, what does that entail? I think it's taking a little step back and looking at watches from a slightly different lens as opposed to the traditional way.

 

It’s incorporating expertise in terms of design and cultural references, when it comes to what looks good. Being able to draw links between fashion and watches, or pop culture and watches.

 

There are a lot of people doing that. I'm not alone in my venture, but I guess style editor at HODINKEE means you can get a little naughty and it can have a big effect.

 

What details do you pay most attention to?

It’s very instinctual. I know what I like, I couldn't even explain it to you. I've always been into accessories. It’s the idea of being able to decorate yourself. I have always been fascinated with the idea of regalia, and I think watches are like a modern-day version of that – with a heavy focus on design. 

 

How would you describe your personal style in three words?

No one has ever asked me that before. This is good. In three words, OK. First: “Layered”. Secondly, I would say, “eclectic”. And thirdly, probably “referential”.  A lot of people who are stylists or work in the creative field are constantly referencing images, movies, exhibits. I'm constantly referencing, pulling and archiving images.

 

That's how I work when it comes to shoots and when it comes to watches too. I am creating folders of images, and I'm subconsciously recreating things that I've seen God knows when and where. I keep it in a memory bank. So, I guess I’m working with a mix of referencing and instinct.

 

 

I like when someone tells a story and puts a picture in my head so that I can fall into a fantasy about the watch.

 

 

CREATING WATCH FANTASIES

Do female and male writing styles differ?

When I started this job, I made a point to myself not to make a fuss about the fact that I was a woman. I was just going to get to the point and do what I needed to do. But in this industry, it's inevitable that you're going to start speaking about being a woman because it is such a big factor in what I do. It wasn't something that was at the forefront of my mind. And now I think about it pretty much every day.

 

I hate to make it so black and white. But I like when someone puts a picture in my head and I can fall into a fantasy about the watch. You've got to just embrace the difference at the end of the day, instead of trying to eliminate it and trying to fit in.

 

And so, I woke up to the fact that being me meant having a different style of writing. And you know what? That was OK, because why would I try and assimilate? When I started working for HODINKEE, they encouraged me to be as much myself as I could possibly be and speak exactly how I see fit. That was encouraging.

 

Do you enjoy debating watches with your colleagues?

If you knew me a little better as a person you would know that this is something I do all the time. I like to be challenged and I really enjoy riffing off of other people, so I welcome someone with strong opinions because that's where you get the most interesting content. Whether you come to a resolution or not, and I find it highly entertaining. I like hearing somebody else’s opinion and having a bit of banter I suppose.

 

The Portofino Complete Calendar IW359001 in 41mm comes in a stainless-steel case and with a blue calfskin strap
Close

Portofino Complete Calendar

IW359001

Portofino Complete Calendar

11.200 €

Stainless steel case, Automatic winding. Blue calfskin strap, Strap width 20.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— The Portofino Complete Calendar IW359001 in 41mm comes in a stainless-steel case and with a blue calfskin strap

 

 

Last year I was in Miami and I had the Pilot’s AMG Team Watch on, and I remember thinking, “Oh my God, I can read the time instantly!” And I was like, “Guys, I need a tool watch. This is incredible!”
Malaika Crawford at the IWC booth during Watches & Wonders 2023.
Close

Portofino Complete Calendar

IW359001

Portofino Complete Calendar

11.200 €

Stainless steel case, Automatic winding. Blue calfskin strap, Strap width 20.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

— Malaika Crawford at the IWC booth during Watches & Wonders 2023

 

SCRUNCHIE SWAG

How did you get interested in watches?

My grandmother gave me a beautiful watch when I was 18. I knew it was a great present and I was very grateful. But I was a bit like, “What am I gonna do with this watch? This is way too lady-like for me.” It felt too grown up. I remember wearing a scrunchie at the top of the watch so I could decide whether to have it showing or not. It wasn't something I knew that much about.

 

My grandmother is a huge jewelry collector. And so, I have always been super into jewelry and playing with accessories. When I started as a stylist, I had to call the brands to organize jewelry for shoots. And oftentimes jewelry brands would send me watches. So, I started to build a surface understanding. Also, I would go to showrooms and auctions to learn more about vintage watches. I was looking at these things as just like another item of jewelry.

 

YOU TRIED ON THE PILOT’S WATCH MARK XX AT THIS YEAR’S WATCHES AND WONDERS….

I think there's something very powerful about wearing a tool watch. I remember I was on an IWC trip when I decided that I really needed to buy one. Last year I was in Miami and I had the Pilot’s AMG Team Watch on, and I remember thinking, “Oh my God, I can read the time instantly!” And I was like, “Guys, I need a tool watch. This is incredible!”

 

There’s a certain presence when you have a tool watch on your wrist. Definitely feels powerful. But what I love about this watch is, no matter how big it is, it still feels jewelry like to me. And when it's on a bracelet, I can have the best of both worlds. So, it can be bold and masculine and have presence, but it still has that element of design.

 

I actually don't own any sport watches with a white dial. It looks really clean and sharp, and I love that.

 

IWC Schaffhausen